31 October 2011

Chess Writing

I know this is a bloody weird area for me to write on - because I am an average writer and quite an average chess player.

Meh, who cares? Catch me on Sportskeeda, writing about chess - mostly for the advanced beginners.

http://www.sportskeeda.com/author/aswinsam/

I am also planning to start playing the game again. Only this time, I am actually going to learn stuff.

26 October 2011

Velayutham Review - Pattaasu!

In two words, Mass Entertainer.

On seeing the trailer, I was a li'l bit scared. I was scared if this was gonna be another thirupaachi (who am I kidding? I didn't like that movie) - but no, this one was good! In fact, I was quite happy at the end of the movie. It's a must for Vijay fans and fans of the masala movie genre (yes it is one now!) - it's a decent watch for the rest.

This is an Ilayathalapathy movie and we know he is not going to be killed or anything and that the good guy will beat the hell out of the bad guys in the end. But then, the movie itself was handled quite well and there was something in the movie for A, B and C markets, and last I checked, only thalaivar movies had the guts to try that.

I was eagerly looking forward to the next scene all the time. The village sequences were funny, Santhanam was mostly brilliant, very talented people like Soori (parota guy), Pandiarajan and Sayaji Shinde had only a small role to play (Manivannan was there, wasn't he?) and do I even need to say this? Vijay was awesome. Darling Genelia was also awesome (as usual). Given this is my blog, I guess that goes without saying. It was awesome that she had a fair share of the screen time - something that's (in general) not very common in mass movies these days. Hansika's role was an example for the stereotypical heroine portrayal so that made it easy for me to compare as well. Saranya Mohan redid Mallika's Thirupachi part but thankfully, it wasn't as useless as it was in the other movie - she did have a role to play as the sister who keeps her brother from going out of the way to help people.

*Spoiler paragraph*

The story as such was cool. A superhero is created by a journalist (Genelia) to create some sort of fear in terrorists, ministerial accomplices and goons - and Vijay happens to have the same name. On reaching the city from his village, his trysts with Santhanam get him involved with some of the superhero moments. On finding his name to be Velayudham, people believe he is the superhero. He saves Genelia when she gets mixed up with the gang and she explains everything to him. "Will he stay and fight powerful people or Will he mind his own job?" forms the rest of the plot. Predictable, yes. And #wellofcourse, it ends with the 'You shouldn't wait for a hero to emerge. Everyone's a hero.' dialogue.

*End of Spoiler para*

Particularly liked the unintentional superhero storyline (Vijay - Santhanam sequences). There was a lot (a LOT) of action, a lot of comedy, less senti, less punch dialogues, only a couple of mokka comedy attempts (kenathukulla thangam type) but even that appealed to some people in the theatre so I can't complain. I guess that kind was for the kids - but decapitation and stuff don't go hand in hand with that, I think. The Assassin's creed stunt sequences were kinda cool - the guy next to me (a fan of the game, he says) said that some stunts were exactly as it was in the game. Dozens of trained thugs and terrorists were no match for a happy go lucky guy from a village - but that's the way it is in mass movies everywhere and this is no different. In one scene, Vijay just walks in and beats the hell out of some thugs in their hideout. I felt some dialogues totally did not go with the scene (hire me!) - and Vijay should do SOMETHING about those caped dresses in song sequences. Talking about songs, the songs were much better on screen than they were while listening to it, though in all, only average they qualify only as 'much better than average' (repeated listening, you see). (except the brilliant Mayam Seidhayo). Chillax was worth tapping a foot to and again, Maayam Seidhayo was without a doubt the pick of the lot (if you take out the embarrassing Chennai tour part).

Umm, what else? Yea I was so expecting some 'trademark punch line' from the movie - you know, the kind that repeats itself a few times - but that wasn't to be. Sureshot hit in cities. B and C markets would be all over the movie, what with a village resident teaching stuff to city dwellers. In all, I might sound critical of the movie because I expect superior movies from Vijay.

The Mangatha song in the tea stall was kinda nice, without taking any digs at Ajith (especially because of that). I don't want Ajith or Vijay digs in the comments section too, keeping in line with the movie's sentiment. If you insist on being an idiot, please find another blog.

So yea, how was it, you ask? Thumbs up. Yohan can't release soon enough!
(I don't really care about 3 idiots)

10 October 2011

Mythos has begun.

That's the code name for something I've started working on. For the past couple of months, I had been struggling with two book ideas. The struggle was about deciding which book to start working on.

One is a book on changing the world. Another is a book on transforming it.
One is about what we can do in the future. Another is about understanding the past.

Chetan Bhagat's R2020 seems to mildly tread (actually, stomp hard) on the 'changing world' and 'future' parts - including a character name, how about that! So, I have decided to start working on the other one. While I am thankful to CB for making my decision easier, I am not sure whether I should be happy or sad that he thought on the same lines; well, will know for sure if and after I read his book.

When you see me here after, ask me where Mythos is heading. Would help me spend more time on it.

05 October 2011

Living in the Past


I've done some totally awesome stuff in my life. Stuff that other normal kids in a middle class atmosphere don't even dream (or at times, know) about. Stuff that makes me wonder if it is possible for one guy to do all that; even with an MBA from an IIM, some of the things from my past will remain just that - the past.

I love most parts of my life. The parts where I was scarred have made me the better person I am today (I hope) - Sad that it should have come at such high costs - but personally (or in other words, selfishly), the person that I am is a sum of everything I was in my life - the good things, the bad things and the downright funny things. I think my heart's already a little weak from all the thrills of life, but what is the point in protecting it for the sixties anyway?

I have secrets only I know about. I think others have their own secrets too, though I'd imagine they'd be at a smaller scale. I've hurt other people. I've been hurt by a few people. I've helped some people. Many more have helped me - there are awesome people in my life who protect me as I take every step of my life - such awesome people many others in this world can only dream to have as family and friends.

"Would I do it all again?" - Something I've been thinking about since getting up today, and something that ended up being a very pointless blog post.

Perhaps a couple of tweaks here and there - I wouldn't hurt some people I ended up hurting,  but overall, yes. It's probably the best 25 years anyone could ever have - and I'm most grateful for that - to God (hey dude!), to my family, to my most awesome friends, to that twisted rumour called fate / destiny.

I'm almost sure God exists. I'm also almost sure destiny doesn't.

Come to think of it, my life is like that of my country (sorry about the insult, India). While infinite possibilities exist for the future of our nation, a glimmer of our glorious past can always be seen in whatever step we take from here.

Should I put up this very personal but not at all explanatory rant? Or should this just be another post that lives its life as a draft?

Thought about it for a second: Meh!