Jun 14, 2019

992. The Dhonnai Biriyani, Okkiyampet, OMR, Chennai.

The place is a little crowded. You have to wait to get a seat. It is better to reach this place by 12 noon - 12:30 PM.

The Biriyani is served in Dhonnai. (Seeraka Samba). It almost has the authentic Dindukkal Venu Biriyani taste. If you like it with Mutton gravy, you can always try it. 

Gravy, rasam, buttermilk and Raitha are unlimited. So you can use the empty dhonnai in a wise manner.

Seer Fish fry is on the costlier side (Rs 300 per piece). This price could be reduced. The mutton kola urundai and mutton chukka are dishes you are not supposed to miss here. If you like a sweet and sour version of prawn gravy, you can also order a plate of prawns along with the biriyani.

Once you are done with the biriyani, you get to finish it off with white rice and rasam. I missed the Wayanad style lemon pickle at the end. Before you tighten your belts, make sure to drink butter milk. Or you can go for the pulp juices on the menu.

Service: Quick

Value for money: Biriyani, Mutton chukka - A resounding yes. The sea food can be priced a little cheaper.

Satisfaction: Guaranteed

If someone opens a fulljar soda counter outside the shop, you can become a millionaire like Suryavamsam Sarathkumar in no time
- Chronicwriter

May 9, 2019

991. The Thirsty Crow

6 years ago, our cousins pattaalam decided to honour our kindergarten teachers. And that is how the thirsty crow song came into existence. As soon as I penned it, we gathered around and decided to record the song. Each one of us decided to be in the best costume.

  • Jyotin David went to the kitchen and emptied the blue onion plastic container and used it as a helmet. He then covered his face with a hand kerchief.
  • Jerush Justin just took a cowboy hat that was purchased from Marina beach ( after heavy bargaining) and used it as a face mask
  • I took my guitar and decided to play
  • Jeremy, my nephew ( son of Preetha and Johnny) decided to wear my helmet. I still do not know how we survived that smell
  • Nesan David took two bowls - One yellow bowl which he used as a thoppi and a plastic ice cream bowl which he used as a ear ring.
  • Jeetu David took a towel that was not washed in years and covered his face with it.
  • Jenin Devadass just pulled his shirt over his face and covered it

And then we started singing the song. The video was shot by Jenin's wife Angela. She was controlling her laughter throughout the song. But still managed to capture the message. So after 6 years, I present to you once more - The Thirsty Crow.

- Chronicwriter

990. The guy who wrote the Uppuma song

5-5-2019 was a special day. When my mom told me that she was gonna make uppuma the next day morning, I wrote the Uppuma song. In fact I asked her to record the song with me. She asked me to sing alone. 

Now in a few days time, that song has become a rage and I have been getting calls from TV channels for interviews. Some friends also called me up on the phone posing themselves as media representatives to troll me. Usharaayitein.

Two days ago I was shopping in a supermarket in Tambaram, Chennai. A young couple stood behind me in the counter. This was their conversation

The guy:  I think this is the uppuma guy ( They were talking in Malayalam)
The girl:  No I don't think so. That guy had a french beard but this guy does not have.

I was literally screaming from within trying to tell them that I was the same guy. Just because I shaved my beard off does not mean that it was not me. Then I got an idea. I did not want to cut into their conversation. In that uppuma video, my left pinky finger would be visible. What stands out is the fact that I wear my ring in the pinky finger and not in the ring finger. So I stretched out my hand and yawned and tried to show my finger to them. They did not seem to notice. So I even used my other hand to play with my ring finger. But still they did not notice.

They finally concluded that I was a look alike and not the uppuma guy. I bought the stuff from the supermarket and walked away with a heavy heart. 

From now onward I will only walk around with a french beard, coolers and a hooded shirt


May 8, 2019

989. The Uppuma song

I really don't hate uppuma for breakfast. But I have become numb to it because I was literally forced to eat a dry patty cake papad version of it during my college hostel days. In a survey conducted by the UNEASCO (numerologically altered), it was found that more than 99% of the Indian population dread the very thought of having Uppuma for breakfast.

Recently I wrote this song on Uppuma and it has become a rage where people are sending this very song to me saying "Hey Chriz! This guy looks like you". When I tell them that it is me, they are not willing to believe me. I will write about an interesting conversation surrounding this song in my next post. Mean while if you have not listened to this song, here you go

- Chronicwriter

Mar 20, 2019

988. Strict parents become lenient grandparents

Parents have different yardsticks for their children and grandchildren. This is what I do not like in parents. Suddenly they change the rule of the game.

When a referee who is  known for issuing red cards at will, suddenly starts distributing boxes of laddoos to players when ever they committed a foul, wouldn't you be confused? Won't you feel that something is wrong with the referee?

I go through the same feeling when I see my parents deal with my daughter. I can go on quoting many examples for the same.

1) Giving chocolates and snacks

Once in three months, my dad would buy a bar of dairy-milk. A strip of dairy-milk chocolate bar will have 8 small square chocolate pieces in it. My sister and I would get one piece each from this bar on Friday night after dinner. The remaining 6 pieces would be neatly wrapped in the golden foil and the bar will be kept inside the fridge. We would eat like this for 4 weeks. And after that we have to wait for three months.

But now, Anya eats bars and bars of chocolates and I don't even have to mention who the main culprits are. You know them.

2) Choice of breakfast

What ever was there on my plate, I was supposed to eat. I hated idlis and chutney. But if my mom told me that I need to finish all 4 idlis, I had no other choice. I used to throw them out of the window when she was not watching me. But one day she found that too and made me eat the sand laden idli.

Now Anya gets a choice for her breakfast. If she feels that the chutney is spicy, she gets to eat idlis with sugar or honey or even jam. If she does not feel like eating all three, she gets her corn flakes bowl. She is lucky indeed.

3) Play time

I used to come back from school at 4 pm. And I could play outside between 5 and 6 pm. If I come even a minute after 6 pm, I would have to kneel down for half an hour. My daughter gets to cycle around even at 10 pm. She gets to throw the ball and play at 9 pm

Wish I could become a child again and tell my parents to treat me the way they treat my daughter Anya. For that to happen, I should go to Kalyan Jewellers where an amma becomes a child and a child becomes an amma.

Jokes apart, grand parents are usually never strict with grandchildren because it is the job of the parents to raise their children right. This gives lot of room for grand parents to spoil grandchildren.


Feb 17, 2019

987. Rajinikanth's Political entry

Rajini's political stunts has made him look like a joker these days. Every big actor who tried to enter politics have always been seen as jokers. Jayalalitha and MGR have been the exceptional cases in this matter.

Sivaji Ganesan who stands tall as one of the finest actors Tamil cinema has produced, was a total failure when he attempted to make his entry into politics. Other people who have flopped big time with their political avatar are Karunas, Ramarajan, Vijayakanth. All these three have won their seats in elections; but all three have been at the receiving end of becoming central figures in memes.

Rajini's political entry reminds me of his car Lakshmi that would not start when he makes a wrong decision in the movie Padikathavan. Apparently that car is having starting problems even now. Hope he learns his lesson and concentrates only on movies,

One man who has done the exact opposite is Nanjil Sampath. This man who is known for his Tamil skills was almost treated as a comedian and has been at the receiving end of many memes in the past. His famous dialogue "Amma varuvaanganu kaathutu irukurom" was the best dialogue of that year and it shattered all meme records. He has now plunged from the political field into the movie industry. He will definitely make it big in the movie industry.

As I touched a little bit of Sivaji in this post, I am just wondering how would it be, if Sivaji had lived today as an actor. He would definitely have been at the receiving end and would have been the poster boy for meme-creators. His over acting would surely have been the talk of the town. 

Check this video here where two of his over acting skills are evident

Scene 1: His over acting after knowing that his wife had died
Scene 2: His bravery of killing his son after being shot in his heart

I was supposed to write about Rajini and his involvement in Politics. But I ended up writing about Sivaji Ganesan. This is what would happen if Rajini enters politics


Feb 6, 2019

986. Sitting next to a girl in the class room

It was tough being in love in school days, especially when the girl you love is extremely beautiful. Renu was a drop dead gorgeous girl. I fell in love with her during my Kindergarten days. All the guys were crazy about her. Shabir was my nemesis.

Those who know about my Renu story would know all this. What I am about to write here is a secret that only Renu and I share. I am letting this secret after almost 30 years.

I still remember the incident as though it just happened yesterday. It was September 1990. I was preparing for my 4th standard quarterly exams. I was deeply in love with Renu and she was as usualy confused between saying yes to me and Shabir.

Three students will be sitting in one bench in the class rooms. It would always be three boys in one bench or three girls in one bench. In some benches 2 boys and 1 girl or 2 girls and 1 boy will be seated; but care would be taken to make sure that the lone girl or boy is not in the middle.

We had a notorious craft teacher called Miss Sophie who loved to punish the students by beating them with a wooden ruler. I have already written about her here [link] In addition to being a witch (which she really was), she would also make us run errands for her.

Shabir got into her good books  by helping her with grocery shopping. Miss Sophie had a notorious way of punishing us with a wooden ruler. When a group of parents complained to the school management about her rowdyism, she decided to change her punishment tactics.

Her new way of giving punishment was to make the wrong doer sit between students of the opposite gender. She thought by making a boy sit between two girls, the boy would be ashamed of his mistake and stop committing mistakes. She was wrong because I loved this punishment. I started committing crimes and often ended sitting between Renu and Minu.

I would sit next to Renu and admire her in class. Renu would be looking at the black board listening to the teacher. I would be looking at Renu with some jollu running down my face. Shabir soon understood that I was being naughty on purpose only to sit next to Renu. So, he too copied this trick of mine and started sitting between girls.

Miss Sophie did not have brains to match up with her brawny nature and hence did not know that Shabir and I were competing in an Olympic of sorts, just to sit next to Renu. But Renu figured it out and complained to Miss Sophie. I still do not know why Renu behaved that way. She would talk well with me, but still complained to the teacher. It was difficult to analyse what goes in a girl's mind.

So Miss Sophie changed her punishment style. The next time I was naughty in class, she made me to go and stand outside the class. Now this was actual fun for me because I was able to watch the other kids play in the playground. But that also meant that Shabir was able to spend more time inside the class and foster his relationship with Renu.

Only when Renu started laughing and giggling at his lousy jokes did I realize that he was winning the battle against me in our quest to win her heart. But was my realization too late? Stay tuned


Jan 4, 2019

985. The wall climbers

A 6 year old little girl and an 8 month old baby was seen sitting on a wall and having a good time. This is no ordinary wall. This wall has a legacy behind it. If you are wondering how come an 8 month old baby is sitting in the wall, you should realise that kids these days can do anything.

This wall has seen it all. This wall compounds the backyard of our house in my native town. Beyond the wall is nothing but fruit bearing trees. I spent my childhood among these trees. There was a cashewnut tree  near that coconut tree in the background. That was cut 20 years ago. I remember climbing the tree, plucking fruits, removing the nuts & eating the fruits and finally burning the nuts in coconut shells to get the cashew nuts.

Then there was this mango tree there. We also had two mango trees at our house. But I always used to climb that tree for the mangoes because stolen mangoes taste better.

When my mom used to chase me with a stick, I would climb this wall and disappear into the woods only to return after a few hours. But she had the knack of getting angry and thrashing me even after a few hours.

Finally that is a picture of me holding 8 month old Neya ( My niece) with my daughter Anya standing close and listening to my childhood stories with a smile on her face. The Jackfruit tree was a recent addition. But these jackfruits taste yummy.

- Chronicwriter

Jan 2, 2019

984. Chaos during Train journey

Train journeys would bring lot of wonderful memories for us. I remember my first train journey. It was a long train journey from Nagercoil to Tambaram. I was a 3 year old kid then. It was a second class sleeper compartment. My dad was literally behind me throughout the journey as I was climbing up and down the ladder throughout the journey.

Yesterday I travelled from Tambaram to Nagercoil with my wife and daughter. My daughter's actions in the compartment took me back to those memories.

We got the side berths for ourselves and Anya turned the compartment upside down. After climbing up and down the ladder, she got tired and sat down between us.

My wife Joan was on the phone talking to my parents and Anya was bored. She asked me for a story book. I had Champak with me and handed it to her. She then started reading the story so loud that the ticket collector in the next compartment also started listening to her.

Soon she got tired of reading and asked my wife to give her the mobile phone to play games. (Now all of you who are gonna advice me not to give mobile phones to children can please shut their mouth[s]) She climbed up the side berth, sat there comfortably and started playing games. The game-sound gave everyone in the bogey an indication that she was playing the game. My wife and I sat down on the lower berth and started chatting. 

Suddenly the game-sound stopped. I waited for a minute and when there was no sound even after a minute, I slowely peeped up and saw her sleeping. 

I am pretty sure that she will read this blog sometime in the future. This will take her back down memory lane


Dec 4, 2018

983. Sachin's masterclass spin bowling act

It was the year 1998. Everything that he touched turned to gold. I am talking about Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. The present day cricket fans might go gaga over Dhoni and Kohli. But being a follower of the game since the 1987 world cup, I am proud to say that I am a diehard fan of Sachin.

People often talk about how he braved the Gulf storm against the Aussies, his century against a Olanga led attack, his straight drives against Bret Lee and the manner in which he mauled almost every bowler acrosss the world.

I am going to write about a match in which he won the match for India with the ball and not the bat. The mighty Australians were touring India in 1998 for a Triangular series. The poor Zimbabweans were the third team.

It was the first of April. India was playing a one day international against the Australians in Kochi. That very same month, he was going to brave the desert storm and take the Aussies for a ride. That calls for a separate post and let me not digress here.

Azharuddin won the toss and elected to bat first against the Steve Waugh led mighty Australian team. The openers Siddhu and Sachin got out for paltry scores and within the first 4 hours, India was reduced to 19 for 2. During those days, when ever Sachin got out, we would switch off the TV. But something told me to continue watching. The infamous trio of Azhar, Jadeja and Kambli blasted the ball to all corners of the ground and scored 82,105 and 32 respectively. It was a treat to watch Azhar's flicks, Jadeja's innovative batting and Kambli's footwork. Not a single six was scored; but with some fireworks from Kanitkar (the new hero in the team) the team crossed the 300 run mark which was a huge score at that time.

When Australia started chasing, Gilchrist blazed on all cylinders and they put on a century run partnership in just 10 overs. Srinath removed Mark Waugh and the debutant Agarkar removed Gilchrist.

He would go on to break Dennis Lillee's world record for the fastest 50 wickets in ODIs, achieving the feat from only 23 matches. He held the record from 1998 until 2009, when Ajantha Mendis achieved the feat from just 19 matches.

Coming back to the match, Australians still cruised on, thanks to a stellar partnership between Mark Waugh and Bevan (the greatest finisher of all time in ODIs) and crossed the 200 run mark in the 30t h over. They just had to score 100 runs in the last 20 overs. All doors were seemingly shut for India, when Azhar threw the ball at Sachin and asked him to bowl. What followed was nothing but magic in Kochi. Sachin started spinning the ball by a mile and the Australians had no answer to the magic arm of Sachin.

When Australia was cruising at 203 for 3 in 31 overs, Sachin removed Steve Waugh who was then the the best player of spin in the world. Watch how he fooled Waugh and caught him off his own bowling. (The video might take a few seconds to buffer. But it will play)

The ball started spinning like a top. He got Lehman for a LBW with a wrong one. Sachin was spinning the ball ways. The downfall has already started. The score read 223/5. Watch this video to see how Sachin bowled an offbreak to deceive Lehman.

Then Sachin was up against the greatest finisher in ODI cricket - Michael Bevan. Bevan had single handedly take Australia home on many ocassions like this. In this match also, he had scored a well timed 65 and was confident of taking the Kangaroos home. When he charged Sachin down the track to loft him for a six of the last ball of the 40th over, Tendulkar bowled well wide of his leg stump and Mongia did the rest. The greatest finisher was finished. Sachin, not only took wickets, but also stopped the run flow. The slide continued with the score reading 239/6. Watch this video where Sachin removes Bevan.

Tom Moody was removed of the very next ball bowled (The first ball of the 42nd over). He tried charging down the wicket too. But he did it against the wrong guy and got stumped. The score was 253/7 and Sachin was on a hat-trick. Check the Tom Moody dismissal here.

Warne was the man who came into bat and he managed to escape from Sachin off the hat-trick ball. Yet Sachin gave Warne a taste of his own medicine. Warne could not read Sachin at all. It was a sorry sight to see Warne struggling against a spell of spin by the little master.