The Indian Farmer

These are tough times for the Indian farmer. Yes, the same Indian farmer who is responsible for feeding you and keeping you alive. He is endangered and on the verge of extinction, if the tough times continue. The situation is worse if he belongs to the state that performs well. No one cares about him. None of the officials go and meet them. None from the government indulge in talks with them. In Madya Pradesh, he has to face bullets if he tries to raise his voice in protest. In Maharashtra, he has no other option than committing suicides. In Tamilnadu, he knows he doesn’t have a government to reach out to. So he goes to Delhi, sports a half shaved mustache and a half shaved head, eats rats and rolls on the road completely naked. Nothing happens. No one is bothered. He is tired. He returns home and ponders over his own existence. He sits in exasperation. He thinks of moving over to other sources of income. But he can’t. This is all that he knows. Farming is his life. A world outside of this, doesn’t exist for him. He thinks he is living a cursed life.

The Uttar Pradesh Government in April, announced that it plans to waive off the loans of 3 crore farmers in the state. It’s a good idea and there is no question about it, except for the fact that the funds commissioned for this, comes from the bulk contributions of states where the farmers are dying everyday. For every 100 bucks given to the centre by Tamilnadu, Maharashtra and Karnataka, they get back 30-40 bucks. Meanwhile, the non performing states like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madya Pradesh get back 300-400 for the same amount. This is where the resource allocation fails miserably. Why would you penalize a state for performing well? The funds that are used to waive off farmer loans in UP comes from the funds generated by states like Maharashtra and Tamilnadu. And these states have prospered economically owing to good governance, good literacy rates, impeccable Human Development Indices and importantly, comparatively lesser population growths. Isn’t it the time for refurbishing the existing model of resource allocation? Or even sending out a stern message to the non performers that the continuous non performance will result in lesser funds?


Our Jallikattu. Your PETA. Our Culture. Your Nonsense.

Who is PETA? Like, who the hell are they? Who let them all in? Don’t blame Manmohan Singh just because he opened up the gates for foreign parties through the economic reforms of 1991.

The past few days have turned even the otherwise uninterested North Indian media restless. The reason I accuse them of being uninterested is the obvious truth that they don’t give a damn about the events happening in the south of Vindyas. While some struggle to pronounce Jallikattu correctly, the other half, I am sure would have merely passed off the topic thinking Jallikattu were some South Indian dish made of coconut.

Is Jallikattu really cruel on the bulls, as it is made of in the media? There have been incidents of brutal violence like biting the tails and feeding alcohol but that is not true for all places. I genuinely believe that there has to be a regulatory body, that ensures the fair treatment of bulls. But an outright ban? No. These are part of a rich tradition and the various inscriptions and cave paintings suggest that it was perceived as an act of bravery. Spain still has its love affair with bull fighting and haven’t let PETA or any of the jokers to have a say in that.

It’s not about Supreme court because there are eminent lawyers and the matter will be dealt with legally. The discussions and suggestions will go through a legal channel. But my problem is with organizations like PETA, their supporters and motives. People cheering for a ban on Jallikattu are the same ones who are going to have a chicken lollypop and beef fry the next minute. Yes, Kamal Hasan hit the nails hard when he asked for a ban on Biryani too, if you are banning Jallikattu. The animal welfare army do not have any problem with non-vegetarianism. Not that I am for vegetarianism, but going by their logic, they should have gone to the supreme court for a ban on non-vegetarianism too. They use products made from the skins of animals. This ‘selective’ campaigning is abhorrent. Pamela Anderson once voiced for curbing the practice of parading the elephants during the temple festivals in Kerala. Luckily the matter was trashed by the Govt. of Kerala. And she was trashed in facebook by the “Pongala” warriors. I wonder what the elected Govt. of Tamilnadu was doing since 2013 when Jallikattu was banned. Why didn’t it find suitable lawyers to defend the cause? The matter gained mileage only when Kamal Hasan said those strong words.

Meanwhile, it’s heartening to see all the peaceful protests that are going on in Tamilnadu. They have done their bit in letting everyone know about the power of masses, in the most civilized manner that this country has seen in sometime. It’s up to the nominated lawyers to present the case responsibly. Justice for Jallikattu. 




Jewellery ads and election posters dominate the 'Stick No Bills' part of our walls! ‪#‎Thrissur‬

Jewellery ads and election posters dominate the ‘Stick No Bills’ part of the walls! ‪#‎Thrissur‬

"You are not a Malayalee if you haven't travelled on these #KSRTC"- Jacobinde Swargarajyam

“You are not a Malayalee if you haven’t travelled on these #KSRTC”- Jacobinde Swargarajyam

Election campaigns are on full swing! #Aluva

                              Election campaigns are on full swing! #Aluva

I was sweating profusely throughout the day. The humidity levels were simply unbearable. Global warming is more than evident in these parts of the world. To tackle it, more air conditioners are added and it’s just a one-way route as far as Global warming is concerned. May God save our planet.


Is Premam worth all the ‘hype’?

I was in Trichy last week. And to escape from the brutal Trichy summer (which makes the tar melt in double quick time on the roads and where people do not need a gas stove to make egg omelettes), we decided to hit the shopping mall for ‘AC’. I was just about casually humming the melodies that were being played inside, when my ears, arteries and veins lit up. It was ‘Malare‘. The same ‘Malare‘ which took Kerala by storm. The same lyrical brilliance which tests one’s pronunciation skills, something which a Non Malayalee might find hard as gargling a marble. So, how did ‘Malare’ make it to the playlists of non Malayalees, Tamilians in particular?

I have lived all my life in Trichy and it is very rare that a Malayalam film is talked about, forget even getting released. I wouldn’t blame the city and its people for it. There is a good number of Malayalam speaking people, who like the many I have seen, prefer Tamil over Malayalam. And so, even if, all the celestial bodies align and a Malayalam film gets released, it will definitely run to near-empty audience. But this is where Premam stood out. Defying all the laws, Premam was re-released in Tamilnadu and the film was a run away hit when it was screened at LA cinemas in Trichy. The film ran for over 250 days in Chennai’s Satyam cinemas. The funnier part is in Kerala, the film’s intended audience, the film didn’t cross 160 days.

Pic Courtesy: Muzik 24*7

Was it the merely the Nivin Pauly phenomenon? Or did the story bowl the Tamil audiences? I’d say its a mix of both, though the story, screenplay and the costumes were the clincher. Nivin Pauly is the most sought after hero in Malayalam, closing in on the levels of Mammootty and Mohanlal. His boy-next-door roles that became blockbusters in Malayalam were gleefully accepted in Tamilnadu. His bilingual ‘Neram‘ fared reasonably well at the box office and was critically acclaimed here. ‘1983‘ and ‘Bangalore Days‘ were much talked about in Chennai. And slowly, people started following his films. Chennaites fell in love with his ‘Oru Vadakkan Selfie‘. It is at this backdrop that ‘Premam’ hit the screens in Chennai and Coimbatore. From what was initially thought to be a Nivin Pauly entertainer, the film transcended boundaries and made its characters, household names.

When you talk about ‘mass’ scenes, our films have shown us the cliched image of a hero beating down a herd of villains, sometimes in gravity-defying stunt scenes, supported by some killer background music. Or as some of the Telugu and mindless Bollywood films showed us about bikes and cars toppling, with the hero coming out unhurt. Obviously, lakhs and crores were splashed to shoot these ‘mass’ scenes. What Premam did was quite simple, like how some Russian chap suggested the usage of a pencil over a fountain pen inside a spaceship. College students aged 21, sporting a beard and a rayban glass, dressed up in a Black shirt and a ‘mundu‘, would be walking while raising their legs to wind up the ‘mundu‘. Add to it, Rajesh Murugesan’s killer background music and the slow motion shots. Just that. That’s it. No guns. No knifes. No broken beer bottles. No sharp weapons. What we saw on screen gave us goosebumps. You felt like you could throw up twenty villains at a time. You felt energized. You felt you could yell ,”Screw you” to your boss. This was the real ‘mass’ scene. Of course, we have seen Mohanlal stylishly do that before. Mammootty adventurously did it in Rajamanikkam. But this was equally effective on screen and was of a different level. They are college going guys. The film was catered to the age group of 18-25. And they went amok. Every Tamil speaking person who saw it, could relate it. ‘Mundu‘ or ‘Veshti‘ is their traditional attire as well. They had seen such a scene at least once in their life as well. (Wonder why Narasimham and Rajamanikkam didn’t become a rage in Tamilnadu. The scenes were equally mass).



After watching it umpteen number of times, I can easily say that without the ‘Malar‘ part, it would’ve remained a normal Malayalam film. It wouldn’t have taken Tamilnadu by storm. It wouldn’t have prompted some of my Tamil speaking friends to learn Malayalam. It wouldn’t have bridged the gap between the two industries and more importantly, the fans. The character was laced on reality. A Saree wearing teacher without make up is what you see in a normal college in Kerala and Tamilnadu. The concept of a student falling in love with a teacher is not new. You have seen a Malar and George. You have seen love stories in campuses. You have seen love failures and broken hearts. Alphonse Putharen simply showed us what we’ve already seen and heard. There was nothing new. But it was all about the way the scenes were conceived and shot. The depiction is completely non-filmy. The dialogues were raw, nothing of the cinematic stuff were included. And people liked it. In the end, people like to see on screen what they see in real life, unadulterated. Give them raw, they will definitely like it. Tamil audiences too, deserve films likes these often. Hopefully, the film makers note it.

So, is Premam worth all the hype? Not really. It’s a just a love story in different stages of a guy’s life. But extraordinary elements are the cinematography, direction, dialogues, background score, ‘mundu’, ‘mass’ scene and ‘Malare Ninne Kaanadhirunnal, Mizhivegiya niramellam maayunna pole