Tuesday, March 30, 2010

That night!!

A couple of months back, I sat down to pour out what was on my mind. I could not write more than a few lines. My mind was like a car stuck in traffic jam, preoccupied with interfering thoughts. I could not think further. My head hurt and my eyes strained to focus; then I saw a white light.

I make an attempt almost 3 months later today to pen down what I saw that night; trying to strain my brain and remember every detail. Its hard. But I know I have to see it to completion.

That night...

A sharp pain was ripping my head apart. I was dizzy. The light was too dim , my drink - too strong and the music - too loud. I was standing alone in a crowd. As the alcohol took control of me, I drifted to an unfamiliar world. My conscious mind had taken a break and the guy that normally makes decisions for me was gone, no where to be seen in the vicinity. I was a body without a soul - a mere skeleton wrapped around in flesh.
Then the infrequent visitor came by, talking to me in a low grunt. Passive yet authoritative, calm yet piercing. It was the voice in my head that I could not ignore. "Look up!!", he said. As if I was issued an order, I looked up.

Amidst all the people bumping into each other, pushing and pulling one another to get to the bar, I saw her big beautiful brown eyes through the curly hair that partially covered her face. Even in the dark, I knew she was looking straight at me. That gaze bore holes in my head. The sadness in her eyes was unmistakable. She was lost in world alien to us. It seemed like she was trying to convey a message. Blood was dripping down the corner of her mouth. I could tell from her smeared eye makeup and the puffed up, swollen eyes that she had been crying for a long time. It was as if she had woken up from an afternoon nap.

She was standing there all alone, with noone in a 5 feet radius. It appeared as though people, all clad in glamorous, flashy clothes didn't want to be near her. As I looked at her with a puzzled, questioning expression trying to figure out what she was trying to tell me, she reached for the railings and started to climb.

I suddenly realized what she was going to do. All those unsaid words were screaming out loud that she was going to jump off the balcony onto the main dance floor. I started running towards the stairs, shoving everyone in my path. I wanted to scream and call out for help; for someone to stop what was going to happen. As if my jaws were wrapped around by a metal chain, my mouth refused to open. I was screaming inside, begging for someone to help. My inside was running helter-skelter trying to contact the outside world to inform of the disaster.

As I fumbled across the hall to the stairs, I stopped for a second to look at her. It was very dark and very hard to see, but I could make out that she had climbed to the other side of the railings. The people around her were too drunk and too lost to even take notice of that.

I began climbing the stairs as hard as I could. When I reached the top of the stairs after what seemed like an eternity, I ran across the corridor to where she was standing. She looked at me one last time before letting go of her hands from the railings. It was as if she waiting for me to witness this first hand. As I reached out to pull her back in, my fingers brushed against her soft skin. Before I could clasp my fingers tight, her hand slipped away. As I saw these events unfold in front of my eyes in slow motion, I started blaming myself for setting the events in motion. If only I had not rushed to save her, if only I had not made eye contact, if only I had not gone to the party, if only I had not existed....

And then... a loud thud, blood running in all directions, people screaming, chaos ensued..

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Recreating the Big Bang. Is it just the beginning or is it the end?

Anyone who has read 'Angels and Demons' authored by Dan Brown must remember how a canister containing antimatter is stolen from CERN (Conseil Europeen pour la Recherche Nucleaire) and how a world renowned symbologist Robert Langdon helps to recover it and saves Vatican from grave danger.

When I read the book, I thought it might be fictional. However, when I spent a little time and googled for the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) that supposedly created the antimatter, I found that such a devil of a device actually existed. The reason I am writing this blog is because this monster is going to be unleashed tomorrow. Yes, this monster of a particle accelerator is going to be unveiled.

The LHC is the biggest particle accelerator ever built on the face of the earth and is located on the French-Swiss border. It is buried deep underground and it has a 27 km long circular tube around which subatomic particles will travel in opposite directions at almost the speed of light and collide with each other at an astronomical rate of 600 million collisions per second.

Searching for the 'God particle'
Through the experiments, scientists hope to recreate the conditions that existed just after the big bang, almost ~13.7 billion years ago and search for a mysterious dark particle called the Higgs boson, also dubbed the 'God particle'. It is believed, though not proven that Higgs boson could be responsible for giving mass to all particles and being an indispensable constituent of all materials that exist today including you and me.

The subatomic particles accelerated around the circular tube will be guided by 1000s of ring shaped magnets to keep them from colliding against the walls of the tube and to keep them on course. The result will be a minuscule black hole that generates 1,00,000 times the heat at the surface of the sun.

When the particles collide tomorrow, the vast amount of data generated will be studied by as many as 60,000 computers across the earth, all connected in one huge grid.

If everything goes well and as expected, the world's perspective on Physics and the evolution of matter/material/life will forever change and maybe, mark a new chapter in the everlasting debate/war between Science and Religion.

However, according to some doomsday advocates, this experiment won't revolutionalize and change our understanding of nature and origin. Infact, they feel if gone wrong, the huge amounts of energy fizzed out from these experiments could lead to irreparable damages and may even swallow up the earth.

On the contrary, the proponents and obviously, the sponsors of the experiment strongly believe that this is the turning point in the history of mankind and assure that the amount of energy released from these infinitesimally small black holes, though very high cannot sustain for more than a few billionths of a second, leave alone living long enough to destroy the earth (which maybe a few seconds).

The magnets that guide the particles are very important in that they ensure the particles travel long the curvature of the tube. If they fail, the particles would move tangentially from their path and strike against the circular tube causing chaos. It is necessary to maintain the magnets at a temperature of - 270C or -460F or roughly the temperature that prevails on the unseen face of Pluto. This is achieved by using liquid Helium. However, care must be taken to make sure that the temperature of the liq. Helium does not change by more than a few degrees or it might prove disastrous.

When the testing begin tomorrow, this will be the largest and the most ambitious experiment ever conducted in the field of particle physics. The total cost is about 10 billion and about 9000 scientists are working on this.

With so much time and money invested and risk involved, the outcome of the experiments will be crucial. It has the power to change lives forever. A lot of scientists, for a long time have believed in the God particle and if it is not to be, then years of work would go waste, i.e. if the experiment went well and no mystery particle was found.

The situation we would be facing if the experiments don't go well would be in a whole new dimension, an entirely different scenario and something unthinkable. Will we live to see another day?? That cannot be answered just yet. But it will be appropriate to ask,

Is it Science or Religion?
Is it just the beginning or is it the end??


Update: Guess, after all, we survived. All's well that ends well and for sure the experiments went fine. Let us all embrace such exciting, nail biting experiments in future with open arms. Mars landing, robots controlling the earth and wars against extraterrestrials; all awaits us.

Long live mankind!!

Friday, March 21, 2008

A joke of a life time

Scene 1. Year:1990, On a Sunday morning.
"Enna da haircut idhu??", my mom exclaims. "Idhukkudhaan ungha thaathava andha kadaiku azhachindu pogha vendaamnu sonnen. Idhu enna sadhuravatta maadhiri irukku". My ears turn red. "Seri po, innum oru rendu maasathukku mudi vaara vendaahn, haircut'oohn panna theva illai."
I walk into the bathroom with tears rolling down my cheeks. I would be the laughing stock for the next few weeks. My sisters, their friends, my friends, teachers and occasionally, passersby would give me ideas for a decent hairdo.

Scene 2. Year:1995'ish. On a Sunday morning.
By now, I have grown into a teenager and I can go to the barber shop all by myself. Occasionally, my dad or my granddad insist on coming along.
"Amma, Konjam thanni boil panni vai. Naan poi haircut pannindu varen". "Seri da, oru 10'thu nimusham kaparam thanni vekaren". 40 minutes later, I walk into the house. It is surprisingly quiet. I realize my sisters have already gone out to pay their weekly visit to the beautician. My paatti is sitting in the living room watching some drama on Doordarshan. Thaatha is taking a nap and dad is pretending to read a magazine. Happy that I got a good haircut, I switched on the light in the smallish dining room.
The tungsten light immediately fills the room and my paati looks up to see the face of the intruder. She smirks slightly and announces,
"Uma un haircut sooper. Po!! appa kitta kaami"
I look at her trying to find out if it's a genuine comment or mockery. Just then my dad finishes reading his paper and is about to walk past me to take a shower. He looks at me, stops and says, "enna da idhu?? haircut'a?? mudi koranja maadhiri'e illa. Vaa naan unakku haircut panni vidaren".
Some people think they can actually do everything and anything. My dad is A living example of that and is on top of the list.

Scene 3. Year:2001. On a Sunday morning.
I'm in my 1st year of engineering. On the phone.
"So when do you want to leave?... in an hour!!! hmmm o..k. 3 o'lock it is, at Sathyam movie complex. I'll meet you there".
And I scream to my mom, who is grinding cocunut and red chillies in a mixer-grinder, "amma naan innum 40 minutes'la kalambanum. padam poren".
She is clearly irritated but maintains the calm in her voice when she says "nethikki dhaana da pona !! edho pannu".
At Sathyam, "what the...what haircut is this??", my girlfriend shrieks.
"Not a cut, so to speak, just got it trimmed" (all smiles).
"Whatever, don't you remember I told you a month back, I wanted you to have long hair like John Ab".
"What??? (in my mind, oh-oh!! When was this?? It's going to get unpleasant) Well obviously I did. But thought this way I will look smarter".
"Smarter?? crap. No hair cut for 2 months. Have long hair at least half as long as mine".
"But I'll look funny as hell".
"How do you look now??", she quizzed. Stumped.
"so long hair...".
"Yup long hair it is".
The movie was pathetic and our date, even worse. She wouldn't talk to me for the next 3 hours and insisted she take an auto back home when I offered to drop her.

Scene 4. Year:2003. On a Sunday morning.
I am visiting a dermatologist. The doctor is looking into a book so hard that I have a feeling he is trying to bore holes into it. "Beautiful Black Hair: Real Solutions to Real Problems", the title of the book reads.
"Nonsense", he says.
Thinking that was directed at me, I say"Excuse me". Without looking up, he says "Oh, Whats the problem?".
"I noticed a few grey strands of hair and was very concerned. I thought it might be because of some deficiency. So wanted to consult you about it doctor", in a very respectful tone.
He looks up and orders "come closer... bend down. Hmmm, you seem to have a receding hairline. You will go bald in the front. Yeah at the back too".
"But what about the grey hair".
No response. He is busy scribbling in a small piece of paper. "Apply this once a day". "But doctor..I will give your hair a few years. At the max 10 years".
"Doctor!!!", I exclaim.
"Yes, the fee is Rs.1000. Nurse bring in the next patient".
"Rs.1000 for 5 minutes?? Man, I should have become a doc.." As these thoughts fill my head, I walk out.

Scene 5. Year:2006. On a Sunday morning...early morning.
Ha!. I'm pursuing my masters. I have all the freedom in the world to do anything I want. I am returning home from the lab at around 2 am. Haven't slept for more than 6 hrs in the last 4 days, I'm thinking I should catch up on sleep. I'm having illusions, I'm hungry, irritated, confused, depressed, deprived and I have a deadline for Monday. I come home to find that my room is an entertainment hub and a movie theatre. My friends scream when I switch on the light. They are watching 'Requiem for a Dream' - a very depressing movie. That's the last thing I want to see. I make myself some noodles and gobble it up in seconds. I go into the bathroom to wash my face. I look up at the mirror and I realize my hair has grown longer than I have ever had. "When am I going to get out of this", I think. I walk into my room and angrily tell my friends, "kalambhungada, thoonganum".
"Machi, 30 minutes da. padam mudinjudum".
"No chance da. Naan thoonghi 6ru naal aachu. kalambhungha". At this they are obviously pissed.
"What a party spoiler, this asshole is", they think.
As I wait for them to get out of my bed, I stand in front of the mirror and look at my horrible self. Like he read my mind, my friend says, "enna da long hair vechuka poriya??".
Eager to end the conversation, I say "illa da haircut pannanum. Time illa".
He quickly retorts, "machi ippodhaan unnaala long hair vechuka mudiyum. Eppdiyum innum oru 2 years'la,..hmhmhm. Enghalukku ellaam time irukku. Unakku dhaan illa".
"That's enough. I can't take it anymore. Vellilla ponghada. Enna ninachundrukkeengha neengha. Chumma vutta pesinde irukeengha. Just because I don't say anything doesn't mean you can go on. Nallaikku project deadline vechindu padam paathundrukka. Adha mudhala mudikara vazhiya paaru. Apparam enna pathi pesalaam. Now just get out".
Not saying a word, the guys leave the room in seconds and never talk about my hair again.

Scene 6. Year:2060. On a Sunday morning.
Times have changed. Those days are gone. Some of my friends are dead and the others have settled in other countries with their families. Over the years, I have gradually lost touch with these blokes. After completing my masters and a few years later, I starting balding and gradually became completely bald. I accepted it as a normal phenomenon and tried to look cool and smart with that. Now I'm 77 years old and I don't think too much about my baldness or my looks. I'm sitting on the portico, reading my favorite magazine, "The Reader's Digest".
My grandson runs towards me from behind, "Thaatha, naan kadaikku poren. Unghalukku oru hair trimmer vaanghindu varatuma??". Before I turn my head and look up at him, he's gone. I say to myself, "Naan en ivalo periya otta vai'ya irukken?? Why do I keep telling everybody everything. I should change that aspect about me."

P.S: The incidents mentioned above are purely fictional and no part of it is true.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

"Yaarukku Yaaro", post-mortem report

After watching the 'Sam Anderson' video on youtube (Don't click me), my roomate, Vamsee and I mulled over watching the movie. After making a pact that we will give each other company till the end of the movie, we started our tortuous journey through 'Yaarukku Yaro'. We might have missed a heart beat but not a scene and we also religiously screamed for 'repeat', to which our operator Brat promptly obliged. Well, he had no choice.

Vicious Plot:
The movie obviously revolves around David (Sam) who is an automobile engineer. He has designs of concept cars ("chinna model car") and goes around asking people to fund his new car company. At the beginning of the movie, he is portrayed as a focussed, ambitious young man. Any pretty woman's man. When asked to show models and designs of his car , he pulls out a chart that has the painting of a car, just like the ones we used to sketch as kids - Ambassador
was my favorite car. The hero and I share the same eye at this (32:40).
He meets his lady love, praDeebha in weird circumstances (actually normal circumstances in Indian movies). As can be expected, love blossoms but unlike in Vijay's movies, its slow and natural. And then there are the cheesy dialogues, duet songs and running around trees. Out of the blue, his ex-girlfriend (Manjula AKA Manju) lands up from Canada (pronounced more like Kannada) with a job offer for him at her work place and hell breaks lose. Deebha learns about his relationship with Manju when they are holding hands and singing a duet in their dreams.

The rest of the movie focuses on how his mind wavers between the 2 women. He loses sight of his ambitions and almost forgets his dream of building concept cars that will apparently flourish in the Indian market or so he claims. The heroines juggle with him like clowns with colored balls. When I say colored balls, I'm not talking in dirty double meanings here. Our Sam/David/Davit actually wears wonderful bright Red and Yellow shirts. Ah, don't miss his brown t-shirt in one of the songs.

Anyway, in the last 20 minutes or so of the movie, he tries his luck with both the women to see if at least one of them would accept his love. In one of the scenes, Manju berates him because he betrayed her and fell in love with Deebha. Just one dialogue from Dave changes her mood and she's all over him. If only wooing women was this easy!!! And that this happens not just once but many times over, almost like alternate scenes once, is a clear indication that the director is out of ideas and is in an infinite loop. So press Ctrl+brk please. When the movie reaches this part, he doesn't even know what designing cars is all about and there is not one mention about it. The climax is left for you to find out. Don't waste time watching the entire movie. Directly scroll to the end.

Highlight'O highlight
For me the highlight of the movie was when he goes to the Deebha's father (a car dealer) asking for money. When he says he doesn't see future in this project, the hero stays calm, walks around the office and points at a poster on the wall and asks, "Could you please give this to me" to which the car dealer replies, "That's not possible. It is the poster of a car to be soon released in India. Customers see this ONE poster and decide to buy the car". Guess what that car is???
It is a Ferrari F50 !!!!!!! Yes, you heard it right, A Ferrari F50.

Other highlights:
  1. One of the BGM's used in the film is inspired from 'Sivaji'. Actually it is the same music. So that accounts to copyright infringement.
  2. The norm of the movie is when someone says "I don't understand what you said" or "What did you say?", you say the same dialogue again.
  3. Deebha's mom thanks God cos he was the one who sent our hero at the scene of the crime. I beg to differ. If He hadn't done that, we would not have had the movie. Great!!!
  4. Oooh..what crime are we talking about?? Local goondas snatch her chain. Dave chases but fails to retrieve the chain back and then fixes Deebha's scooty tire puncture. Love blossoms.
  5. 2 women in love with Sam Anderson. In the world that we are, where we crib about Kamal getting all the women in his movies, this is way too much. I'm sure you can empathize with me on this one.
  6. Dave sings the same song with both Deebha and Manjula AKA Manju on 2 different occasions for lack of new tunes and lyrics but wait... the dance steps are different.
  7. It is for sure that the choreographer has a fetish for trees, plants and anything green. This time it is a Areca palm tree (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens). I would be a little harsh and say they molest the plant.
  8. Almost forgot to mention, his car is called 'DD2007' - David Deebha 2007.
Positives in the movie:
The 2nd heroine actually looks good in a few scenes unlike ALL the other characters in the movies.
The movie is only 2hrs long. Director is a trend setter.
Not many close up shots.

My Verdict:
This movie has all the elements we desire. If I were to put it on terms with Akai and Takai (smuggled products with similar sounding names), this movie has disgusting actors like Camal and Fhriya, utter nonsense dialogs by Crazy Vaughn, music composed by a AR.Raghuman, dance choreographed by praphu/Warrence followed by the rest of the crew. I'm sure this movie will be a hit in the 'Claremont Centre' and will have repeat audiences from Seattle and Sunnyvale editions of Claremont Vetti.

You can watch the movie. After the 1st 10 min, you will anyway go emotionally numb with the nonsensical dialogues and scenes and wouldn't mind the rest. If the movie plot is close to your own life story, then I will say with conviction your life is not worth living. Contact me for suicidal ideas.

The entire crew that worked on this movie is new. If they get another shot at making movies, only the public is to be blamed. Please do not write any positive comments on the movie. They might think we actually like the movie and start making more.

And for heavens sake, do not compare TR with this jerk. I accept TR is funny as hell, but give credit to his abilities. He can act. Just that he over acts. I do not wish to use abusive words here, but this guy has no clue what acting is about. I am wondering what a sex scene would have been like in the movie. eeeekss!!!!

I have a feeling this movie was made to shell out the producer's black money. Thankfully, this movie will not make it big except on youtube.

It is because of movies of this kind, that tamil film industry is seen as not equal to Bollywood inspite of the fact that we have better actors and technicians. Hope our people will learn to make meaningful movies and not utter crap.

God save the world!!!


Watch at your own risk: Live link