Thursday, October 08, 2009

Tamil Writing

Have been reading a few contemporary Tamil writers. I confess I didn't know that the contemporary Tamil writing (prose, poetry, short stories, etc.) was so prolific and that I had a less than favorable opinion of writers & publishers. Visiting the Chennai Book Fair stalls, I had thought of publishers of Tamil books as lacking in skills and taste and the writers as vendors of second-hand ideas. Even a cursory glance at a few writer's books and their blogs proves me wrong.

I made the acquintance of a Tamil poet/writer in one of my recent trips, Ajayan Bala. He writes at I recommend for anyone interested in contemporary Tamil writing. Charu Nivethitha and Ajayan Bala are two other writers whose blogs I read sometimes. I consider Charu's writings as ideally suited for regaling oneself and not worthy of any serious thought.

One aspect of writers that I find distasteful is the extent to which they go to disagree (quarrel?) with their peers. For instance, I chanced upon a post in Charu's blog - it was apparently from a reader of his blog and it spoke of another writer in unprintable language. Charu had posted that on his blog and given that a reply too - and I came to know that he and the other writer din't get along well and such verbal duels on blog posts and in writer's conferences were quite common. This I have observed in other Tamil writers whom I know, they refer to the others disparagingly and in responding to ideological debates, ad hominem attacks are the norm. Their interest in personal quabbles renders their moral authority in presenting opposing viewpoints questionable. Quite sad.

Friday, March 20, 2009

B. Jeyamohan

I recently came to know of a contemporary Tamil writer through his work in a recent Tamil movie - Naan Kadavul.

Then, started reading his blog.

Consequent to my political 'atheism' - after both the Right and Left readily demonstrated their inability to present anything convincing after the economic depression and the ever ongoing drama in Indian politics - I started loving Jeyamohan's unclassifiable views towards politics, religion and art.

May his tribe increase!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

'I have done this before'

The External Affairs Minister, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee was given additional charge of Finance Minister due to the operation on the PM, Dr. Manmohan Singh.

When he said 'I have done this before', one was left wondering whether he meant the heart operation... or the shuffling of ministries?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

TN prefers 'change'

The Government of India has a pretty bleak record on basic amenities. Even within metros and Tier-II cities. The UNICEF says a million (i.e. ten lakhs) infants die every year in India and 40% within a week of their birth. There is so much lacking in the infrastructure for basic amenities here.

The other day, in the middle of the city, people had to put up with party workers occupying and digging up roads (to install a dais and a series of banners) for a few days. The reason - the TN Govt. was launching a new scheme.

Apparently, if you are a ration card holder and qualify for certain conditions, you get free ingredients to make sweet Pongal from the Govt. viz. jaggery, rice, cashews... FREE!

Its interesting what kind of society the Govt. is intent on rearing for the next generation. The kind of family which looks up to the government for free new clothes on festivals, free ingredients for sweets, free TVs to watch special programs. If we keep at this for a decade more, we will eventually reinvent a warcry from the last century - 'FREE'dom is my birthright! Elsewhere when Obama leads Americans towards Change, people in Chennai will still be looking expectantly at the Government for some loose change. By the way, wasn't the existing political philosophy of the state founded on something called the Self-Respect movement? I forget.

Slums next to Teynampet signal still have lanes lined with human feces. Basic healthcare is non existent. Clean drinking water is not free. When all these essentials are not free, Bravo! to the TN Govt. for their free jaggery and cashews for Pongal.

Oh, yes. Its marketing, alright. Election year. But spending on marketing, when the raison d'ĂȘtre of the Government is violated doesn't make much sense, does it? What next? Free pegs at the local TASMAC? Free Gold Flake Kings for Below Poverty Line families?

I just learnt that the origins of this scheme were in 2002 under the previous ADMK regime. Its like both fronts are vying for the top spot!
Ranting like this won't help even a little bit, I know. Crap.