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Showing posts from March, 2012

3 Billion Reasons to Read a Book

Appeared in City Express, the daily supplement of The New Indian Express, Bangalore, on March 27, 2012


What are unique to the numbers 658,000, 612 and 750 million? These numbers have captured the imagination of the People’s President, Dr A P J Abdul Kalam as none other, such that he has written an entire book keeping them in mind.
After masterpieces such as Wings of Fire, Ignited Minds and India 2020, to name a few – which largely focused on how India could become a superpower in all aspects – Dr Kalam transcends all national barriers with Target 3 Billion, co-authored by IIM-Ahmedabad alumnus Srijan Pal Singh, and dwells on eradicating poverty across the world.
But why 3 billion? The authors expound that the international below poverty line (BPL) community – synonymous in India with the Planning Commission’s ludicrous `32 margin – is about 3 billion; hence the title. Identifying rural-urban migration as the root cause for various problems, the authors assert that the panacea to it lies …

When India's yes-men politicos empathise...

What happens when the supposed docile of our nation's politicos decide to communicate with one another? Here's a fictional account...


Inside a room in the corridors of power of Karnataka...

He looked at his reflection on the mirror; that trademark smile of his could not be brought back even with a great deal of effort, and seemed at best only a smirk. During his heyday, it was said that this smile was his lucky charm – which too seemed to have now deserted him. He sighed, ruminated briefly before deciding how to react. He reached for a pen and paper for possibly his last letter, a suicide note.

Unsurprisingly, he did not have to hesitate over whom to address it to, Mr Y would do. “Must get to the point straightaway,” he thought as he wrote: “I may be referred to as the smiley CM, but the number of times I have cried in private because of you may easily outstrip your public shedding of tears.” He examined the sentence feeling satisfied that it may set the right dramatic tenor, som…

Scripting a neo-noir success in Indian cinema

Article can also be read at:http://newindianexpress.com/entertainment/tamil/article344575.ece

An analysis into the success – and failure – of the national award winning Tamil movie Aranya Kandam


by Rajagopalan Venkataraman

Think noir in Indian cinema and it is but natural to think of movies based on gangsters and internecine wars for supremacy. Notable examples in this genre include the Amitabh Bacchan-starrer Zanjeer, Mani Ratnam’s Nayakan and Ram Gopal Varma’s repertoire of mafia sagas, ranging from Satya to Company and D. Save for a few, a majority of such movies, in their bid to dish out “masala” entertainers – a euphemism for a film that has something for all sections of audiences – have traditionally offered the backseat to factors like story and screenplay. Ergo, when Aaranya Kandam (the jungle chapter) – perhaps the first Tamil neo-noir movie – recently bagged a slew of awards, including two national awards, Indian cinema aficionados had a genuine cause for celebration.



Aaranya...…

Emotionally Yours, the Google Way

First in the US and then in India, Google has been making waves with ‘the web is what you make of it’, its ad-campaign for its internet browser, Google Chrome. Here's a lowdown into the specifics

A man is passionate about his new-born baby girl and chronicles her upbringing online; a lady executive at an MNC goes on maternity leave, but her passion for cooking spurs her to start a cookery blog; an artisan facing a tough time marketing traditional Tanjore paintings decides to shift his business online. The commonality in the three incidents: ‘the web is what you make of it’, the latest ad campaign of Google Chrome, the internet browser from the stables of search engine behemoth Google.
To get a feel of the relation between advertising and cinema personalities or cricket stars, one only needs to only head to the nearest traffic junction characterised by a slew of billboards or turn on the television. From carbonated drinks to air conditioners or clothing fabrics, these personalities …

Is Thuglak’s Editor Going the Thuglak Way?

The front-page cartoons of this magazine have always been considered a barometer of the nation, and particularly Tamil Nadu’s, political landscape. Rib-tickling and dripping with sarcasm, it’s following has gradually swelled, though, not in dramatic terms, as certain high-profile media houses would flaunt. Be it the DMK or the AIADMK, the BJP or Congress, the Left or National Conference, its leaders have been the butt of many an acerbic but thought-provoking joke. In fact, it may not sound out of context to liken this publication to the American humour magazine, MAD.

Sample this: during the height of Anna Hazare’s high-profile fast against corruption, resulting in hectic parleys between his team of lieutenants and the Parliament, this magazine ran a front page cartoon with Team-A on one side and representatives of the UPA government on the other. Team-A, which remains silent when its demands such as inclusion of the Judiciary and prime minister under the Lokpal Bill’s ambit are met wit…