Eventful Weekend and in defence of chickflicks..

Surprisingly, I did a lot of things this weekend against my best instincts to lay bck and rest. Went to Higginbothams and bought a few books ('Purananuru - Oru arimugam' by Sujatha). Shopped around in Spencers (vcd's/shirts/snacks for home etc). With my wife not in town, I was taking solace in shopping around wildly. Almost like the chocalate-munching post-depression dumbos. Actually, I abolutely had no idea what I wanted to do. Horrible. Anyway, you shop in the glittering shops in Spencers and come out, you see a lady with her(?) child begging for money. While the paradox is quite interesting for the thought process, it will not feed that female. Reminds me of a poem by Pasuvaiah (Pesinom/vivathithom/melum pesinom/ ennathan sathithom?). Not exactly the same words. But makes the point. There should be a way to help all these poor people in this city. How?.

One of the things that confounded me all these days after reading the detailed, multiple-perspective histories of Greece/Rome/China in the eons, why there is no such thing for the 'oldest civilization' of all, Tamils?. While we take pride in the fact that our grammer was defined 2000 years back and hence, the language, by extension the people, should at least be another 1000 year older, there is no hard evidence for this and you dont see the amount of literature it warrants in the world space. Why?. We talk of the kumari kandam, people from lemuria, the first Tamil sangam with Lord Shiva, Lord Murugan in it. How much of it can be scientifically proven?. In the preface to 'Purananuru - oru arimugam', Sujatha raises few of these questions himself. One differnce is that he knows some answers or at least people who have researched on this front. One such person is Prof. S. Vaiyapuri pillai. His 'History of Tamil language and literature' is supposed to be very scientific and is very good in placing the various Tamil epics in different time periods. Basically he places all the epics between 200B.C to 200AD. This did not go well with the other Tamil scholars who are very emotional about the fact that Tamil cannot be dated. This is the kind of approach that resulted in us not having a decent history of our culture before the Pallavas and Later Cholas. There needs to be a lot of research to be done in this area and there should be an effort to jot down and write a concise history of our culture and language for the period 500BC to 500AD. This is a daunting task and needs to be done if we are to have any history other than just rheotoric. By the way, I am looking for this book by Vaiyapuri Pillai and anyone knows where I can get this let me know.

And there is a fight going on over a story called 'Pillai Keduthan Vilai' by Su.Raa. The original story can be read here and the reaction by AzhakiyaPeriyavan is here. I couldn't find link to the article by Charu Nivedita on the same in 'Theera Nadhi'(I read it in the published version). But you can try to search and find. Also the responses in Kalachuvadu are in the April and May editions. Personally, I think the story is good and the fight is unwarranted.

Yesterday went to ThiruAlliKeni Parthasarathy temple. Met an interesting blind man in the MTC bus by name Woodrow Wilson. Howz that?. I know there are enough comrades around there to name their kids Stalin and Lenin and such but a Woodrow Wilson is not what I dreamt of. But of course, his father is a history prof in St.Stephans in Delhi and thus the name. Had a interesting chit-chat with him for a while. And the temple was crowded because it was sunday and a lot of tourists were there. After dharsanam, listened to a speech some acharyar about the songs of ThondaradipodiAlwar. It was very interesting. Then returned back home and watched 'Kandukondein Kandukondein'.

I remember a conversation I had with a friend called Prasanna (whatever happened to him, last heard he was in SanJose). He was actually making fun of me for watching the chickflicks with such regularity and on top of it, buying the DVDs and watching them also. I ,for one, believe that chickflicks are actually good for the soul, in that, they bring out the emotions from within and makes you realize that you are a human being, after all. Long time back (7 years, perhaps), I used to have a visitor to my apartment for weekends (I was in Omaha, NE then). He was a 34-35 year old man with wife and kids in India. All he will do is watch the weather channel from morning to evening and very much interested in weather talks. What the ..?. I used to joke with Hari that 5-6 years of married life will make you into a specimen like that. Now, watch chickflicks and you will never be want of lively interests in life.

Now, when Ajith leaves Tabu in the climax or the scene where Aish convinces Mamooty that she really loves him may not go into filmi history as the best pieces of cinematic excellence but the jerk they make inside the heart with the slight tug into the throat that chokes a little emotion out of you is indeed wonderful. Of course, watched 'Sense and Sensibility' immediately after that. Again the climax. Ferrars (Hugh Grant) tells Elinor (Emma Thompson) that it is his brother who is married and so he is free to love anyone, there is a moment of surprise in Emma's eyes then comes the breakdown, tears, sobs and full-fledged crying. Isn't it heart-wrenching?. But then, why is Hugh Grant always act like he is half-drunk and is sleep-walking into the frames?.

I am reading a lot about the conversion of Nadar/Saanar community in the south Tamilnadu into Christianity. But thats for another day...

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