Posts Tagged ‘singaara Chennai’

Now, this might sound like an abuse to anyone like me who’s grown up in Chennai Madras watching thamizh cinema, and I am confident Samosapedia would agree with me. What, they don’t? Bloody buffaloes, they deserve a thodappa kattai. Anyhow, I am not here to abuse anyone, or take any. In fact, this blog post has nothing to do with thodappa kattai in an abusive connotation.

It all started when my friend asked me last week, “Vignesh, in India, you don’t have aspirateur?” to which I responded with a proud, “why of course we do! We even have one at my parent’s place.” And then comes in response, “then why don’t people use it? I thought it didn’t exist in India. People use that thing, why?”

What thing, you might wonder. It is none other than the Indian broom stick, or jhaadu, or thodappa kattai. This blog post is just about its history, geography, therapy, and more! But while I kept thinking “oh this would make an amazing blog post,” I had to respond to my friend who was standing wondering what great logic millions of Indians share about the thodappa kattai. So I put on my thinking hat:

Think baby think

And I tried to come up with an explanation; many in fact:

  • No no, in India there’s lot of dust on the floor. And a vacuum cleaner can’t clear it out. Neither does a broom.
  • It’s good for health. Really?! Stay bent down, screw up your back, very nicely put.
  • We use the vacuum cleaner for removing cobwebs in remote corners of the wall & ceilings. So, that bans you from using it on the floor?
  • It’s cheaper to use brooms. You have the darn vacuum cleaner at home already. Why won’t you use it? What’re you trying to conserve, electricity?
  • We have servant maids at home. So you can’t train them to be more efficient.

And then it had to be, “we’re just used to it.” Finally, an answer that even I’m sick of. That’s a sure shot conversation winner. But after some time-wasting with google, I figured it is perhaps a style statement. BigStock certainly thinks so:

Thodapamista! There’s a whole series of photos by the way. Visit the page and you’d see how trendy it is!

I think I can actually go on and write a whole new entry about this series of photos. Thin sleeveless blouses, matching handle to the broomstick, kitch colours, it’s perfect for the common Indian bride-seeking boy! Oh darn, I’m deflecting again. Alright, as promised, I present to you, the history, geography, and therapy of it.

History: well I know it comes from the store. Why does it matter who invented it? If you want one, you can buy from Bison Cleaning Products Pvt. Ltd. And their brand name is in fact consitent with my earlier abuse to samosapedia. Another interesting fun fact about the Indian broom is that you have to tune it first. Because the new broom releases more dust than it cleans. In tamizh, we term it poo kottaradu (meaning the falling flowers). I’ve seen the maid in our house scratch the newly purchased broom against a coarse surface until it wears out. Just beats me!

Geography: it seems it isn’t limited to the Indian household. This England-raised Irish Liz Scully woman has extensively written in her smitten dust trilogy, in three parts, namely part one, part two and part three, on India, dusting and maids in India dusting.

Therapy: See photo on top, if it doesn’t help, buy yourself a broom and hit yourself with it. Slipper would also do. Make sure it’s torn. If needed, I will provide you with worn out slipper.


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Here’s a little ode to my alma mater, keeping in tune with the nostalgia-flooded posts that I’ve been coming up with of late. It’s been over four years since I passed out, and the visits to my school (despite living just a couple of hours away) have been thinning down. I’d read Amrutha write about how Chennai had changed over the years, and my primary school memories were rekindled.

Yes yes, we all wish we went back to those toddler days of primary schools, when all we had to worry about was passing the next tamizh tervu (Tamil test) or finishing that Hydrilla experiment without breaking the glassware borrowed from the Quest lab or the School day rehersals. No career driven plans, no worries on earning, no issues on being single, no need to drive anything but the bicycle with side wheels ensuring I don’t fall, no need to blog! 😛

And I’m dedicating this post to a particular aspect of my school days – music! Vidya Mandir was one of the finest schools in the city (no this isn’t open to debate, and any libels in the comment section will be deleted: a warning to P.S. products), and a considerable amount of importance was given to extracurricular activities. In the undying words of K.S.R.,

Vidya mandir students are allowed to grow. PS students are made to grow. DAV paththi sollave venam.

Now, coming back to praising extracurriculars, learning music – both Indian and Western was an integral part of our school-life. The Indian music classes were invariably praises to several Hindu Gods on the likes of Muruga muruga thirumaal maruga neatly printed on a book titled Gaanamanjari, and were never enjoyed as much as the Western music classes were.

No, we didn’t have rock bands playing or Bryan Adams singing, but what we had was priceless – a nice big piano and a dedicated teacher whose name was Meena miss (often confused by parents with another teacher with the same name, but the kids knew who’s who). There were so many songs I still remember: some Christmas carols, some romantic, some just plain funny! The class was invariably split gender-wise (almost was an unsaid rule – we just never interacted until we came of a certain age, if I might put it that way), and the girls usually almost always were annoyed with the boys singing Oh my darling, oh my darling, oh my darling, Clementine (varying the extended e at the end of Clementine making it sound more like a donkey’s bray). Another favourite was the Twelve days of Christmas, counting down to a partridge on a pear tree.

Hole in my bucket

And the hole in my bucket in the title is with reference to this infinite-loop song, which usually involved the whole class being split into two – the boys playing Henry in chorus, and the girls becoming Liza. I still remember one instance when we sang it twice in series, almost like film buffs screaming “once more, once more” on seeing their favourite numbers. And here’s the lyrics for those of you who have been in that room and sung that song:

There’s a hole in my bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza,
There’s a hole in my bucket, dear Liza, a hole.
Then fix it, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
Then fix it, dear Henry, dear Henry, fix it.
With what shall I fix it, dear Liza, dear Liza?
With what shall I fix it, dear Liza, with what?
With some straw, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
With some straw, dear Henry, dear Henry, some straw.
The straw is too long, dear Liza, dear Liza,
The straw is too long, dear Liza, too long,
Then cut it, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
Then cut it, dear Henry, dear Henry, cut it.
With what shall I cut it, dear Liza, dear Liza?
With what shall I cut it, dear Liza, with what?
With an axe, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
With an axe, dear Henry, dear Henry, an axe.
The axe is too dull, dear Liza, dear Liza,
The axe is too dull, dear Liza, too dull.
Then whet it, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
Then whet it, dear Henry, dear Henry, whet it.
With what shall I whet it, dear Liza, dear Liza?
With what shall I whet it, dear Liza, with what?
With a stone, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
With a stone, dear Henry, dear Henry, a stone.
The stone is too dry, dear Liza, dear Liza,
The stone is too dry, dear Liza, too dry.
Then moisten it, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
Then moisten it, dear Henry, dear Henry, moisten it.
With what shall I moisten, dear Liza, dear Liza?
With what shall I moisten, dear Liza, with what?
Try water, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
Try water, dear Henry, dear Henry, try water.
From where shall I get it, dear Liza, dear Liza?
From where shall I get it, dear Liza, from where?
From the well, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
From the well, dear Henry, dear Henry, the well.
In what shall I fetch it, dear Liza, dear Liza?
In what shall I fetch it, dear Liza, in what?
In a bucket dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
In a bucket dear Henry, dear Henry, in a bucket.
There’s a hole in my bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza,
There’s a hole in my bucket, dear Liza, a hole.

*Book picture courtesy Boyds Mills Press.

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Inspired from Manasi’s (her’s from here).

Simple logic: title says it all!

Theme: things related to Singaara Chennai.

Reliance opens new iStore. So sterile!

Naidu hall: the family store. Really?

Sterling joins College: Haddows is born.

Rajini film release. 1st week house-full.

Sathyam cinemas: expensive, but worth it!

“Mylapore to Airport auto.” “Rs. 500.” Walk.

Chennai metro underway. 100ft road halved.

Kapali temple Therottam festival. Colourful joy!

House without mummy. Full bottle thanni.

Swine flu in Pune. Chennai-ites masked!

ARR concert. Off city. Still rocks!

FB chat with Nick. Better theme:

What else, but full-time college bitching?

Four years in Hellore. Leeds. Yay! (dedicated to Nick)

Four gone. Two more again? WTF?! (my sad plight)

New ProCs. New reforms. Still sucks.

Convocation day. Party hangover pending. Whaaaa?!

Mid-night walks, random spots, missing dots. (?!)

Open ticket. Two hour travel. Home! 😀

New IRCTC eat-out in Katpadi. Yum!

Feel free to add more lines.

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Reservoir dogs, anyone?

No not the movie, I’m referring to the stage-play half-movie-half-play half-home-video-half-talk-show by ASAP playing in Chennai this weekend. It was a rather interesting attempt to bring a video footage on screen – nice try guys, but it didn’t work. I’m not a great critic and all – but hey this is my thoughts on your screen – just take what you want. So here’s my comprehensive review on what I feel made the performance, err, just about average.

The stage. You guys got the museum theatre in Chennai to run your show. The place is beautiful: air conditioned, with wonderful acoustics and a nice big stage. Use the darned stage, even if you didn’t have a prop to put up. The lighting was hardly on the players – I really don’t know why Mr. Blonde was forever in the dark leaving the audience to keep guessing which part of the theatre he was in.

The video. Oh come on! We came in to watch a stage-play: some live action. Yes, there was some gun firing, blood oozing, and head slapping (well executed in fact). But when the flyers said that it was an 80:20::stage:cinema thing, I thought you guys had action packed sequences filled with stunts. However, all I saw was casual home/office/roadway conversations that could have been performed on-stage.

The opening video. I couldn’t make out if it was a promo or some opening advertisement or something. Four guys at a hotel discussing tipping waitresses – I personally found it totally irrelevant. If it had more to it, I’m sorry it was just beyond my level. The font used for titling was awful, and the camera kept shaking. Ever heard of what a tripod is?!

Sound editing & language. This is supposed to fall within the video heading, but it was big enough to be discussed separately. What was your idea behind muting all unparliamentary language?

  1. It didn’t censor whatever you attempted to censor. The muting was like how they used to do it in WWF (yes, while it was still WWF), “why can’t you part with your f*cking <beep> money?”
  2. If you were planning on censoring the language, why use it in the first place?! But this is more of a general theatre-group directed question: do you have to be so harsh while you’re up on stage/recording-a-video? Every f*cking word is preceded and followed by a f*cked up swear. I see you want to exercise your freedom of stage-speech, but it’s just stupid to swear every two words. Am I not right, a*hole?
  3. Lousy sound editing on your videos – too much background usually, making what the artists spoke incomprehensible, or too jarring. If possible, run a separate re-recording session. Even better – do away with playing a video.

The characters. Mr. Red, Mr. Blue, Mr. Brown . . . totally out of sync with Ram and all the other Indianized names you had up there. Either pick pachai, manjal, etc. or something on those lines. Everyone was speaking peter English though (esp. Michael Muthu – loved his accent) – so I suppose bringing in Indian names didn’t really help.

The genre. Humour? Not really – one of the guys was being funny at times (the one with the ponytail, talking on being professionals). Tying the cop to the chair was funny – don’t know if it were intended though. Action? Perhaps – there was some kicking around on stage, there was some gun firing (very well executed), some blood oozing (equally wonderfully timed), fighting once in a while. Slapping that cop on the head was nicely done. But that video on the cop-fight was pretty poor, and the play never lived up to the action-drama it claimed to be. And those two cops discussing their drug-snatching while Mr. ?! went to pee was fabulous – loved the language! Overall, I feel that had you guys included romance in part (that psycho guy jumping on the cop was pretty BDSM-gay kinds), it would’ve been a perfect Bollywood masala flick!

The media-people. You had NDTV covering your performance?! And unfortunately, the camera guy they brought along didn’t know he wasn’t to be flashing light at the audience. I don’t really know if you are to blame for it, and it’s cool if I got to be on TV (yes I was the idiot waving at him – I thought I was asking him to turn it off, don’t know how he interpreted that as though). The computers you used to play your videos from should have been shut except when required or at least covered from the rest of the lot inside the theatre. It was very distracting and yes, annoying.

I did like several parts of your play though, especially your concluding remark: “if you liked the play, tell your friends; if you didn’t, tell your enemies.” Either way you make your business. 😛 Ashes felt your play lived up to how it were in the movie, but I haven’t seen QT’s Reservoir dogs yet. And assuming you guys put in a whole deal of effort to put this up, I’d like to say that you still have a long way to go. Good luck!

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Mom: How was your trip to Bangalore?

I: Good, apparently they had bungee jumping put up in Bangalore last weekend, Madhu told me. But it seems it’s pretty expensive.

M: What’s bungee jumping?

I: It’s an extreme sport. Very exciting, I’d like to try it one day.

M: So what do they do?

I: They tie your legs to a rope, and push you off a high-raised bridge and you go flying down. In India, they just get a crane and hang you from that.

M: And you’ve to pay them to push you off a high-raised bridge?

I: Well, .. yes.

M: Now which person in their sane mind would do that?! And don’t you think about attempting that.

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It’s interesting the way the births/deaths register of the Chennai City Corporation works – they issue a birth certificate for the newborn without the name printed on it! This is for the benifits of those parents who’re yet to decide the name when the kid’s born.

But this obviously isn’t the reason for this post (duh!). The Chennai City Corporations’s website has loads of information. For all those of you who were born in Chennai (after 1960 I think), you can download and print your birth certificate for their website. It’s absolutely free of cost! And this printed thing is authentic – you don’t have to rush to the corporation office and fill some stupid form if you need to get another copy.

Believe in India Shining?! Chennai definitely is! 😀 And it seems my blog is taking a rather meaningful turn – providing information worth looking into. Don’t be too glad – I’ll be out with useless posts in no time. 😀 Cheers!

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