Baahubali 2: Not an epic it was meant to

OK. I’m going to say this first before you guys start throwing rotten tomatoes and eggs at me. I saw Baahubali 2: The Conclusion yesterday and I loved it. Sheer visual grandeur rooted me to the spot in the darkened cinema hall. I just could not take my eyes off majestic Baahubali on an elephant,…

The land that lives: A tribute to Gabriel Garcia Marquez and his Macondo

This post comes two weeks late since death anniversary of the my favourite Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez on April 17, 2014. In addition to being a role model, he inspired me to find the surreal in the ordinary. Here is to Marquez and the world he created, Macondo.  Macondo, a land founded by the Buendias, who…

To Harry, With Love

(I wrote this piece on July 30, 2016 the day before Harry’s Birthday and the launch of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) To Harry, Harry Potter and I go way back. I met him when I was in Class 6 separated just by a television screen. He was short, rather docile, and bespectacled with hair…

About Popeye, poster boy for Spinach and more

Entertainment, especially movies and even cartoons including Japanese animations, sometimes make so deep an impression that it creates new habits and routines. So what do I mean by that? When I was a kid, I loved watching the cartoon Popeye the sailor man. In the series Popeye is bullied by the beefy villain Bluto, especially…

Ponniyin Selvan, Kalki’s epic novel that eluded film-makers for decades

Ponniyin Selvan, the masterpiece of genius Tamil writer Kalki, has charmed thousands in Tamil Nadu and across the world. The book that follows the story of the Chola king Raja Raja Cholan and his friend Vandhiyadevan transpires in Chola’s capital Thanjavur, yesteryear Thanjai. Spanning five volumes, it pulls the audience into the web of political…

Perception of women in cinema vs reality

It is International Woman’s Day alright. You can give flowers, distribute chocolates and even send ‘Happy Women’s Day’ forwards to women in your contact list. Then what? You sleep and go on as usual. Nothing much changes and the routine gets boring. Man, how many times do you want us to read those same old…

Logan, one last time

Sense of loss overwhelms me as I saw Logan, the last movie where Hugh Jackman will appear as Wolverine in Marvel’s X-men series, today. I will no more see Jackman donning the role of the mysterious and hotheaded Logan. It is hard to let go of the character I have been seeing for over a decade…

Love in the time of Austen and Bronte sisters

I reread Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen for the third time last week. As always, could not help but fall in love with Mr Darcy for the third time. He is not perfect; handsome and rich yes, but not perfect. Yet, when he confesses to Elizabeth Bennet: “In vain I have struggled. It will…

Cho Ramaswamy, a comedian who made me love political satire

December in Tamil Nadu will probably never be the same. If it was flood in 2015, the State witnessed twin tragedies and cyclone in 2016. First it was the death of Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on December 5, who was laid to rest near her mentor and former Chief Minister MG Ramachandran’s memorial on December 6…

Jallikattu that bought Tamil Nadu to a standstill

For Tamils, the harvest festival pongal is not complete without jallikattu, a bull-taming sport practiced widely in villages in Tamil Nadu. Every year, on the second day of Pongal festival, termed maatu pongal, thousands from across Tamil Nadu gather to watch the fight between man and beast. This event is more prominent in Alanganallur in Madurai,…

At 100, MGR is a phenomenon that still sells

‘Acham enbathu madamaiyada, anjamai dravidar udamaiyada’ is the title song of the 1960 MGR movie Mannadhi mannan. It translates to ‘Cowardice is foolishness. Be like Dravidians, who are defined by their courageous acts.’ The song penned by Kannadasan is quite special, for it defines the characteristics of Dravidian men and in turn personified the iconic…

The Iron Lady’s final journey

It was surreal to watch the funeral procession of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa from the terrace of my office building in Anna Salai. The fact that she is no more was just beginning to sink in and there she was in a glass coffin surrounded by flowers, followed by police and her ardent…