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Showing posts from January, 2012

Chennai’s Fourth Estate at War

Touching upon competitive spirit, the legendary writer George Orwell, in an essay dated 1945, had described sport as war minus the shooting. He could very well be referring to the ongoing veiled battle between two of India's English dailies.

When “India’s national newspaper since 1878” and the “Largest read English daily in the world” decide to slug it out over Chennai’s newspaper readership, rest assured that the battle would spill over to the TV media, as was witnessed recently. Cheeky indeed were the ads that thumbed the nose at one another; though, few were in doubt over who the target was.

To the uninitiated, the two newspapers – The Hindu and The Times of India(TOI), respectively – have modus operandi that are as identical as chalk is to cheese, or uppu (salt) is to upma, a South Indian snack. The "war" in question is the race to get hold of the average Chennaiite, and eventually the Indian, newspaper reader’s attention.

And no, this piece of opinion isn’t about the…

Nanban: Rancho speaks in Tamil, and how!

When the recipes of Gobi Manchurian and Chicken Tikka can transcend national barriers and become a rage elsewhere, can’t we have different versions of an intra-national rage: a remake of a successful Bollywood movie in another language, for instance? Director Shankar answers the question with Nanban (friend), a faithful reproduction, nay a spitting image, of its original, the Aamir Khan-starrer 3 idiots, comprising its highs and lows with equal measure.
The flaws in our higher education system, especially engineering, and campus life unite to form a heady theme, with Vijay, reprising Aamir Khan’s cool dude-cum-Buddha-like role in the original, offering ingenuous solutions to many a conundrum. Did he levitate on screen? I don’t know; however, I am not willing to bet against it. Jeeva and Srikanth (after a hiatus), portraying Sharman Joshi and Madhavan’s roles in the original respectively, are his perennially flabbergasted class and hostel mates who always seek his gyaan.
It is the mov…

So, What Is Your Tobacco Quotient?

It is OK to smoke. Yes, you read that right. If you have started pondering over this stupefying declaration, the right side of your brain is functioning well. So raise a toast to yourself.

However, before anyone decides to disprove this statement, I urge them to finish reading this piece of literature (if it can be called that).
Going by the Supreme Court's not so recent, and much violated, smoking ban in public places, I am supposed to get nothing but clean, fresh air every time I step out. And therein lay the paradox.  
I decide to wake up early one day and venture out. However, I realise that I need milk for my morning coffee and head for the nearest shop. “Mornings are ideal to get some fresh air and rejuvenate the respiratory system....” I remember telling myself as I open the door, when cigarette smoke hits my nostrills. I crane my neck to see the offender; it’s my neighbour, his head surrounded by a haze of smoke, just as a halo around a god. Not only has he risen earlier, h…