Morning drive

That day was a tepid Saturday morning that begged for something hot to binge on. It must have been quarter to four. This was a carry forward from previous day’s all-nighter with a friend. We had finally landed outside a small tea joint that was embarrassingly functional and fully staffed, given the time of the day.
Jokes apart. This was like a whiff of fresh air after rummaging through a majority of the city’s expanse in lookout for something edible. Surprisingly for a matured metro, Chennai isn’t much of a nocturnal entity that acknowledges wee houred-hunger bouts.
Irony is a bitch that exactly knows when to rain on a parade. We had just ordered sandwiches and toasts in multiples of four to go with the two cups of coffee.  Just when my mind was starting to wear its maternal hat to generate a guilt trip from the obscene calorie consequence that lay ahead, it just received a familiar call of attention from my brain that inundated every other emotion and sensation that had hitherto formed.
I gulped through my instalment of nirvana that came as caffeine in an impolite manner and took off in my friend’s bike. It was an emergency, dire at that. It didn’t help that the city and its props wouldn’t empathetically pave way to such unforeseen criticalities. So I had to weave my way through first signs of life for the day that consisted primarily of newspaper boys and milk vendors who were up before the city was for yet another time to ensure that it woke up, well informed and lactated.

I tried to accelerate to 80 from 60 kmph as I was going past the pristine lanes of Boat club road, a group of cute looking septuagenarians in jogging pants were clumsily scampering on the middle of the road like inebriated man to the tune of alcohol, with an air of entitlement that belonged in their living rooms. They had old age and I had sympathy going for it, but none of them were helping my cause. It wasn’t a perfect world.If it was, it wouldn’t have had a cluster of elderly men walking in anesthetic trance and a young man at his patience’s edge on a bike on the same road.

I finally went past that stretch to only fall from a frying pan to fire. This road had more craters in it than all of moon. Like men possessed the ability to cruise past that road with un-punctured tyres at all, the next stretch wore both, prudence and safety as a badge of honour. What with every ten metres punctuated with a sturdy speed breaker, like speed was an affordable imagination after the precious assault at all.

I was a few blocks away from what my friends referred to as my home. God..were the last ten minutes thoroughly exhausting. A crash course on patience building. As I got into my flat, I parked the bike asymmetrically outside my block and deftly fashioned my key into the key hole. My king size mirror on the hall was staring back at me welcomingly. Home sweet home it was!

I rushed to attend to the emergency, the sole cause of my sandwiches turning cold. Nary a sound for about three hundred seconds.  I could see food from yesterday’s dinner dressed up in celestial clothes on their ascent to gateway of heaven, as I felt a familiar wave of contraction on my body. I had hit the sweetest spot of divinity accessible by my body, when water beneath plopped in receipt.  No wonder it is called the Nature’s call. For when nature calls on someone, whoever or whenever, there is no avoiding it.

Batman vs Superman- Yawn of Justice

Imagine a person connected by a bluetooth device to his pet cat. Keeping it from falling off a tree’s branch or helping it cross the road starts to become the purpose of his life with every passing mission to keep the cat alive. Well imagine the person to be wrapped in a blue spandex, itchy around the pelvis and a “who –farted- now” look on the face, that’s Superman and the pet cat, Lois Lane his lady love with an IQ of a dung beetle.
In the recent Batman vs Superman-Dawn of Justice, there’s more feminism per square footage than in all of Meryl Streep movies put together with Mother Teresa montages. For submission to Lois Lane’s whims and fancies on priority basis, seem so pertinent to Superman. Even if this misplaced priority meant a dozen immigrant heads at stake, a possibility of making it to the “No Fly Zone” and a few hundred skyscrapers about to be reduced to rubble by a nuking abomination in those precious minutes of romantic unison, he squeezes every time with her.
The warring heroes bond over motherhood, that too with a precious proper noun crisis. So did the guys, who sat on a production cost of $ 250 Million have a good enough reason to bury the two year old hatchet built on ideological differences and more importantly to go against the titular theme of the film? Yes,”Martha”!
Sure any reason, notwithstanding the magnitude of consequence has to melt at the moot of maternity. So the so called epic gladiatorial battle between God and Man, the Son of Krypton and the Bat of Gotham is a red herring that is relegated to gooey-bromance between two sons of different Marthas in a matter of minutes.
So “Martha. Martha” it is.

And if you thought, that was the last of the influence the fairer sex had on the narrative, you’re mistaken, for there is Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman who is the biggest alpha entity of the story. She gets to belt some of the best lines and kick some kryptonian ass when the big boys are violated by an ill behaved monster on loose. In fact, ironically the scene that shows a JPEG image revealing her hidden identity gets the most evocative score of the movie with the sequences involving the sundry heroes(Batman/Superman) happening in natural sound sans exaggeration. Imagine a paragraph about something with etcetera in the end, double the font size as its body. Well, this is how its movie equivalent would look.

If the scope of the movie was already shunted by the inundating spirit of misplaced feminism, the one noted hamming of Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor takes care of the unintentional humor. Neither his “nurtured-on-substance-abuse” look nor his asphyxiated articulation of every syllable, let us take him seriously as a worthy antagonist to pit two of the most revered superheroes against each other. With absolute suspension, his might probably pass off as a teenager’s novice imitation of Heath ledger. And his hyper-ventilation is fondly flattered as being “psychotic”, which is countered with an unimaginative wisecrack by him on syllable count.

The movie reeks from liberal infusion of apocalyptic rhetoric mouthed mostly by Luthor, abstract , which absolutely make no meaning in isolation or together with another disjointed rhetoric like this one-“God is tribal. He picks sides...” or my personal favourite that Alfred dishes so perceptively to the space above the audience’s head called “went-above” that goes-“That’s how it starts. The fever, the rage, the feeling of powerlessness that turns good men… cruel.

Problem with these ramblings on God and exodus is the fact that they don’t organically lead up to a proceeding befitting of their gravitas. For how seriously are we supposed to take men indulging in cross-fitness with well waxed chests while trying to forge a weapon of mass destruction or the ones who bag-pack on a trek to a picturesque peak to only get a dad epiphany to fix moral disputes.
The last time I  heard so many geometrical jargons I had a textbook in hand and a puberty to attain. So when Lex Luthor for yet another time got started about how the line was the shortest distance to either sides of a triangle to an uninspired Lois lane, I could only think of  what was for lunch.

As the end credits started to roll, it dawned upon me that maybe Batman was after all  addressing us-the audience when he asked,”Will you bleed?“, for Superman had already fled the scene, leaving us to bleed to boredom.

Picking the battle, right

I had overslept, courtesy the endless greed that led me from one episode to another of FRIENDS the previous night. I obviously woke up late cursing myself for missing another day at gym. I tried to skip breakfast to save time, but eventually ended having a heavy one. It was mid-march and it was humid as hell. It didn’t help that I sweated like a pig. Before I could take stock, the beads of perspiration that had gathered below my neck had started to snow ball across the contour of my body, adding more than a pinch of salt to my shirt that was damp in patches in no time. This didn’t help the fact that I already had anger issues and all it required to get triggered was an empty box to fall from a shelf.

So, yeah, it was in this blissful state of just-about-to-burst-from-my-skin that I took the road to work that day. Boy…were the vehicles non-moving, like permanent fixtures. I pressed and pumped at everything in reach to vent out. Some endeavors sounded like honks and others came out as cuss words. But I ensured one thing, that everyone around me on my way to work felt nasty or hasty, much like I did.

And tell you what. I was late by only ten minutes that day and my Boss hadn’t even come. I needn’t have been as spiteful I thought in hindsight. Well at least, not yelled at a dog that was perched on a platform. But that day continued to spiral just one way, downwards.
I fought with my colleagues over lunch with entitlement that sprung from a rationale that, sweaty men needed empathy over others. I not so humbly, disagreed with my boss, oblivious to the repercussions.
If work went this way, date was the dessert. I picked up an argument with this girl I was supposed to impress for no consequential reason. Probably something like Robert Downey Junior being over-rated. I stormed out of the coffee shop over, not before creating a scene over a person I only knew as moving images.

It took me sometime under the shower and some solitude facing my bedroom wall, to wake up to realization of the things I had done and undone and the people I had hurt in the process. Without any second thoughts, I called up individuals I had hurt to apologize for the arsehole that I was to them. And most of them seemed to be okay. But damage had been made, only repair could be attempted.

If only I was as wise, I wouldn’t have had an encore of the same day with a different starting point, a week later.
Most of us get so involved in a sub-plot, that we almost overlook the story itself. Take the case of the state of agitation that comes along with being stuck in traffic on way to work or a date.

We lose our temper, soon our sanctity over things that we don’t control like say a minister’s convoy that is awaited, Sun’s scorching heat or a two way road that has been blocked one way, en-route the destination.
These are ancillary to an end product. What we end up doing more often than not is, getting sucked into the emotions that these ancillary processes entail, to derail from the pursuit of the significant end. As a result we end up blowing our lids on the road over an attempt to put some traffic sense into an unruly commuter, bartering with the sanity and intellect reserved for a more purposeful place. So we finally end up at the place which we started to be at-say office, disgruntled and empty.

We as a species are gregarious balls of energy. Energy here is an absolute resource, neither good nor bad, like electricity. We radiate energy, over every process or interface. And depending on the mood that precedes or prevails over the process or the interface, it comes across as either positive or negative energy.
While positive energy is influx to the collective bandwidth, negative energy is expenditure from it, the consumption of which depends on the intensity or duration of emotional display.
What we do when we lose our temper bickering over trivial matters is we not only expend energy earmarked for a larger purpose, but expend it as negative, leaving a significant dent on our reservoir, that starts to develop fissures with every such act to finally break down some day to a condition people call-mental instability.

It doesn’t matter if a rich person buys his way out of a queue leading to a temple. Yes, it isn’t in line with egalitarianism, but it isn’t worth spoiling the peace of mind from the much larger process of prayer that awaits.
Let a politician make a derogatory remark about your idol or let India lose an important cricket match. Taking to social media jingoism with misplaced righteousness is just not worth spoiling your equilibrium over. All the more if it deprives you of the pleasure of enjoying a well prepared meal ,casual conversation with a close one.or even a few hours of sleep.

For what matters in the evening of life are the moments that take your breath away, that constitute the thin line between existence and living. To let the moments sway, one ought to be at peace with the self. A state of mind that thrives on willful occupation in more positive moments than negative. A practice that comes with well mused awareness without suspension of the intellect or a compromise of the conscience.

I’m reminded of this wonderful prayer from my Dad’s office cabin which goes –

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

School of thought

He was often perceived as the proverbial rotten apple among his friends since school days by the teaching faculty. Parents named him Vijay(victory), naively hoping the name would be a harbinger of conventional victory. So his red flag status at the school’s staff room wasn’t exactly the thing, the family elder who named him told would be the fond after effect of the proper noun.

One fine evening, their superstition around names died along with the sun light.

His intelligence was never under scrutiny. What was under the scanner was its application and the orderliness, the way he defied or toyed with it in the process. He would generate conversations with the kid next to him when three tables was taught in class much to the teacher’s dismay. But would exactly make ten columns of three kids out of his class of thirty odd pupils, to assist his class teacher during excursion nonchalantly.

Sometimes, he would question the relevance of history involving conquests and fallen emperors to his day to day life in the city and place the story of a regional movie from previous day’s 9.30 slot over Merchant of Venice the other times.

In short, he was the  ersatz labour pain to the teaching faculty, independent of their pregnancy.

Abishek was an antithesis to Vijay. Same school, same age, same height; yet so  diametrically different from him. Chalk & cheese kind of doppelgangers they were. Teachers appreciated his uncontested obedience to the school rules & syllabus, through good scores and cherry picked nepotism. He was a model student or the student modeled whimsically from the staff room to be a flagship face of the school.

This phase and the inferences attached got indelibly imprinted onto his conscience. Adherence to a rule, faithful acknowledgement of a functional system and the fruits that came along blurred the thin line between goodness and obedience, intelligence and knowledge.

School came to an end with the prodigall board exams. Vijay came out an educated mind; a wild horse unleashed into the woods with endless freedom. Abishek was an academic dart that seldom missed the bull’s eye of results & rewards; the extent of which confined his scope of ambition.

College days were an encore of School days; with both Vijay & Abishek continuing to be outstanding students. Just that in the former’s case alone it was literal.

*****************

Vijay couldn’t contract to the inflexible jurisdictions of his nine to five jobs; as rewarding as they came and kept jumping from organisation to another like a drunken monkey in pursuit of peanuts on a banana plantation. Frustration had the better of the monkey and it started looking for peanuts in another place. Writing challenged him, kept his spirit of adventure vigil and most importantly; made him feel alive.

Abishek was enamored by the nine to five cliche and the template fitted his aspirations to a T. He turned out to be a wonderful resource and why wouldn’t he. For he was still the popular school kid at heart; proficient with the art of subservience to flow of authority. His individuality was a flimsy excuse; that would  dissolve diligently at the warmth of his organisational needs. His ambitions were merrily dovetailed to that of his organisation; like the frog’s soul to its well.

Vijay fell in love with someone outside of him, a girl who turned out to be a soothing fuel to the fire within.  Abishek got committed to the idea of love and fitted his fiancee into this template. Vijay moved in with her and Abishek married her.

*******************

Vijay loved to write, she was an animal activist and together they inspired each other in their parallel pursuits. They were so dissimilar, yet so palpably compatible. For instance,she was a firm believer in the concept of God, he was a person who worshiped the bandwidth of goodness and narcissism around; declaring himself as an agnost proudly. But he would accompany her to religious places to only sarcastically point out the faux pas in everything animate or inanimate there; which she sportingly would whisk off. His sarcasm never meant malice and her belief system wasn’t a touch-me-not either.

Over the span of their relationship they fought a lot, loved a lot more till a point was reached. The point where he became increasingly becoming dependent on her at a cerebral and visceral level; much to his dismay. This relation was making him absolve the very nucleus of his being,self love. He dispassionately pulled the plug off it; deaf to her endless reasoning.

She was left broken heart; but little did she know that he had left his behind with her.

Abishek’s relationship err..marriage was everything commercials were made of; candle light dinners, treks to exotic locations, treasure hunts involving expensive jewelry, exclusive couple picnics etc. These were layers of deceit laid out systematically between them to compensate the vacuum in their compatibility. They were content binging on extramural  ways of constructing  togetherness; like family dinners and lousy trips with mutual friends whenever they felt restless all by themselves.

Often their arguments ended with assumptions, their fondness was a collage of conveniently overlooked differences and their mutual respect was formed out of overbearing fondness to the institution of matrimony; than personal virtues.

A couple of years into the wedding; they begot a love child; without being sure about their birthdays.

*****************

There are some places that bring the lurking beast out of even the most meditated of monks. One such place is the Anna Salai stretch in Chennai from 10-11 on a weekday’s morning, notorious for its frenzied traffic. The pandemonium just got better with the snail-paced metro project occupying half the width of this stretch; which already seemed like it was about to burst due to over capacity.

This is from where Abishek was honking incessantly from the cozy confines of his hatchback that was in the front of the group of vehicles counting down the last few seconds to green. He was visibly late to his workplace. Vijay was at the same signal; a little behind Abishek. He was late again to yet another book reading of his and the retaliation of the peeved publisher could be felt as vibrations ; courtesy his mobile phone.

A bike that couldn’t go past this signal from the diagonally opposite signal in the last few seconds had trickled down to the line of attack of incoming traffic from this end. This clumsy endeavor was manned by a fragile man in his late fifties. Being the first incoming vehicle towards the man, Abishek could’ve briefly halted for this man to tiptoe to the other end of the road and others behind would’ve waited; but bending a rule just was out of question.
He vroomed past him without an iota of guilt, inspiring the other commuters to follow suit.  Did I say guilt? In his head he was a model citizen who paid his taxes duly and obeyed every single rule laid out by the system. He didn’t owe any courtesy to a person who had failed a signal.

When Vijay came near this man, he had already lost his balance and was about to fall from his bike. Pink faced and limbs shivering ; he was a motley of shame, helplessness and intimidation. Vijay stopped his car, got down and signaled towards the approaching vehicles to go around them .The aggression in the approaching vehicles paved way for empathy, for they went around them.He helped the man with his bike and weaved a way for him to the other end. He was late to yet another place, but had gone out of his comfort zone another time to stand for something that he believed in.
Compassion is often a discounted virtue that doesn’t derive its luster from a charter, like a rule or a regulation does. He was a firm practitioner of the same and was construed to be a willful violator, more often than not.

Schools are the primary influencers of the human mind. But most of them seem content in slaying down a child’s individuality by attaching metrics and yardsticks to success and morals in order to make a functional, homogeneous resource who would effortlessly fit in as a well lubricated cog in the wheel of the society.
 If only they were pampered to be curious,taught virtues before grammar, morals before multiplication, discretion before laying out of prescriptions and the difference between obedience and goodness, Abishek would’ve probably stopped.
Evolution of one’s individuality is his path to self discovery; the course of which shouldn’t be altered inorganically in lieu of conventional acceptance .

One fine morning

It was a tepid Saturday morning that begged for something hot to binge on. It must have been quarter to four. This was a carry forward from previous day’s all-nighter with a friend. We had finally landed outside a small tea joint that was embarrassingly functional and fully staffed, given the time of the day.
Jokes apart. This was like a whiff of fresh air after rummaging through a majority of the city’s expanse in lookout for something edible. Surprisingly for a matured metro, Chennai isn’t much of a nocturnal entity that acknowledges wee houred-hunger bouts.
Irony is a bitch that exactly knows when to rain on a parade. We had just ordered sandwiches and toasts in multiples of four to go with the two cups of coffee.  Just when my mind was starting to wear its maternal hat to generate a guilt trip from the obscene calorie consequence that lay ahead, it just received a familiar call of attention from my brain that inundated every other emotion and sensation that had hitherto formed.
I gulped through my instalment of nirvana that came as caffeine in an impolite manner and took off in my friend’s bike. It was an emergency, dire at that. It didn’t help that the city and its props wouldn’t empathetically pave way to such unforeseen criticalities. So I had to weave my way through first signs of life for the day that consisted primarily of newspaper boys and milk vendors who were up before the city was for yet another time to ensure that it woke up, well informed and lactated.

I tried to accelerate to 80 from 60 kmph as I was going past the pristine lanes of Boat club road, a group of cute looking septuagenarians in jogging pants were clumsily scampering on the middle of the road like inebriated man to the tune of alcohol, with an air of entitlement that belonged in their living rooms. They had old age and I had sympathy going for it, but none of them were helping my cause. It wasn’t a perfect world.If it was, it wouldn’t have had a cluster of elderly men walking in anesthetic trance and a young man at his patience’s edge on a bike on the same road.

I finally went past that stretch to only fall from a frying pan to fire. This road had more craters in it than all of moon. Like men possessed the ability to cruise past that road with un-punctured tyres at all, the next stretch wore both, prudence and safety as a badge of honour. What with every ten metres punctuated with a sturdy speed breaker, like speed was an affordable imagination after the precious assault at all.

I was a few blocks away from what my friends referred to as my home. God..were the last ten minutes thoroughly exhausting. A crash course on patience building. As I got into my flat, I parked the bike asymmetrically outside my block and deftly fashioned my key into the key hole. My king size mirror on the hall was staring back at me welcomingly. Home sweet home it was!

I rushed to attend to the emergency, the sole cause of my sandwiches turning cold. Nary a sound for about three hundred seconds.  I could see food from yesterday’s dinner dressed up in celestial clothes on their ascent to gateway of heaven, as I felt a familiar wave of contraction on my body. I had hit the sweetest spot of divinity accessible by my body, when water beneath plopped in receipt.  No wonder it is called the Nature’s call. For when nature calls on someone, whoever or whenever, there is no avoiding it.

 

 

Thoongavanam- the movie that wasn’t

God! It was bloody good. I just couldn’t have enough of it. My facial hair felt validated. My adrenalin surge was making my fist pump endlessly into the desk adjoining the PC. The lurking fanboy finally had a reason to resurface with renewed vigour.
The “it” I’m talking about is the trailer of Thoongavanam. Boy was it lip-smacking with Thalaivar in amazing form, kicking some ass. A Taken it was going to be, I thought in Kamal style. Another one to go to the list of masculinity-for-dummies manual that consisted of the likes of Satya and Vettaiyadu Vilaiyadu to name a few.
We all revere the mesmerizing actor the man is. A rare breed who could own the screen without disturbing the aesthetics of the story movement. Towering tall enough to not belittle the movie. His recent Papanasam being a case in point.
Coming back to Thoongavanam, I went to the first day first show with great expectations built. The promise the tease managed, the reveal couldn’t build on. Every thing that caught my imagination in the trailer suddenly seemed like red herrings . What with every scene rolling, I could palpably feel my fervency falling apart like a pack of cards. Was the movie bad? No.
But was it just good enough to just not be bad? This was a Kamal Haasan movie after all. All of us know that the actors would be well casted and the cast wouldn’t disappoint. Likewise the technicalities can be taken for granted to be seamlessly in-sync with the narrative. And the narrative would try to bring to fore a radically different story. So Thoongavanam had all these bare minimums fulfilled. But did the fans of the star have anything to root for like a Vedhalam which released alongside had? No.

The reviews which floated around were extremely flattering with most calling it a wonderful remake of the French movie, Sleepless Night with major assertions towards the ‘justice’ it had done to the movie.
So, is it enough for a movie to do just ‘justice’ to the source movie from which it was remade. How relevant would such ardent submission be, if the milieu in which the original movie was based is diametrically different from the remake’s. Not to mention the difference in sensibilities of the respective viewing demography.

Sleepless Night is a French movie that catered largely to Western & European sensibilities when it released back in 2011.We are a population that adds tandoori chicken to make an Italian origin pizza saleable here. If at all, the number of manchurians and fried rice variants that’ve been imagined by our street food industry were to be patented in Indian favour, it would scar the Chinese for a lifetime.
The same holds true for celluloid adaptations of foreign origin movies too. The connectivity in such endeavors happens when nativity is addressed, with the spirit of the original alone preserved in a narrative technique appointed to play to the gallery of a largely indigenous population.
This is where this movie missed the mark by some distance. Taking the culinary metaphor of pizza further, the pizza needed some tandoori sauce and Indian herbs to become palatable on the Indian roads, but continued to be a rich-bland affair that belonged on the ovens of Milan still, but aspired for acceptance in Mylapore.

Let’s take the case of another Kamal classic- Avvaishanmugi which was adapted from an English classic itself, Mrs. Doubtfire.  The movie despite being an adaption of the Robbin Williams starrer had an independent existence of its own without tampering with the core of the original. It kept the central conceit intact, that of a divorced dad dressing up as an elderly woman to be around his little daughter.
The motley product of dispute, reasons, characters & props that the narrative deployed stayed local and relatable, steering it in a direction different from the original, making the movie speak in the language of the hoi polloi.
Mrs. Doubtfire was a classy affair with subtle situational humor. Avvaishanmugi on the other hand was its unabashed masala recreation that relied largely on dialogue based humor and the crowd pulling ability of its lead man. Whether it did justice to the original in its entirety is subjective. But what it managed to do justice to was far more consequential than that. It reached the story of a doting dad’s cross dressing tryst to get back his daughter to a large audience, in the process seeping into popular culture. No wonder the movie was such a roaring success.

Thoongavanam was a grim-long-faced affair unfolding in a night club, that’s claustrophobia inducing with grimmer adults on endless loops of hide-n-seek throughout its running time. It didn’t help that it released on Diwali, a festival that makes mincemeat of guilty pleasures. Where movies are expected to be run-of-the-mill escapist affairs in line with the popular mood, it didn’t help that it was a slow movie that had every character in it operating at a breakneck speed. Every cop and crook in the movie, run for their lives or to save a dependent’s in this convoluted plot involving multiple ratting in either camps. But neither do we connect to their desperation nor to the plot’s urgency to cut to the chase in every sequence.

Throughout the movie we’re shown the endless failed efforts that Kamal’s Diwakar takes to get back his son in painful details. He’s head-butted, pushed and punched by stock characters whose names gratuitously roll in the end credits as “Extras”. They obviously wanted to throw some light on the vulnerability of the lead man. But ended up celebrating his fallibility to an audience that had gathered in hordes to hoot and whistle, alienating them in the process.

The redemption does come in the end. But it was too precise to invigorate any celebration and didn’t even belong to its lead man. In the mainstream format, when a story takes significant duration to paint the struggles of its lead man vividly, but coughs his redemption out like a blemish in the end, it defies the very syntax of moviemaking for the masses that goes, Exaggerate the success in the end to be sweeter than the struggle to make the struggle worthwhile in the first place.


Movie making involves largely making-believe than fact establishing. The leverage of exaggeration and the staging of the protagonist does the trick. Case in point being Emerich’s 2012, an apocalyptic movie that showcases John Cusack and his family escaping comfortably from one natural disaster to another like in a video game with breathtaking ease.  Disasters were staged as an invincible force, making the contrived escapes of the protagonist come across as a bigger spectacle of defiance; playing the primal battle of Man versus the Nature to the gallery.
A closer case being Liam Neeson’s Taken that resembles the plot of Thoongavanam to a large extent. Just that Neeson’s character is staged as an invincible one-man army that runs over anything in his way. Something that Thoongavanam could’ve done with. Something Vettaiyadu Vilaiyadu aced. For who can forget the wolf whistles that went up the roof when Raghavan looks into the screen mouthing,”Chinna Pasangala. Tha..Yaaru Kitta da vilayadringa?”
That was a movie for the masses. A star’s conversation with his fans.

 

 

 

 

 

A place like temple

I stacked you with these things endlessly,
Spoilt by your tip sensitive soulmate from above.

Unable to handle my love for anything edible,
Love handle you turned from being flat.

If my greed were to be touched,
You lay there dangling to be grabbed.

Inducing endless guilt every time before a mirror,
Protrusions out of my muscle fit, not a muscle I feared.

Pampered and spoilt, I dragged you to a place,
Slaughter house you desisted.

There I lifted, pulled and pushed oblique stuff,
Heavy as they came, with devoted rhythm.

Sweating, you gave in crying out foul,
A holocaust you felt devoured into your soul.

Reeling from the loss of flab; aghast,
You contributed to erstwhile naysayer’s flabbergast.

This place which shone you to primal opulence,
Was a body shop, fondly called gym.

It wouldn’t entirely be wrong to call you a temple,
For along with my soul, you continue to house him.
.