Monday, July 30, 2007

Answers for Cine Quiz 4

  1. Connect: Santosh Shivan, Bharathiraja and Mani Ratnam (They are directors – that’s common knowledge) Ans: Have won the National Award for best regional film more than once.
  2. Connect: Chandra Sekhar, Atul Kulkarni, Nagesh and Prakash Raj. (Besides acting as Villains) Ans: National Film Award for Best Supporting Actor
  3. Connect: Thillu Mullu and My Dear Marthandan. Ans: Guest Roles by Kamal Hassan
  4. Apart from being brothers, what is the common link between Surya – Karthik and Dhanush – Selvaraghavan? Ans: Surya and Dhanush have assumed names while the other two have real names.
  5. Expand T.I.G. Ans: Trust In God - Alaipayuthey Dialog. Doctor to Madhavan
  6. Ans: Johnny - Right after Rajni and Suruli Rajan rob the jeweller. The photo was cut to take out suruli rajan from the frame or else it would have been a sitter.
  7. Ans: Visu from Varavu Nalla Uruavu. In my knowledge, this is the only movie where Visu comes with a bald head.
  8. Ans: Varumayin Niranm Sigappu. The scene where Sridevi tries to convince Prathap Pothen to give Kamal Hassan a job in his father's company.
  9. Micheal Madhana Kaama Rajan. Crazy Mohan to Kamal Hassan - in maligai kadai.
  10. Iru Kodugal, 'Sowcar' Janaki to 'Gemini' Ganesan.
Lots of visitors had emailed me about how to take screen shots of movie scenes - you can use BSPLAYER, a free player in which pressing the key P or CTRL+P helps you make real time captures.

Congrats to Blogeswari for a scorching performance - the best score so far in this quiz series. Zero as always, was consistent with 7/10.

The next quiz will be up later this week!

Thanks to all of you who are making this quiz going.


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Cine Quiz 4

Please mail me the answers to karthik.sriram[at]yahoo[dot]com

Please do not google for answers and be sportive enough to accept it if you googled.

I guess this time the questions are much simpler as, in my efforts to make them non-googleable, I reduced my trivia resources.


1. Connect: Santosh Shivan, Bharathiraja and Mani Ratnam (They are directors – that’s common knowledge)
2. Connect: Thillu Mullu and My Dear Marthandan
3. Apart from being brothers, what is the common link between Surya – Karthik and Dhanush – Selvaraghavan?
4. Connect: Chandra Sekhar, Atul Kulkarni, Nagesh and Prakash Raj. (Besides acting as Villains)
5. Expand T.I.G. (this was a jargon introduced in a film)

6. Guess the movie:
7. Guess the Movie:

8. Guess the movie:
9. Guess the movie from dialog: "...... ippo kudumbame plus two ayiduchey?"

10. Guess the movie from dialog: ".... Naan file pathi pesala, life ah pathi pesaren"

Questions 4 and 7 are tiebreaker questions.

Good Luck!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Cinema Quiz - 3

A request: Please don't try googling. If you Google, be sportive enough to say that you googled! This is to keep an even keel for the contest - as some members don't want to Google. Also, please mail me the answers to karthiksriram[at]gmail[dot]com.

1. Connect Arvind Samy and Surya. (Apart from acting in lead roles in Mani Ratnam movies.)
2. How are Vasantha Balan and Gaana Ulaganthan connected?
3. Analogy:
Azhagan:ayitha ezhuthu::naan avan illai:________.
4. Its a song featuring actor X and another female actor. The song was sung by one actor Y and another national award winner, Z(she). Can you guess X, Y and Z?
5. Apart from making debut together, similarity to Trisha and Shyam?
6. This comedy actor was the first comedian to be paid in lakhs. Who is he? (Clue: He's also known another of his talents apart from his comedy acting)
7. Connect Sarath Kumar, Jeevan and K. Bhagyaraj.
8. Fill in the blanks:
_______ ________ soozha valam seidhu
naaraNa nambi nadakinraan enredhir
pooraNa porkudam veithu puramengum
thoraNam naatta kana kanden thozhi naan
9. Prisoner of Zenda(novel) had a big part in Tamizh Nadu's political history. What is it?
10. Apart from being from the same family (and perhaps looks too), Ilayaraja, Yuvan and Karthik Raja have a special link - what is it?

Good Luck!

The questions in Italics are tiebreakers, meaning if 2 or more people get same number of correct answers, the one who has answered more number of tiebreakers questions will be declared winner. If two/more people have same number of correct answers with same number of tiebreaker questions, the person who answered earlier wins.

CBSE English Books

With Hawkeye and Dushti reminiscencing about CBSE english books and prose reading sections, this is something interesting I found by googling.

Click Here.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

One Night @ the Call Center

The second from Mr. Bhagat does come with an interesting premise - there are 6 people who work in a call center and each of them has his/her own personal and professional problems. The entire story happens on a single night when after a series of unfortunate events, the six of them receive a call from God, when they are on the edge of falling into a gorge. Interested?

My interest in reading this book was twofold:
1. I got the two Bhagath books for a good deal online
2. I was so in sync with Five Point Someone, that I wanted to see whether it was a flash in the pan or not.

The book appeals with realism and you tend to accept Shyam, the narrator for what he and at the same time, you can't help feeling that he is not a go-getter, which is why he faces his problems in life.

The call from God has not been overdone and over hyped - rather, as it was with Life of Pi, the caller/speaker could be anybody else - even one amongst the 6 people facing death, but the narrator/Bhagath chooses to call it God. I think the book hints at this possibility too.

The only bad thing I found about the book was the cinematic ending - was very contrived and that ending spoils the effect of the book, at least for me.

Verdict: Time pass. Definitely not a Must Read.

Friday, July 13, 2007

One for you, me and everybody

A superb effort from ARR

I'm wedded to google - that's why google video instead of youtube!

Rahman's take on the effort:

Google videos didn't have this video on it - so courtesy youtube!

I really loved this song and the video and ARR's reason for making it different - instead of showing India or some other third world country, the production team has shown America, where with great wealth lies great hatred and intolerance. The lyrics (by Blaaze) does strike a chord and for me, one line sums it all up:

"Are you looking for a reason,
to be kind......."

Recently, in the place I'm interning for this summer, there was a "help the community" kind of event for which there was a 50-50 raffles draw, meaning all people pool in a certain amount, X out of which half goes to one lucky winner and the other half goes to charity. I was taken aback with such an arrangement, which was basically trying to turn charity into some form of lucky draw.

This song is definitely needed in these dark times!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

5 Point Someone

I was inspired to read this book quite lately - I saw some reviews on wikipedia, some other arbit websites and of course, Orkut!

The book is basically about 3 friends - Ryan, Hari and Alok - 3 guys who have nothing but their courses and hostel in common. The book starts right at the moment these 3 guys enter the "hallowed" portals of IIT. What follows is a downward spiral for all 3 of them - from being one of the nations best minds to some anonymous five point "something"s and in the end how they turn out to be "someone - the journey is realistic and keeps you hooked.

To many Indians who consider IIT as nothing short of a temple and people who study there as direct descendants of Einstien, this book tries to show that people at IIT are also normal human beings with their share of emotions and not walking talking encyclopedias.

The way in which Ryan keeps questioning the need to stick to dogma at the institution where India's best minds are supposed to revel in engineering creativity, touches a chord.

Overall, the book was an amazing read. I really loved it and really hope that Bhagat comes up with a sequel of some sorts. Click here to know more.

Verdict: Must Read

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Cinema Quiz 2

Well, there were 4 people who showed interest in the previous one - so lets see how many want to have a crack at this...

Answers for Cinema Quiz 1:

1. chinmayee
2. all of them won national award under rahman (Spb got it with IR too)
3. Panchu arunachalam, bhairavi movie
4. P.Vasu's dad was MGRs personal make up man
5. Puriyadha pudhir. The famous dialog being Raguvarans "I know, I know".
6. both of them won national awards for both black and white and color.
7. Sarika Kamal Hassan, won the national award for costume designing in Hey Ram.
8. All of them had Ajit in the lead in their debut films which went to make silver jubilee hits.
9. Arjunan Master
10. K. Bhagyaraj.

How many did u know?

Dushti won it with 8.5/10 and Blogeswari came a creditable second!

Well now to the questions for this quiz:

1. Who is the music director of Nammavar? (easiest one of this quiz)
2. Who wrote the story for Bharathiraja's Taj Mahal?
3. What is Yuvan Shankar Raja's first movie?
4. What was special about Pandiyanin Rajiyathil Oyalala song from Pandiyan?
5. Who is the MD of Chithiram Pesuthadi? She/He is a scion of a famous musician - identify She/He and the illustrious senior.
6.What is Madhavan's first film?
7. Who wrote the lyrics for Pettai Rap song in Kadhalan?
8. Aan Pavam has one unique first attached to it - what is it?
9. Which was the first 70mm film in Tamizh?
10. What is a common thread through these films: Kandukondein Kandukondein, Alaipayuthey, Mugavari, Kannathil Muthamittal, Anjali and Mozhi. (Don't think too hard and complicated).

The questions in Italics are tiebreakers, meaning if 2 or more people get same number of correct answers, the one who has answered more number of tiebreakers questions will be declared winner. If two/more people have same number of correct answers with same number of tiebreaker questions, the person who answered earlier wins.

In case, you don't want to give the answers publicly (it will help people who see the quiz after you), you can email the answers to But make sure you post a comment so that I know the chronological order of attempts!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Hail, Emperor Federer

This is the best Roger final for me. The opponent was giving more than 100 percent and Federer was not close to his personal best, but still won. I can now, with some definite authority say Federer is miles ahead of Nadal on any surface other than clay. And in my age, after Sampras, Roger is up there. Though in terms of stats, Fedex leads Pistol Pete, Pistol Pete nudges ahead, just because of the high quality of competition that he had while, nowadays, Fedex matches are more of how badly the opponent gets kick-a**ed (again not on clay). And Sampras is closer to the heart for his equanimity - Pistol rarely celebrated a point and after a win was the most composed person (this changed only in one final - his final final in US Open where he came from nowhere to win the tournament).

But lets savor the moment - Hail Emporeror Federer. Till he loses his touch, Federer will always qualify for this at Wimbledon - Veni, vidi, vici.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Cine Quiz - 1

I'm a self proclaimed Tamizh Cinema PhD. This quiz series is to spread the knowledge.

1. Who dubbed for Bhumika in Sillunu Oru Kadhal?
2. Connect these singers: Unnikrishnan, Shankar Mahadevan, S.P. Balasubramanian. (Think more than national awards)
3. Who gave Rajni Kanth the title of "SuperStar" and from which movie did the title of SuperStar appear for Rajni Kanth?
4. Connect P. Vasu and MGR.
5. What was director K.S.Ravikumar's first film? (Can you also tell the famous dialog from the movie?)
6. What is the distinction of cameramen, K.K. Mahajan and Balu Mahendra (Clue: National Award)
7. Y is the divorced wife of multiple time National Award Winner,X. Y also has one National award - Identify Y and category in which she won the national award.
8. Connect: Saran, A.R. Murugadas and S.J.Surya (This is a sitter)
9. A.R. Rahman worked under X in Malayalam before he got the opportunity to be the MD of Roja. Identify X.
10. Whom did MGR call as his "Kalai Ulaga Varisu"?

This is the first set and so many of you might find the questions to be very very easy. The toughness increases progressively.

The questions in Italics are tiebreakers, meaning if 2 or more people get same number of correct answers, the one who has answered more number of tiebreakers questions will be declared winner. If two/more people have same number of correct answers with same number of tiebreaker questions, the person who answered earlier wins.

In Case, you don't want to give the answers publicly (it will help people who see the quiz after you), you can email the answers to But make sure you post a comment so that I know the chronological order of attempts!

Good Luck!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Tagged - Repeatu!

Courtesy: Nirmal, Once more!

Here are the rules:
1. Players start with 5 random facts about themselves.
2. Those who are tagged should post these rules and their 5 random facts.

I love animals - in the zoo! I'm not comfortable with anything that is not human, around me! I have a special "tryst" with dogs that they can't stand me and I can't stand them - as I have already mentioned here! Cats - the only cat I like is the one which comes in Tom & Jerry cartoon!

2) Tamizh Cinema
I'm a self proclaimed Tamizh Cinema PhD. Especially movies which came after 1990 are my favorite "research" area. I can talk about every detail of the film - starting from heroes to dubbing artistes for heroines!

3) Music
I enjoy music in various forms - Tamil film music, Carnatic, Hindustani, Instrumental and a very little of rock. I can't survive without my MP3 player. Musicindiaonline, Raaga, Oosai were one of the first sites I bookmark on any computer that I use.

4) Spirituality, Religion and Roots
Recently, I'm trying to develop myself on these aspects. I trying to fall into the habit of doing the sandyavandhanam as often as possible. I'm seeking to renew my knowledge in Indian History - starting from Harappa till current day stuff. So far, I have been a English fiction reader, but now I'm trying to read some stuff which deals with atheism, theism, tamizh literature such as Ponniyin Selvan, Sivagamiyin Sabatham. I'm also currently doing some parallel study of Hinduism and its roots - to more about concepts like Brahman, Advaita and try to practice as much as possible.

5) Tech Stuff
Apart from Windows, I don't know to operate any other OS. I know only 2 programming languages - C++ and BASIC (both were taught at school). But I have the ability to learn stuff fast - I'm pretty good with office (does that count as computer skills?) and perhaps video encoding/decoding stuff - courtesy downloading movies from torrents. I dont even know how to write a single line of code in HTML or any further enhancements of HTML. I think I thank Mr. Gates atleast once a day for making stuff easier for dorks like me. Nowadays, increasingly, Google is saving me much more often than Mr. Gates.

I pass the tag to Yuvabharathi.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Ides of July!

Well, this is the time of the year when I turn older by an year. From the time I've a mental record of, I've always hated getting older. People expected you to act mature, behave responsibly, study well - whew! and perhaps build a rocket to moon as well! All this when the only change in me would have been that I would outgrown my previous birthday's shirt!

Ever since I was a small kid, the candle-cake thingy seemed funny to me! The sight of those conical party caps drives me sick with laughter - man, the guy who invented them must have a sick sense of humor, really! I have always avoided anything like a social thingy for my birthdays and had been lucky till I went to college, where, instead of cutting a cake, I was kicked and kicked and kicked and kicked and kicked till I used all my weight induced potential energy to break free and go home, with a smacked ass!

Once I was out of India, there was this kind of bday "fun" (for whom?) when after this ass-smack, everything from spoiled sambar to beer and tide detergent gets poured over you and you pretty much cant do anything other than pray that that gets over quickly. This ends only for some projectile action - eggs, bulbs and what-ever that breaks when it hits you are thrown at you. After some twenty two and half hits, it "hits" you that you can escape this by feigning a surprise hit on the eye. So I do that, people take pity and stop and as a mark of the end of ceremonies, pour whatever that is left behind from the previous round of pour-o-mania and leave you to lick your wounds - only to find you licked some tide on spoiled sambar crap - Yuck! A 2 hour bath later, with a just-returned-from-garbage-bin smell, you come out and get to sleep thinking whether the birthday was worth all this...... Perhaps birthdays are best left undisclosed!

Anyways, 23 is another number and has no connection to me! :P

Ever 16,
Karthik Sriram

Nonsense Trivia: Julius Caesar was assassinated on the ides of March and my bday falls on the ides of July (the month named after J. Caesar)- Now, I warned this was nonsense!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Bardhan in Devil's Advocate

Courtesy: CNN-IBN Website. For full interview, click here.

From this interview, the Communists in India act on one directive - be always against BJP. If Prathibha Patil's integrity is questioned, this guy talks about L.K. Advani, who isn't even contesting the presidential elections. Kitchen Cabinet of Sonia Gandhi is working well! And pity that the Communists have come to this level.

The following questions are the real peaches! Excerpts:

Karan Thapar: You call them lies, but lets explore some of them in detail. Let us begin with the Pratibha Mahila Sahakari Bank. She was it’s chairperson and later its director. And even when she hasn’t held those posts, she has been the critical person running the bank.

In 2003, when the Reserve Bank of India closed the bank, it commented – “allowing the bank to carry on banking business would be detrimental to the interest of present and future shareholders and hence it’s license is hereby cancelled.”

Should a woman who virtually presided over a failed bank be the next President of India?

A B Bardhan: Well, so many institutions fail. That’s quite another question. But she was the chairperson only for a certain period.

Karan Thapar: I am afraid I have to correct you.

A B Bardhan: Facts have been proved before.

Karan Thapar: You are talking about facts, let me draw your attention to Board Resolution number 23 of the Pratibha Mahila Sahakari Bank passed on January 22, 2002. It authorised Pratibha Patil to appoint the Board of Directors and the Chief Executive. So even when she wasn’t the chairperson, she was running the bank.

A B Bardhan: As the promoter and most important person there.

Karan Thapar: Regardless of what capacity, she was running the bank. When she fails, she takes responsibility for the failure.

A B Bardhan: I think the full answer has been given. Documents have shown that she was the chairperson only for a certain period. But if there’s any responsibility that accrues to her, the Reserve Bank is there to take note of it.

Karan Thapar: A woman who presided over a failed bank is the right choice for the President of India? That’s a bizarre decision.

A B Bardhan: A person who was charged with a hawala transaction, a person who was guilty of destroying a masjid (mosque), whose case was in court, wanted to be a Deputy Prime Minister.

Karan Thapar: So you have chosen Pratibha Patil in competition with L K Advani?

A B Bardhan: It is only he and his party who are levelling all these charges. It’s a fascistic trick to throw sufficient mud at a person so that some of it might stick.
Karan Thapar: But these statements were made much earlier. Let me quote to you a letter written by the President of the Bank, the Vice-President of the Bank and Secretary, all three top officials, on March 13, 2002. At least five years before her nomination, even before she became governor of Rajasthan. This is what they wrote – “There is a threat to our lives and to the lives of our family members from you. You have already communicated this to us in our meeting with you. If something happens to us accidentally or otherwise, you will be responsible.”

Can you as a formal general secretary of the AITUC support as President a woman who threatens allegedly trade union leaders?

A B Bardhan: What are you trying to say Karan? I know of people who threaten, conspire.
Karan Thapar: You see it as coincidence that while she ran the bank, her family members got loans and then defaulted?

A B Bardhan
: My bother commits some crime, and I’m responsible for it? I’m not my brother’s keeper.

Karan Thapar: But it’s a different matter if you happen to be heading the bank at the time when the brother gets loans or if you’re effectively running the bank. That’s what I am pointing out.

A B Bardhan: She was the head only for sometime.
Karan Thapar: Speaking in the Maharashtra Assembly as health minister on December 10, 1975, Mrs Pratibha Patil said we are thinking of forcible sterilisation of people with hereditary diseases. First of all, do you approve of forcible sterilisation?

A B Bardhan: I don't, I don't, but that doesn't mean I agree with everything she does or says.

Karan Thapar: Let’s explore this a little further. People with hereditary diseases include people with heart disorders, infertility, diabetes, even people with bad sight and bad hearing. Should such people be forcibly sterilised?

A B Bardhan: I don't think there should be forcible sterilisation of at any stage.

Karan Thapar: So, you completely disagree with her?

A B Bardhan: I disagreed with this whole policy of Congress at one stage.

Karan Thapar: Then how come such a woman who said this in the Assembly - it is recorded in the Assembly records - is your nominee for President?

A B Bardhan: She is not going to forcibly sterilise anybody, she is not going to follow those policies, and she is not called upon to.

Karan Thapar: But she stood for it. She’s never recanted. She hasn’t apologised.

A B Bardhan: We are electing a President within the framework of the Indian Constitution.

Karan Thapar: But she still has views and beliefs. She has not recanted or apologised.

A B Bardhan: I’m not called upon to support her views and beliefs.

Karan Thapar: Should she clear the air and recant and apologise for this?

A B Bardhan: Why should she?

Karan Thapar: So she stands by it and you are happy to support her?

A B Bardhan: Many wrong things, mistaken things have been said and done by the Congress and more so by the BJP.
Karan Thapar: Let me call upon your attention to something that she declared on June 17. She has made it clear that she believes in divine spirits. On June 17 she said that she had had a conversation with a man who died in 1969 because the man had manifested himself in the body of a woman.

You are laughing because it’s hilarious. But do you acknowledge that such a woman should be President?

A B Bardhan: Most of your leaders be the Congress or the BJP believe in godmen, spirits and astrologists.
Karan Thapar: They say Caesar’s wife should be above suspicion. Doesn’t that apply to the President in India?

A B Bardhan: President of India is a Constitutional head.

Karan Thapar: So it can be suspected?

A B Bardhan: A Constitutional head is not called upon to lay policy.

Karan Thapar: The Constitutional head is the symbol of the country. Should the symbol of the country be under suspicion?

A B Bardhan: The Constitutional head is the symbol of the country whose policies will be laid down by the government.

Karan Thapar: The one thing that the Communist Party has is moral authority. No longer do you have political influence. Why are you squandering your moral authority supporting a woman who is not fit for the top turf? Why are don’t you admit you made a mistake nominating her?

A B Bardhan: Our moral authority is demonstrated in the fact that we insisted that no communal person or belonging to a communal party, to the RSS and the BJP should be nominated.

Karan Thapar: So you can have a potentially corrupt person, instead you can have a woman who stands for forcible sterilisation, or have an orthodox woman who believes in spirits.

A B Bardhan: She has more than 40 years of political career.

Karan Thapar: Alright Mr Bardhan, you can have the last word. A pleasure talking to you.

Though this show isn't original in concept, I like Karan Thapar and his pre-interview research. And Netas still live! *Sigh*