Wednesday, September 16, 2009

...the original Tami flu, a medicine called Laughter



Being a Tamil speaking person is something I take immense pride in. When my non-tamil colleagues play the Vijayakanth/T.Rajendhar/Rajini YouTube videos and make the clich├ęd “How do you guys watch this crap” and laugh like possessed souls, I only tell myself “Buggers, you don’t know what you guys have missed by not being a Tamil”

And I couldn’t be more correct.

I sympathise with other fellow countrymen (non Tamils) on how they never had been exposed to the rich comedy culture that we were born into. Starting from the famous Crazy Mohan-Kamal Hassan combination that’s filled with so much humor that every second missed is 2 jokes vanished into thin air. (Of which one made you ROTFL and the other one made you LOL, not much difference actually). They basically created magic.

We tamilians, have lived a life sweetened with Nagesh, Goundamani, Sendhil, Vadivelu and Vivek, all adding to our laughter quotient and enriching our lives with smiles that would have in another part of the country been busy frowning/(or Slapping oneself) at movies that cry Pyar, Dil, Ishq and Mohabbat and never seemed to stop. These pyar movies manipulate you trust me.

Anyways a small tribute to all those who made us laugh

Nagesh was a self made Chaplin, a man "with a smile-perhaps a tear." His “Server Sundaram” and “Ethir Neechal” were poignant and when I saw them as a kid, they did leave a lasting impression in me, and still does. Genius. May his soul rest in peace.

Goundamani and Sendhil were our Tom and Jerry, while your heart went to Sendhil, the cute little sidekick. Your mind goes all applause for the Goundamani. Nobody can be as perennially pissed as Goundamani. The way he kicked Sendhil, hurled innovative abuses and managed to dominate the screen for so many years so effortlessly is amaaazing! (hey there is website www.goundamani.com)

And then came the Vivek zone, Wit, Pure Wit. Vivek was Stand Up Comedy stuff. the insight humor, that made you think and laugh. ‘Run’, ‘Minnale’, ‘Saami’ is the kind of peformance which will remain etched in our shorter memories for encores. His best is yet to come though.

And then my favorite Vadivelu, the master slapstick comedian. He has invented a new genre of comedy which needs more coverage, I wish like how A R Rahman got famous, some random Andrew Lloyd Webber notices Vadivelu and eventually gives him a well deserved Oscar. And am not even exaggerating. Watch “Winner” with a straight face and I’ll give up writing this blog. Thalla Vadivelu will just “swwwwwwwwinnnnng in the raaaain” and glue you to his comedy clip a 100th time.

It’s worries me when I think who will succeed Vivek and Vadivelu, The emerging comedians Santhanam and Karunas are ok and really are not made of the same material as the above mentioned legends.

And rightfully, Tamil Nadu is the first market in the entire country to have two 24 hour channels dedicated to comedy. That they have are among the top channels, is a proof enough on their significance (Source:TAM).

On close observation of these channels, I found that kids were the biggest consumers of these 2 comedy channels. They watch it all the time. It’s a very satisfying insight. The future is watching Comedy. The future is going to be fun guys, we’ll have funny kids while other kids go to school and busy build six pacs like their hero.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The four lives...

“There are four lives you lead” my father articulated in his usual gentle tone, we were in middle of a regular Saturday evening telephonic conversation which mapped from his new diabetes record surpassing the earlier 350 mark, my lunch menu to my love life, and to what his students told him in the class and so forth.. The aimless discussion drifted to an unexpected focus as the old man continued “and you must ensure you do justice to these four lives”

“Four Lives?” I was curious for he sounded like Rajnikanth in an intro song

“The social, the official, the family and the personal life” he said,

And then he explained on how all of us tend to skew more towards one and ignore the other three, “There are people who are always family and work, and leave out on friends.. and then there are others”.. I wondered what he was hinting at...

“And if you ask me the personal life is the most important" he concluded, "The life you live for yourself. The world that is you and not shared by anyone. Its your inner code, richness of your thought and integrity, the books you read, the music you listen to. It is your idea of spirituality and religion It’s what keeps you calm amidst the chaos" ...... "Unless you give yourself a liberal allocation to this inner life, you would never respect yourself”

He had made his point. My father never thrust his opinion on me. Sometimes i wish he did.

But then, I knew what I lacked! :-)