Category Archives: Chennai

My Daughter Sahana on Sun TV

My daughter Sahana participated in the Kutty Chutties Program on Sun TV last weekend.

Sky Fall The First Boooooooooond Movie

After watching the movie on the way back home, I was giving it a hard thought on how I should title my blog.  There were lots  about this movie which is different than the other bonds (I will come to that shortly) but there was on thing that stood out in my mind – It is just a long movie for a Hollywood film… I think it was like 2.5 hours… But I must admit that although it was a long movie, the director has done justice to that time (except for certain aspects – will be covered in what I did not like about this movie)

Alright… Here you go… These are all the aspects I liked about the movie.

Story: The story took me by surprise… I was expecting yet another save the world story in which the bond fights either Chinese or Russians or perhaps Iranians (given the current world context) as usual. But this one was totally different. It was about one of their own ex secret services agent wanting to take revenge against the British secret services for being left behind and let to suffer in the hands of the enemy.

Screen Play – For a movie of 2.5 hours, there were very little or no flaws in the screen play. Thats tough

The Bond himself – Daniel Craig to me is by ‘The Best Bond’ ever Period! I dont think anyone else could have played this role better than him. In the previous Bond movies he lacked the suttle humor that usually other bonds have… But in this one he has take care of that.

The Bad Guy – Javier Bardum. Oh man… This guys performance is simply outstanding. In the character besides being Ex MI6, he is also Gay… He has brought the Villan role with Gay characteristics quite brilliantly. As a matter of fact in the scenes when he was there along with the bond, he had made a better impact I should say. One thing that stood out was the first opening dialog he gives when he meets the Bond. It looked like a long dialog (telling a story) in a single frame shot.

The Mom – Judy Dench – She is a great actress. There is nothing new about that. But particularly in this movie, she has been quite extraordinary with the emotional scenes.

Helen McCrory as Clair – I have to say this. Though she is in the movie for a very short time she has played the role of a ‘abused girl friend’ brilliantly. The scene when the Bond talks to her and asks her to take him to the bad guy, her expressions brilliant. With a need a keep a smile on her face and at the sametime wants the Bond to kill the bad guy because how much she has been abused was really good..

Having spoken particularly about the cast, here are some other really cool things about the movie.

The chase sequence – I mean this is a given for any bond movie, a gripping chase sequence. Although the first chase sequence in this movie is not quite as thrilling as the one in Casino Royale, it was still worth the money… Particularly the mortor cycle chase on the roof top and the stunts on top of the train were very well done

Seeing the Bond fail – On many occasions, the story has let the Bond fail consciously. That has just added more reality to the movie unlike other Bond movies in the past.

Now that we have heard a lot of good things about the movie, there are a few not so good things about the movie as well (in my opinion ofcourse).

Music/Background score – I would only give an average score for the music/re-recording. Its not the best. Some of the scenes could have had a better impact with better background scores

Bond & ‘the woman’ – Its the bond’s tradition to sleep with a stranger woman. Well this one is no different. I felt that except that the director wanted to go with the tradition, there was no reason to show in the movie a scene when the Bond sleeps with this woman.

Long Climax:

Although the plot of the climax was good, it was way too long. The director could have ended the climax when the bad guy is killed atleast 10 mins sooner with no impact to the movie.

The Dupe’s: It is obvious that some stunt scenes may not be possible by the hero himself. I felt that there were a couple of scenes when it was evident that they have used a dupe and it is not Daniel Craig. It may have been ok in some other movies. But not in a Bond movie pls…

Well.. Thats all I had to say about the movie… I will give a 7 out of 10 score for this one..

Its worth the wait (I mean waiting for when the movie would end 😉 ), worth the money.. Pls do watch in theaters.

Would love to hear your thoughts on my review. Let me know what you think. Cheers!

Innocence of a child

I have often been dumb struck by some of the questions that my daughter asks me. What I heard from her a couple of days back was one of the best.

Courtesy: gocolumbiamo.com

It was a slightly unusual morning… We woke up to some kind of commotion from the kitchen. Apparently, my mom had placed an apple by mistake on the kitchen counter top the previous night and it seemed like a rat had visited, eaten a portion of the apple. She was so upset about Rat at home (particularly in the kitchen) and was telling all of us about what happened… Basically just the usual reaction from anyone when they find Rat’s presence at home and all the usual reaction…

But a very unusual response came from my daughter after hearing my mom and seeing the half eaten apple. She said, “Paati (grandma)… Rat has a small mouth, imagine the difficulty it would have had in eating such a big piece like this…” She questioned my mom, “Why did you not cut them into pieces so that the Rat could have eaten it easily… Every time you ask me to eat apples you cut them into pieces… When you give me Chappathi (Indian Bread), you cut them into pieces…”

I was pleasantly surprised at this comment from my daughter. While all of us where worried about what else could have happened, should we clean some of the vessels on the counter top, how to prevent the rat from coming again, my daughter was actually concerned about the Rat and how to make its job easier while eating.

It is quite surprising how we all have grown up being so self-centered and sometimes have to be reminded by a child to be concerned for others.

Genius of Ilayaraja

I recently I started listening to some of Raja Sir’s hits which I havent heard for a while. Check this out… This is one master piece of a song from Raja Sir.

The best part of this song is the Introductory Guitar music with Flute. Then check out the violin music before the Charanam (After anu pallavi)…

Where a law abiding citizen is considered impractical

Like many I wanted to own a property in a city where I grew up. I came back from the US with a lot of promise and aspiration to buy an apartment (Condominium) in Chennai, India – The place where I grew up and lived most part of my life… But it has been 6 months since I returned, the aspiration or dream has not come true.

Well there are several constraints such as location, size, layout, price (of course) that I have to play with to strike a balance make some compromises. If these were the only one, I would have been already living in my own apartment. But there is one constraint I did not think of and is outside of my ability to manage that still prevents me from buying a house – Deviation: Floor plan approval vs actual.

What is a deviation – There are several types of deviations in constructing a house. But in simple terms it is called ‘breaking the law’. The local government authority (in my case CMDA) stipulates guidelines on how a house/apartment needs to be constructed. If you see most of these rules are primarily for safety reasons – i.e. If a house catches fire it should not quickly spread to other houses, if there is an emergency people are able to exit easily and safely, if there is an emergency a rescue vehicle is able to reach the spot, etc…

Unfortunately almost all the builders do not comply with these guidelines. They believe these rules are not practical and cannot be followed. As a matter of fact, I booked an apartment with a leading builder. When we started verifying the papers, there was a difference of 147 sq feet between the CMDA approval and the salable area (Thanks to my wife for the good catch – If not for her thorough verification, I may have missed it). When enquired, they were candid and mentioned that deviation is very common and that I was the only person to make a big deal out of it. Well I did make a big deal out of it and got my money back.

One of the main reasons this is happening is because buyers ‘don’t care’. There is a lot of money out there in the hands of people and they just want to invest. There is absolute madness with respect to real estate in Chennai. There are a lot of issues with this attitude which I want to deal with in another blog. But the least I would expect people to do is to check if what they are buying is according to law.

It is a horrible and nauseating feeling that people care so much about Vasthu compliant houses but not approval compliant houses. You may even see builders advertising saying that their apartments are Vasthu compliant but there are very very very few who can claim that their house as approval compliant.

Well am not going to give up. I will continue to insist on CMDA approval compliant apartment/house. At worst what could happen?? I may not be able to buy a house, people may call me impractical. Atleast I know I did not break the law and that I was a good citizen who does not think that the rules are only for others and not for me.