In an NDTV 'debate', a student said "This is a democratic country, these politicians are trying to make it into a socialist country". I don't think he knows this: The preamble of the constitution defines India as a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic (wiki page).

"Equality" is a constitutional right in India (including reservations for 'backward' classes).

PS. Hindi is not India's 'national language'. It does not have one.

Bluetooth Users


India Vs. Australia - 3rd test; AUS' second innings. 253-8 to 326-9: haven't felt so irritated in a long time. It was such a horrible feeling; felt like giving ten tight slaps to Kumble and RP Singh.

ebook - Shantaram

I don't know anything about this book, but a friend has been asking me to read it for a long time. Apparently it's very popular. I found the PDF version online, I thought I'll share the link here: download page.


No, the WTF moment didn't happen because of the video itself. But because of series of insignificant events that transpired over the last 36 hours.

I get an invite from youtube user 'Kandibanbala' to view his new video (embedded above). I don't know Balaji so well. I have seen some of his videos before and left a few comments. I've had an impression that he's a professional editor/film-maker who has worked in ad films etc (just an assumption). I think he sent me the invite just because I've left some comments before. I don't see anything else to it.

So I go see the video and get a "hmmm!" feeling. Not too impressed, but I say "it's alright". Then I start thinking why the video didn't really appeal to me, for a couple of minutes. Then I leave the following comments. (Italicized parts are those that I had to delete because of character limit.)

Comment 1:
Good skills, but the freestyle tri-hop/house moves get a little monotonous after a while (I understand, there's only so much you can do on the streets). And I would have liked it better had there been lesser focus/emphasis on the abstract 'fusion' moves too. Are they supposed to convey something?

I like the "curious indifference" of the people in 56", 1'22", 2'2" 3'20" etc.

Comment 2:
Problematization: Although, probably, unintended, there's some exotification of the 'tilak' and the "classical" dance moves as done by a white man. Celebration of the "global culture" that has subsumed the white man in the brown wilderness; providing him with a "rich and colourful" background for his performance. Invariably evoking this feeling, "wow! Isn't it cool that a white man (wearing a tilak) is so elegantly(?) fusing hip-hop and classical dance moves in front of all these people? Cha sooper pa, pul arikudhu po!" - emanating from good old self-imposed orientalist condescension:
White man speaks Tamil - vaaaaah!
White woman learns kalari payattu - vaaaah!
White man loves "Indian food" - vaaaah! and more.
I might be reading too much into things, but what is a white man's "classical dancing" supposed to mean when "Chennai is on the move"?

Comment 3:
My second comment might rile a few/many viewers here who might say "dei romba peter udadha" or "dude, don't look at everything so negatively, learn to enjoy art" or some nonsense like that.

So here's the disclaimer: one probletamizes things so that the hidden layers embedded in an art form (or any representation) is/are better understood before it's consumed a certain way.
That the creator himself/herself may be unaware of what it represents is irrelevant because the product itself communicates independently.

Comment 4:
This video works mostly because of its editing and music. Good job on both areas. Thanks for the video.

--end of comments--

This was yesterday (Jan 8, 2008). I was quite critical because, as I said earlier, he seems like a pro (of course, the problematization would apply for an 'amateur's product as well). I check today to see if he had replied any of my comments. I stop for a moment to make sure that I've landed in the right page. Yes. I don't see any of my comments. All of them have been deleted. WTF? (yeah, this is the moment).
I thought, "if you cannot take my fucking comments, why fucking invite me?" (ok, that sounded a bit like Chimbu!)
But seriously, the comments, I think, aren't that disrespectful or snappish; a bit detractive, may be. So if he didn't want to reply, the least he could have done is tell me that he's going to remove the comments. At least I wouldn't have had to retype the whole thing (here). adhellam illa, mayiru he has just removed it. People, don't pull these kind of stunts. It's beyond annoying.
Now the page is squeaky clean: hours and hours of work 'appreciated' by a few as "nice job" etc. That's probably all he wanted to hear. Well, whatever.

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