That mysterious extra ingredient —

What is it that made the soft Drink Gold Spot very popular for more than 3 decades? It is the ‘zzing thing’ as the advertisers say.
There are Colas and Colas in the soft drinks market. But what is so special about Coco Cola? It is the presence of something exotic in the concoction which remains a trade secret to this day.
What is the secret behind the runaway success of Fevicol? It is again the special formulation containing a few additives. One can go on and on with several examples including my wife’s idlis which are unbelievably soft because it is blended with a special ingredient – Flattened rice flakes known as Aval in Tamil or Poha in Hindi.
Food additives is a multimillion dollar business. An ice cream will not taste like one without the presence of that small amount of additive called emulsifier which gives it a smooth texture. Likewise cakes and several other delicious bakery products derive their taste and texture mainly due to the specialty chemical additive called GMS.
Even industrial chemicals and their processes critically depend the magical additives. One can not make phosphoric acid without a few drops of defoamer which suppresses foaming in Rock phosphate. Similar additives play a role in metal extraction industry.

Cosmetic industry affords a great opportunity for additives. Sunbathers could soon tell when to move out of sunlight and take shelter in the shade thanks to an early warning sunburn indicator. Researchers have developed a strip of plastic, containing ‘smart’ ink, which turns colourless from an initial blue colour just before exposure to too much ultraviolet light from the sun, prompting you to move into the shade before you burn. Obviously it contains a specialty chemical additive.

Even in music, the artist, who comes up with off-beat and unpredictable variations bringing in that additional punch, makes a mark. In all spheres of human endeavour, it is always that additional something that stands out and contributes to success.

On one occasion, my brother added a new twist and an interesting dimension to this during our family get-together. As my sister made her specialty item ‘Baigan bartha’ and served the same, he said it is exceptionally good and went on to have several rounds of servings of the same. Then,while appreciating the special dish, he wisecracked saying that it sure contains a very special extra ingredient which accounts for its exceptional taste. When we inquired as to what he meant by that, he quietly said: It is Affection(‘anbu’ in tamil) in abundance.
Perhaps, this is the most fundamental and somewhat mysterious ingredient which is missing in many things that we experience today.

Published in: on August 13, 2017 at 12:16 am  Comments (2)  
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Bahubali 2 – Full of Sound & Fury Signifying Nothing!

Last week I saw this film in Chennai . It’s a blockbuster no doubt considering that the theaters are running houseful even after more than two weeks of release. How does one classify this film? Is it a fiction based on history or a thriller spiced with romance or a film with special effects or about moral and ethical dilemmas or simply an entertainer? To me it’s none of these although it attempts or rather pretends to present all the above. Of course one thing it has common with all special effect movies is the high decibel noise. I’m always suspicious of the so-called special effect movies. They try to make up with big sets and big sound what they lack in content or a story line. This film is no exception to this rule.

We reached the theater well in time and even as we were searching for our seats, national anthem started suddenly without any notice. We instinctively stopped walking and stood like statues awkwardly in  the dark walkway. One wonders whether a cinema theater is the right place for our show of patriotism. The ambience is just not right for playing our national anthem.

After this ritual, we eventually found our seats and almost settled down before the movie began. But then will the movie allow us to settle down? No way – it starts literally with a big bang and there is no respite either for your ears or eyes as the banging continues all the way till the end. OMG, what an experience it was! May be I’m a little outdated in my views.  The noise was so unbearable that I had to run out of the hall for shelter towards the end of the film. I must have missed the last half hour of the movie – not that I missed anything worthwhile! I often wonder why people pay to get tortured like this. Well, it’s a philosophical question with no satisfactory answer. To each his own, I suppose.

Let me now turn to the plot of the film. In Bahubali 1, I’m told the heroin Ramyakrishna (who played the role of Rajmata) was portrayed as a strong personality with high moral standards. In striking contrast, in Bahubali 2, the same Rajmata was shown in a very poor light in ethical & moral conduct. While she commanded respect in Bahubali 1 for her strength of character, in Bahubali 2 she fell from grace as she failed to take morally correct decisions. Her decisions were clouded by her bias in favour of her biological son. To me this inconsistency in characterisation of the heroin is not convincing.

Two episodes in the movie stood out – one in line with women’s lib movement and the other completely out of line. In a commendable episode, Amarendra bahubali takes law into his hands as he hands out summary justice  by chopping off the head of a guy who molested several women in a public place. This scene was shown with much fanfare and melodrama. However the message is quite forceful in our present times when molestation and rape are everyday happenings.

If Bahubali showed courage of conviction in handing severe punishment to a sexual offender,  the powerful queen did everything to give just the opposite  message. The Rajmata orders the capture of a young princess on whom her biological son develops a crush. As it turns out, one wrong doing leads to another and yet another untill she finally gets Amarendra Bahubali killed. What a fall – a queen shown as a strong character in Bahubali1 is now shown in a completely different light and it’s not convincing.

If the movie shows any resemblance to a famous English film Lion King, be rest assured it’s only a coincidence! Don’t jump to the conclusion that the story writer or the director is guilty of plagiarism. The first coincidence is that in both the films there is an evil uncle who tries to outmonoevre and even kill the nephview.

The second coincidence is when Ramyakrishna, in the penultimate scene, lifts the baby bahubali(Mahendra bahubali)and announces to the public that the little fellow would be their future king. Here again, the close resemblance to a similar scene in Lion King is unmistakable. I will point out one more parallel and rest my case. The scenes where Mahendra Bahubali was brainwashed to fight back and win the kingdom is similar to Simba, the little lion being inspired by an old friend to take revenge for his father’s murder by his uncle.

Here’s my bottom line on the film: Overall, the film is full of sound and fury signifying nothing.

 

Published in: on May 21, 2017 at 3:52 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Crystal-gazing into Future

Human beings are fascinated by thoughts of future. A part of the reason for the fascination is that it triggers one’s imagination on the exciting possibilities and scenarios. This explains why have we so many books dealing with future. In this post, I’m going to introduce you to a young and upcoming author, Anirudh Chakravarthy, who has dealt with this topic in a unique and daring way with a narrative of his own in his book titled Kalki’s coming.  It’s daring because the author is able to visualize a future scenario when India becomes a super power. Well, more on that later in the post. Let me give a very brief review of the book:

Sometime in the far future, in a world ravaged by third world war, India becomes the number 1 super power with China at number 2 slot. While I like the idea, I would have liked to see more thorough and logical explanation of how this happens. Super power status is not a game of mere numbers or of demography.  However, granting that, the author certainly spins a nice web of plots and subplots around a few key characters. Through these characters, the author forcefully presents a case for banning science and technology as the twin evils out to destroy humanity. The ethical and moral dilemma for and against such a ban was discussed & well presented – Can one individual decide what is good for humanity? Does he know enough? What about the ethics of means adopted to keep out technological literature out of reach of the common man? Also having denied the humanity this knowledge effectively, is it sustainable?

It’s not clear to me, though,  how anyone can own all knowledge for himself and ban it for the rest. Further, will any one person along with his cohorts, be in a position to oversee the banning after a devastating world war? One cannot also expect an imperialist China to abandon technology and then steal the knowledge of weapons from India.  These are some of the grey areas which have to be addressed in an otherwise well-written book.

The story begins with the introduction of a self-styled messenger of God who is the ruler of India after the 3rd world war. He happens to believe strongly that as a ruler his primary responsibility should be to purge all evil represented by knowledge, science & technology. He justifies several sins and atrocities he commits in  the name of  protecting the human race from self-destruction in the future. It’s a case of just one man claiming to know what is good for everyone. One is reminded of what one witnessed in the communist countries after the 2nd world war. The ruler of India, in the present story, kills several who oppose his ideas. He projects himself as the saviour of people and a messenger of God. He resorts to exhibiting carefully orchestrated magical powers to impress gullible people and to convince them about his divine status.

The story takes an interesting turn when an alien is introduced. The alien with his supernatural powers is in a position to swing the balance of power in the ensuing conflict between good and evil*

While the story is simple, it’s handled well. The pacing of the story with rapid fire dialogues in some places, a fair amount of suspense till the end and a bit of romance makes it easy to read. The style of the language is very good and quite consistent. The dialogues are purposeful, have depth and offer insights into the questions of human nature, morality and ethics.  Here are a couple of examples: Kalki, the ruler of India, puts on the mask of a God’s messenger to hoodwink people into believing he has the divine right to rule. To counter that, we have another character who puts on a real mask and declares himself as an angel. A character in the story exclaims: “Don’t we all put on masks of one kind or the other in our daily lives?” How true!

To give another example of an insightful statement, a character in the story says that time is the ultimate winner after all. One may think one has achieved the ultimate good hiding technology away from people. But then, over time, another equally crazy guy would appear and undo what has been done before. Not to be outwitted by this logic, Kalki, the ruler says: I believe that God gives each one a certain role. We play the role as best we can, leave the stage and don’t worry about what happens later in time.

But then what is the final message of the story, I wonder. Is it that Human beings are stupid collectively but brilliant individually. This is perhaps implied in the story but has not been made clear. The stupidity of human beings arises out of the weaknesses like, envy, greed for power, perpetuation of power by any means and a condescending attitude to the common man. And these collectively cause the downfall of human beings.

Greed for power, revenge, one-upmanship​, love, hatred, compassion – virtually every emotion is on display in the story. The plots and subplots are nicely woven together and the author manages to bring to light certain profound facts about human nature.

 

*Portrayal of magical powers through Alchemy is perhaps avoidable considering that Alchemists involved in transmutation of base metals to gold were historically regarded as pseudo-scientists, counterfeit artists or quacks. Moreover, gold cannot be considered as a strategic resource to swing balance of power. One can perhaps think of more imaginative ways in which aliens can influence matters on earth.

Published in: on April 15, 2017 at 9:46 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Reciprocal altruism – My Experiments with my grandkids

 

“Naan avanai tiruppiam adichutten thata” – said my 3-year old grand-daughter proudly.( I hit him again, grandpa). She is referring to her ongoing one-sided battles with her younger cousin. How does one handle this? Opinions within our house are divided. My wife and my second daughter decided to encourage him to hit back. The logic is that once my granddaughter realizes that she would be paid back in the same coin, she would understand the cost of being aggressive. My first daughter, however, says this is not right since it is leading to a never-ending cycle of hitting and counter-hitting. I kept silent and decided instead to do some experiments.

We bought two toys – a bus for my granddaughter and an auto-rickshaw for my grandson who is obsessed with this vehicle. As expected they picked up a quarrel on the rights of ownership over the toys. A peaceful resolution was not in sight as both the kids seemed to believe in the age-old principle of Might is right. So I tried to devise a trivial game using both the toys and a baby doll. The baby doll would take an auto ride first before taking the bus to go to a market nearby. Now, the game became more interesting to them than the ownership issue of the toys. This worked for a while. They could get more pleasure out of sharing the toys than merely owning just one toy. This is of course an old trick which all of us know of. When we go to a restaurant with friends, we order different items from the menu and share them.

The other experiment was in a park where both the kids wanted to play the slide at the same time. Here again the aggressive kid was shoving and pushing the milder one to make sure she was always ahead of the other kid on the slide. No amount of sermonizing would help change her behaviour. So I decided to try out a game. Here each kid, by turn, will get on the slide and slide down while the other kid would stand at the other end of the slide with open arms to receive and hug. Both enjoyed this game immensely at least for a while. Here again it’s the same principle of trying to maximise pleasure the by cooperating and working together instead of competing and fighting. Here are the photographs of the game being played:

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I’m not suggesting that the problems between them have vanished for ever. Obviously, one has to keep inventing newer games to keep them interested in cooperation. It proves, though, that the solution doesn’t lie in encouraging the other kid to hit back.

Evolutionary psychologists say that people are altruistic not out of love for each other but because they understand the basic human principle that – if I’m nice to you, you will be nice to me too. This is reciprocal altruism, which is innate in all human beings. This is an adaptation that evolved over millions of years as a mechanism for survival.

 

Published in: on December 4, 2016 at 4:37 pm  Comments (2)  

Nava Rasas in an Iyengar Wedding

Last week we had two big family functions. One was a typical big fat Tambram wedding and the other a relatively simpler naming ceremony of my grandson. The wedding was celebrated in Chennai with the usual fanfare that accompanies any south Indian wedding.

During a wedding celebration, one can experience an impressive range of emotions. In fact, most of the Nava Rasas are on display. I thought it will be interesting to explore a few of them here.

Shringara is easily the most prominent rasa in a wedding.. Love, romance, beauty, attraction are all in the air as one progresses from one ritual to the other.

Hasya rasa arises out of Shringara during every ritual. Laughter, comical interludes, funny remarks and exchanges – all add up to the Hasya rasa. Both these rasas are readily captured from the following photographs where the bride and the bridegroom exchange garlands. The fun part cannot be missed here as the bride and bridegroom are literally lifted and each play a game of  ‘catch me if you can’. One can see smiles all around as each tries to dodge the other.

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The rasa rudra or anger is part and parcel of any marriage celebration in India. The bride’s party is literally and figuratively at the receiving end for their acts of omissions and commissions. There are always a couple of people from the groom’s side who are rigid sticklers to old traditions and they would not miss an opportunity to create a scene to insist and get what they want.

The emotion of fear or bhaya is felt constantly at the back of the mind by both the parties till the wedding gets over successfully. If a wedding celebration goes without any hiccups, it only means that hundreds of critical factors have fallen in place.

The emotion Adbhutam, wonder or amazement, finds its place as the groom ties the knot to the accompaniment of high decibel chanting of mantras and even higher decibel sounds of Tavil or drums. That is the moment everyone is anxiously waiting for and when it arrives, everyone becomes ecstatic. It’s a moment of joy as well as relief. With hundred of people focusing on the scene and the close relatives closing in to occupy vantage points to have a good view of the couple and the cameramen clicking away to glory, it’s an amazing moment to cherish. One can see tears of joy rolling down the eyes of the near and dear. One might have seen many marriages. Still in every marriage the muhurat is the most precious moment. It’s the build up of events leading up to the muhurat that makes the moment very special and exciting.

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Shantam, peace and tranquility, is yet another important rasa. Don’t we experience it once the dust settles down after the wedding? The nice feeling of having successfully completed a mission and the accompanying relief is merely an expression of the emotion Shantam.

How about Karunyam or compassion. One is bound to feel a sense of sadness when one has to face the inevitable moment of separation of one’s daughter from the family. It’s the beginning of a new phase of life to the daughter as well as the parents. Anyone witnessing the farewell scene can easily empathize with the people concerned.

Is the rasa VEERA, courage or valour, seen or experienced? Well, the courage and confidence that one enjoys after completing a challenging mission is something unique. Having performed a marriage successfully, one is justified in feeling confident of facing any challenge in life without much fuss.

How about the rasa BHIBATSA? This is extreme fear or disgust, outrage. Well, one might argue this emotion has no place in a marriage hall. Imagine, though, a situation where you are about to leave the function hall and the caterers and hall managers approach you with fat bills to be cleared. Seeing that the bills have exceeded your budget will surely cause BHIBATSA or outrage or even disgust.

 

Excitement over Newborn baby!

‘It’s a boy’ – wrote my wife on her FB status announcing the birth of our grandson to her FB friends & relatives. ‘Oh, boy’ – reacted one in excitement. ‘He shares my birthday’ – said another excitedly. ‘He shares my birth star’  – said yet another. ‘He is born on Navaratri Friday, a very auspicious day’ – exclaimed an elderly person. Another old relative of mine explained – ‘oh, his birth star is Moolam which is that of Manavala Maamuinigal, a great Vaishnavaite saint’.

I mentioned the last bit to my daughter & son-in-law. My daughter was curious and asked: Who is Manavala Maamuni? I replied: Oh, he is a famous acharyan(apostle) of Vaishnava tradition in southern India. She did not seem impressed,though. In a lighter vein she said: Moola Nakshatatula paranda valku Ponnu kudukka matalame ( I heard men with this birth star are not the preferred grooms for traditional girls’s parents). My son-in-law quipped: Appodana acharyana aga mudium (Oh, that will pave the way for sainthood!). My daughter reacted: No, this li’l fellow is definitely going to settle  for a love marriage, meaning he will pick his own mate.

The excitement was at its peak on the day one. I had to engage in conversations with several of my whatsup groups simultaneously. As I kept texting back & forth with my first daughter in the US and my sister-in-law in Doha in separate chats, my wife was irritated because I did not respond to her instructions to me. She protested saying: ‘You are obsessing over people living thousands of miles away and ignoring my instructions’. I protested feebly and said: Please understand I’m dealing with two super-excited girls – my daughter on the one hand and my sis-in-law on the other.

All this excitement was not exactly amusing to my nearly 3-year old grand-daughter. She seemed to be completely confused with several unanswered questions: Where has this li’l fellow come from all of a sudden. Why is everyone excited? How come my dad comes and goes every now and then. How is it that my mom goes away suddenly one day to a hospital and returns home with a baby whom she is feeding all the time and ignoring me. Her curiosity is only partially fulfilled when we explained to her that the “kutty papa”(the li’l one) is soon going to call her akka(big sis). She found that part of the story entirely to her liking.  However, she seemed to have mixed feelings about the whole thing, showing excitement and resentment alternately.

It’s amazing how a new arrival in a family – that one li’l fellow – can cause so much excitement all around. Now we are settling down with a routine where each one of us has to shoulder multiple roles. As they say – After the ecstasy, the laundry!

Published in: on October 16, 2016 at 1:25 am  Leave a Comment  
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Of Unsung Heroes and much admired Zeroes of History

The twists and turns of history are indeed fascinating. Part of the fascination arises from the fact that the ifs and buts of events of history would shape our present. There is another element of surprise in researching into history. As Sanjeev Sanyal has shown in his well-researched book titled Ocean of Churn, some of our favourite heroes could become zeroes and vice versa. In this book, he almost rewrites a few pages of our history. In an earlier post, I had written about how he exposed the true character of the king Ashoka. Let me give here a couple of more interesting examples from his book:
Tipu Sultan, to all of us, was a great patriot who fought the British bravely until he died on the battlefield fighting. Is all this a true portrayal of Tipu? Does he deserve all the accolades that are showered on him? Perhaps, not, according to the book. Here is Sanyal’s narrative:

Hyder Ali, father of Tipu Sultan, was a usurper to the throne of Mysore having worked as an army commander in the Wodeyar dynasty. Tipu, his son, became a king on the death of his father Hyder Ali. Right from the day one, he went about subjugating and annexing neighboring kingdoms with his huge army. Coorg in Karnataka, Calicut and adjoining areas in Kerala coast came under his savage attack. Temples and churches were systematically destroyed.  Thousands of Christians were either killed or forcibly converted to Islam. His luck ended when he turned his guns at Travancore.  All the small kingdoms sought the help of  the British and formed a  grand alliance . They launched a major offensive in which Tipu died fighting in his SriRangapattinam fort.

Sanyal quotes Tipu himself to expose him. In one of his letters to his army commanders, Tipu writes: You are to attack the Coorgs, men & women, and put them to sword….. make them prisoners and convert them to Musalmans. The slain ones will be hung upon the trees….ten years ago, about ten thousand men were hung upon the trees since which time the aforesaid trees have been waiting for men.

Supporters of Tipu point out that he had donated generously to temples in his later years. Sanyal, however, says that all this was done when his kingdom shrank in size and he became inconsequential. In any case, these acts of generosity were undertaken to erase his past misdeeds and give a good account of himself to his future detractors. This line of reasoning does look quite plausible.

To my mind, history can be interpreted depending upon one’s perspective. If one views Tipu as one giving a tough fight to the British, he would turn into a freedom fighter while all the other kingdoms that he subjugated become villains of the piece who sided with the British. On the other hand, if one considers the atrocities committed by him on Christians and Hindus including the destruction of temples, the last fight may be viewed as a battle between two evils – the British and Tipu with the small Hindu kingdoms supporting the former. It’s up to the historians to make a judgment.

Now let me narrate the not so well known story of Marthanda Verman who ruled over Trivancore about half a century before Tipu’s time. Sensing danger from the Dutch, he focused on building a strong army which paid rich dividends when the Dutch led by the commander Lannoy attacked . Marthanda’s strong army repulsed the Dutch offensive and Lennoy’s men had to face a humiliating defeat in the famous battle of Colachel. Lannoy surrendered and a pillar was erected in Colachel signifying the surrender of Lannoy. Interestingly, after the battle, Marthanda took Lannoy as his commander and asked him to completely modernize his army which the latter readily agreed to do.

This story is very significant considering the fact that this was the first time that an Asian army trounced an European army. From that time onwards, the Dutch influence in the Indian Ocean was on the decline. It is widely believed that but for Marthanda’s brave efforts to build a strong army, Dutch would have replaced the British in India in which case I would perhaps be writing this blog in the Dutch language.

Today, Tipu is remembered by us as a hero who fought the British, while Marthanda Varman is not even a recognizable name. The pillar in Colachel erected to commemorate the victory of Marthanda Varman is also in very bad shape.(Today, Colachel is a small  sleepy fishing town in Kerala)

 

 

Published in: on September 25, 2016 at 4:37 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Storytelling – A Kid’s Style


Does Putana, the witch, who tried to poison little Krishna, have a family? If so, is Putana her first name or the family name? Do witches and demons drink hot chocolate? Do they also have family feuds like us? You can get answers to these and many more questions from my two (and a half) year old granddaughter as she narrates stories spun by her own imagination. She seems to have found her formula to tell stories. First the introduction of characters explaining what each one typically does. This is more in the nature of defining roles and laying down ground rules for each character. The order is set thus. Then a character is introduced who violates the code of conduct leading to a little chaos. This is at once recognized by everyone as an unacceptable crime and hence the punishment and finally the resolution and reconciliation. Recently she spun a story out of several stories she heard. The story of Putana, the story of the doggy and the teddy bear. In her version Putana is no more the first name. It is the family name as she comes up with several characters – Kutty Putana(the little one), appa Putana(the father), amma putana(the mother) and even Patti & Thata Putanas(the grandparents).  Her kutty Putana gets up in the morning and drinks hot chocolate! Appa putana is reading a news paper while amma Putana is working hard in the kitchen. Thata Putana is doing Yoga or reading a book or asleep while Patti Putana is busy with some work. It’s perfectly reflecting a regular household.

In her imagination, Putana has a family of her own and why not? Our mythologies do not dwell much on the antecedents or upbringing of witches and demons. They invariably appear from nowhere, cause immense death and destruction and finally meet their end. In that background, I think it is an interesting idea to deal with their history and background. Surely, in her unconditioned mind, the likes of Putana must have a background and it should be interesting to explore the same.

To continue with her story, Kutty Putana comes running to a Kutty doggy ‘s house and hurts her and there comes appa doggy in support of the little one. She charges into the house of Putanas and complains to amma Putana upon which the latter hands down a punishment to Kutty Putana and asks her to stand in a corner. Here, interestingly, elders in Putana family are presented in a good light with a sense of fairness. Not all Putanas are bad after all!

Here is the web link to an excerpt of another story from her.

 

 

 


 

Published in: on September 17, 2016 at 4:31 am  Leave a Comment  
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Kabali – A Review

If you see this film after all the hype and hoopla created by the media, you will be highly disappointed. Believe me, it’s a big flop show (with apologies to all fans of Rajanikant). But if you see it as yet another inconsequential movie of Rajanikant, then you will perhaps okay it. With mindless violence, stupid punch dialogues and pointless plots and counter plots, the film is a complete drag. Oh, no, I’m mistaken – as a fan of Rajani pointed out, there is a point that the film wanted to make. That is, the ends justify the means! So, our hero may be excused for taking law into his hands, killing a few gangsters and making murderous attempts on several others. By the same logic, of course, the director of the film may be excused for making sure the hero escapes unscathed in several violent encounters where he is badly outnumbered by tough looking thugs..It’s as if the hero is blessed with a boon of invincibility and immortality. Contrast this with how the bad men die without any effort on the part of the hero.

But then do not forget that the hero had a mission. It appears that he wanted to rescue children recruited by the drug mafia and rehabilitate them in a school meant to give them complete freedom. But the viewers get no clue as to how this is achieved or even attempted. I’m perhaps naive to expect such details from a hero with magical powers. Well, my expectation is flawed and perhaps influenced by films such as TARE JAMIN PAR or THREE IDIOTS where Amirkhan goes deep into a social problem and tries to find practical solutions.
In one scene towards the end, a sensible child of the school puts an impertinent but very relevant question to the hero. She asks: OK, you have rescued us and given us school education. What will we do now after this. We will be jobless and again wander aimlessly. Evading an answer, our hero asks: “Why are you asking me this question. I’m only an unruly & disruptive rowdy”. What an honest confession to make by a hero with an almost flawless image!
In a surprising twist, the audience comes to know that the hero is after all fighting for justice for Tamilians. To depict the encounters with the mafia as a conflict between Chinese & Tamilians, is too far-fetched and seems too parochial.

While the film gives us no clue about how he reforms the children after rescuing, even the end of the film is left to our imagination. One wonders whether Rajani is alive or dead after all the heroics. Anyway it’s an inconsequential debate in my view.

I must point out, though, that I liked the film for a completely different reason. This film brought back the memories of an old English classic – Schindler’s list – released in early 1990s. The theme of this film is similar, that is, the ethical ends justify illegal means. The similarity ends there, of course. The film has a very powerful plot. It’s about an ethnic German industrialist by name Oscar Schindler, who moves to Hitler-occupied Poland to make his fortune. He recruits a number of Polish Jews as cheap labour to run his factory. He finds a local jew to finance his venture and befriends a Nazi military officer whom he influences to hire more workforce than actually needed by his factory. He bribes the local Nazi administration to get extra food to supplement limited food supplied through ration cards. Adopting all such illegal means, he saves about 1200 Jews from the trap of death in the concentration camps. Here is a businessman who comes to Poland to make his fortune, he makes his wealth and uses it up to save several lives of jews.(By the way, the film is based on a real life story)

Published in: on July 31, 2016 at 8:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
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