Picture Quiz #4


A sneaky infotainer coming your way...

One... identify this actress (appeared in a couple of dubbed Thamizh movies)


Two... this is a picture of a snail native to the Indian Ocean. The species was in the news recently. Why?



This should be a shoo in as it is an instrumental piece of a song in the movie. A personal favorite that has mass appeal as well. Set in what is really a movie glorifying violence, this interlude/BGM is in stark contrast to the movie situation. Yet, identify the movie and the situation when this piece sways in...


Al Pacino and Al Pacino

Carlito's way and Serpico  are considered to be two of Al Pacino's finest. Watched them both within a space of a week. Lots of similarities - both movies open with the Al Pacino character getting shot. (Kollywood would call this sentimendu) The female protagonist doesn't approve of the main man in both movies. These story line influences are similar along with the fact that Al Pacino is struggling against being typecast in his natural surroundings in both movies. The main difference is that he is part of the underworld in Carlito's way and is a cop in Serpico.

Carlito's way

Carleeetho as he is called by his cronies is a criminal on the reform... only that no one wants him to reform. I detected a thread of similarity with Ram Gopal Varma's Satya. It is a bit far fetched and the Satya character isn't really trying to reform. Carlito is just out of prison thanks to his lawyer (Sean Penn is revolting and brilliant at that) and goes about building a plan to escape from his old life. Everyone, his lawyer included, do their best to not let that happen. I was wondering if the Bheekhu Matre character and the Urmila Matondkar characters in Satya can draw parallels with characters in Carlito's way.


A story about a honest cop and his travails with the corrupt policemen. What is the price of honesty in a corrupt society? Loneliness apparently...  One of the characters recites a poignant fable about a wise king. A king rules a far away land. A witch places a well in the middle of the kingdom. Everyone drinks from it and becomes mad. The king avoids the well and remains the only sane person in the kingdom. The people plan a revolt as they feel that the king is not one among them. The king drinks the water and becomes insane as well. The people rejoice that their ruler has been 'cured'. Serpico prefers to be insane rather than dishonest.


Legend has it that Al Pacino stayed with the real Serpico while preparing for the movie.

When Pacino asked Serpico, "Why did you do it?" Serpico replied, "Well, Al, I don't know. I guess I would have to say it would be because... if I didn't, who would I be when I listened to a piece of music?"

What a lovely thought! Isn't it true that we are honest with ourselves when we listen to our favorite music?


World Sunset Day


Prachchanai Onnum Illaiye? 



Neendakaala Saadhanai:

Sunset photographs

Sameebaththiya Saadhanai:

Daughter on the way

Neendakaala Erichchal:

Karadi thollai

Sameebaththiya Erichchal:

Karadi thollai

Pidiththa Dialogue:

Un kuththamma...


Comments-il nirappavum Rajkumar



There was not a single cloud in the sky. Is October really in the fall season? The odd leaf did flutter down even as job oriented migrations continued to take place. The salad days of dot com boom were slowly fading away.

EZCOM was the odd company that found something to celebrate in these tedious times. The decision makers at EZCOM planned a cruise around the bay with food, drinks and dance on the deck of a small rental ship/boat followed by dinner in San Francisco.

Heady with the recent success, everyone was cheerful beyond comprehension. Elle, the HR lady’s enthusiasm though seemed a tad staged. This was not lost on the sales group headed by Casey. The HR team was seen as the fifth-column of the company aiding and abetting the whims and fancies of the management. Making use of the informality of the occasion quite a few of the early morning jabs were aimed at the suddenly pitiful Elle. The rest of the party though was agog with excitement.

The “Navigator III” was awaiting them. Morgan, the receptionist was from Berkeley or so she kept telling everyone. She talked on the phone everyday and was used to not having an audience.

Casey’s group was on the deck. Their racket was drowning even the noise made by the gulls. Traffic on the bay bridge seemed to be light as they passed under it.

Elle announced that lunch was ready. She also informed Sri, the resident Indian, that his gazpacho and orange juice were set separately.

“Hey Morgan, you’ve been here all your life, was Al Capone executed in Alcatraz?” Eric, the French marketing executive wanted to know.

“Never been to Alcatraz, Eric. Know nothing about it. Isn’t that amazing?” Morgan disappointed.

“No. I wonder if you ever lived in Berkeley.” Eric replied rather sharply.

Morgan was unshakeable. “Ooh! You are rather touchy today, Eric, what’s up? Are you hungry?”

“No. He’s French.” opined Julie, who never let go of a chance to chide Eric. As part of the continuous tussle between the sales team and the marketing team, Julie had scored a point for her sales team.

The sun showered them with the right amount of warmth. It was now the turn for having their pictures taken on the open deck. Nicholas, fresh from their French office, was already gelling nicely with his brand of brash humor. He was making innuendos aplenty.

Allan, British to the lip, had thawed recently to the extent of comparing the Berkeley Rose Garden to the British Kew Gardens.

The bartender slash disc jockey started playing a few records calling each new record his opus. The light headed ones also proved to be light footed. Julie dragged Sri to the dance floor and his simian dance evoked squeals of laughter. As they docked back, EZCOM filed out clumsily.

They strolled to the nearest sports bar. Amidst the drunken binge, Sri was a teetotaler no more.

They waddled noisily across the street to a restaurant. Their reserved table was ready. Once seated, Christie insisted on calling their waiter L’Amor. Liquor still held center stage, this time in the form of wine. She proceeded to ask each person a truly embarrassing question.

“Sri, what do you like in women?”

Flustered through every pore on his skin, Sri first went red, then crimson and finally purple trying to abscond to the rest room even as his colleagues started chanting “Sri likes girls!”

And so it went on for a full hour before they swayed out of the restaurant leaving behind a rather fug atmosphere that they had helped create. There, on the pavement, Julie decided to show off her tap dancing prowess. They clapped hard, egging her on. Some of them threw quarters and dimes at her feet. Even in San Francisco, people stopped to watch this spectacle in awe. The flowing crowd took a wide path around the EZCOM mob. The bus rolled in. Jack, the CEO, picked up the coins from the street and without thinking tossed them to a homeless person who was sitting against the wall.

“Keep your filthy money to yourself!” shouted the lady in rags and threw back the loose change at the group. A Mexican wave of horripilation passed through them.

It was a very quiet ride back to the office. The sudden thunderstorm outside was deafening. The Californian weather is very fickle.



This is a song that is both amusing and soothing at the same time. At least for me. Based on this spoken interlude can you identify the song if not the movie?


Picture Quiz #3

My fascination with 'eyes' continues...

Identify the species this eye belongs to. Clue: The question is intrinsic to the answer.

On a different note, my heart goes to the poor Congo gorillas - shot dead for an yet unclear reason.

Monkey, my monkey,

Your restlessness-life

Has won a transformation-face.

What a miracle!

Yesterday you belonged

To God's unconditional Grace.

Today you belong

To God's Aspiration-race.


Domer Jayanthi

As Domer day dreams about dragging Nishanth for mountain climbing, hiking and biking, let's wish this goon a very happy birthday.

Top quotes of Domer:
1. Nejammava solreenga thambi
2. Naanoda butter chicken nalla irukkum
3. Just 2 miles dhaan, easy-a irukkum
4. Mela conveyor belt irukku vaanga
5.Aaapul ponne nee yaaro
6. Anga vandhennu vaiyyu
7. Veesuvoma?
8. Stupid bro
9. un mail-ellam evanda padippaan
10. dei, un vootla odaikka pudhusa enna irukku?



This is a music bit from one of the trend setting Thamizh movies that became famous for its technical aspects rather than the actors or even the story. Identify the movie. The situation in the movie should be fairly easy once you identify the movie but mention that as well.

Cricket nostalgia

There are two things that got me interested in cricket.
One, my dad started subscribing to 'The Sportstar'.
Two, this particular match.
Australia v India, 1985/86, 3rd Test

Sydney Cricket Ground

2,3,4,5,6 January 1986 (5-day match)
India 1st innings 
SM Gavaskar b Holland 172 
K Srikkanth b Reid 116 
M Amarnath c Bright b Gilbert 138 
*N Kapil Dev b Gilbert 42 
DB Vengsarkar not out 37 
M Azharuddin not out 59 
Extras (b 5, lb 9, nb 22) 36
Total (4 wickets declared, 169 overs) 600

India almost won this match. They required just four more wic

kets. In the previous match, incidentally Steve Waugh's debut match, India need just 124 from 25 overs but didn't go for the kill. I was so disappointed with the 'almost' victory - a premonition of what to expect of this team.

Cricket, today, is probably my only channel for patriotism. Sad, but quite true.

Happy Independence Day!


Picture Quiz #2

Any idea who these women are? (Not their individual names but as a group...)


Ooh la la la - Electric dreams are here

Among the rut i.e Reality TV (or TV 2.0) there have been a few stellar shows - American Idol seasons 1 & 2, Apprentice season 1, Project Runway, Top Chef, Hell's Kitchen etc. offer good entertainment. A few other shows were good in parts but did not give me any repeat viewing compulsion.

Reality TV has now decisively spread its tentacles towards the motherland. It is now only a matter of time before a group of starlets, wannabes, has-been-s, 15 second famers, socialites etc. are locked up inside a mansion and the Thamizh version of "Big Brother" ("Periya Thambi" if you will) is announced to the world. Or am I too late with that? Maybe it is already out there.

"Ooh la la la" on Sun TV (I watch the episodes on is like a wave of fresh air-conditioned air during a matinée show in a Chennai theatre. It is a band hunt where the majority of participants are 20 something musicians - the most creative of the artistic kind. At the moment, the show is trying to narrow down the number of groups and up the ante. I pity the judges - Vasundhara Das, Shivamani and Paul Jacob - who have the task of favoring one eye over the other at times. At the moment, the judges are quite bland compared to the theatrics of their counterparts in some of the fore mentioned shows. The one good thing is that they are talents on their own accord. One can see their interest in seeing these youngsters succeed. Vasundhara Das just seems so happy to be there. Paul Jacob being the band leader of one of A.R.Rahman's early day bands - Nemesis Avenue (love that name) - has the additional job of coaching the bands featured in this show.

The elimination format could go for a revision. The idea of slotting into groups of three and eliminating two from each has been tried and tested in the Cricket World Cup. That whimsical format resulted in Kenya being a semifinalist at one stage. Last Sunday's show allowed two rounds for three bands in Group A.

Little Masters were found to have a good rhythm set but paled only in comparison with the other two bands in their group.

V3 and Agam seemed to have chartbusters right away. They should be finalists and not competing in an elimination round this early.

Water Cooler talk at Oho had the majority siding with V3. I am all for Agam - unlike the judges I feel that their identity is their plus point not their versatility. Besides, I do have a vested interest in their success.

If someone has to be eliminated from the show it should be the two hosts or at least their mannerisms. It should be done very early in the show. Probably even before the show. The audience will know a commercial break when they see one without these two doing their version of Kathakali every time.



This is part of a title track in a Thamizh movie. Identify the movie... I am guessing this is an easy one as well.


Lord Amgeneya and Billy Bhagawan

A very happy birthday(s) to two divinities who have graced this materialistic world
Lord Amgeneya - surveying all godly activities from his abode that is close to the holiest of all places - Hollywood
Billy Bhagawan - whose moorthy is much smaller than his keerthi and whose email signature is much larger than his subject matter
The usual anna dhaanam activities will be held as soon as Bhaktha Shironmani Shri Shri Shri Grizzly Swamiyar coordinates all the Bhaktas.


Anniyan '57

The Three Faces of Eve - 1957

This black and white classic
is perhaps the first movie to deal with multiple personality disorder (MSD). It is quite possible that this is the first of its kind in world cinema as it is based on a book (of the same name) that documents the first diagnosed case of MSD. Jeanne Woodward plays the titular character(s). She convincingly enacts the three different personalities housed in one body. Through a better part of the movie, it is a conflict between Eve White, a dull mother and her alter ego, Eve Black who appears to be nothing short of an yesteryear Paris Hilton. As the psychiatrists try and understand the coming and going of these two personalities, Eve is alienated from her family. In what was, to me at least, an interesting plot twist, the third personality emerges and deals with the other two in a manner which confounds the doctors even further. However, it was no surprise to me that Jeanne Woodward won the oscar for her performance. Any novel character that sets a trend must be awarded.

Anniyan - 2005

It is not too difficult to draw the parallels between "The three faces of Eve" and "Anniyan". I think Shankar should be seen as the quintessential I.T director. No one uses a template much better than Shankar. He has successfully blended the proven character of a reformer into various movies that deliver.
Gentleman - Shankar's template with a medical college entrance scandal expose.
Indian - Template + Bribery + Varma Kalai
Mudhalvan - Template + Corruption + One Day CM
Anniyan - Template + Corruption + MSD
Shivaji - Template + Education system + Rajini

Shankar excels in the way he delivers the template ever time but I.T makkal yaavarum cut and paste makkale...

Despite being a fan of his movies, I can't help wonder what Shankar is going to get 'inspired' by next. Will it be based on the Bourne series with an amnesiac social reformer? A futuristic social reformer a la Terminator who travels back in time to get rid of some corrupt elements? The possibilities are as many as the number of formulaic movies out there.



This might be a tough one - a melodious song but not exactly a blockbuster. Try and identify the song using this interlude.


Identify the technology that was first introduced to Thamizh cinema through this song.


(Jelly) bean there, won that

Nothing upsets my health more than watching India lose a game of cricket. It leaves me with what the modern age Iceman, Steve Waugh, likes to call "mental disintegration". It is accompanied by nausea, depression and weight gain. It also leads to temporary hearing loss when Ravi Shastri and co. sit down to analyze why India lost. Finally, I become selectively illiterate for a week at least - nothing on any cricket site registers in my mind. I had resigned myself to thinking that there is no immediate remedy to this disease (medical name ATISS - Acute TeamIndiaSucks Syndrome ) short of Indian Cricket board deciding that they will spend money on nurturing talent - that's what delirium does to you. The English cricket team, descendants of Dr. W.G.Grace, found an easier 'earthy' remedy - Jelly Beans. For this medicine to work, spray the pills in the general area of the Indian team's spearhead, sit back and crumble. As simple as that. ATISS is well contained and the symptoms do not surface (and how!).

If I were a mean person, I would suggest that Mr.Bean looks saner next to the Jelly Bean promoters that is the English Cricket team. I might even suggest a Jelly Bean re-mix of MJ's "Billy Jean" - "Jelly Bean is not my lover". I am not a mean person. Just a smug Indian Cricket Fan who can't help notice that the next match is at the Oval - the very shape of a Jelly Bean.