Posted in Poem, Uncategorized

Mansplaining Women’s Day

A Poem for International Women’s Day

Mansplaining Women’s Day

Listen, I am going to make it a special day,
You don’t know how much I know all that come your way.
So, I want you to forget all your strain,
And join me in my celebration of your pain.

Walk right through this door, watch out for your gown,
Oh, you didn’t tell me you were wearing cocoa brown.
I’d have asked you to pick something in burgundy,
To go with my tie, but who cares if we aren’t trendy?

Today is all about honor, so let me do you the honor,
And tell you what makes you the best in this corner.
Don’t yawn yet. With me darling? You still with me?
Do know that only you can make me the man I want to be.

Here. Here is a fine Syrah. Give it a try.
Any other night, I’d let you have your chardonnay, dry.
But tonight is your night, so experience the exquisite,
I bet you will thank me for this, till our next visit.

Where was I? Yes, honoring the fearless,
And those who stood up for your rights, no less.
For all that you are able to do now,
Many men must have sacrificed what and how.

Want another glass? Thought you’d be done with just one.
This Syrah, with its black pepper overtone, is strong even for men.
Always thought a lot of women wouldn’t have it in them,
You are special and I will never leave you, whatever may come.

Wish I could have some dessert with you and extend our stay,
But am so wiped out that I just want to thank you on this women’s day.

…Shall we….?

Posted in Humor - General, Movies - General

Jimmy Kimmel’s Morning At The Oscars

Where I imagine Jimmy Kimmel’s morning on the day of the ceremony, as he gets ready to host Oscars 2017

“So did Ricky Gervais really help you Chris?”, Jimmy Kimmel was quite nervous and he wanted to get some tips from Chris Rock.

“Well. Not really Jimmy. Why do you ask?”, Chris Rock on the other side of the phone, perhaps in Bahamas or Jamaica, but surely on a Carribbean beach sipping his colorful drink.

“I don’t have to be the one saying this to you, but as you know your ratings were down 6% from previous year’s..”.

Silence.

“Chris, I know it was not you. And it had nothing to do with you. I think people feel this whole Oscar thing is rigged. There is less and less credibility around the awards. Some folks even call this the Fake Awards show..”, Jimmy trying to cheer Chris Rock up.

“Huh..Who said that?”, Chris Rock.

“That’s beside the point. Just want you to know that Cheryl is extremely proud of how you conducted yourself last year and she sends her best wishes to you. She likes you man..”, Jimmy Kimmel, now ready to move on.

“Do well Jimmy. Think you have an easier job this year. Or not. I don’t know. It’s good that a white man is hosting it this year. That’s all I can say. Good luck brother..”, Chris Rock hangs up.

“Fake Awards show? Who said that Jimmy? Who?”, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the President of AMPAS, livid with anger.

“It’s a good thing that you are not on Twitter Cheryl. Let’s just say a man whose name would be referred to many times during the awards ceremony tonight without his actual name being called out, tweeted this out last night. You know who..”, Jimmy sipping his coffee while ensuring that his bowtie assistant was focused on his task of tying the knot.

“Oh Puhleeze! Not that we didn’t expect this, but doesn’t he have a more pressing job to do like sorting out his mess?”

“I wouldn’t know that Cheryl. Ok, I have an important question”, Jimmy going through his script on his iPad.

“Go on..”

“After Leonardo DiCaprio gives away the Oscar to Meryl Streep, I thought I could add this line, the one right here.”, Jimmy pointing at his iPad.
“..’Coz we all know what Meryl is going to say and how she is going to get a standing ovation..”,
 Jimmy, earnest as always.

“You presumptuous bastard!!”, Cheryl pats on Jimmy’s back with a fake fit of anger.

“Alright. Alright. I was just trying to be prepared. That’s all. You do think it’s a good line. Don’t you?”, Jimmy.

“Whatever Jimmy. You know what to do. Just don’t embarrass us that’s all”,Cheryl smiling and yet subtly giving her approval for that specific joke.

Both Jimmy and Cheryl decided to take a break. They closed Cheryl’s office door and started walking in the dark alley towards the kitchen area. The dark corridors were eerily dark even on an awards ceremony morning and this year there wasn’t even a power outage unlike last year.

Then all of a sudden, Jimmy tripped over an object which wasn’t quite visible in that darkness. He stumbled over the object, tried hard to balance himself, but failed miserably and ended up falling on that cabinet holding Jack Nicholson’s special drinks. The fall itself wasn’t too bad going by bodily injuries. Jimmy Kimmel just bruised his elbow thanks to the sharp edges of the cabinet. And the cabinet somehow survived the weight of Jimmy Kimmel and it didn’t move an inch. The small table next to it, which holds Mel Gibson’s Bible and Tom Cruise’s personal copy of Ron Hubbard’s Scientology scripture had been disturbed a bit as a result of the jolt, but nothing that couldn’t be fixed.

Jimmy suddenly felt a hand on his shoulders. Almost felt like it was trying to pull him up in a manner of helping him.

“Hey, Matt! What are you doing here?”, Jimmy puzzled to see his enemy standing right behind him.

“Jimmy, I came here to offer truce. I want to end our rivalry tonight on stage. And I then saw you and Cheryl walk towards the kitchen. I saw you take a stumble. Tried to help you man..That’s all. Hope you didn’t hurt yourself so bad that you have to withdraw from hosting tonight’s ceremony..”, Matt Damon, with a sarcastic look on his face.

Meanwhile, the flickering lights on the ceiling stablized a bit and there was better visibility on the corridor.

Jimmy looked up Matt with confusion and then he looked down to see the object he tripped over. Cheryl, who had gone ahead of Jimmy to get her coffee from the kitchen came running back after hearing all the noises in the corridor, with a cup in her hands. She too was surprised to see Matt Damon there.

Jimmy picked up the suitcase from the floor.

“This can’t be. Is this the PwC ballot case?”, Jimmy.

“What? Please don’t tell me that we have compromised ourselves..”, Cheryl, shocked in horror as she looks down.

The suitcase was wide open and the cards that hold the Oscar winners’ names were strewn all over the carpet. They hadn’t been sealed inside the envelopes yet.

“You miserable Matt! You damning Damon!
I know you did this. You did it to ruin my evening..”
, Jimmy started screaming with a maddening rage.

Matt Damon wiped the smile off his face, wore his shades, and started running towards the door.

Of the many cards that lay bare on the carpet, at least 7 of them had the same text on them.

“La La Land”.

Posted in Poem

Love

Love

The fragrance you emanate
From a budding heart as you flower
To all that spice you provide to my life
And to all that you cure 
Those pains, those aches 
How you destress me
How you purify me from deep within...
Clove, I meant Clove.
Not Love. Clove...

I am such a lousy Love Poet.
Posted in Movies - General

La La Land

lalaland

What is it about the protagonists of ‘La La Land’ that they don’t play well with others?

Mia (Emma Stone) is a barista at a coffee shop inside Warner Bros, and is an aspiring artist. She fails again and again in her auditions, but she insists on producing a single-woman show, written, produced, acted and even financed by herself. Even that one big audition that gets her through the barrier and makes her a success (of which we are left to imagine but do not actually get to see how big it is) involves her putting up a solo performance by delivering a monologue of her own making quite spontaneously.

Seb (Ryan Gosling) is a pianist, a Jazz traditionalist, someone who dreams of owning a Jazz club built in a way that it reveres all the jazz masters of the past, while keeping the tradition of classic Jazz alive. He struggles but continues to find solo gigs here and there. He makes compromises by playing  set list of Christmas tunes, even when his hands itch to play his own tunes at clubs, that don’t much care for Jazz, but at least he is happy to live the day by being a solo pianist, till he finds that once in a lifetime opportunity to get himself financially secure, even if it means he has to compromise.

And as strong as they are about pursuing their individualistic visions of their lives, both Mia and Seb just don’t play along well with others. It’s a struggle and it’s a compromise for them, every step of the way. So, finally when they meet each other and try to accommodate each other, they find it difficult.

Damien Chazelle pretty much lets us know what ‘La La Land’ is all about right at the beginning. A traffic jam on a freeway, results in an explosion of a massive dance routine featuring drivers from all the vehicles that are stuck there. It’s colorful and spectacular, what with the camera angles and the flash-mob style dancing absolutely making you stand up from your seats to break a leg, or jiggle I should say. Within 5 minutes, you are thrown into this fantasy world, which you don’t want to come out of anytime soon..or at least that’s what you are made to believe.

Because at that point, the director stakes claim that he would stay true to his artistic pursuit of making a musical, except that he really doesn’t end up making a perfect musical. There is about a 40-45 minute period in the film where there is no song and dance ritual. Not that it is bad, in fact, I quite liked that portion of the film, but somehow Chazelle was convinced that it was the right thing to do even though that was not really staying true to his pursuit of making a perfect musical.

The Music – Yes, the very essence of a musical.

Don’t get me wrong. I know I am not qualified to even write a short critique on any kind of music, leave alone for a musical, that too one that involves some classic jazz. So, this is simply a reflection of how I felt as a listener, while I was watching the movie. In short, the music didn’t really hit me. Before I went into the theater, I may have listened to bits and pieces of the music through trailers, TV promos, etc. even though I deliberately waited to listen to them all in complete form till I watched the movie. The only pieces that stayed with me were the ‘Mia and Seb Theme’ and the ‘City of Stars’. The former has a very simple, but a poignant & a sad hook and the latter to me is a dance around the same notes that make the former hook work, but in somewhat of a happier plane. When I came home and listened to the theme piece, I have to admit I was completely impressed.

Justin Hurwitz is of course going to grab many awards this awards season and he deserves them all, because he has been part of a successful musical. He and the director have definitely brought out the nostalgia aspect so very well and if you have any familiarity with that era of song and dance, there is is nothing not to like about what they have managed to pull off. Still, it was not enough to make me fall in love with the music.

If there is one thing Chazelle fails to bring out in this movie, it is to breather life into his characters. To put it differently, I think he fails to bring out the life of his characters. There were three scenes that stand out in the move to me, where he does do that very powerfully. I just wish he had extended that control he showed in those three scenes, to many more scenes.

The first scene is where Mia tells Seb how she hates Jazz by giving a glimpse into her past. What follows is a bit of mansplaining on Seb’s part, but I will let that go and won’t hold that against Chazelle. The second scene is where Mia asks Seb if this is really what he wants to do (when he surprisingly shows up at the apartment during the middle of his tour) and the third scene would be part of the climax, where towards the end, they walk away from each other after understanding where they are in their lives.

I just wish Chazelle had taken the emotional time needed to chisel out a few more scenes to bring out who the real Mia is and who the real Seb is – not just their dreams.

Finally, if someone asked me if the movie worked for me or not. I would say, yes it did. And the only reason it worked for me in spite of my above observations is because of the lead pair, Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. They were splendid as Mia and Seb, and I am not sure if anyone else could have pulled this off so well. They are pleasant to watch and they carry the verve of the generation so well on screen.

In the end, La La Land is more about veneration of a bygone era. It’s a movie that adores the traditionalism of that era, be it in music or in mannerisms, be it in the methods or in the mechanics, but certainly not the spontaneity or the deep personal sense. In an effort to make a musical that reflects all that he holds dear from the 1960s, the nostalgia, the color, the choreography and the jazz, Chazelle ends up making a movie that fails to connect all the dots, and yet screams artistically to touch the visual sense of the modern moviegoers, who either have a personal connection to that era or those who find an exotic connection to the optics of that era by getting to live that colorful life, vicariously through the success of Mia and the unhappiness of Seb.

Posted in Poem, Thamizh (தமிழ்)

காற்றும் கவியும்

இனியும் ஏது தோல்வியே
கவியும் தூது போவதேன்

காற்றே 
சொல்லும்
வெறுமைகளா
பொறுமைகளா
நினைவே 
வெல்லும்
வறுமைகளா
வறுமைகளா

இதையத்தைத் தொட்டுத் தொட்டு நீங்கும்
மரணத்தை விட்டு விட்டுச் செல்லும்
கனிமொழியாய் என்னை நினைப்பாய்
தனிமையிலே என்னை சேர்ப்பாய் 

ஒரு கணமோ இங்கு மவுனம்
மறு கணமோ நீ மறைந்தாய் 
பேசும் ஊமை ஆனேன்
சோகம் தேடிப் போனேன்

மலையின் மீதுள்ள சிகரம்
கலையரசி தந்த பெருவரம்
நிகழ்வு மறக்கவே 
பகடம் பலிக்கவே 

முழு நிலவு மெல்லத் தூங்க
மேகங்களோ அதை மூட 
நட்சத்திரங்கள் கூடி
தாலாட்டு ஒன்று சொல்ல

காலைக் கதிரவன் அகல
காக்கை குருவியும் பறக்க
மகிழ்வு மிகையவே
மனமும் களிக்கவே 
Posted in Poem, Politics - General, Uncategorized

The Next Step

A Poem for Donald Trump’s Presidential Inauguration

the-next-step
Each day as we go about our business,
tweeting past our older tweets, 
RTing some or not,
about to tweet or tweeting.

Each day we encounter each other in twitter,
words incoherent or ungrammatical,
incomplete or insulted,
words to consider, reconsider.

We know there’s something better down the road.
We gather our equality, pride, liberty and justice.
To walk into that which we cannot yet see.
To find a place which is safe for
Our intelligence, our rationality and sanity.

On the brink of twitter horizon, on the cusp of fake news explosion,
May we take that next step.

[Inspired by Elizabeth Alexander’s Praise Song for the Day]

Posted in Poem, Thamizh (தமிழ்)

ஜல்லிக்கட்டு உரையாடல்

வீர விளையாட்டு எனநீர் கூவினால்
வீம்புக்காக வீரம் ஏனய்யா என்பம் நாம்

துள்ளி வரும் நீண்ட கால்களை இடை மறித்து
சுழன்று வரும் வாலை அடக்கிப் பிடித்து
திரண்ட திமிரை அணைத்து, கொம்பிலுள்ள பரிசினைப் பறித்து
காளையை அடகித்தான், உம் ஆண்மையை காட்டுவோம் என்கிறீரே

விழுப்புண்களுக்காக வீரியமாக உடல் வருத்தி
ஏழேழு தலைமுறை கலாச்சாரத்தைக் காக்க
நீர் படும்பாடு புரிகிறதய்யா
எம்பாட்டையும் தான் கொஞ்சம் கேள்வீரோ?

மிருகவதையை தடுக்கவும் மிருக மேம்பாட்டிற்காகவும் உழைப்பவர் யாம்
கலாச்சார சம்பிரதாய சிறப்பறிவோம் யாம்
இவையனைத்தும் பரிணாம வளர்ச்சிக்குட்பட்ட தென்பதையுமறிவோம்
அதை நீறறிவீரோ என்றறியோம்

உங்கள் மாடுகளையும் காளைகளையும் தெய்வமாக மதிப்பீராமே
பின் ஏன் அதைச்சீண்டி கோபமேற்றுகிறீர்கள் உங்கள் வீம்பு வீரத்திற்காக?
அதைச் சீண்டுவதற்காக சிலபலர் செய்யும் சேட்டைகள்
மிருக வதையில்லை என்றும்மால் கூற முடியுமா?

இங்கங்கு சிலபலர் செய்யும் சேட்டைகள் மிருகவதையே
அதை மறுக்கவில்லை மறைக்கவுமில்லை அன்பரே
எங்கள் வீரத்தை எம்மவரிடம் காட்ட உங்கள் அனுமதி தேவையில்லை
என்பதையாமறிவோம் அதை நீறறிவீரோ என்றறியோம்

தேசமெங்கும் வெவ்வேறிடத்தில் பற்பல பரிமாணங்களில்
நடக்கும் மிருகவதைகளைக் காட்டிலுமா இது மிகையென வினவுகிறம் யாம்
காளைகளைச் சீண்டுகிறோம் என்றெங்களடையாளத்தில்
ஒரு பகுதியைச் சீண்டுவது நியாயமா?

மிருகவதையைக் குறைக்க உம்மிடம் பேசத்தயாரய்யா யாம்
எல்லா மிருகவதைகளயும் சமசீர் தராசில் வைத்துப் பின்னர் எம்மிடம் பேசத்தயாரா நீர்?

[இவ்வுரையாடல் தொடரின் பலரும் மகிழ்ச்சி அடைவர்…]


பொங்கல் நல்வாழ்த்துக்கள்!

–English Translation–

A Jallikkattu Conversation
—————————

If you argue that it’s a display of bravery,
Then we would question the need for such false bravado..

You say that you would announce your masculinity to the world..
By tripping his long legs, By catching his swinging tail,
By embracing his dark hump,
By snatching the prize that’s tied to his horns,
And by bringing the raging bull under your control.

We understand that
All the rigor that your bodies go through for these war wounds
Are to preserve those century old traditions.
Now, will you step into my shoes and see it from my end?

I work hard for animal welfare and to prevent cruelty towards animals.
I understand culture, heritage and traditions,
I also understand that these things have always evolved and changed with times,
I hope you understand that.

We hear that you worship these bulls and cows,
Then why do you provoke them and flare up their anger?
Just so that you could exhibit your false bravado?
Do you agree what a few people do in order to
Instigate these bulls and cows amount to animal cruelty?

Yes. What a few do here and there certainly amount to animal cruelty.
We don’t deny it nor do we want to hide it, my friend.
At the same time, we know we don’t need your permission
To display our bravado amongst ourselves. I hope you understand that.

There are various animal cruelties of different magnitudes taking place
Around the country, every day.
We wonder why ours is being targeted when there are worse cruelties around.
In the name of preventing animal cruelty by pointing out these bull provocations,
Is it fair on your part to provoke us by banishing an important symbol of our culture?

We are ready to discuss and negotiate the animal cruelties that happen in our sport.
Are you ready to place all animal cruelties that happen in the country on the same weighing scale? If yes, then please come to the negotiation table.

Posted in Donald Trump, Politics - General

In Defense of Free Press

I am not a journalist. I am not affiliated to any press or any media outlet.  I am just a normal citizen of this great country of United States of America.

What America witnessed yesterday (Jan 11, 2017) during President Elect Donald Trump’s press conference (the first one he had after getting elected and the first one he had in last 5-6 months) is the beginning of the slow dismantling of Free Press.

I don’t care if you agree with a particular media outlet or a particular journalist’s opinion or not. You have every right to live in your own bubble and voice your opinion wherever.
But take a step back.
Kick that apathy out of the door for a second.
Keep your politics aside for a moment and ask yourself this simple question.

Why should any responsible citizen of this democratic country normalize this? If you say we should normalize this behavior and continue to give chances to this kind of behavior, do you even for a second realize what that kind of thought process leads to and more importantly do you realize by doing so, what values you as an individual will be passing on to your future generations?

Think about it. Read the history books to understand how every authoritarian regime around the world had come about.

Authoritarians don’t have any special power to create their regimes overnight. They feel the weakness of their citizens. They exploit them to their advantage. They understand the psyche of their subjects. They play to their vulnerable sides and take advantage of them .

And in the end, it is the citizens who succumb to the appeal and in the process pave way for an authoritarian to take over their lives.  It’s us who voluntarily let an authoritarian take over our lives and let them build a regime.

It’s time now. To Fight. To Speak up.

For the next few years, or months or days, however long it takes to stand up against this man and his administration, which will do anything to crush the values of democracy that this country built 240 years ago and the ones that we continue to make better every single day.  Because these values matter.

Let’s not forget that.

Fight for your right as a citizen and Fight for your fellow citizen’s right, equally.

And stand up for FREE PRESS.

Down with Authoritarianism and Down with Trumptarianism.