Return of the king

"Taken" (2008) was a runaway hit. It is an old-timer's revenge story. There is this troubled and talented, out-of-action CIA agent Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson). The man hangs out with old buddies and does some petty security stuff and pulls on with his life the sole purpose of which is - his daughter. She lives lavishly with her mother and stepfather, but the girl adores her daddy. All hell breaks loose when Bryan's daughter gets abducted. His inner ruthless spirit (also his skills) is rekindled. As he tells his girl's nameless, faceless abductor over the phone, '...I will look for you, I will find you, I will kill you', you know the movie has begun, for real. What happens over the next 60+ minutes is F1-style action matched by amazing cuts, that do not let you wink even for a moment. Only with a few elements of intelligence, but loaded with action and some deeply emotional minutes, "Taken" holds you, so much so that there have been two sequels to…

To drive or not to drive

I am not sure if the Waymos and the Teslas of the world got the plot right when they actually pump a lot of money into their driverless car projects. Do we really need driverless cars? I'm sure there are enough takers in India and elsewhere for these jobs behind the wheels in the US. Yes, there are robots serving food in some places in the map; we could have done away with such machines too. But the point is trusting the machine to take you through the streets of Istanbul or a stretch of the B&R Initiative, is not the same as trusting it only to the point of serving you a plate of pongal-vadai without splashing the boiling sambhar on your face.
Traditionally machines were invented to - ease our efforts, reduce the risks, bring down the costs, or to better our lives. I am not sure where the driverless cars fit in. For that matter, I don't even like gearless cars. True, machines are created for fun too. But in this case who exactly is going to have fun? The traveler sitting…

Education of the state

Request: Read PS first.

*** Traditionally the education systems have been designed to impart the 3R’s to the students. Developing the reading, writing and arithmetic skills were the basic objectives of school education. With the emergence of “global village”, where the competition is no more between one city and the other or between one state and the other – but between nations spread across geographies – it is essential to redesign the pedagogy to adapt to the changing demands. There is a new need for developing young minds that will be – ready to compete with anyone in any corner of the world; tap on the millions of opportunities thrown open by the connected world; free from any kind of dogmas; and ready to lead the world.
Tamil Nadu has allotted about Rs.17,000 Crores for education this year. But there are no new schemes. The funds have mainly been allocated to the existing programs like – Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan, providing drinking water supply and …

Viper - poster

The first look poster of 'Viper', a short film.

And.. btw.. this blog is completing ten years today :)

Terrace garden - 2

If you have an open terrace with a lot of sun light, then Lalbagh is a fantastic place to start. Have a close look at the notice board. Awesome guys there! 

You get a host of quality seeds, ready-mix (ready to use mixture of soil and manure), fertilisers and other garden needs like poly bags, tools, etc. The nursery is remarkable. Go for it! 

But I am in Kentucky and this Lalbagh is thousands of miles away from my home! That is okay, you could find similar nurseries around your place, or may be even better shops. Need not panic on this. You can check out the online stores too. 

But I don't have a terrace! Well, I am helpless on this. Even I may lose my terrace soon. Have a blast till it lasts! May be we should explore indoor plant options. Or may be there should be a brokerage app for leasing open terraces. Say, this office complex next door has some 5,000 sft of open terrace. They put out their specs in the app, and people like you and me take it on lease and create gardens. The simp…

Kaatru Veliyidai

1987. Thirty years ago. My dad took me to his friend's house where we watched Nayakan in a VCR (known as dek to us). Now, I just returned from watching Kaatru Veliyidai ('The Wind'). I had taken my son along. 2047. Too far to foresee, for obvious reasons. But two things are for sure - Mani Ratnam would not be making movies (mostly); He would be still reckoned as a legend of Indian cinema, mainly known for Nayakan. It was the movie where the cinema-don no longer wore a safari suit, donned curly wig and dark shades and mouthed loaded dialogs like ' I am a bad man'. But for its premise - set in the intimidating Himalayas and beyond, with a haughty fighter pilot paired with a lady doctor - Kaatru does not offer anything defining that would stay with us for the times to come. Yes, not all movies are made to be treasured.

This is one of the few movies of the director where you do not get to see trains; but don't lose heart - other standard Mani Ratnam devices like - t…

A day in Hell

(Wrote this screenplay some time back. Short film.)
நரகத்தில்ஒருநாள் 'A day in Hell'



A young man VARUN, in early twenties, sitting in a corner of an open terrace, is seen pondering.  Soon, he turns to us and says:

வருண் என்பேருவருண். நான்செத்துபோயிஒருமாசத்துக்குமேலஆச்சு.. அதுஒரு road accident... Adyar bridge கிட்ட...நீங்ககூடபடிசிருப்பேங்க. But it was not my mistake.. Anyway.. செத்துபோனதுநான்தான்..
Soon he chokes with grief. Fighting his tears, he continues:

வருண் okay