In the name of movies-PART IV


These are movies where one could carry rice & vegetables alone to make biriyani  from- Our very own Pan Indian high calorie “Masala” movies where things get as “Cheesy” as the heart can tolerate.

When Hollywood superhero flicks release here, the first thought that flashes across an average movie buff’s mind is not of amusement, but of déjàvu  that instigates him to feel what’s all the fuss about when our very own heroes do similar things movie after movie in author- backed minimalist roles.

Where Hollywood spends a bomb on visual effects, we spend a fortune on building elaborate properties for duets. When Hollywood relies on mutated spider stings, bats or galactic interventions to complete the super hero transformation, all our hero needs is the bad guy to utter a syllable of a swear word on his dad’s face or make passes at his sister or attempt corrupting a government officer or just be a Pakistani to evoke the Super hero within, irrespective of the role be it lawyer,doctor,software engineer, priest or even a blind multiple sclerosis hit  protagonist!

While Hollywood depends heavily on Marvel/DC Comic book for its Superhero stories, our movie marvels derive their stories from mid-shoot lunch break chats between the hero’s PA & the Assistant Directors or the producer’s kid’s POGO patronage.

When Hollywood heroes go on crash diets & lift heavyweights to bulk up for the role, our heroes crash their diets in thalapakattu cuisines & lift heavier weights (flabby-thunder-thighed heroines) to prepare for the role. While some dimwits  meticulously  develop big biceps’ that protrude from their sleeves, smart ones stitch shirts tight for their spongy arms.

While their antagonists are endowed with Super-human powers & fancy gadgets, our ones are endowed with uncanny sense of humour, proficiency in foul language, a loud dubbing artist, flourishing paunches, thick gold chains , masculine concubines, knifes & spades(no guns even if from Al-Qaeda) & customary white SUVs among other things.


Insipid sequences include the hero reciting poetry characterized by his previous movie names in chronological order sans correlation to a perplexed villain camp or the villain’s sidekicks doing SWOT analysis of the hero’s unlimited prowess predicting their inevitable decadence.

Also insecurity over the recall value of the movie’s title on the audience’s mind makes every random character utter it on loop mode like a TSN jingle or casting prematurely ripe children who threaten to transcend our line of tolerance with animated dialogue delivery hinting the hero’s arrival & departure time in the villain’s den or giving lead to a famous song in the movie.

Wide angle shot of main villain marauding in the company of his unvaccinated  gang as the opening credits roll, when random paper cuttings screaming  out his menace are shown in the backdrop with burlesque headlines.

Also a  not so sportive villain gunning down his comrade after losing in a game of chess/ arm wrestling or striking out the word ‘loser’ from a copy  of the oxford dictionary is shown to us, to subtly accustom the audience to the levels of asininity to come.


To be continued….


The complete picture


Sachin was batting so well the other day when I was about to leave for work, I just couldn’t get myself to leave.. As his half century was culminating to yet another hundred, the morning was late in the afternoon with my minute andhour hands juxtaposing places. The guy who’s internal audit report was pending submission was ecstatic about the maestro’s completion of his double ton. When we are so preoccupied living the lives of others vicariously, destiny uses extra mural alibis to pull us back on track. So guardians turn watchdogs, months ends, death knells.


The other day I was at the railway station, immersed in my playlist, traversing in a parallel realm when I was about to hop across the railway track to get to the platform on the otherside.Call it providence or my karma, I didn’t. For I had complelely overlooked a fast approaching train, enamoured in the nuances of a song’s lyrics. That in-completion had dragged me from the jaws of death in a fleeting moment.

My break-up with her would eternally remain an incomplete story for there were many things left un-reconciled for our own comfort.I remained a lone romantic in a space which was once divine,inundated by my unrequited love. As much as one would like revel in the sea of love forever, every relation ends to allow the time-frame to gasp for fresh air to go back to embrace the enigmatic sea with fresh found fondness.

There have been times when mom’s tried out a new  dish which didn’t turn out too well or a friend kept going offnote in his acapella attempt, when all I did was exercise diplomacy.

For as brutally honest as I would like to believe myself to be, there have been times I’ve actually managed to hold myself back from saying things to dear ones with misplaced self-righteousness. Valour is sometimes having a vantage point of reason to hurt someone, but choosing not in a fiduciary capacity. Discretion is a good-incompleteness which keeps the world a calmer place.

My life has been full of incomplete anecdotes-some consequential and conscious and the others, just shallow and complacent.I’ll have to live long enough to figure out the picture, these incomplete anecdotes go on to paint of my life as, either a masterpiece or a grotesque.

Every chapter as consequential as it is, is incomplete in isolation. For a book has to be read in entirety  to appreciate the contribution every incomplete chapter brings to the plot.

In the name of movies-PART III

Imagine a scenario, where a dead man is yet to acknowledge his demise as a naive spirit roaming the roads.People walk through him, mongrels barking at his shenanigans, not quite the rosy picture. As much as we love a restaurant, the flagship biriyani it blends we can’t eat it after a week. The efflux of time makes the dish unpalatable.,stench of decay indicative of  an erstwhile thing that overstayed it’s welcome.

Desperation is sometimes not the best of traits to possess, for as hard as a goldfish tries to fly, the outcome seldom changes with it managing to screw up the food chain by the lake at best . This piece is about such actors and the unintentional humor they bring to us with their never ending quest for reverence.


These are actors whose expiry date precedes the manufacturing date. Like lizards & cockroaches, even they invade our prime time on TV in cookery shows, game shows ,funeral of eminent men, reality shows  &  try everything under the sun to make it big from releasing steamy videos, running issue based marathons, attending audio releases & VIP weddings, pay local magazines to come on Page 2,dirty the neighborhood walls with their  bogus birthday wishes posters thrice a year carrying random names claiming themselves to be members from their Spurious ‘All India Fans Club’, but it just doesn’t happen.

People neither love them nor hate them, they are just indifferent to their existence. Even if these actors walk through the busiest phases of a crowded mall on a weekend, people would just look through them & might not even acknowledge them as an obstacle, leave alone as an actor on the verge of extinction.

Their regular phrases in forced interviews include-“I’m Single & ready to mingle”, when not enquired about their relationship status or the more famous line-“I’m waiting for the right script”. The only thing they are acknowledged for is the bankruptcy of producers.


These erstwhile actors get clad in white shirts taking their jobs too seriously, trying to make domestic gladiators out of unalarmed homemakers through their candid toilet trots & dish washing crash courses, trying to make the most out of these forbidden home products ad campaigns. Some get adopted by upcoming TV channels for their crass Reality shows on lifetime lease, like an old bird with broken wings by kind elders.


Their movies are unanimously lapped up by cupid struck couples, not for right reasons though! Cinema halls screening these actor’s movies come across as a very private place, displaying a queer pattern of corner seats alone getting filled by desperate couples for salacious reasons.

The famine-hit theatre management is only too happy to heed to the demands to alter the sound levels or air conditioning inside the hall, from the last traces of life left inside. No wonder that the government’s Population Control Campaign prohibits these movies from being screened. Also growing trend of diabetics preferring these movies over jogger parks for solitude have been reported.



To be continued….



During my delivery,the maternity ward witnessed two births. One was me covered in organic goo and other my dad. He was a self made man,every inch of him.Having an educational foundation in Tamil medium from an agrarian village which was waking up to the invention of telephones and speed posts, here he was overseeing the birth of his first progeny at an uptown nursing home at the heart of the city as a practicing Chartered Accountant .

Shy of English and urbanization, he had walked into a city as a youngster inundated by poverty with a family that looked up to him.He had fire in his belly,instead of food during a lot of the initial days of his career.His growth through the thick and thin of things had made him a more humble person than proud.

He’s got a penchant for pursuing risky endeavors employing unconventional ways which is intriguing given the fact that he’s an extremely conservative person with old school thoughts at his core.

Dad’s a multifaceted man,who’s got no pretense about flaunting it with lesser mortals around.I’ve seen him as a kid and a teenager raise two houses from a blueprint level to a civil monument that had the neighbours salivate at their elaborate detailing. I’ve never been very excited about being around mortar,cement and semi-finished structures with sweaty labourers clocking painful manhours all my life.But my indifference to the nitty gritties of construction as a process hasn’t stopped me from admiring the authoritative connoisseur my dad was.

I’ve always been able to afford the leverage of being a passive participant to the proceedings at home, thanks to his relentless contribution to everything at home ranging from fixing an electrical anomaly at the bathroom to a motivational soliloquy to a crest fallen member at home.

If altruism was a cherubic south Indian who quoted Vivekananda at drop of a hat,it would pretty much look my dad.People are of two kinds,givers and takers,he’s of the former tribe.He has always been unconditional, his habit of giving has never been contingent on the credibility of the receiver be it advise or a timely assistance. As much I respect this,I’ve had an issue or two with this unabashedly saccharine side by virtue of which he has been taken for a ride by some. Some of my grey shades I realize, were fashioned as an antidote to the white shades I’ve disagreed with in his personality. It takes an extremely strong person like my dad to be genuinely good irrespective of the stimuli faced, I’m neither one nor do I intend to go there someday.

Dad and me are dissimilar people from diabolically different school of thoughts who ensure the house is never short of fireworks and heat.Most of our altercations don’t end with logic as,more than fact we tend to clash at ego levels. His is laidback and assured, mine is brash and pushy.that both of us tend to get personal more often than not.

When immersed in solitude,I’ve repented my modus operandi and the vocabulary employed with him at proving a point that more often than not my conscience has itched me.His intention en-wrapped in harsh words have dawned upon me like medicinal effect of a bitter pill,hours after a conflict.

Life would keep hurling myriad of situations at any given individual through various stages

I’m no exception to this.All I can try is to be as thankful as him when they turn out favourable and be half as graceful when they don’t.

In the name of movies-PART II

Age like disease and death is one of the unbiased manifestations of nature, stings you whoever you are. But cinema is a make believe world where more stories are told than incidents. Thanks to the leverage of being the alter ego of the masses, the protagonist can afford to tamper with the phenomenon of aging within the purview of the story.This piece addresses the burlesque ways an actor turns a caricature with copious amount of perks involved.

20-60  60-60 & 20-16  60-20 Syndromes:

Cinema is all about eternity, the role you start your career which becomes your staple role in for the rest of your life. There are infinite cases where an actor started playing  60 yr old at his 20th yr & continued playing  60yr old at his 60th yr too(20-60-60-60) & likewise there were the lucky ones who started their careers, playing roles of their age & continue playing the similar age roles even as their life insurance is about to mature(20-16-60-20).

Following would be the salient features of the

(20-60-60-60) victims:

  • Fixed income, job security similar to Govt jobs
  • Opportunity of grandfatherly/fatherly hugs & kisses from heroines of different generations who after their heydays act as your spouse.
  • It’s a very dirty situation to flirt with the heroine outside the shoot with the contingency of her calling you pa/grandpa looming large.
  • Frustration of not making to the casting couch
  • Remarkable acumen over choice of  wigs(subject to the rapidness of balding)
  • Embarrassment of seeing school friends go to college sporting t-shirts in bikes, flirting with girls of their age group.
  • Can’t do heavy workouts in gyms due to nature of role
  • Endorsements comprising of bone & joint hospitals, piles/diabetes medicine , matrimonial , mediclaim insurance, betel nut & supari
  • Monotony of roles ranging from aging father to ailing father to doting grandpa(who tries hard to be cute & who’s ears is twisted by a  seasoned grandma actor  for stealthily trying to eat sweet) to a bed ridden grandpa(who flirts with the nurse) to a dead grandpa hanging in the house’s wall

of fame( the pre-death footage comes in a blink n miss flashback)

Following would be the salient features of the (20-16-60-20) beneficiaries:

  • Rapidly increasing income, directly proportionate to the market
  • Option of as many retakes during making of intimate scenes with heroines
  • Can negotiate risk & lust by using a body double for risky action sequences while erotic sequences & item numbers can be done with own efforts.
  • Can be the chairman of casting couch committee & still cut a pious public image by regular visits to hilly terrains & pet donations to famous religious trusts.
  • Embarrassment of watching enacted romantic or exaggerated stunt sequences with grandchildren who get you daily BP/sugar tablets or help you negotiate slippery toilets back home.
  • Ass of the gym trainer’s sarcasm post preview of enacted “mass”action flick, when his assistance is a prerequisite for a brief stint on the treadmill or lifting unflattering weights
  • Endorsement including Mobile Companies, Clothing Line, Shampoo, Fairness Creams, Beverages, Templeships, gold loans




To be continued…

In the name of movies-PART I


As the movie starts playing in the Cinema Hall, we transcend into the Reel world to peep into the life of the Protagonist leaving behind our conscious self with the popcorn tub. Movies are the escapist solace people seek from the real world. But the duration of the sub-conscious mind’s stay in the fabricated world is dependent on how much we connect emotionally with the director’s figment of imagination. If the movie works, the mind’s relaxed & we crave for a little more of the experience(Quantum of solace>ticket rate)…but when the movie doesn’t, the mind immediately goes on a guilt trip questioning the propriety of the decision to watch the movie  when naphthalene balls were there for consumption to achieve the same purpose & why the director’s dad should have been impotent , but then it fantasizes butter popcorn melting in the tongue ably lubricated by Coke to make up for the void.(Quantum of Solace=Butter Popcorn +Coke or Quantum of Solace<Ticket Rate).

Movies have inspired lives in many ways -got some  married while getting some divorced, created awareness about social issues, invented new techniques for high end burglaries, vanquished nuclearity in some families and has split some joint families, made alcoholic beverages a mandatory helpline for heartbreaks among other things.

Then there are some actors who give their lives for movies and some for who people would give their lives. This post is dedicated to the funny side of the tinsel town with its share of clichés & myths.


These are the generally practiced methods for the pre-intro scene build-up-

  • A family is shown being slaughtered with a solitary member escaping with a kid(we know who)
  • A group of girls are chased in a busy highway by goons(stunt masters)
  • Domestic animals are shown causing mayhem in neighbourhood for which Menaka Gandhi was duly notified.
  • Comedian is enquired by a bevy of girls about the hero’s whereabouts
  • Sidekicks out of the blue  start belting out previous movie names of the hero looking at the audience Junior artists dressed up as farmers are exploited by a megalomaniac landlord draws a line challenging labourers to cross it to save a fellow old labourer.
  •  Wrestling Tournament where an aggressive Pakistani/North-Indian Wrestler  beats the hell out of junior stunt masters & challenges the masculinity of Indians or most commonly hordes of (stunt masters) rowdies  run into a very familiar abandoned  workshop/factory godown set chasing the hero .

Once the build-up is over, we are shown a pair of legs walking towards us or a fist is shown along with a hefty goon flying away and the focus gradually moves upwards to the hero’s face who winks, acknowledging the anonymous body parts to be his.Would you believe it we Indians shoot the introductory sequence at the budget of “paranormal activity”!


This is the culmination point of the intro scene, where the hero blows his own trumpet gyrating alongside a desperate choreographer & a group of junior dancers. Extra effort is taken to show montages of the hero helping septuagenarians cross roads, helping school kids do their home-work or saving the stereo-type pregnant woman from her drunkard hubby or snubbing super-models during the song’s running time.

Then enough importance is given to include heavy-duty messages in the lyrics that are characterized by eternity of friendship, work is worship aspect, importance of labourers, how to impress girls, why girls are dangerous to a guy’s future, board-exam FAQs, CBSE syllabus, ayurvedic beauty tips, how to bake flower like idlis, SBI interest rates ,ruling party manifesto, details of off-season sale at life-style etc among other things.


To be continued…

Gym Night

His gym closed at 9.30 PM unapologetically. Aware of which he wanted to indulge in some cardio in a bid to mitigate effects,a possible heavy dinner might have on his love handles.Not that he wasn’t fit,just that he was a little touchy around the waist. As soon as he entered the gym’s cardio segment, he could see a petite frame of a girl working out on a elliptical equipment. Good for him, the entire floor had mirrors embedded on walls, that he needn’t have to lech further.Her face was pretty, more importantly graceful.


He(hesistantly): How do I increase the pressure on this one?

She: Press the “UP” button on the right hand top of the hand

He:Thanks. Veteran here?

She:I’m pretty irregular.I’m getting married the next month, so on a mission.

He:Presume it’s a theme wedding with a pretentious photographer earmarked to tell a story through 25 pictures in scenic locations with his company’s name watermarked on the bottom corner of every picture?

She(bursts into laughter):Kind of. Just that I want to look pretty

He:Btw, I’m Akshath

She: I’m Vrithika. I know it’s a weird name

He:No,it’s not. Just that your teachers should have had phonetic issues while taking attendance and you must have your name spelled wrong in correspondences,more often than not

She:My grandmom chose it

He:Why did she have a veto on your name for christsake?

She gushed


She:What do you do?

He:I’m a financial consultant.You?


He: I better to be politically correct.The band on the neck together with the black gown makes for good viewing

She: Dude. It’s summer and doesn’t help that I sweat like a pig.

He:We have our official fashion peeves too-blazers for Chennai’s humidity

She:Jobless wife of Akshay kumar is trending because she trolled Chetan Bhagat.

He:Bhagat bashing is the new sport on social media

She:I read the plot summary on the back of his recent book.It would make a 3rd grade kid squirm in his English classes.

He:Really? I had regards for him for getting the hoi polloi into the reading habit. That said he can’t leverage his popularity as a writer to judge dance shows.

She chuckled


He:Why are you in ethnic clothes?

She:Straight from office. I had a pair of sweat shirts which smelt pungent.

He:Thanks for being considerate.

She(laughs):I feel referring a woman,”woman” is so disrespectful. We can’t call u men.”male”.Can we?

He:”Woman” has got an authoritative ring to it.”Male” is not only part of parlance, but blah on the ears too.Perks of male chauvinism

The Gym’s manager subtly asks them to get the f*** out in the switch off language.

She: Last 5 mins, Sir.

The lights come back on the floor in a jiffy with the contingency of him remaining as unexcited.

He:Had I asked for the same extension, he would have shown his third finger from either side

She:Perks of female chauvinism, I suppose.

He:Hail hydra!!

She:I’m done. Nice meeting you Akshath. You’ll be coming tomorrow?

He:Ciao Vrithika. See you around.

He walked her to her car that was parked outside the complex housing the gym. Then drove home smiling.Baffling, given the fact that he was eternally, a stone-faced grump.