Tag Archives: Tamil Nadu

5 Reasons Why Chennai Express is Houseful Despite Pathetic Film-making Compartments

chennai express shwetha

Google Chennai Express and you will find pathetic review headlines like the one pasted above for the film. If Box Office is to be believed all these reviews have gone for a toss. The film is set to breach 200 crores and is almost certain to beat 3 idiots for the record. Just goes on to show all that hype we create around only good movies irrespective of the stars working is just hype, nothing else. Anyways, here are five reasons we thought Chennai Express is houseful despite a pathetic storyline and script.

1.     Shahrukh Khan and Deepika Padukone: You might bomb me here saying the last two films of SRK has bombed big time so I am wrong in putting this as my first point. Wait, let me bring forth my thought. I mean how many times have you seen Shahrukh Khan doing a comedy with someone like Deepika Padukone and failing. Does anyone think that Om Shanti Om had a plot. The film though still was massively successful, wasn’t it. Same reason.

2.     An audience that is masses: So you thought someone reads the reviews and then watches films. You are right but you are absolutely wrong with the numbers of such folks. They can be counted on your fingers and on most occassions even they do not agree to reviews unless they see themselves. Plus movies like this do a world of good outside metros, especially in Hindi speaking states and this one of course even in Tamil Nadu. Go and see the kind of whistles Lungi song would have got in the hinterlands of UP as well as in Chennai.

3.    The entertainment quotient: For the majority of the audiences, filmmaking doesn’t matter the most as long as it entertains them for the time being. Chennai Express may not have the great content in terms of a script but it does have those elements to entertain and that not many can debate. One of our authors who to us is the most prudent film person also liked the fact that you could keep brain outside and watch this flick. Frankly, in a daily life that is too bugged with serious issues the maximum that is needed is a good time-pass two and a half hours. He says Chennai Express comes well on that point.

4.     Marketing: How can we forget marketing in today’s filmmaking business. Especially in an SRK film who personally if you take my opinion knows the best ways to use pr and media coverage in his advantage. The way he toured promoting the flick even at time when he was unless spoke volumes about the kind of extent the filmmakers where going to create an impact. The film had to do well after this, the only surprise was the doing as good as it has done till now.

5.     Let’s not forget the fans: These one brought together a huge chunk of fans considering at stake where three big stars, SRK, DP and not to forget the blockbuster as I call him, Rohit Shetty. The fan power spoke of itself when no one spoke of them and showed the reviewers their real value. SRK’s fans again re-instated him at the top and he would be definitely cherishing this after a couple of duds in the last couple of years.

Let’s cast no doubt over the fact that Rohit Shetty’s films are meant for fun and nothing else. It was upto the audiences to make up their mind and watch the film which they did in huge numbers. We have the option to keep our intellectual eyeglasses on or simply go as someone with whistling skills; good and bad films come later.

From Iran to India- Chronicles of the Biryani


Grand feasts define weddings across boundaries. Muslim weddings are no exception. Known for their culinary delicacies, the biryani is an integral part of Muslim wedding feasts. The following article traces the history of the royal dish along the Indian subcontinent.


Culinary delights of India leaves its own inscription on history. Annexed by numerous intruders across borders and boundaries, Indian cuisine has over the centuries become somewhat a melting pot. The culture of feast in India was largely introduced by Muslim invaders like the Arabs, Persians and Afghans. Developed during the 15th to the 18th century, Mughlai cuisine continues to enthrall gourmets as well as laymen across the Indian subcontinent.

One such dish that continues to fascinate millions across the subcontinent is the grand old Biryani. Once accepted in India in its full form, the biryani endured numerous deviations depending upon the region such as Hyderabadi Biryani Awadhi Biryani, Kolkata Biryani and so on.

The Origins of Biryani

The word biryani is derived from the Persian word Birian meaning ‘fried before cooking’. This exotic dish is believed to have been invented in the kitchens of the Muslim invaders. Today, the dish is largely consumed by the populace inhabiting the Indian subcontinent and it is an essential part of Muslim wedding in not only in India but also in other parts of the world.

However, the origin of Biryani in India can be traced to several anecdotes surrounding the same. Let us take a quick look at the same.

Though biryani is essentially associated with the Mughals, some evidences trace its origins to present day Tamil Nadu. Evidences show that a rice dish named ‘On Sooro’ was widely used to feed the military people in south India. The dish was made out of rice cooked in clarified butter. Other ingredients used were meat, coriander, pepper, bay leaf and turmeric. This is very close to what we know as biryani today.

Another interesting story surrounding the origins of the biryani revolves in the court of Emperor Shah Jahan. It is said that one fine day, his queen Mumtaz Mahal made a surprise visit to the barracks where the entire military force was stationed. She was shocked to find that most of the soldiers were malnourished. She immediately ordered for a dish to be prepared by the chef that included rice, meat and other ingredients. The objective was to provide the soldiers with proper nourishment.

evt091210114900194One legend claims that, Timur the Lame, founder of the Timurid Dynasty and also the great-great grandfather of Babur (founder of the Mughal Dynasty in India) brought this exotic this to India from Kazakhstan via Afghanistan to north India.

It does not end here. One more anecdote traces the existence of the dish among the Nomads. The Nomads would bury an earthen pot filled with rice, meat, and spices in a pit. When dug out, the sumptuous biryani was ready.

Types of Biryani

With the passage of time and due to geographical and local influences, the original biryani underwent several changes. This gave rise to the various types of biryanis existing in the Indian subcontinent and south-east Asia as we know today. Let us take a sneak peek into the same.

biryani_1Lucknowi/Awadhi Biryani: Biryani and Lucknow almost share a symbiotic relationship with each other. Also known as Pakka Biryani, in this dish, the meat and the rice are prepared separately and then put together and cooked in slow flame for a long time (Dum Phukt style).

Sindhi Biryani: Originating in present day Pakistan, the Sindhi biryani is cooked with meat and some vegetables like tomatoes. This variety is predominant in Pakistan and in parts of North West India.

mughlai-treat-1Calcutta Biryani:  Boiled potatoes are unique only to the Kolkata biryani. It is said that the biryani was brought to Calcutta by Nawab Wajid Ali Shah in the mid- 1850s. Deported by the British to Calcutta, however, the Nawab remembered to take along with him the royal chef. However, since meat became expensive it was increasingly becoming difficult to afford the same. It was then that potatoes replaced meat. Almost more than two centuries now, the tradition still continues.

Hyderabadi Biryani: Relished all across the country, Hyderabadi Biryani was popularized directly from the Nizam’s Kitchen which is known to prepare 49 varieties of Biryani.

Apart from these, several other forms of biryani exist viz. Ambur Biryani, Memoni Biryani, Bhatkali Biryani, Malabar Biryani, Dindigul Biryani and many more. Whether served at wedding or relished just like that, the exotic dish of biryani will always remain a favourite.


You Can’t Exist. It Offends ‘Us’

By Ankit Chandra


In the news today, among other more immediately critical things, is this news about a paintings exhibition in Bangalore (http://www.ndtv.com/article/cities/in-bangalore-moral-policing-means-three-paintings-face-the-wall-326900?pfrom=home-otherstories).

What’s the big deal about a paintings exhibition? Isn’t it just about some people only putting their expressions on to some canvas? who has time for that right? To be quite honest, I think it would be a big deal when a painting exhibition was actually not a big deal. Sadly, we are not there yet.

So what happened was that in this paintings exhibition, there were some paintings showing a few Hindu Goddesses in the nude. A local BJP ‘leader’ walks in and sees these paintings and flips out. He ensures that those paintings be put inside out, so that no one can see them. He said “I have reported to chief coordinator of Chitrakala Parishat saying you people should not show like this, Hindu gods and all. We have our own belief, we have our own culture…”

When I read this, I had a mixture of feelings inside me. Besides the obvious questions like ‘who the hell is he to be the representative of Hinduism’ (I am sure Lord Ram didn’t send him an appointment letter, because I think God likes me more than this BJP leader), I was more anxious because I see a special type of slow rape and murder happening here. That of freedom. Not only of speech, but to exist freely. Given that this rape of freedom a slow process, I am sure the government wouldn’t care to fix this, as this doesn’t affect the elections in 2014, or the local Karanataka elections, whenever they are held.

This is an urgent problem. Not only in Karnataka, but in Tamil Nadu with Viswaroopam, or with the late M.F. Hussain, or with the painters in Ahmedabad whose exhibition was vandalized, or with Deepa Mehta for making Water. The list goes on. And this list scratches our faces with its iron finger nails telling us that you must live in servitude of those who can walk over you whenever they feel like.

Anyway, back to the news. The father of the painter issued a statement: “There is absolutely nothing objectionable in his paintings. If that is so, then all temples should be destroyed.” After reading this statement, I had another mixture of feelings ride inside me. One of which was that of desperation. You see, in the older times people seemed to have more freedom of expression. They ‘could’ sculpt Hindu Goddesses in the nude. And those sculptures were integrated into temples. In 2013, we have regressed to a time even before them. Maybe stone ages where the whims of a petty local politician were taken to be a decree more critical than the dreams of Rabindranath Tagore.

Of course we could not have one more than one Nobel in literature. For that, we’d need to coexist in this century first…


Rebut To The Author Who Wrote “Rebut To Chennai Super Kings Fans vs 1.230 Billion Indians”



By Shwetha Kalyanasundaram

Pretty lousy in your rebuttal Mr. Author! For starters, if the article written by Anuj was “unnecessary”, you needn’t have published it in the first place. You ought to be careful of your words when you write dude! Being a critic is alright, but you’ve gone the extra mile, hurting the sentiments of many with your HATRED!

So, here goes my rebuttal of certain points you’ve made.

1. Dude, all the teams playing in the IPL have the same amount to spend on their players. It’s no different for CSK/MI and for the rest of the teams. Ain’t our fault if RR and Punjab spend their money on unknown players. N all the franchise players pockets runs “deep” (quoting you)!

2. As far as exploitation by the auto drivers, what has that to do with cricket dude?!? Makes no sense. N FYI, exploitation by auto drivers happens in other states as well…not jus limited to Tamil Nadu! I ve faced the heat in Bangalore despite being a “South Indian”! And up north, the first question the auto/cab drivers ask is “Madamji, aapp “Madrasi” eh?” Ain’t that exploitation??? Dude, you oughta realise that it happens across the length and breadth of the nation. not jus in CHENNAI!

Guess this link would tell you how gracious we the Chennai crowd are to any team – regional/international whenever a match is played in MAC


3. Music is the passion of every Chennaite! You’ve jus touched a raw nerve there. True, Halla Bol & Korbo are catchy – pockets of the two Bollywood stars there run “deep”! The two teams spent more money on advertising than on their players…ha ha ha! We were sensible enough to create a simple, yet effective anthem for our team. No stars – focus remains on the true flavors of Chennai

“Kolaveri Di” alone doesn’t explain the music of Chennai. We are a state which dives deep down to the fundamentals of music, providing the nation and the world with some of the best Carnatic musicians! Come December, we host the entire nation and people across the world to some delightful music and dance, n mind you, it’s not jus Carnatic but also Hindustani vocalists from across the country. Music runs deep in all of us. Looks like you turn a deaf ear…I ll send you season tickets for December tis year and then I dare you to talk about our music!

4. As far as your wonderful embrace to us, thanks (but no thanks!) It’s people like you who create a divide n rule policy and it sucks dude! Quoting you again “Change YOUR thinking, embrace US, and believe me the feeling will be mutual”

5. As much as you put up a disclaimer that you don’t mean to hurt us, IT HAS!

For someone who jus said that you were angered by only the fanaticism, this article throws light on how much of hatred you have to a state which is a part of the nation we all belong to. It’s people like you who create the divide. Tis article was totally uncalled for and shows you in poor light! Disgraceful Mr. Author!

CSK rocks






This time Malathy Madathilezham writes a poem which rings an existential bell! Of course, the time we are living in is nothing less than absurd!


The Path in this yuga
seems to be Deception and manipulation
Conceit, hypocrisy and lies rule
Success is bought not deserved
The true path seems to be a farce
And Mockery and exploitation by the
Even the ‘Gods’ of the modern era,

Can change the self destructive march of man
Against nature, man and Life
Between good and evil, right and wrong
Distinction exists but nought

Confused and blinded by superiority
Man continues to cut the branch which supports
His very being…
The past is twisted, the present distorted
What is in store in the future is
Unpredictable and Undependable
But Man continues on undeterred
Pushed forward by definite Destiny-

Entertainment As A Travesty For Education

Entertainment Cover Image

By, Aditya Nagarajan

A charade of germane imbroglios that continue to persist in our society, by a larger malaise, is the juxtaposition of ‘knowledge and awareness’ by way of entertainment. As self-styled as it might seem, with the recent controversy stalling the Sri Lankan players and the IPL, one might seem to fathom the very existence of the war crimes in Sri Lanka.


One might hitherto go without saying that the awareness of war crimes, diplomatic treaties, plight of the Sri Lankans should be dealt by the education system, dialogue with the society at large and the media, although a simple pretence of the IPL had the common man, discussing these war crimes by Sri Lanka, which should have been done by society and the education system taking the lead.


Taking the case of the controversial movie ‘Dam 999’ which the Tamil Nadu government banned because it felt, would disrupt the cordial relations between Tamil Nadu and Kerala and the very recent ‘Sanjay Dutt’ case. The former controversy educated the public about the Mullaperiyar Dam and the latter indirectly educated a larger sector of the audience about the Mumbai blasts of 1993.

sanjay dutt in khalnayak

These elements of history are known to us, our education system and roles within the society have made us aware of these points in history. But what makes one take an unsullied interest in these issues, is that they have been made controversial by entertainment. In India, a segment avails its daily dose of rigor from entertainment, also gets its daily dose of general awareness from entertainment.

The role, which earlier was reflected by our education system and our interaction with the society, has in this digital age upped its ante by giving credo to entertainment. A bright side of my argument sets in, a society which largely feeds on entertainment does get the required amount of awareness from entertainment itself. It is in these areas, entertainment has played a much larger part in dispelling thought-provoking-awe-inspiring discussions which other forms of knowledge should have gained traction over.