Jan 19, 2018

931. Anya's first movie theatre experience

Anya watching "Finding Dory" as my sister and her family pose for the picture
I seldom watch movies in a movie theatre. My friends and my cousins usually leave me out when they go for a movie because I have a habit of dozing off in the movie hall.

AC effectla light off panna udana thookam vandhudum. 

I remember my cousins and I heading to watch the dark knight rises in 2012. I dozed off and they were literally cursing me for taking me along.

As a family, my dad was strict and almost never took us to the cinema hall to watch a movie. The last movie that my sister and I watched together in a movie hall was Jurassic Park in Muthu Paradise in Nagercoil. So in the year 2016, when my sister came to India, we decided to watch a movie in a cineplex. 

Anya had never been to a movie hall. We decided to watch "Finding Dory" and off we went to PVR cinemas Velacherry. Nine of us went to the movie hall. My dad, my mom, my sister, my brother in law, my nephew - Jeremy, my niece - Jolena, me, my wife and my daughter - Anya

Anya was fascinated with the 3D glasses and she was soon engrossed in a tub of popcorn. When the movie ended, she said in a loud voice

Who is Dory?

She had no clue on what was happening on the big screen. Like father- Like daughter.

- Chronicwriter

Jan 17, 2018

930. Casuarina Christmas Tree Memories

I love to unpack the Christmas tree, decorate it and add serial lights to it. But once Christmas is over, dismantling the Christmas tree has to happen and that is one job I hate. After dismantling, the same tree does not fit inside the box. My wife coaxed me and later forced me to remove the Christmas tree from the drawing room yesterday.

I grew up in Nagercoil and every Christmas, we would go to the Market to buy Casuarina ( சவுக்கு) tree. That was the Christmas tree of the eighties and nineties. My mom would wrap the casuarina seeds with a silver foil and I would blow balloons. My sister will fill a bucket with sand and plant the tree in that bucket. We would avoid using the bucket from the loo. My Dad was the official electric man of the house. He would buy a lot of bulbs and make serial lights. 

My sister would always take charge of the nativity scene. She would sprout mustard seeds on a tray and would arrange Baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph, Shepherds and wise men in the tray. I always wanted to keep my He-man toy in that crib. But she never allowed it.

In the summer of 1995, My dad taught me to solder a circuit board. It was fun to use the soldering flux, lead and resistors to create my own circuit of serial lights. That December I told him that I would take care of the Christmas tree decoration. I designed the serial lights. When I plugged in and switched it on, smoke came from the switchboard, followed by a loud noise from the transformer. I think my creation had some technical glitch. We had a candlelight Christmas that year. It took three days to restore electric power at home.

Nowadays I miss this activity because Christmas trees come readymade with all sorts of thematic decorations. This year a tulsi tree at home died and I added some serial lights to it and this is how it looked. 

Now I am planning to paint this tree and create the ninth wonder of the world. If you are wondering what the eighth wonder of this world is, I should admit that it is you. Ippadi oru sooora mokkaiyaana blog-a vaasikura neenga kandippa eighth wonder dhaan.


Jan 16, 2018

929. Sangili Bungili Open The Door

What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object. That is the story behind this blog post. Samyuktha, the unstoppable force who likes to call herself "Semi", is the owner of the randomest blog out there - Steady Meanderings. When she posted in the Chennai Bloggers Club that she wanted to collaborate for a blog post she ended up meeting an immovable object (That is me). 

So Semi and I started snowballing a story and we created a detective story. A story that Benedict Cumberbatch would die to portray on the big screen. We named our creation

Sangili Bungili Open The Door

Semi- The co-author of this post
Prashanth was frantically searching for his laptop.

"It was right here inside my backpack.  And now it's not. The backpack zip is open and my favourite key-chain that was fixed with the zip is missing." 

My hands instinctively reached for my Jean zip and I was relieved to know that they were all in the right place.

"Someone had definitely stolen my laptop. It definitely cannot be my mom. She already has a mac. My backpack was under the bed, and hence it cannot be the maid too because she does not even bend down to clean anything under the bed."

It cannot be my girlfriend because well I don't have one and it cannot be my boyfriend too because I am not gay.

Yen ipdi mokka potu saavadikiraenaa, technically and basically I'm an IT guy and this is all I have in my life. As I am an IT guy, I do have a photography page and all my pictures are on my laptop. And oh my Yesunadha! I just realized there are damning pictures of me trying out my nandu brand lungis. Well, I am kidding; there’s more than just my nandu brand mishaps. There is a floor plan of my office which I am going to rob day after tomorrow.

There are three other people on my team and I hate one of them. It cannot be Surya because he recruited me. Or could this be his master plan all along? It could be because we both like the same girl – “Smitha” from our team.

Trust me when I say Smitha is worth sending someone to jail. Her eyes! They make my heart beat so fast that if I let it out, it can out run Ussain Bolt and create a new world record in the 100 metre dash.

Her voice makes chinna kuyil chitra sound like kovai Sarala. So I never tell her to sing. I never tell her anything actually. But I do talk a lot with Pooja, the other girl in our team. Surya hated it whenever I talked with Pooja or Smitha.

Why did I agree with the stupid robbery plan? I thought it was a stupid joke of course till it was not and by then I had already revealed too much to Pooja. I think she hated me because I liked Smitha and maybe she was the one who flicked the laptop?

My thoughts are jumping so wildly today. I shouldn't have probably had all the free filter kaapi shots. I guess Surya drugged me with that kaapi; he was too friendly with me. I am sure Pooja and Surya are together on this.

I try to call them with my phone. Alas! My phone is also missing. I had last seen it in my back pocket. What the fruit is happening guys? 

All I have is this one Rupee coin. I have no other option but to invest this coin and become a millionaire. And for that, I need to leave this damned room. And this is when I realize that the door is locked. Not the sharpest day for the 10th topper today.

Well, I gotta pee now. My bladder is full and time is ticking too. I have used all my karate and yoga skills to control this tsunami attack. But aathratha adakkalaam. But moothratha kandippa control panna mudiyaadhu.

Let me unload eshwaraaa! I wake up in a pool of sweat from my bed and I look under the bed immediately. I can see my laptop peeping through the backpack.

-Chronicwriter and Semi.

Note: To read the same blog post from Semi's point of view, click this [link]

928. When fence eats crops

Chelliah Sir Tuition centre used to be a famous place in Nagercoil for class 10 students. He was a science teacher and he was known for making students score 100 out of 100 in class 10 public exams. Back in those days, it was not easy to score a centum in science. But Chelliah sir made the almost impossible, possible for many.

In Kanyakumari District, if 20 students had scored a 100 in science, 15 of them would be Chelliah Sir's students. Well, in the year 1996 when I was in class 10, I also wanted to score a centum in Science. I asked my parents if I can join Chellliah Sir's tuition centre. They readily agreed. He promised to present a one gram gold coin or a ring if I scored a centum.

My Dad and I went to meet Chelliah Sir at his house. He was a strict man. We were asked to pay Rs 1200/- for a year. We were given the option to pay the sum in two instalments. He also told us that we had to buy our own chair because all the seats were already filled. 

So the tuition classes started. Monday, Wednesday and Friday Mornings - 5:30 to 6:30. There were 100 boys in that thatched roof class. I immediately did my math. 100 X 1200 = 120000. He had three other batches. The Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday girls batch and the evening batches. I understood that Chelliah Sir was roughly making around Rs 5 Lakh per annum just by taking 2 hours of tuition every day. In 1996, that was huge money.

He never wanted the girls and the boys to be together in the same class. His logic was that we won't study well. I had no qualms about that because all I wanted was to score a centum. He would read through 4 pages of our science book every class. We were supposed to underline each sentence with a pencil. Whenever any word like photosynthesis, bacteria or mitochondria appeared, we were supposed to highlight those words with the marker. That was his way of teaching. It was mugging up of the first order. 

He hated people of other faith. Early in the morning, a particular place of worship near his house will make a loud sound with the call of worship. Every time, he would curse the people of that particular religious faith with the Tamil word " Thevu#!^@ p@!#@" (Bastard). My friend Ashok, who was sitting next to me said" Sir! Don't use such words". Even though I was 15 at that time, I never knew the meaning of that word because there were no vulgar words spoken at home.

By the end of that one year, my vocabulary of cuss words in Tamil increased multifold, thanks to Chelliah Sir. I ended up scoring 97 marks. The point I am trying to make on this blog is, that in the quest for scoring good marks, we end up going to the wrong places where we are fed up with garbage. When I look back on those days, I regret attending that tuition, because, in addition to not teaching the logic behind the subject, he was responsible for planting some cuss words in my vocabulary.

Advice to parents: Don't compromise on your child's future in your quest for excellence.

- Chronicwriter

Jan 9, 2018

927. Everything you wanted to know about belly buttons

If you think if such a topic is needed to be published, you would be surprised to know that this post is a treasure trove of knowledge. A lot of research went behind this post. So if you think that this is a silly post, you may be wrong because belly button is where life begins. Senthil made the remarkable statement "Information is wealth" to Kicha and that one statement is the driving force behind this public post.

I have the habit of lying down on the couch and scratching my tummy at home. Scratching my tummy gives me a great sense of satisfaction. I bet all of you agree with me on this. Those who have pot bellies have more area to scratch. Last night when I was scratching my tummy, my finger became tired and I decided to park my finger in my belly button. 

That is when I started to think about belly buttons. What an amazing creation this belly button is. A famous Tamil poet - Dinesh once decided to write a Tamil poem about Belly Buttons. He came up with the following one-liner. He was my class mate

" Abaayagaramaana bhoomikku Aandavan itta mutru pulli - thoppul" which in English translates to " The belly button is the full-stop made by God to a dangerous plain"
He wrote that piece of crap while he was drunk. But he thought that he had written a great romantic love letter. He went ahead and gave that letter to the girl he loved and proposed to her. We all thought that she would slap him. But she said "Yes". Now they are married. I don't understand how on earth that piece of writing qualifies for a love letter!

I digressed from the main subject. My thought process about belly buttons made me to perform a google search to understand if there are different types of belly buttons. Google did not disappoint me. After 35 years of existence, I realized that the belly button is classified into two types.

1) Innie and 2) Outie

90% of the people in the world have an Innie belly button and the remaining 10% of the people have an outie. I seriously have no idea who did that research to come up with that percentage. I am of course an innie because I could park my finger in my belly button.

The Innie and The Outie
Those who have an outie belly button find it easy to have body piercings. That led me to the search on who was the first person to have their belly button pierced. Some people have done their PhD thesis on this topic. Though body piercing stories date back to the BC era, it was Christy Turlington who made headline news when she showed her pierced belly button in a fashion show in London. If you do not know who she is, scroll up. She is the one in the opening image of this post.

Tamil film Industry has made optimum use of belly buttons. P. Vasu is a director who should have been a participant in Master Chef Australia. He made Prabhu Deva to cook an omelette in Nagma's belly button in one of his movies.

But many years before Prabhu Deva cooked an omelette, Captain Vijayakanth spun a top in Suganya's belly button in the movie Chinna Gaunder. That movie was released in the year 1992. That was the same year in which India did not even win a single medal at the Barcelona Olympics. If only spinning tops on belly buttons had been included as an Olympic sport, Captain Vijayakanth would have won a gold for us and made us all proud.

All of us know that belly button is where life begins, It also serves as the food pipe for human beings when they are inside the tummy of their mummy. All of us have performed bungee jumping inside the tummy thanks to this belly button. Pregnancy can make an innie an outie and vice versa. So for a woman, the belly buttons might change their type after childbirth.

Belly button has an alternative name called navel. I don't know why one has to give that ugly name to belly button. I had a classmate named Navel Sharma. She was so ashamed of her name that she would address herself as Miss Sharma. She married a naval officer.

The Bellybutton is nothing but a small dent in the belly of a person and it even gathers dirt and bacteria,  just like how hair strands automatically accumulate in bathroom water outlet. 

Why are people so obsessed with the belly button?
Supermodel Karolina Kurkova does not have a belly button. Apparently, her belly button was removed during an operation she had in infancy. You can please check your belly button now and if you have a belly button, you can be assured that you are not Karolina.

Karoline Kurkova- The no belly button girl
The famous filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock also lost his belly button But it's not clear whether the rumours are true. We can't dig his grave now in search of the missing belly button. There is a soul lying deep inside the grave without her two legs.

Okay. Bye


Jan 4, 2018

926. All about underwears

Now, don't laugh looking at this picture. If you think that the fashion trend for 2017 looks absurd, just think of the attire that you wear at home. Research reveals that nine out of ten men walk around in their underwears when they are at home. 

When there is a housemaid at home, then they cover themselves with some lungi. My uncle "Rajasekar" (name not changed on purpose) does not entertain any guests on weekends to his house because just loves to roam around his house in his underpants. 

I never dispose of my old underwears. I put them to some use or the other. Some of them are used to clean my car now. I indeed collect them. Well, I don't have a fetish. But I would love to have a Brief History because varalaaru is important. 

After the long year-end annual leave, I forgot my laptop password and I found it difficult to log back into my office system. That is when I realized that underwears and passwords have many common traits.

1. You should not reveal them to others (Unless you are superman)
2. You should change them regularly (Unless you are uncle Rajasekar)
3. You should not give them to strangers (Unless you are like that careless reader of this blog)
The only thing that I hate about underwears is when fashion models wear them and walk around, they call it ramp walk. They even get paid for it and when I try the same fashion in my street, the stray dogs chase me.

In the latest Superman movies, you will not see him wearing his underpants on top of his pants. This is because he has now got a new pair of pants and there is no need to cover the hole in the pant.

If you don't like this post, maybe it is high time that you started wearing an underwear.

- Chronicwriter

Jan 3, 2018

925. Believe Me! Baby Ma

I was jobless this afternoon. I decided to while away the time by searching for keywords on google. I put on my thinking cap to decide on the all-important keyword that will have the privilege of being searched on google. When my brain was doing all the thinking, I could hear my colleague's wife calling him an "Echa Kala" over the phone. Echa Kala is a Tamil word used to praise people. It means Spit Art. Immediately I found my keyword - "Deepa".

When I searched for Deepa, I was astonished to find that she even had a Wikipedia page dedicated to her name.

It is a shame that Deepa did not get a chance to contest from RK Nagar. She would have definitely defeated BJP at least. I also checked the wiki-blurb that appears on the search results. Two things caught my attention and stand at ease.

1) Her Education Qualification: She is a Cardiff University product. I was utterly shocked and even checked the spelling to make sure that it was not some university from the suburbs of Chengalpettu. What she studied there remains a mystery. 

2) Her Spouse: The same K Madhavan has married her twice. Once in the year 2014 and the second time in an undisclosed date to confuse time travellers. This was one of the main reasons why her nomination was rejected.

People from Madurai Kamaraj University, Madras University can return their degrees as a sign of respect for Baby Ma (That is how our people fondly call her).

I should have stopped right there. But I took the risk of clicking that Wikipedia page with an eagerness to know more about her educational qualification and also to understand about her childhood. 

I should not have done that. But they say champions are made of iron and steel and I being a champion material, could not back down from the bait that was dangling in front of me

The content that I read gave me dysentery. She was an editor in the New Indian Express it seems. My respect for that newspaper vanished into thin air in just one second. All my journalist friends who are working in Indian express are requested to immediately hide their current work location in LinkedIn.

Deepa has also completed MA in International Journalism from Cardiff University in Wales. (Enna da idhu Cardiff Universitykku vandha sodhanai?). Though I almost started reading everything with a sarcastic tone, the last paragraph in that page literally broke my heart. That was the respect-sprouting moment in my heart for Deepa.

She has literally fought a battle with her brother and Sasikala's members (according to Wikipedia) singlehandedly and was victorious. This will go down in history books as the Battle of Poes Garden. 

Note: While I was typing this post, someone made some edits in her Wikipedia page by adding an MBA degree to her husband's name. I think, he just graduated from Cambridge University. 

- Chronicwriter