Wednesday, 28 August 2013

SIVA Trilogy - Amish Tripathi

This post is about a historical, adventurous, fictional book Siva's Triology, which tells you what if Siva was a common man like us before he became a God. This book is written by Amish Tripathi, just like Chetan Bhagat, out of IIM. "The Immortals of Meluha" is the first of trilogy followed by "The Secret of the Nagas" and ends with "The Oath of Vayuputras".

I think "The Immortals of Meluha" is the first English book which I completed reading fast. It was indeed gripping and thrilling. It was impossible to stop yourself before finishing the book, just like a Sujatha's book for me.

The first book tells about a Tibet tribal man, with his people Gunas comes to the land of perfection, Meluha. Meluhans enjoy a drink called Somras, which makes them live long and healthy. On drinking the Somras, Siva's throat turns blue. He is the Neelkanth, for whom the people were waiting for many years. And, everyone thinks if Neelkanth arrived, then the biggest evil has arrived and only he can stop that. The people of this land is called Suryavanshis and they believe the Chandravanshis are the evil. Also, they are threatened by some people called Nagas. In the meantime, Siva falls in  love with the Meluha king's daughter Sati and gets married.

At the end of first book, using Siva's strategy Suryavanshi's army beats Chandravanshis. But, Siva just realize just because they live their own way, different from Suryavanshis, doesn't mean they are bad. This book ends with an assassination of Siva's brother like friend Brahaspati, who is also the chief scientist in preparing Somras. The whole place where the Somras prepared is destroyed. Siva believe it's done by Naga's king.

In the second book the biggest secret about the Nagas are relieved. Who are the Nagas and how are they related to Sati and the place where the Nagas live. The Nagas take Siva to their land and one more biggest secret is relieved at the end, but he was expecting to discover the evil. Also, finds that Meluha is not so perfect. These two books where equally good and gripping.

The final book, "The Oath of Vayuputras" finally arrived after waiting for months. For me the third book was not as good as the other two. It was long and drags a bit. Amish also teaches about the science terms like Nuclear Fiction, Nuclear Fusion, and all.

The biggest evil was finally found. The thing which was good for so long turns into evil. The purpose of the Neelkanth is unveiled. Siva travels to the Vayuputra's land to get their help and fight the evil. There were many interesting twists and adventures. But, I wasn't expecting this climax, I thought Siva, Neelkanth, God, will not do that.

This trilogy may be based on some myth, but I am not aware of it. Anyway, Siva's trilogy was really good fictional book on Siva. Definitely recommend to those who are interested in historical fiction.

Amish tells the following in this trilogy, he tells many things these are the few comes in my mind:
1. If you see something as wrong, it may not be wrong actually. If they do things different from you it doesn't mean wrong.
2. What seems to be good for a long time may turn evil.
3. Everyone is a Mahadev, God of God.

Har Har Mahadev.

Monday, 26 August 2013

THE ASHES - The Fall and Fall of Aussies

The first phase of The Ashes 2013 comes to an end with England winning the series and retaining the URN comfortably. Third consecutive Ashes for England and Cook's first in his very first attempt. Right from the Ashes promo "You hit me once," England's official tag #rise, Aussies official tag #returntheurn the buildup to this series was very good. This series had enough controversies on DRS and made everyone including myself to know why BCCI is opposing the DRS.

England had one match winning bowling performance from any one of their bowlers in every match. Anderson in the first, Swann in the second and Broad in the fourth. And, Bell scored a century in all those victories, definitely Bell's Ashes it is.

First Test: The first test was an absolute thriller, it had all the things to it as an excellent test match, with a dream debut by Agar, DRS controversies, the last wicket partnership which almost took the game away from England, perfect start for the much expected series. England finally manages to win the test with the help of excellent knock by Bell in second innings and a fantastic bowling from Anderson, who was the MoM.

Second Test: So we thought Aussies are not going to surrender easily, but in the second test it was all too easy for England and placed their hand firmly on the URN. Bell once again made a century in the first innings and Root played an excellent innings to score 180 in the second innings, also the MoM and it was Swann this time who took the responsibility of the bowling department and finished with nine wickets in the match.

Third Test: Looked like Aussies struggle against spin was not over. The third test was really a turnaround for the Aussies. Captain Clarke finally played a brilliant innings which gave the Aussies the upper hand. I thought Aussies going to win and will make a comeback in the series, but rain helped England to draw the match and retain the URN.

Fourth Test:  I thought Aussies are back, they played excellently in the third test, so I expected them to win at-least one game from here. They played brilliantly in this test, Harris was outstanding with his bowling. And, chasing 299 to win they had a 100 run opening partnership for the first time in the series, they were on the road to victory. Still I had a fear this Aussies will collapse at any moment like our team India and it was what happened exactly. This time Broad took a six-for, MoM and England won the game comfortably and also the series as well.

Fifth Test: Just a formality for England and pride at stake for the Aussies. Aussies dominated the test, thanks to Watson, finally gets some form and slammed a century. He had the worst Ashes, was batting in all the positions. But with rain washing out most of the days and England playing very slowly I thought this test is heading towards a draw. But, what a final day it was, should appreciate Clarke for his sportive declaration to make a match out of this dead rubber. And, then comes KP who almost took the game away form Aussies. Aussies where at the sight of a 4-0 loss, started bowling negative lines, wides, taking more time to set the field, false run up by the bowler, Clarke's argument with the umpires,  21 to win from four overs, with all the drama it was an anti-climax when bad light stopped play. Aussies were happy to run off the field. England doesn't have any reason to complain since it was only because of Clarke's declaration in both the innings they made a match out of this and would be happy to win the series 3-0. Aussies showed their true colors during the final day. Almost 4-0 for England, anyway a perfect final day for the Ashes.

Most of us support the team playing against Aussies even if it's Pakistan. I think for the first time I was supporting Aussies and they did what I was expecting them to do in the past years when I hated them the most.

If Aussies have managed to win that close first test, if rain stayed away during the third test, the result of the series could have been different. I don't know whether this is the best England side or this the worst Australian side. I hope the #returntheurn will work for Aussies when the Ashes returns to Australia for the second phase.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Thalaivaa - "TIME TO REVIEW"

"Time to Release" - Finally, after all the wait, Thalaivaa released in TamilNadu. So this may be a late review for the movie. Watched in Dolby Atmos, but couldn't find the reason for the delay in release in Tamilnadu.

"Time to Enjoy" - The first half of the movie was really nice and ends with a good twist. The songs, which was not so good while hearing looked good on screen, thanks to VJ's dance and Nirav's cinematography, one of the biggest plus for the movie. Santhanam, as usual, rocked the first half. Especially making fun of VJ, his famous step, Im waiting dialogue was super fun. And, VJ looked good as a dancer and a lover in the first half, completely enjoyed him. GV's BGM is okay. Sathyaraj, as Anna was really solid and done his character to perfection.

"Time to Change" - I think AL Vijay should leave his crush, if so, on Amala Paul behind and start casting some other actress. The second heroine looked much better than Amala Paul. And, Amala Paul as a cop, sema comedy boss.

"Time for Deja-Vu" - The main problem with Thalaivaa is the weak and lengthy second half, with many Deja-vu moments similar to some old movies, even some VJ movies.  AL Vijay has thanked some of the directors at the beginning itself. well played. The villain character is weak. And, VJ turning into "Thalaivaa" could have had more punch. I think first half alone belongs to director Vijay and second half to actor Vijay.

"Time to Rethink" - VJ was going good with Nanban and Thupakki with everyone loving his performances back-to-back, that's why loved the first half of the movie. Now he is back to his usual style of movies. VJ should rethink his political ambitions after all those things happened for the movie's release and do a lot of movies which makes even neutral audience to like him first, then he may think about his political motives.

"Time to Conclude" - I really enjoyed the first half of the movie and second half was not gripping enough and too long. But, won't say it's a bad like his some of his unbearable movies like Kuruvi, Sura and all. It's definitely watchable. But, தலைவனாகுறது எல்லாம் கஷ்டம் bro.

"Time to Rate" - 2.5/5.0.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

ஆதலால் காதல் செய்வீர் - "காதல்" செய்வீர்

Suseendhiran's latest movie with mostly newcomers has hit the screens on this Independence day. As usual watched it on first day. Sussendhiran gave us back to back good movies like Venilla Kabadi Kuzhu, Naan Mahan Alla and Azhagar Saamiyin Kuthirai. He apologized his audience for giving a bad movie, Rajapattai and promised he will give us a better movie in Aadhalal Kadhal Seiveer. As promised, he is back with a good movie.

I was not even expecting this kind of movie going by the title "Aadhalal Kadhal Seiveer". I was expecting Suseendhiran going to tell all the good things that can happen because of love and will end the movie saying "Aadhalal Kadhal Seiveer".  I was not really prepared for the actual end of the movie

The film started as expected, set in college background, two friends falling in love, but I was in for a surprise in the second half and the ending was really touching. The hero, newcomer Santhosh and heroine Manisha, Vazhakku En fame, falls in love and things was going smooth until Manisha gets pregnant. What happens after that and how people around them, especially both their parents react and how everyone changes is the plot of the movie. I was just wondering with my friend while watching, they could have easily avoided getting into this situation and why they didn't do it since they have already planned for this. Suseenthiran just show things as it happens and didn't try to give any message or solution for the issue.

The hero could have done well, he doesn't look good (a producer's son it seems). The heroine Manisha is really good, she can act and looks good. The supporting casts, hero's friend Arjun, after Kadhalil Sothappuvathu Epdi has done well with his one liners which makes you laugh mostly. He finally got a girlfriend in this movie. The heroine's parents acting is biggest plus for the movie, especially her mom (don't know her name) along with her father (Jayaprakash). 

The movie's actual hero is Yuvan Shankar Raja. Right from the beginning to till the end he holds the movie together with beautiful songs and excellent BGM. Movie starts with the "Mella Sirithal" song sung by Yuvan and ends with another emotional song sung by himself again, which is really the highlight of the movie. The movie's length is less than two hours and should appreciate the director for that.

Suseenthiran is back with a really good movie which doesn't praise about Love, doesn't give you reason to Love, but the reality of the things happening in the name of Love. Maybe he is trying to say: "Aadhalal Kadhal Seiveer" not something else in the name of Love, that's how I relate the title to this movie.

My Rating - 3.5/5.0.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Happy 67th Independence Day

As we get ready to celebrate our 67th Independence day, I like to share few thoughts. So much of worst things happened last year, few good things also happened. I think we are not getting better with each year passes by. Even at present we have so many problems like rupee losing its value to dollars, Pakistan killing our soldiers, dividing Andhra Pradesh, we have too many troubles going on. Lets forget all and celebrate our Independence.

I don't think there is a problem with our country India, the problem is because of few Indians at the top. If we have better Indians at the top we will have better India.

As a citizen of India we can do something on our part to our country by following few simple things, like not littering on roads and try to keep our city clean, obeying traffic rules, saving water and electricity, casting our vote. These are the few things I think we can easily follow. Let us become good citizens to make India a better India. I hope we will be in better state next year.

Be an Indian and proud to be an Indian.

Happy Independence day

Jai Hind..!!

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Chennai Express - Ready, Steady, Poithola

Chennai Express:

Here we go, SRK's new movie Chennai Express, collected 100 crores in opening weekend itself. I have contributed a 120RS in that to get the ticket and got into the train after 20 minutes of its departure. SRK once again in a movie with Tamil connection and yet another time as Rahul

The first half of the movie is fun, ready and steady. The second half was poi thola, the train moved too slow. I thought Sathyaraj going to play a villain like "Dei SRK, en characteraye purinjikka matengara", but he just comes in and says: "Ennama Kannu" for few times and disappears. He is totally wasted in this movie. He never looked comfortable for me.

SRK, not a big fan of him, is okay as Rahul. He made me laugh intentionally and unintentionally many times. He understood that he can never spell "ழ". Deepika, I liked her very much in this movie not for her costumes, but for the funny language she spoke. My friends and I didn't understand what she spoke since we thought she is speaking Hindi. And, those who were sitting at the back row mostly North Indians also dint understand since they thought she is speaking Tamil. But overall her Tamil was so hilarious and she says: "Don't worry dad, I will teach Tamil to him (SRK)", most funniest part of the movie for me.

The director Rohit Shetty, seems to be Jeyam Raja of Bollywood, who does mostly remake movies I guess. We have seen most of the scenes in our Tamil movies itself, like Muthu, Gillli (or Okkadu). I thought only Sallu acts in this kind of movies in Hindi, SRK proved me wrong. This "முறை பையன்" concept is too old that I haven't seen in our Tamil movies for a long time. And, in the climax  SRK becomes a superhero suddenly. This scene is not changed in 100 years of Indian Cinema I guess, SRK getting all the strength in the world to fight everyone when his lover shouts Raaahulll after getting beaten up heavily, முடியல.

And, that "Lungi Dance" at the end was so bad than the second half of the movie itself. Our Super Star deserves more than this.

My rating for the movie 2.0/5.0. One for the enjoyable first half and Deepika's Tamil, which made me laugh so hard. One more since they made me see a Hindi movie in theater without subtitles because of their promotion.

Monday, 12 August 2013

இரண்டாம் உலகம் - ஹாரிஸ் ஜெயராஜ்

Irandam Ulagam, Non-musical music review:

Irandam Ulagam, Harris's first album in the year 2013 is finally here. He is joining hands with Selvaraghavan for the first time, who's known for giving us good songs in his movies. And, Kaviperarasu Vairamuthu is penning the lyrics. So expectation is already high, it's even got bigger after that stunning trailer.

Album contains six songs plus one theme music. 
First song Kanimozhiye, sung by one of my favorite singer, Karthick, is instantly catchy. A beautiful melody to start the album. Harris at his best. Next song En Kadhal Thee, sung by veteran SPB is his trademark melody with excellent lyrics from Vairamuthu. Next song Mannavane En Mannavane, is like a folk song sung by SakthiSree and Gopal Rao is another good one in the album. These three are my favorites in this album.

The other songs Panangalla sung by Dhanush and Vinnaithandi by Vijay Prakash gives you that "Engeyo Ketta" feeling. Raakhozhi sung by Hariharan and Sriram, is a different attempt from Harris, but not among his best when like other songs by Hariharan in his music.

Overall a very good album from Harris after some "sothappals" last year. He is in good form, thanks to director Selva and especially lyricist Vairamuthu. Hope he continues it in his upcoming albums Endrendrum Punnagai, Yaan, etc.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

கொலையுதிர் காலம் - சுஜாதா

கொலையுதிர் காலம் - சுஜாதா

My first post on a Sujatha's book, Kolai Uthir Kalam. It's one among his famous Ganesh-Vasanth series. Those who have read Sujatha must be familiar about these two, some may have seen them in DD serials.

I am a very big fan of Ganesh - Vasanth series, I almost liked all of the Ganesh-Vasanth stories. I don't know why I have decided to write about this one. This is one of his best in Ganesh - Vasanth series and an absolute thriller. Actually I started reading this book at night and stopped after few pages in fear :).

I would say, Ganesh - Vasanth series is more Indian version of Sherlock Holmes by Sujatha. Ganesh is a famous lawyer and a very brilliant one too who can easily find a solution to any problem and Vasanth his assistant, is a funny guy and makes us laugh with his playboy behaviour.

Sujatha deals about ghost, spirit, etc, in this Kolai Uthir Kalam in his own style. This novel is about a series of murder and also trying to solve the mystery of whether it's all happening because of a spirit. Sujatha keeps us guessing at the end of every chapter.

Actually this book is more of a debate in existence and non-existence of ghost. Vasanth believes in ghost, he thinks all the events are due to some spirit and Ganesh doesn't believe in it, he tries to find a scientific reason for every unusual things happening. While reading when you start to believe in Vasanth's side, Sujatha also gives scientific explanation for the unusual events through Ganesh.

And at the end Sujatha leaves the question open. He tells you about the unusual ghost activities which cannot be done by a normal human and then he also takes an effort in identifying the near possibility of doing such things using some technologies. So its up-to us to decide whether to believe in the scientific explanations or to believe in ghosts.

Actually I was little disappointed with the end since I expected him to give me an judgement. I think even Sujatha got the similar feedback when this novel released I guess since in his another novel a policeman asks Ganesh, "Antha Kolai Uthir Kalam case eh yen apdi mudichuteenga?", where Ganesh just says, leave that sir.  Anyhow it's still a best thriller and a best among Ganesh-Vasanth series.

Monday, 5 August 2013

என் இனிய சுஜாதா

என் இனிய சுஜாதா

I think I should have written this as my first post. Once I have started reading books, I was reading historic novels following Udayar, like Ponniyin Selvan, Parthiban Kanavu of Kalki, Yavana Rani, Kadal Pura of Sandilyan. After reading all these, I decided to move on to other author's.

I started with Sujatha's 'En iniya Iyanthira'. After reading the novels, with the plot happening so many years before in the past, this book was so many years ahead in the future. Not just this one, most of his books and his ideas were way ahead in that time.

Sujatha's books or his stories will never have a dull moment. He doesn't fall into any formula. He has his own style of writing which was very new. You cannot imagine where he is going. He always slaps you with a surprise in every novel or story. If you start reading his book, it's very difficult to keep the book down at any point. I'm not simply saying this as a cliche, I have actually read many of his books in single sitting. After started reading his books, every month I get into the bookshop and get a minimum of ten Sujatha books at a time. It was very difficult for me to read other author's books after reading Sujatha's.

I don't think of any topic that Sujatha haven't touched in his writing. His "Science-fiction" stories and novels were so good that you wish they are true. I strongly believe if some life existed outside this world, they might have surely contacted Sujatha :).

Sujatha usually didn't like the movies which are based on his books. He feels that they actually kill the originality of his characters in the movies. Especially he didn't like the movie adaption of his book "Priya", which has Superstar and Sridevi in the lead roles. The Ganesh in the movie Priya was nowhere near Sujatha's Ganesh. But he worked in many successful movie's story and dialogue departments. He worked with Shankar, Manirathnam, Kamal and Rajni. I am sure Shankar and Manirathnam miss him the most in the film industry. In my opinion, Tamil industry didn't use him well. He worked in few films only.

I regret starting to read his books late, I regret for not meeting (or see) him once. I wish I could read all of his books in my lifetime. I think I will be able to do that.

I have read so many (or few) other author's books, but my favorite author will be always 'என் இனிய சுஜாதா'.