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Many of our senior citizens , and some who are not so senior as well , will remember with nostalgia those by-gone days when they would be waiting every week with baited breath for the arrival of the Manorama Weekly…
Just to turn to the last page to see what new mischief those irrepressible brats , Boban and Molly were up to that week…
And sure enough, the creator of that much sought-after cartoon strip would never disappoint those folks hanging on on tender hooks ..
He always delivered….!
Cartoonist Toms always did!

M/s. Toms, Sukumar and Seeri, senior kar2nists of Kerala ( Courtesy Kerala Cartoon Academy)

A small incident followed by the main ,longer incident – like an appetiser and the main course- that was the pattern of those cartoon strips, and both were equally delectable and rib tickling ! If the first elicited a chuckle the second longer one set you off rollicking in guffaws!

TOMS , the cartoonist par excellence, was born on the 20th June 1929. His father , the late V.T.Kunjuthomman , was a freedom fighter, who went to jail three times. His mother was late Cicily Thomas. He was born in Athikkalam House, Veliyanadu and baptised in St.Xaviers Church. While he was studying in S.B.College Chaganassery he got himself involved in the freedom movement and was sent to jail for fifteen days and later released. He took his B.A degree from
S.B.College Chaganassery and afterwards joined the Ravi Varma School of Arts in Mavelikkara, and studied art for three years.

As our luck would have it, it was during that period that he happened to notice two young ‘enfente terribles’, a boy and a girl called Boban & Molly, who were his neighbours. They were twins and very mischieveous!

And lo, the idea struck him in a flash!

He decided to model a pair of cartoon characters on them , calling them “Boban” and “Molly” and thus started the saga of “Boban and Molly”!.
– •
His first “Boban and Molly” cartoon appeared in Malayala Manorama weekly in 1955 , a half-page affair. Later he expanded it to a full page execution and published it in the same weekly. It went on for a long 30 years and was lapped up by the Kerala readers, with no questions asked!

It was therefore very unfortunate that towards the end he got entangled in some legal battle with his publishers over the matter of copy right of his creations. After 5 long years of fighting the case ,right up to the portals of Supreme Court, he finally won it !

The good,as they say, always wins in the end!

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I have a suspicion  that the ‘ native ’  White Man in the Immigration Department of the U.S. of A  tends to look down upon anyone with a dark skin-tone,  even if it is only a wee bit darker than his own …

He looks down on ‘Blackies’…
He looks further down on ‘Brownies’…
And for all I know he might even be looking down on his own fellow county men if they happened to sport a deep sun burn from a long Caribbean holiday.

Looks like they all are programmed  to do that,  I mean , Look Down…

(Click on the Image for a larger picture )

( I wonder how they dare walk across  a busy U.S. street full of  fast moving traffic  with a head postured like that! )

Otherwise why the American Immigration guys did what they did to two of the visiting Indian diplomatic honchos in the recent past ?

In the wake of the 9/11 incident maybe their  spontaneous  suspicion of any thing that moves or crawls into their Great Country on two legs ( and perhaps even on 4 legs or 8 legs ! )  is understandable…
Up to a point, that is. No quarrels there…

But getting fiercely neurotic about it is carrying things too far…especially if that is colour biased…
They seem to be throwing to the winds the internationally recognised and binding Vienna Convention  on Diplomatic Relations,  not to mention flaunting their puffed-up arrogance , and it is nothing short of sheer nerve!

A few weeks ago it was reported in the Indian newspapers that a top envoy of India at the United Nations was forced to cool his heels in a Houston Airport in the U.S. of A, all because  he wore a strange looking head gear –strange for them, that is !

These Immigration blokes wanted him to remove it so that  they could  take a peek to see whether the poor guy was carrying any armoury within it ! But surely you can’t hide an AK 47  in a ‘turban’, Man !
Or,  maybe nobody told them that!

Apparently this Sardar was made of sterner stuff and more than a match for them. So, he got god-awful angry and refused to cave in. And when his face turned blood red with a deep flush on it  the Skin Colour Checkers’ decided that the guy was after all not a ‘Brownee’  !
So they let him in , in the end!

Coming close on its heels was another incident where a woman diplomat, in fact the Indian Ambassador to the United States, became the next victim at Jackson-Evers Airport in Mississippi . She was even frisked, ( hopefully not by a Male ! ), an occurance unheard of in the annals of Diplomacy !
The poor lady  had to face this  humiliation because the “sari” she wore became her bane. The Skin Colour Checkers thought she was up to no good by simply looking at her skin colour and quickly concluded that she sure was carrying a moderately sized Paton tank in her sari’s vast folds ! ( all of 5 yards, y’know! )

In both these cases all that the Indian Authorities  did was to make some loud and

squeaky noises through their rear end and leave things at that!

That maybe because we are possibly a bunch of gutless  guys…
Or  Maybe we are bunch of  guys with a weak spine which was made considerably pliable, especially in the backward direction, by the British during their plundering days…

Otherwise why did  we not do a ‘tit-for-tat’ act with some of the visiting dignitaries from that land of milk and honey? On the contrary, they  blocked an entire suite of hotels for the entourage of “Oh!Bama” and rolled out a blood-red carpet welcome for them….!

Maybe we get what we deserve…

Would these Immigration blokes have dared to mount  such a disgusting act against a man or woman come visiting from any of the muslim countries ?
Or would they have dared to do it to a French guy ?
Or would they have dared to do it their cousins from the distant Islands of  UK ?
I doubt very much!

As some wit said, ( or was it me?  I wonder !  ) …

You can’t choose your father…
You can’t choose your mother… or for that matter,
You can’t choose the colour of your skin either…

Cut a Whitie and he bleeds red…
Cut a Darkie and he bleeds red….
Cut a Brownee and he bleeds red too!

Unless the guy happens to be an Alien from the outer space, in which case the bloke bleeds anything other than red,  or so these Sci-Fi guys would have us believe….!

Underneath , we are all of the same stock of  Homo-sapiens…with the same strong sense of Dignity …( I don’t know about that Alien chappie, though  )

I hope these  immigration guys  would read this and do something about it ! 

In the meanwhile,  I would suggest the following solution to the intending ‘

colurful’ visitors to that Great Land of Skin Colour Checkers…

Try it, it is a sure shot !

(Click on the Image for a larger picture )



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When I was a kid we used to play cricket with abandon on a small stretch of land in a large playground, proving ourselves to be a veritable menace to the people who crossed our path…

We  guys had the best of cricket paraphernalia to boast of…

 3 used stumps  for the batsman’s end.
 1 equally used stump for the bowler’s end.
  a pair of tattered and abandoned keepers’ gloves cast aside by our ‘elders’ ( a local club with a clutch  of ‘players’  who were the ‘seniors’ in the business and from whom we learned the ropes ) ,
 one-and-a-half cricket bats ( the ‘half’ was the one having a broken-off  handle and was invariably assigned to the ‘shorty’ in the group)

 And a much stitched-up cricket ball which at times , especially after   a ‘ heavy hit’ , opened up  like a heavily pregnant woman struck by a 5-ton truck .

We played the game bare-footed, no fancy boots…And the game we played had no room for skirmishes,  rancor, controversy or in-fights. It was pure and simple   which left  behind no rivalry or heart  burning after  a session. So much so that both the teams   used to troop into the nearest vegetarian restaurant after the practice and order a ‘’2/5  masala dosa plate” – that is 2 masala dosas cut into 5 pieces, one each for each individual…or 3/7 if it was our unlucky day and we had   two more mouths to feed in the group…

Those were the days when cricket was cricket… played for the pure pleasure of it!

Watch what  is happening now!

After  Kerry Francis Bullmore Packer, the Australian media magnet and founder of World Series Cricket, known popularly as Kerry Packer ,  ‘packed off’ the ‘old ideas’ and speeded up  the game’s proceedings by shoving  a large piece of what I would like to call  ‘chillius Hotanamus’ ( hot chilly to you:-) up its bum,  the game  of Cricket underwent a metamorphosis  . This change  was   welcomed by the  impatient  folks  who had no time  to sit through a typical game of English Cricket- called ‘TESTS’ . These ‘anachronisms’  were therefore relegated to the back benches and left to nurse their wounds quietly.

Soon all that was overshadowed and ‘Modified’ by the money mafia. Cricket was high-jacked by the likes of Modi et al…and today it  has turned out to be a business venture, a shady one at that.. with the Game taking a back seat and nursing – once again you guessed it right!-  the above-mentioned wounds

Now,   erstwhile rivals are  co-players and erstwhile co-players are rivals.. Participating teams have  no national identity  to whip up spectators’  loyalties and exhort them  to  cheer honestly. The new teams  have only a ‘stable horse’ existence in the field. One  doesn’t feel a sense of ‘Mine’  towards any team any more…

Of course  with the Americanisation of the poor game of Cricket, bottom-shaking , ‘reveal-all’ babes, the so-called ‘cheer girls’ , are in prominent attendance  but that is all contrived cheering and  not  the spontaneous type … They will shake their tits for any damn team which comes along… They have allegiance to none…!

The roar of lucre rumbles through the stadiums now as  the stable owners’ stocks line up for a face-off . And it may well be against their own for all they know – What they  enact is a modern version of the Roman Gladiator Games…

At this rate we will soon be hearing about Wankade Colosseum, Chinnaswamy Colosseum, Feroz Kotla Colosseum , Eaden Gardens Colosseum…  the list is bound to  grow!

Cricket ? …This?
You must  be joking!

And our Cricket Gladiators?
Click here>>>slave-trade2

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When I was a kid we used to play cricket with abandon on a small stretch of land in a large playground, proving ourselves to be a veritable menace to the people who crossed our path…

We  guys had the best of cricket paraphernalia to boast of…

 3 used stumps  for the batsman’s end.
 1 equally used stump for the bowler’s end.
  a pair of tattered and abandoned keepers’ gloves cast aside by our ‘elders’ ( a local club with a clutch  of ‘players’  who were the ‘seniors’ in the business and from whom we learned the ropes ) ,
 one-and-a-half cricket bats ( the ‘half’ was the one having a broken-off  handle and was invariably assigned to the ‘shorty’ in the group)

 And a much stitched-up cricket ball which at times , especially after   a ‘ heavy hit’ , opened up  like a heavily pregnant woman struck by a 5-ton truck .

We played the game bare-footed, no fancy boots…And the game we played had no room for skirmishes,  rancor, controversy or in-fights. It was pure and simple   which left  behind no rivalry or heart  burning after  a session. So much so that both the teams   used to troop into the nearest vegetarian restaurant after the practice and order a ‘’2/5  masala dosa plate” – that is 2 masala dosas cut into 5 pieces, one each for each individual…or 3/7 if it was our unlucky day and we had   two more mouths to feed in the group…

Those were the days when cricket was cricket… played for the pure pleasure of it!

Watch what  is happening now!

After  Kerry Francis Bullmore Packer, the Australian media magnet and founder of World Series Cricket, known popularly as Kerry Packer ,  ‘packed off’ the ‘old ideas’ and speeded up  the game’s proceedings by shoving  a large piece of what I would like to call  ‘chillius Hotanamus’ ( hot chilly to you:-) up its bum,  the game  of Cricket underwent a metamorphosis  . This change  was   welcomed by the  impatient  folks  who had no time  to sit through a typical game of English Cricket- called ‘TESTS’ . These ‘anachronisms’  were therefore relegated to the back benches and left to nurse their wounds quietly.

Soon all that was overshadowed and ‘Modified’ by the money mafia. Cricket was high-jacked by the likes of Modi et al…and today it  has turned out to be a business venture, a shady one at that.. with the Game taking a back seat and nursing – once again you guessed it right!-  the above-mentioned wounds

Now,   erstwhile rivals are  co-players and erstwhile co-players are rivals.. Participating teams have  no national identity  to whip up spectators’  loyalties and exhort them  to  cheer honestly. The new teams  have only a ‘stable horse’ existence in the field. One  doesn’t feel a sense of ‘Mine’  towards any team any more…

Of course  with the Americanisation of the poor game of Cricket, bottom-shaking , ‘reveal-all’ babes, the so-called ‘cheer girls’ , are in prominent attendance  but that is all contrived cheering and  not  the spontaneous type … They will shake their tits for any damn team which comes along… They have allegiance to none…!

The roar of lucre rumbles through the stadiums now as  the stable owners’ stocks line up for a face-off . And it may well be against their own for all they know – What they  enact is a modern version of the Roman Gladiator Games…

At this rate we will soon be hearing about Wankade Colosseum, Chinnaswamy Colosseum, Feroz Kotla Colosseum , Eaden Gardens Colosseum…  the list is bound to  grow!

Cricket ? …This?
You must  be joking!

And our Cricket Gladiators?
Click here>>>slave-trade2

Read Full Post »

The Smart Sh***y  !

This is the second time I am talking about this matter in my Blog.   Under normal circumstances I wouldn’t have done an encore. However here is  case that is crying out loud for a ‘repeat’ !

A ‘mega project’ that was ‘ tom-tomed’ about for more than 2 years in Kerala is nearing its ‘grave’ phase after many ‘ups’ and ‘downs’. The much hyped  Smart City, planned to be juxtaposed with the Infopark in Kochi is being prepared for an indecent burial…

When it was announced initially ,  Keralites  from far and near were thrilled… The excitement was revved up by thoughts of its possible beneficial spin-offs..   This was a heaven-sent gift to the Gods’ Own Country and could be a panacea for all its ills including  unemployment…they thought.

However, its progress, for what it is worth,  was more a nail biting wait. Oftentimes  media IN boxes were flooded with correspondence of anxiety,  whenever the project came close to its ‘downs’ – and there  were many in its  growing up period.

Hopes were raised high and many well-settled families living in the area  got the boot  at the sword point of governmental authority to make way for the planned extravaganza. Meetings after meetings were scheduled and held with the promoters and fell through like nine pins …

All because of a free-holding land issue which became the main bone of contention!

The promoters wanted 12% freehold land which they said was there in the agreement . But the Government ( read ‘VS’ ) feared that these bourgeois will sell it once they got their hands on it and make a fast buck . Bourgeois  making a ‘fast buck’ ,  must be  anathema to the communist ideology. So  the Government ( read er… well, let’s leave it !)  stuck to its stand  like a leach, and to hell with the aspirations of the ‘am admis’  of Kerala’s.

So It said  No!….
And the Promoters said ‘Yes!’ …
And It emphatically said NO…NO… NO…!

And the promoters  emphatically countered: ‘YES’ ,and added two more , … ‘YES… YES’…to drive home their point!

That was the pattern of dialogue most of the time during their numerous ‘fruitful discussions’!

The Government  also quoted for good measure, ‘other reasons’ for its dilly-dallying posture, such as…

> Poor relationship with Promoters ( who caused it was not known!)
> Centre’s antipathy towards Kerala’s  request to give SEZ satatus to the project ( blame it on the CENTRE when you are stymied… )

Given half a chance they would have also   cited force majeure eventualities  like:-

-A mongrel  on the newly done-up road to Smart City site pissed with abandon on the ‘SMART CITY marker board which being of Govenment quality collapsed immediatly and added to project cost 😉

-The cat on the roadside winked leacherously  at the visiting Promoters making their morale sag like an old whore’s tits…

Well…anything that  helped  them  to do some more dithering …

The promoters  of course sat through all these verbal calisthenics with a tolerant  smile , perhaps savouring the pathetic  cussedness of our  comrades- in- arms…
And they appeared least concerned about cats and dogs and their antics..

Last  heard , the parties had what the chairman called a statotary meeting of the Board on the 30th of  March 2010. But apart from  jacking up the expectations of the masses,  all it helped to do was to take the fizz out of the  tea party that accompanied it with  no serious discussions to remove the stumbling blocks . Not even the ‘much accustomed to’ dialogue cited earlier  … Bah!
Mum was the word on all “embarrassing matters”, said the Minister!

Even now, the  Chieftains of this still-born project  appear to be  in no great hurry to pursue the matter and bail out this suffering southern state of India from its many self-inflicted woes.  On the other hand, they seem to be  quite sure that their concerted efforts to ‘talaq’ the state out of its promised deliverance  will bear fruit very soon. So they are   contemplating ,with a show of dare devilry , ‘other  alternatives’ such as  procuring a new   partner to take the project forward…

And with their track record, that  attempt also may meet the same sad end.

Be that as it may, some new  initiatives may be taken by their political archenemies  to revive  the project   once they win the  next elections, which appears to be  a cinch  . But so what?…

The outgoing ‘non-performers’  are sure they can thwart all efforts of the  former with gusto. They know  that they , as the new “Opposition” , will   have   a bucket-full of  ‘monkey wrenches’ and ‘spanners’ up their  rolled-up sleeves to derail it…
And that will happen…Sure as the nose on your face…

In the end, we the hapless people of Kerala will have all but lost yet another prestigious project , coming as it does in the wake of its predecessors like  the Nokia and BMW plants , to some other more enterprising and pragmatic   State.

And we the people  of ‘God’s Own Land’ will be the losers, which ever way the cookie crumbles…

And crumble, it will…

The nagging question that remains in my mind ,however, is this :-

What will happen to those poor people who got the short end of the shoe ?
The ‘grave diggers’ should answer it, I suppose!

Click here>>>gravemistakes

Read Full Post »

The Smart Sh***y  !

This is the second time I am talking about this matter in my Blog.   Under normal circumstances I wouldn’t have done an encore. However here is  case that is crying out loud for a ‘repeat’ !

A ‘mega project’ that was ‘ tom-tomed’ about for more than 2 years in Kerala is nearing its ‘grave’ phase after many ‘ups’ and ‘downs’. The much hyped  Smart City, planned to be juxtaposed with the Infopark in Kochi is being prepared for an indecent burial…

When it was announced initially ,  Keralites  from far and near were thrilled… The excitement was revved up by thoughts of its possible beneficial spin-offs..   This was a heaven-sent gift to the Gods’ Own Country and could be a panacea for all its ills including  unemployment…they thought.

However, its progress, for what it is worth,  was more a nail biting wait. Oftentimes  media IN boxes were flooded with correspondence of anxiety,  whenever the project came close to its ‘downs’ – and there  were many in its  growing up period.

Hopes were raised high and many well-settled families living in the area  got the boot  at the sword point of governmental authority to make way for the planned extravaganza. Meetings after meetings were scheduled and held with the promoters and fell through like nine pins …

All because of a free-holding land issue which became the main bone of contention!

The promoters wanted 12% freehold land which they said was there in the agreement . But the Government ( read ‘VS’ ) feared that these bourgeois will sell it once they got their hands on it and make a fast buck . Bourgeois  making a ‘fast buck’ ,  must be  anathema to the communist ideology. So  the Government ( read er… well, let’s leave it !)  stuck to its stand  like a leach, and to hell with the aspirations of the ‘am admis’  of Kerala’s.

So It said  No!….
And the Promoters said ‘Yes!’ …
And It emphatically said NO…NO… NO…!

And the promoters  emphatically countered: ‘YES’ ,and added two more , … ‘YES… YES’…to drive home their point!

That was the pattern of dialogue most of the time during their numerous ‘fruitful discussions’!

The Government  also quoted for good measure, ‘other reasons’ for its dilly-dallying posture, such as…

> Poor relationship with Promoters ( who caused it was not known!)
> Centre’s antipathy towards Kerala’s  request to give SEZ satatus to the project ( blame it on the CENTRE when you are stymied… )

Given half a chance they would have also   cited force majeure eventualities  like:-

-A mongrel  on the newly done-up road to Smart City site pissed with abandon on the ‘SMART CITY marker board which being of Govenment quality collapsed immediatly and added to project cost 😉

-The cat on the roadside winked leacherously  at the visiting Promoters making their morale sag like an old whore’s tits…

Well…anything that  helped  them  to do some more dithering …

The promoters  of course sat through all these verbal calisthenics with a tolerant  smile , perhaps savouring the pathetic  cussedness of our  comrades- in- arms…
And they appeared least concerned about cats and dogs and their antics..

Last  heard , the parties had what the chairman called a statotary meeting of the Board on the 30th of  March 2010. But apart from  jacking up the expectations of the masses,  all it helped to do was to take the fizz out of the  tea party that accompanied it with  no serious discussions to remove the stumbling blocks . Not even the ‘much accustomed to’ dialogue cited earlier  … Bah!
Mum was the word on all “embarrassing matters”, said the Minister!

Even now, the  Chieftains of this still-born project  appear to be  in no great hurry to pursue the matter and bail out this suffering southern state of India from its many self-inflicted woes.  On the other hand, they seem to be  quite sure that their concerted efforts to ‘talaq’ the state out of its promised deliverance  will bear fruit very soon. So they are   contemplating ,with a show of dare devilry , ‘other  alternatives’ such as  procuring a new   partner to take the project forward…

And with their track record, that  attempt also may meet the same sad end.

Be that as it may, some new  initiatives may be taken by their political archenemies  to revive  the project   once they win the  next elections, which appears to be  a cinch  . But so what?…

The outgoing ‘non-performers’  are sure they can thwart all efforts of the  former with gusto. They know  that they , as the new “Opposition” , will   have   a bucket-full of  ‘monkey wrenches’ and ‘spanners’ up their  rolled-up sleeves to derail it…
And that will happen…Sure as the nose on your face…

In the end, we the hapless people of Kerala will have all but lost yet another prestigious project , coming as it does in the wake of its predecessors like  the Nokia and BMW plants , to some other more enterprising and pragmatic   State.

And we the people  of ‘God’s Own Land’ will be the losers, which ever way the cookie crumbles…

And crumble, it will…

The nagging question that remains in my mind ,however, is this :-

What will happen to those poor people who got the short end of the shoe ?
The ‘grave diggers’ should answer it, I suppose!

Click here>>>gravemistakes

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The average Malayali , it appears , is  sectarian by nature. Be it in the field of art ,  or politics he has to belong to a sect. These sects are like bacteria that divide and divide and divide… and go  on and on until the ultimate level is reached where the sect has only one person.. Then, as one wit put it, he sits up and laments that he can’t divide himself any more!

When I think of this, the picture that comes to mind is the Malayali’s favourite fireworks during the  Trichur Pooram Festival’ where the ‘rocket  goes up and dispays a brilliant ‘sectarian’ multiplication!

And while in his sect he has to indulge in his favourite past-time.. torpedoing the moves of rival ‘sectarians’. The desire to do so is so strong that he won’t think twice about taking on an adversary 100 times his size…It is all in the gene…

Take the recent case of the skirmish between Malalyali actor Thilakan and his opponent, ‘AMMA’, short for ‘ Association of Malayalam Movie  Actors’ !

That acronym incidentally appears to be  the most unsuited one for this organisation, vis –s –vis  its recent  acts of bravery against this  lonely oldie….

The word ‘AMMA’ in Malayalam, or its variants in other languages are considered to be a universal symbol of love and compassion or so Mata Amrithanandamayi’s followers would have us believe, huh?  The word  invokes a feeling  of protection… but does it, in this case?

On the contrary, it is a determined fox hunt, where a pack of aging ‘have-beens’ of the Malayalam film world hunt a lone, limping old fox and does an over kill by suspending him from the Organisation! The entire episode  looked like using an over-flabbed road roller to kill a ‘refusing-to-die’ mosquito!

Apparently, this thespian’s only fault was his  determination to take on this set of aged, ‘have been’  grease-paint-sporters  of the  filmdom head on  … deciplinary action be damned!

And he is now  nursing the wound of the boot!

If all he aired is true , he  has apparently been given a raw deal by some top rankers in the Org.   Perhaps because of that he had spoken out loud and clear,  about the underhanded   tactics employed  by some of the these clout-wielding members at the helm of ‘Amma’s affairs…!   And the ‘Amma family’ was not amused… not at all!

But there is an school of thought that tends to  agree that  his uttering have a grain of truth in them , though the methodology he used to air his greivences by going public  maybe frowned upon. But some of his allegations  do make you sit up and wonder…I did!

These  happenings were also widely telecast by most channels who knew where their next buck was coming from! This washing of the dirtiest of linens in public must have bagged a  high  viewer-rating , perhaps higher than that of the Idea Star Singer show on the air!

Last heard, this ‘Outcast’ is now planing to float an independent   association to produce his own films…

For what?

Maybe To split again 😉

A ‘sectarian’ to the core!

Click here>>>  spilt-personality

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