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Category Archives: Of This & That

2 States and an Appeal to Bollywood

Dear Bollywood,

The next time your big airy head comes up with the idea of a South Indian character, please make sure that he or she says AT LEAST SOME of the words right.

Like Sambar for example.

authentic south indian sambar

Sambar courtesy Mohini Sharma. Thank you Mohini, the sambar tastes as delicious as it looks.

Read the rest of this entry

2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 8,500 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

He Had Me At The Grin

1983_Cricket_WC

This was written before the 2011 Cricket World Cup final.

I stopped following cricket quite a while ago. To be precise, on October 17th, 1994 – The day Kapil Dev hung up his bat. Okay, so that makes me a fan of the man rather than the game; a fact I would never admit to in those days.

My first memory of cricket is that of a toothily grinning tall, dark, young man in a black blazer lifting up a huge cup and corks popping off champagne bottles.  I was awestruck when I heard just how much one of those bottles of the stuff that was being sprayed about cost! It took a couple of decades before I actually got a chance to taste champagne and let me tell you… it was an absolute anti-climax. I spat it right out! No wonder they just sprayed it around instead of drinking it. Or maybe my taste buds just weren’t sophisticated enough to handle anything more than a fine red.

Meanwhile, Kapil had me at the grin! Read the rest of this entry

Acha, This Is For You

Wrote this a couple of years back. Just came back again on the 14th year of my father’s passing.

There is a story by Somerset Maugham ‘The Verger’ which talks about a man who served as the Verger of his local church till he lost his job on the grounds that he was illiterate. Lost without the job which he had been doing for decades, he decides to start his own business and goes on to build quite a business empire. The story always reminded me of my dad. No he was not illiterate. Just that he lacked formal education, having been forced to give up school when he was barely out of elementary school when his father died and as the eldest son, he was forced into the unenviable role of taking care of his mother and three younger siblings.  Read the rest of this entry

The Golden Goodness of Banana Chips Served the Nagercoil Way

The best snack ever!

The best snack ever!

There’s an easy way to test if one is from Nagercoil (or thereabouts). Just offer him or her chips. Yes, good old banana chips bought from any random place out of town. Chances, are, the Nagercoilite will say, “No thank you,” or just take a couple of them for the sake of courtesy and munch on them half-heartedly. Read the rest of this entry

The Drop-dead Handsome Snapaka Yohannan (1963) and the Kanyakumari Trio

OLD MALAYALAM CINEMA

[Remitha on X’mas and its movies, from her Wonder Years.]

Thanks to fourteen years in a school run by nuns, Christmas inevitably brings to mind Charlton Heston angrily parting the Red Sea or trying to give water to Jesus struggling with the Cross. (As an aside, I simply loved how they never showed Jesus’ face throughout Ben-Hur, but just gave visual clues. It all seems pretty obvious now, but as a little kid, my puzzle-loving mind was thrilled to make the connection.)

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Get Out of That Skin

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“Amma are people going to avoid me when I go to India?”

“Why would they do that?”

“Because I am dark!” She replied with a grin.  Read the rest of this entry