Cerebral Shangrila

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Growing pain in God's own country

The Government of India admitted that more than 20,000 NRIs have returned back to India due to the current global economic crisis.

According to this WSJ report, the pain is more acute in Kerala as it grapples with returning laborers from the Middle east. Despite having the highest literacy rate in India, due to its xenophobic investment policies the state lags behind in bringing in FDI and creating real jobs for its people. Will the current downturn act as a lesson for the state's politicians and policy makers?

Labels: ,

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Free markets & China

As protectionism & nationalization sweeps the world, can government intervention & regulated markets lead the way?

The answer is highly debatable depending on which end of economic spectrum you lie, but the clear truth is more and more countries are gravitating towards left of the center.

Amidst all this , this opinion piece in today's Business Times caught my eye. Ha, the title was too catchy !

1949: Only socialism can save China
1979: Only capitalism can save China
1989: Only China can save socialism
2009: Only China can save capitalism

Labels: ,

Saturday, February 21, 2009

India's tryst with Oscars

Bhanu Athaiya, the first Indian to win an Oscar talks about her moment of fame.

Its a big day tomorrow as two Indians - A.R.Rahman & Resul Pookutty vie for the academy awards. Good luck to both of them !

Labels: ,

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Mrs Prime Minister

Kushwant Singh presents an closer portrait of Gursharan Kaur - the wife of the PM. The first thing that strikes you about the lady is the quite dignity with which she carries herself - an able better half for her unassuming husband.

There is no pretense to either sound intellectual or self-important - a rare breed in today's politics.

Labels: ,

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire

Is he a real-life slumdog millionaire? This kid is amazing - look at the number of languages he can speak.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

SIFAS 7th annual music festival

SIFAS has announced the concert lineup for the March music season festival. There are BMK - Ajoy (Jugalbandhi), TVS, Aruna Sairam and Amjad Ali Khan concerts.

The '91 BMK - Pt. Bhimsen Joshi ( Mumbai) concert is still reverberating in my ears. What an Hamsanandhi it was ! If there is a concert that could eclipse it, it would be the T.N.Seshagopalan - Ajoy Jugalbandhi for AIR ( Dharmavathi - Madhuvanthi).

So, How would the BMK - Ajoy pairing be? Well, you need to wait till march for that review.

Labels: , ,

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Songs of a lifetime - # 2

Song : Idhazihil Kadhai

Film : Unnal Mudiyum thambi

Lyrics : Muthulingam

Singers : SPB, Chitra

MD : Illayaraja

Yet another example of the creative genius of Illayaraja, this song is a also perfect example of both visual and aural delight.

Background :

Unnal mudiyum thambi was KB's remake of his award winning Telugu movie " Rudra Veena". The story deals with the apathy of the high society towards the downtrodden and the hero's fight to change it. Carnatic music forms a strong backdrop of the movie with the hero's family being a family of carnatic musicians.

This song is a romantic duet after the hero learns the name of the heroine in the movie. This is where the genius of Illayaraja comes to the fore as he composes the song in the same raga as the heroine's name - Lalitha. Lalitha is not a commonly used raga in cine music but Illayaraja creates the perfect romantic duet with excellent orchestration and soothing use of the flute in this song. The interludes are vintage raja!

This is one of the best SPB - Chitra duets. SPB won the national award for Rudra veena.

Trivia :

1. Illayaraja won a national award ( His 3rd) for Rudra veena.

2. Gemini ganesan played the role of father in both the Telugu and Tamil versions.

3. The Telugu song ( the equivalent of Idhazil Kadhai) starts as " Lalitha priya kamalam" signifying the name of the heroine and the raga.

Labels: ,

Friday, February 06, 2009

Google Internet Bus

Google certainly seem to be " Think(ing) Different" . Google plans to run an internet enabled bus ( Yes, the bus with a horn !) through several towns in Tamil Nadu in the next 2 weeks. The aim of the bus is to educate the rural masses on the benefits of internet.

I am sure this experiment would throw interesting insights on consumer awareness about internet and what they want from it. Way to go Google !

P.S : Here is the Bus route.


Sunday, February 01, 2009

Nagesh - Obituary

What can I say about Nagesh that hasn't been told?

- That he is one of the most versatile actors in India who could play with ease any kind of role ( he has been successful as a comedian, character actor, hero and a villain).

- That his comic timing was on par with some of the most loved Western comedians such as Charlie Chaplin & Jerry Lewis.

- That he can make you both laugh and cry in a matter of seconds with his ability to perform serious and comic roles with perfection.

- That he is the yardstick by which every comedian has been measured in the Tamil film industry in the last 50 years.

Nagesh brings back to the memory four other people without whom he wouldn't be where he is today - K.Balachander, Sridhar, Kamal Haasan and Manorama.

KB was the godfather of Nagesh - the man who redefined his versatility.

Sridhar - Made the best use of Nagesh's humor and comic timing.

Kamal Haasan - Gave a new lease of life for Nagesh in the 80's & 90's with memorable roles in Aboorva Sagodharargal, Micheal Madana Kama Rajan, Nammavar, Magalir Mattum.

Manorama - Teamed up with him to form of the best comedy pairs of the Century.

My four favorite roles of Nagesh:

Thiruvilayaadal (Dharumi), Server Sundaram, Kaadhalika Neramillai ( Chellapa), Micheal Madana Kama Rajan ( Avinasi).

He has passed on to the ages but would continue to live with us through his movies.

Labels: ,