Singam 3 – A Moment of Silence

Yes. A moment of silence. Not because its so terrible that Tamil Cinema died a tragic death (ok that also), but simply because a moment of silence was all I wanted, as I watched this noisy nauseating nonsense, which is the possibly the best way to describe Singam 3, and er.. Singam 2 and … Singam 1.
The lion prides itself (see what I did there) in lots of shouting, cameramen in a constant urgent need to pee, lion morphing, lion roaring, more shouting, pointless heroines, car chases, forest fights, foreign villains, hovering helicopters, intimate items, comedy in coma, some more shouting, and other forms of brutal torture that Hitler would take notes from.

A HUGE SHOUT OUT TO SURYA

So the movie opens up in a court scene in some part of Andhra Pradesh, where judges, lawyers, convicts and politicians gather to discuss the murder of some Commissioner of Police.

Judge : “So folks, the Commissioner has been murdered. Normally I’d have the state’s police force deal with this investigation but.. you know, this movie is actually a Tamil movie, and so, we’ve got to render our entire Police Force unfit for this, and instead seek the help of Tamil Nadu.”
Common Sense : “Dei, but what about Telengana ? We can ask them no ?”
Judge : “Good point. But no. Cannotableto bro. Any other ideas ?”
Lawyer : “Yes, there is this one dude who is capable of …”
Judge : “Ok enough. You mean Durai Singam only no. I have this video which he shared as Facebook Memories. Has some clippings of him bashing up harmless bystanding henchmen, shooting black men, and graphically morphing into a lion for no reason.”
Lawyer : “Ok, let’s call him onsite. Also, while he investigates the murder, let him also help restore law and order in Vizag for free.”
Judge : “Seems fair. We did let them have Devi Sri Prasad for the first two movies.”

Singam arrives in Vizag by train, and as expected, there is this opening fight in the station. Surya instantly morphs into lion, beats up henchmen, and sending one of them flying to land on a weighing scale that instantly reads 1500 kg (director’s touch).

THE TALE OF IRRELEVANCE

Singam is a montage of everything irrelevant in the 21st century. There’s Surudhi Haasan, who witnesses the fight in the train station and is dumbstruck by Surya’s machoism and wants an autograph from him, and then stalks him everywhere to ogle him and take selfies.  Then there’s Parotta Soori, the undisputed King of all Unfunny Men, playing the role of a constable, while secretly warding off aliens from ever invading the planet. And then, there’s Harris Jayaraj. And then there’s the entire Telugu villain ensemble. We also have foreign henchmen. We have Immam Annachi and his tirunalveli accoent to binge into. Fuck all that. There’s even Harris Jayaraj’s long lost gay partner, Singer Krish, who plays the role of a cop, assistant to Singam. The last time Krish was of any revelance, Orkut testimonials were being written.

SINGAM TAKES CHARGE

Back at the Police Station, Singam is busy pondering who could possibly be that generous and kind enough to feature in his intro fight scene.

Krish : “These people look like Reddy’s men.”
Singam : “Dei naaye, Andhra Pradesh has a population of nearly 50 million, out of which nearly 25 million are Reddys. Other 25 million are Naidus. How the fuck do i know which Reddy you are referring to ? Wait, do you mean Madhusudhana Reddy ?”
Krish : “Yes.”
Singam : *loud*  “See, this is the power of Tamil Nadu police.”
*medium silent* “Also, lot of shady deals happen in one casino. So let’s go there and investigate.”

Singam goes to the casino, and instantly forgets all his plans of investigating or nabbing criminals, and instead hits the dance floor for an item song. This song was supposed to make the entire theater shiver, as if down with malaria. No we didnt say that. The memes did.

oh

SHIT GETS REAL

There’s only one thing in the world that’s more unacceptable than Donald Trump as President.  Parotta Soori. Parotta Soori is where monkeys evolved from. He would have seemlessly fit into the Planet of the Apes series, and saved so much money on CGI, but no, he had to enter Tamil Cinema. Parotta Soori should’ve been banned instead of Jallikattu. Even PETA would’ve had a campaign supporting the cruelty towards specific species of animals. Parotta Soori is what you get when is what you get when shit gets real. Literally. In fact, PS actually stands for Piece of Shit. Here’s why :

Evidence #1:
Parotta Soori plays the role of a constable who goes to arrest a fat lady. Fat lady instead hits on him and tries to molest him.
-_-

Evidence #2:
Singam asks Parotta Soori to go and search for a restroom in a hotel. Simple instructions. PS goes around searching all the rooms but can’t find the “restroom”. YOU BASTARD. It’s 2017 and you don’t know restroom refers to a toilet ?! Hard to believe that shit doesn’t know what a toilet looks like, but alright. But what sort of monster must the director be to actually think its worthy enough to be a comedy track. Makes you wonder.

 

A PILE OF GARBAGE

The main plot of the movie is literally a pile of garbage. No seriously. It revolves around this Aussie Businessman, a close associate of Reddy, who dumps medical waste from Australia in Andhra Pradesh. This obviously means, few school kids have to die. School Headmaster realizes Singam is an honest cop and will bring justice, and seeks his help. The headmaster also says that the dead Commissioner had tried to oppose the dumping of waste and was killed.

Singam goes off to investigate the freight carriers, and finds one of the containers from Australia filled with medical waste, everything disgusting ranging from decaying organs to Parotta Soori’s humor. Now, of course, there is a fight scene over here. A pretty pointless one which involves Singam transforms into a lion as usual and beating up some henchmen. With the amount of noise and cars involved in every fight scene, you would think this film is a subtle tribute to The Transformers, but that would make Surudhi Haasan the Megan Fox of Tamil Cinema. So I’ll stop there.

Meanwhile,  in this cycle gap, that school headmaster is killed. The poor sod. Anyway, so in a fit of rage, Singam arrests Reddy.

SUPPORT SURUDHI

I almost forgot. So Surudhi Haasan exists in this movie, remember ? Well, she isn’t quite the police machoism fan girl we thought she was. She is actually an investigative journalist. OMG. Surprise Surprise. So she writes some articles on Singam’s allegiance with Reddy and attempts to defame Singam for no fucking reason. Like I said, Surudhi is irrelevant. Period. But anyway, after arresting Reddy, Singam also arrests Surudhi, citing some Article 986234C for preventing cops from doing their duty or something. Surudhi promptly gets out of jail the next day, and continues to ogle at Singam.
Wait.. wasn’t Singam married in Singam 2 itself ? Yes, but he is undercover over here, and so claims to have divorced his wife. Singam also stores Anushka’s contact as Puli on his phone. Cute.

Anyway, so time for fantasy song for Surudhi, ft. Singam.
*Wi wi wi wi wifi…. with Singam doing his best to appear taller on screen.*

P.S – Appearing in fantasy songs while arresting politicians is still a dream for many single guys out there.

VILLAIN INTRO AND OFFSHORE VISIT

Back to the story. Arresting Reddy means only one thing in Singam land. Villain intro. Well, Reddy is a villain too, but is more of a dumb villain. The raw brawny uneducated types. We need someone more suave, with dapper looks, rich, body-building, cocaine snorting types. Obviously has to live in Australia, and have his own personal helicopter, jet and jetti and all that.

Singam meanwhile, has his own problems.

Singam : “Sir, I’ve arrested Reddy. Now I’m going back to TN. No offense, but TN govt is way better at supporting cop secret missions. I need to take on this kangaroo villain.”
Vijay Kumar : *appearing out of nowhere* “I think I understand your plan Singam.”
Home Minister : “Dude, STFU. No Singam, please stay. AP must receive all the accolades for cleaning up corruption. What do you need?”
Singam : “But but… what about Tamil Nadu Police ?”
Director Hari : “I have Saamy 2 planned for that. You carry on Singam.”
*Chiyaan Vikram curls into fetal position and hides under director’s chair*
Singam : *toned down voice* “Ok then, I want to go to Australia. Its been my childhood dream. You can proudly say that I am a big fan of Ricky Ponting. In fact, once when Jo and I were watching a kangaroo get laid in Animal Planet, I was getting turned…”
Home Minister : “Dei enough with the mind voice. Ok take Anushka also and go.”

So Singam and Puli go to Australia, where Undercover Cop and Australian citizen Immam Annachi meets them. They do some cool secret cop things like flying drones, hacking computers, stealing company secrets, speaking in Tirunalveli accent, threatening Aussie Villain etc. Finally when Singam is about to head back, he is stopped by the Australian Immigration folks.

Officer : “Sir, I believe you could be trafficking drugs. Or something worse, actually preparing for Singam 4. So, we must detain you.”
Singam :  *shouting* “Do you know who I am ? One aussie fisherman was kidnapped by sea pirates. One indian cop saved him. Do you know who he is ? Do you know the power of the Indian Police ? Have you seen the fourth lion on the National Emblem ?”
Officer : “Whoa, calm down mate. Lets just let google settle this.”
*Officer googles, finds video of random black dude getting shot by an Indian guy.*
Officer : *Saluting Singam* “Well, seems legit. Alright Sir, you’re free to go.”

One mexican gets deported every time this scene is played in the theater.

REDDY TO DIE

Singam returns to India only to find that Reddy had been acquitted. Now this Reddy does the right thing by trying to go into hiding. But, this is Singam 3 remember. Singam obviously blocks all exit points and chases Reddy into some granite quarry, which is most possibly run by Srimaan in Panchatanthiram.
Singam : “Reddy, its easy to die. But its difficult to live. More difficult to survive.”
*Reddy patiently listens, is almost dead but is also hungry*
Singam : “Let me tell you a flashback of a school kid who died in a van crash…”
*Reddy opens Swiggy app and places order for biriyani.*
Singam : “The father of that kid is a noble police….”
*Reddy dies midway, partly of hunger, partly the wounds, but mostly unable to bear this narrative ordeal*
Singam : “Now Subba Rao, you may shoot him.”

SURUDHI SERI ILLA

So, the Aussie villain now lands in India, after having heard Reddy is dead. Surudhi Haasan, itching for more screen time and a chance to become India’s answer to Rachel McAdams from Spotlight tries to spy on the Aussie Villain, with the usual spying equipment of hidden mic in chain and camera in purse. Aussie Villain is pretty tech savvy and spots the camera immediately, and beats up Surudhi.

Aussie Villain : *summoning his henchmen* “Come on guys. Seize her, and rape her in front of me.”
Assistant : “You high bro ? What kind of fetish is this? Are you also a closet virgin? Surely the more logical thing to do is to blackmail Singam with her.”
Aussie Villain : “Hmm.. alright. That also seems to be a good plan.”

So they drug her and keep her in a hospital. By this point, nobody knows or cares how, but somehow Singam finds the hospital in which they’ve hidden her, and goes and rescues her. Doctors attempt to revive her but say that there is a possibility of her slipping into a coma, not because of the drugs but because they made her repeatedly watch the trailer of Premam’s remake in Telugu. Few hours later, Surudhi is revived, and sends the audience into a coma instead with another ten minute monologue apologizing to Singam.
Euthanasia should be made legal for this very reason.

KANGAROO VS LION

Singam meets a Magistrate to request for an arrest warrant for the Aussie villain.

Singam : *piling up document on table* “I have 436 documents worth of evidence to arrest this dude.”
Magistrate : *shaking his head* “Cannotableto accept documents as evidence.”
Singam : *Handing over laptop* “Here is one of his business partners who says he stand as witness over Skype. Say Hi to him.”
Magistrate : *closing laptop* “Skype evidence and all is not counted bro.”
Singam : *Looking desperate* “Well, I have this shabby looking local bombay dada who we nabbed a few days back. Not sure what its worth.”
Magistrate : “Well now that’s concrete evidence. Here is the arrest warrant.”
Singam : *silently under breath* “Ada paavi.”

Kangaroo man absconds, hiding in a truck, headed for the airport in Telangana. Singam, with the help of the rehab patient  computer hacker Nithin Sathya, traces the kangaroo man, and chases the truck. Obviously, there are fellow lorry drivers who attempt to foil the chase. Soon, we have Toyota Innovas chasing truck, lorries chasing Innovas, trucks chasing trucks and Virat Kohli chasing all of them. Kangaroo man reaches airport and boards flight, while Singam is stopped at the airport by Telangana Police.

*YAAAAAAAAAWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWNNNNNNNNNNN*

So, Singam turns back from the airport, and breaks the gate and drives straight into the runway and parks the car in front of the taxiing flight.

Common Sense : “Hey, you do know that airports have far better security measures than just breaking a gate leading to the runway right ? You’re making terrorism seem like child’s play.”
Director Hari : *shouting into megaphone* “Do you think Tamil Nadu Police are incapable? Have you seen the fourth lion of the national emblem?”
Common Sense : “Good Night.”

Anyway, so Singam finally shows the arrest warrant to the airport officials, and arrests the Kangaroo man.

FOREST FIGHT

You would think thats the end of the movie But no, what’s a lion without a forest. Whats a Singam without a climax flight. By now, even my phone’s battery has run dry and I don’t have any option but to watch on. Kangaroo man escapes from police van, and hops off into the forest. Singam morphs into lion, and roars after him. Singam has a fully loaded gun but Kangaroo man challenges him to fight without using using guns, as per the Second Amendment of the US Constitution. So, they fight, and Singam engages in a game of hand cricket, where he does one-pitch one-hand level catching of the kangaroo, and kicks him around trees, bouncing him off the floor, throwing rocks at him, while I’m busy hurling abuses.

Anyway, so the forest fight does eventually end after 15 minutes, with Singam shooting and killing the Kangaroo, which doesn’t quite justify all that hand fighting before that. But whatever.

End credits roll on – Surudhi Haasan calls up Singam and says she is getting married and is deleting his contact from her phone. Yay. And Singam 4 is next. FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU.

fin.

REMO – The Virgin Wet Dream

As I stare at the cinema screen in disbelief, cursing myself for wasting another $13 bucks and wondering how long would it be before Elon Musk actually managed to transport people to Mars, I hear the hero boast “Avalukku engagement thaane aayirukku. Kalyanam aagala la. Ippo paaru da.” (She is only engaged to him, not married. Now see what I will do). At this point, a bunch of people seated in front of me break into a chorus of cheers. Yes, they exist. While I honestly believe that Donald Trump is trying to deport the wrong bunch of people, we’ll reserve that rant for another day.

LIFE GOALS

The film opens up with a poorly animated avatar of Cupid using an iPad to decide his next target – our protagonist Sivakarthikeyan. Not sure what’s worse – the fact that some people think Cupid exists or that Sivakarthikeyan is actually a sought after actor these days. Anyways, so going by the name of SK, a clever yet not-so-subtle abbreviation of his name, our man plays the usual role of a next door guy who is jobless, owing to popular demand and lack of self respect. Needless to say, he is a virgin, much like the majority of his fans, who worship his virginity while secretly wallowing in self pity. His life ambitions are pretty well laid out – Find girl, stalk girl, somehow marry girl. The usual virgin squad goals. Now of course, every single virgin will have a virgin best friend(s), in this case Motta Rajendran and Sathish, both of whom are jobless as well, just to justify SK hanging out with them, and mirroring the daily life of the average virgin joe (including playing carrom on the roads whilst discussing their love life or lack of it).
*Ignoring SK’s intro song for the sake of world peace*

CLIMATE CHANGE

In what appears to be a highly relatable story for much of his fans, our man SK spots a girl at a bus stop, and instantly evolves from Ordinary Virgin to Creepy Stalker Virgin, an event marked by the gentle blow of cool breeze against the subject’s face, in an otherwise barren and hot as fuck chennai weather. Sources say that virginity and sight adichifying (ogling creepily at women) are among the major causes of climate change, putting an end to Bernie Sanders’ campaign against the fossil fuel industry. Anyway, so creepy SK goes around doing creepy stuff like spying her whereabouts, following her in malls, whistling at her in buses (without her noticing of course), and even enquiring about her marital status from her house watchman.

THE UPMA VILLAIN

Every virgin hero needs to have a mother, whose only purpose in life is to lament about her son not going to work and hanging out with fellow virgins instead,  and also ensure that he eats a healthy meal of dosai and upma, cooked using extra virgin olive oil. If things go to plan, the mother role is played by Saranya Ponvannan, who has mastered this role for the entire spectrum of actors from Vikram to Udaynidhi Stalin.

DIVINE INTERVENTION

So the heroine is none other than Keerthy Suresh, who has pretty much taken over the role of trying-to-act-cute-but-actually-a-dumb-retard role from Genelia and Hansika Motwani for the foreseeable future.

SK : “Being a virgin, I suggest that we go down the tried and tested path of love failure to form the crux of this plot.”
Director : “Super idea. So the retard is engaged to a rich and successful man, with a good job and an affluent family.”
SK : “Obviously this means that he will be a total bitch who doesn’t care about women, right ? I mean, of course the secret sauce behind keeping any woman happy is only known to unsuccessful jobless virgins with absolutely no concern about their own livelihoods.”
Director : “And love failure would spur our hero forward to reaching new low points along the way. Perfect. So we’ve got the plot going then.”

So, carrying the plot forward, SK finally musters some courage to creep into her house only to find her getting engaged. Dejected, our man decides to dress up as a nurse and audition for a role in a movie, which ends up in a failure as well. On his way back from the audition, Dumb Keerthy meets him in the bus and mistakes him for a real nurse.

The Retard : “Hey.. you look sad. ”
SK : “Yes.”
The Retard : “Have you taken tablet ?”
SK : “Hmm..”
The Retard :  “Without S&M.. ok never mind.  I have this habit of giving my number to random nurses who i meet on the bus. So, I’ll just write it on your palm, and turn you on some more. I’ll also draw a smiley face.”
SK : “Ok.”
The Retard : “What.. your name is Regina Motwani ? That’s a pretty awful name to be honest. But you know what. I’m so dumb. I believe you. Also, I think ReMo is a fuck all nickname for you, but the director insists I call you that. Apparently it has something to do with his decision to name the movie that.”
SK : “Are you done ?”
The Retard : “Almost. I have to take a selfie because thats what dumb cute girls do when they meet strangers on the bus.”
*SK fakes a smile but secretly climaxes with his nurse attire providing the perfect camouflage*

So, our hero believes that the virgin god Dhanush has shown some mercy upon him and with a renewed sense of purpose, he sets out to win over her. Again. The virgins sense hope.

THE THEATRE AND THE OPERATION

So nurse Remo goes to the hospital, where the dean (Prathap Pothen) gives her the job, in addition to raising the amount of overacting per unit area of the screen. While the audience are busy searching for shovels to start digging their graves, Remo has a few song sequences, a fight scene and a magic show for kids in the hospital. In what appears to be a tribute to Nolan’s Prestige, the director has Remo promise a kid about performing a special magic trick sometime later. Anyway, so Remo tries to convince the retard that she deserves better than an arranged marriage with an affluent man with a successful job and all that.
At the retard’s birthday, Remo hands over a gift from an anonymous admirer, which is revealed to be a whistle which when blown would alert the police of rapists in the area have heart shaped balloons rise and fill the entire neighbourhood. Now of course, the the retard is curious to know who could possibly creep impress her, and that’s when our virgin warlord enters, meets her for the very first time, and his first words to her are  “I love you. I want to marry you.”.
Common Sense : “Wait, shouldn’t he be in jail for this ?”
Director : “This is actually my life story.”
Common Sense : “It was nice knowing you.”

LIKE MOTHER, LIKE SON

So the retard is clearly not creeped out by her secret admirer, but is in fact impressed by him for some reason, and begins to hang out with him. There are intimate scenes, which obviously have to happen only when it rains, even if it means Rain Man Ramanan reconsidering his retirement. Finally it dawns to our retard that she could be morally wrong in flirting with another guy without her fiance’s notice, who decides to end her relationship with our virgin boy. SK resumes soup boy activities like drinking and dancing in a fit of love failure, while the entire theatre is in a state of virgin vibration.
Rather than talk some sense into her pathetic progeny, SK’s mom catches the virgin fever instead, and encourages her creepy son to continue to persuade her even if it means getting her to cancel her engagement.
*Secret portal to hell opens up somewhere in the vicinity*

THE STATE OF RICH MEN

Our virgin’s pursual of the retard looks to have paid off, with her conceding her disinterest in the marriage to her parents and attempting to end it. The rich, successful fiance is enraged by this, and immediately reaches out to his bottle of alcohol in an almost instant reflex action to the break up stimulus. After drinking, he confronts the retard and Remo in the middle of the road.
Rich man : “Ok look, as you would expect, I’ve had my share of drinks to account for my love failure. But rather than walk away, it appears that I have to be a dick here and attack Nurse Remo, and force this marriage to happen. I don’t know man, but the director insists that rich people be the bad guys in these kind of movies.”
Remo : *sigh* ” I guess you’re right. How many henchmen do you have on you ? ”
Rich man : “I think seven. Should be good enough for you for a reasonable fight while also have you sneak in references to some of your earlier shitty works like Maan Karate and Ethir Neechal.”
Remo : “Ok, but just make sure you don’t hit me anywhere that would have my wig or make up fall off. This retard still believes I’m actually a nurse. Lulz.”
So, there’s a fight and the rich man and his henchmen are defeated and never to be seen again.

JUST KIDDING

So, after all this fight, there appears to be some precious time left for more drama. Yes, that kid in the hospital who Nurse Remo promised to do a special Christian Bale in Prestige-esque P.James magic trick. Apparently, the ten year old won’t agree to the surgery if Nurse Remo doesn’t perform the trick.
Common Sense : “Dude, for the last time, why the fuck would doctors listen to a ten year old girl when she refuses the surgery ?”
Director : “I want to prove to the world that actors other than Vijay can pull off the kiddy role.”
Common Sense : “I shouldn’t have even tried. Fuck this shit.”
So as expected, the secret trick involves Nurse Remo revealing her true identity as SK, much to the horror of the retard. He also rubs his nose against the nose of the kid, transferring a mashup of mucus and makeup in the process, but what ever. No one cares.
The Retard : “You stalked me, cheated me, made me cancel my engagement and made me appear more retarded than usual. How dare you ? Is this what you mean by love ?”
SK : “Vera enna di love-u?” (What else do you think is love)
This very line raised the virginity of SK to such abnormally high levels that he started giving birth to baby Jesus at that very instant.

Anyway, so you would expect the retard to leave SK forever, but no. That wouldn’t be the virgin way of life. So, clearly she develops feelings for him and they get together a few months later.  The virgins around the world rejoice, more memes are created, Sivakarthikeyan continues to breed his sleeper cells of virgin army while challenging Dhanush to the title of the King of the soup boys and protector of virginity.

Irumugan – An Honest Narrative

Good boys go to heaven. Bad boys go to Las Vegas. I don’t know who came up with that but if something similar existed for movies, not sure where the good movies would go, but sure as hell know that the bad movies go to Chiyaan Vikram. While good movies are dissected and appreciated in great detail like a goat on bakrid, the bad movies are like Michael Jackson, they’ve had a big impact on people’s childhood but most rather not talk about it. Irumugan was another such movie, experience, ordeal.

Mandatory Hero Introduction

After the obligatory distant shot of the Petronas Towers, we focus our attention on the Indian Embassy in Malaysia, where a random chinese dude enters the embassy, crosses the restricted access barrier, pauses for a bit and continues to walk. He also takes the chance to waste a few more minutes of screen time by staring at the CCTV camera. He then takes a puff off an inhaler, becomes Super Human Random Chinese Dude, and proceeds to waste more time, beating up extras dressed up as police in the embassy.

Somewhere in India … Nasser, Nithya Menon and another annoying dude appear enraged on hearing about the attack.
Nasser : “This looks to be the work of Love. We may be intelligence officers but of course we dont have any information about this guy. So any thoughts ?”
Annoying Dude : “Imma gonna just keep shouting for no reason cuz no one cares.”
Nithya Menon : “Well, its about time I introduced the hero of the film. Chiyaan Vikram as Ex Raw Agent. He has obviously had an encounter with Love, so lets ask him to solve this problem.”

At Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, Nasser finally finds Vikram in a bar getting beaten up as he counts to ten. The situation is synonymous with the state of Chiyaan over the last ten years, and also a subtle tribute to Action Thriller 10 endradhukulla. Anyway so..
Nasser : “Chiyaan, you’ve got to stop Love. He’s back.”
Chiyaan : “Umm… ok sure but I really need a flashback. I’m Ex Raw Agent and all that.”
Nasser : “Ok sure, but make it quick. While you are at it, introduce Nayantara as well. She’s probably the only expectation people have for this movie anyway.”

Halena… Halena… generic Harris Jayaraj music blares on for the next five minutes. As promised, Chiyaan has intro song featuring Computer technician Nayantara, who he proceeds to marry…

The Awkward Attempts At Humour

Back to the present, and Chiyaan and Nithya Menon arrive at the KL airport, to be greeted by Malaysian Cop Thambi Ramaiah, whose level of annoyance crosses the Parotta Soori threshold of intolerability within the first few seconds of screen presence.
Nithya Menon : “This is an undercover operation and we’re going to find a fake passport dealer.”
Thambi Ramaiah : “Ivanga pannara operation la enakku enna operation nadakka pogutho.” (In this operation, how many operations are going to be done to me?)
*awkward chuckle*

At the fake passport dealer’s hideout…

Chiyaan : “Ok guys. You might need to know that I can beat six people, and Nithya can beat up three peop… just joking. She’s just going to hang around while I beat up you guys.”
Henchmen : ?!?

A few punches and some interrogation later, Nithya Menon and Kabali Meena proceed to dress up as prostitutes with the aim of infiltrating chemistry lab assistant Karunakaran’s hideout.

The Science Plug-ins and Tribute to Adolf Hitler

At Karunakaran’s hideout,
Karunakaran (to Nithya Menon) : “I think its fairly obvious that you aren’t prostitutes and you have cameras hidden in your watch, but anyway, after Chiyaan raids the lab and breaks a few beakers, I’ll turn approver and tell off truth.”
Chiyaan dutifully invades lab successfully, and Karunakaran explains his partnership with Love, about the drug Speed, and proceeds to show a painfully boring documentary on the impact of Speed on the life and success of Adolf Hitler.
Meanwhile, Kabali Meena is killed in a crossfire due to budget issues.

The Villain and the Obligatory Plot Twist

Chiyaan and Nithya proceed to follow a truck headed to Love’s hideout, and Chiyaan completes narrating his fuckall flashback which involves Nayantara being killed and half the audience leaving the theater.

Anyway, so as expected, Chiyaan and Nithya are spotted by the truck driver, who promptly takes the drug, does hulk smash and drags Chiyaan and Nithya to Love’s hideout. At the hideout, Chiyaan returns the favor by inhaling Speed and beating the shit out of the henchmen before proceeding to Love’s lair. In an expected sequence of events, Nayantara stages a comeback as Love’s right hand and zaps Chiyaan with a taser.

At this point, it should be revealed that Love is actually Vikram’s most recent attempt at somehow attempting to land an oscar through method acting, this time as a transgender. After setting the bar for overacting method acting through masterstrokes like Remo and Kandhasamy Rooster, he looks to have outdone himself yet again. What proceeds is a painfully long exchange of not so cheesy dialogues between Love and a tied up Chiyaan.
Love : “Normally everyone goes around in search of love, but you made Love go around in search of you.”
Chiyaan : Ok.
Love : “If you agree to be my partner, you can be King and I’ll be Queen.”
Chiyaan : No.
Love : “Ok Im beginning to run out of dialogues here. Nayan, quickly take that unloaded gun, pretend that its loaded and shoot this fellow no.”
Nayan : Sure. *Fires blank*
Chiyaan : “Well now that I’ve truly lost Nayan, might as well insert a song demonstrating my state of melancholy . Also gives audience some time to take bathroom break and observe a minute silence for Chiyaan.”
*Insert sad song sequence*
Love : “Ok song over and I still havent managed to come up with any new dialogues. So Nayan, please load the damn gun and shoot.”
Nayan : Sure. *shoots random bystander behind Chiyaan*
Chiyaan : ?!?
Love : WTF ?!
Nayan : “Do you want me to explain my flashback as well ?”
*Dead bystander does not respond*
Cops enter the scene, Thambi Ramaiah is back and Love is arrested as Chiyaan finally realizes how boring flashbacks can really be, as Nayan narrates her flashback.

The Chase Scene

At Malaysia jail,
Love : “So it looks like the easiest way to get out of jail would be to fake an asthma attack.” *Clutches left boob and resumes method acting*
Cop #1 : “Oh wow, its a medical emergency. Call a doctor.”
Cop #2 : “No way man. She has to escape prison remember ? Let me just search her bag for the drugged inhaler and hand it over to her.”
Cop #1 : “You know that means we die, right ?”
Cop #2 : ” I’m already dead inside.”
So Love breaks out of prison, kills all the cops and attacks Nithya Menon.
Nithya : “Aren’t you going to be killing me as well ?”
Love : “Yes, but i had this dialogue written which I have to tell you.”
Nithya : “What ?”
Love : “Ok Kanmani.”
Nithya Menon dies.

Love escapes from prison and heads to the hospital where some minister is admitted. Using the tried and tested method of disguising as a nurse in a hospital, Love makes his way to the ICU. Love observes doctors flirting with nurses, and Chiyaan interrogating the minister, but fails to take notice of a cop in the hospital checking out Love’s booty, which was spotted by the cameramen of the film. Anyway so Love proceeds to kill the minister, frame Chiyaan as the killer and escape as expected.

Climax Fight Scene

Chiyaan and Nayan are chased by cops and its Nayan’s turn to inhale Speed and turn the spot light on her. This was her Scarlett Johansson in Lucy moment, but no. The director clearly felt that having a fight scene at this point would be a waste of time, and skipped it, much to the dismay of the remaining few folks at the theater.
So they proceed to the airport where Love is busy trying to ship the drug with the help of his henchmen. Chiyaan tries to stop her, and of course, at this point nobody gives a shit about Speed because everyone in the audience are already wondering if they are on drugs watching this pile of shit, as Chiyaan and Love square off.
Love : “Normally everyone slips and falls in Love, but you have made Love slip and fall.”
Chiyaan : “Oh not this shit again. Didnt I tell you…”
Love : “Nee Raja, naa Rani.”
Chiyaan : “Ada pongada. Just STFU and fight.”
Chiyaan and Love fight, Love beats up Chiyaan and escapes in plane. But clever Chiyaan proves why he is hero by acquiring Love’s fingerprint and using it to get fake aadhar card  deactivate controls on the plane and crashing it, killing Love.

Creepy AF End Scene

Movie ends with a horny and creepy Chiyaan attempting to demonstrate the acceleration of Nayantara’s gestation period from nine months to 24 hours by inhaling Speed, as you sit all alone in the theater staring in disbelief as another nail is driven into Chiyaan Vikram’s coffin.

37000 or 67000 – Poda, I’ll give you only my 2 cents

A few days back, the school Bala Vidya Mandir in Chennai came up with a two fold fee structure for its students. The parents could have their wards enrolled in an “only academic” system for a fee of Rs 37000, which literally has students put within four walls for four hours,forging a forgettable experience for them ; or cough up Rs 67000 for the students to benefit from all the other facilities the school offers, including the bus service, sports, clubs, culturals, canteen among other elite activities like being a part of the school band or contributing to the school magazine or the annual picnic to Pondicherry, as listed in 59 points in the school’s official circular. [1] [2] [3] [4]


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Besides creating a divide among the students and potentially splitting them into the rich and the not so much, there are other things in this structure that appall me. Ok, maybe a lot of things have changed from the time I left BVM in 2009, but I still want to get some perspective on some of the things listed in the 50 odd points

1. #2 – School Magazines and club magazines.This has always been a student run initiative, and so I’m still not able to wrap my head around how students get charged for a student run facility. Besides, let’s face it. Nobody wants to contribute to the school magazine. Nobody. Unless of course the student has to pick a choice between writing a pointless article or watch the movie Sura. The magazine is so pointless that the only time I ever contributed was when I made a significant impact to the riddle section.      Which is the only city you cannot enter. Electricity.

2. #3 – Supply of text books and note books. Aren’t these supposed to be a part of the “basic educational requirements” suggested by option 1?

3. #5, #6,#7, #8 – Smart board classes, Advanced E-learning classes, skype classes and clicker classes – There is this popular saying in Tamil. One person is incapable of even standing up, he and all is asking for nine wives.  Nobody cares about smart board classes and skype classes when you don’t have the basics in place.

4. #10 Specialized Project games  I think these were called Compulsory games when I was in school, making the students play some sport or the other, because what is school life without ganes. So by listing it as a part of option two, clearly they aren’t compulsory are they ? The irony.

5. #13. Sports – after school and holiday coaching classes. Not like the school wasn’t charging fees for all these classes. I remember paying fees for a football coaching when there was no ground nor coach nor even a football, just so that we could participate in matches.

6. #14 School Band Among other elite and exclusive activities offered by the school. Is this even an activity? No seriously asking.

7. #15 Co-operative learning. Right ok. Never Mind. Next.

8. #16 International Level debating training and attending national/international events I’m guessing that if nobody opts for this option, then they don’t lose out on much, but the school has a lot to lose if they were serious about this.

9. #17 BVM Way of Life Long Learning & Holistic education. This point is irrelevant given that most of us already concede that the “BVM of old” ceases to exist.

10. #18 Critical Thinking and theory of knowledge for grade 11  What about the other classes ?!?!?!?!?

11. #19 Extraordinary Education tours. I swear this is how Venkat Prabhu hypes up every single movie of his.

12. #21 Picnic  A missed opportunity to visit Pondicherry and Mahabalipuram.

13. #23 Blood Donation I thought this thing was supposed to be voluntary. Since when has anyone in India paid for blood donation ?

14. #24 Quest Lab to kindle scientific temper  Again, no idea. I thought all this was a part of “education”.

15. #27 – Alumni day Why do students need to be a part of alumni day celebrations in the first place? Or will students who pick option 1 not be considered as alumni when they graduate ? Weird.

16. #28. Teachers day Honestly I don’t think any student needs to pay money to thank his/her teachers.

17. #29 All E-services including intimation of rain holidays. Back in my school days, there was Sun News.

18. #30 Grand parents day. Why? No seriously. Why ? I like the idea but why do we have to pay for all this ?

19. #35 12th standard pre-graduation function – Is this what they call farewell these days ? And why do students have to pay for their own farewells ?!

20. #36 #37 Specialized classes for enhancing ability for 10th grade and 12th grade ; Additional customized preparatory exams based on need analysis for 10th and 12th grade. — Basically there is this place in 2nd main road Gandhi Nagar called Mookambiga Coaching Institute (MCI). My good old friend Muthu Sir will be there distributing question papers every evening and calling out “10th cbse, time over”

21. #38 Robotics for grade 4 to 11. I am just appalled by this. This is a scam. There is no way in hell that any kid in class 11, let alone class 4, would have the mindset to know anything about robotics. And why is Robotics forced on students in the first place?! What if all I care about is literature and the only robots I care about are the ones Isaac Asimov has written about? . Robotics for class 4? Kids in class 4 only care about brothers and sisters, not resistors. When I was in class 4, I remember writing multiplication tables. The strange part of this Robotics course is that its run by Mr. Ramana Prasad’s own daughters (irony meter explodes here). This is wrong on so many levels, right from level 4 to 11.

22. #39 Product Design for class 11  This class is worth every penny if they end up teaching how to market things the way they marketed BVM.

23. #41. Himalayan expeditions and trekking  Do they go to the Himalayas every time, or is this also another cheap marketing ploy? I remember going to Gujarat, and the batch before mine went to Mount Abu (iirc).. Maybe things have changed. Maybe. Very shady nonetheless to call it “Himalayan” expeditions rather than just a trek.

24. #46 TULIR Training programme on prevention of child sexual abuse by empowering all stakeholders of school. Er, what ?! Do students have to pay for all this ?! Isn’t prevention of child sexual abuse a topic of national importance, that should be taught to all students, without them having to pay for it?! Making this optional and something to pay for is a controversy by itself. The BVM of old had the teachers guide us in the right way and we never needed training programmes for all this.

25. #48 Red Cross First Aid Training. HAHAHAHAHA. HAHAHAHA. No seriously. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

26. #43, #49,#50 – Exchange programmes to NYC, Singapore, Australia or within India. Basically all three are exchange programmes. Why split that into three separate points? I remember splitting up the same points into multiple sub points only in Anna University to fill pages.

27. #51 Special classes and Bridge classes to understand BVM way of learning. Apparently, now you need special classes to understand how the classes at BVM are going to be. Very meta, but not cool.

28. #55. Bus/van services – I used to pay for these separately irrespective of the school fees. So why include it here?

29. #56. Canteen Services. THIS IS THE LIMIT. O***A. We still pay for all the food we buy you idiots.

30. #58. Fee and book fees to be paid online. Again. Students have to pay extra fees to get access to the portal to pay the actual fees online. Again, very meta but not cool.

31. #59. Meta Cognitive Reflective Learning Lab for grade 6 and 7 with android tablets from Israel to deal with big data problems. WHAT THE ACTUAL HELL !!

The need for a change has never been more pressing. I may be half way across the globe, but the questions persist nonetheless. The school needs a clean up and it needs it now.

Santa’s Identity Revealed

Most of us only knew Santa Claus as the fat man with a white beard and red robe, who would try and sneak down chimneys every year, in the vain attempt to mimic the role of a flipkart delivery boy. Little was known about the true identity of Santa and myths had it that he hailed from the North Pole and traversed the globe on a flying sleigh. However, recent discoveries have revealed the true identity of Santa to be popular South Indian Actor Santhana Bharathi.

The investigations were carried out in secrecy and several sensors were discreetly planted around the belly of the actor, tracking all his activities including his frequent visits to the restroom owing to improper bowel movements. The investigation was carried out by a special team headed by Gaptun Vijaykanth,  who briefed the media about the entire operation in a press conference.

Reporter : “So Gaptun , could you tell us how the entire investigation unfolded?”

Gaptun :  “From the very beginning, i had a strong sandheham (suspicion) about him. His beard bore a lot of resemblance to a number of Bakistan theeviravaadhis (terrorists) I had faced at Gargill,  and with my MS Baint skills, I was able to fit Mr.Bharathi into Santa’s attire, and it was a perfect match .  Hey hey, do not be question me about the difference in color of the skin tone. When you can accept Michael Sackson in Black or White and me as Karuppu MGR , you can very well accept this case.”

Reporter : “We also hear that you have a strong reasoning behind the origin of the name Santa Claus.”

Gaptun : “Yes, Mr.Bharathi was rather clever in naming his alter-ego Santa Gloss. He chose Santa , which is short for Santhana, and Gloss, is actually a slang for ‘Closet’, where he spent much of his day owing to his digestive disorders.”

Reporter :  “Finally, do you have any conclusive evidence to back your report ?”

Gaptun : “We were unable to get DNA samples, owing to the lack of hair on his head. But we did manage to acquire photographic evidence of him in action, which bore strong resemblance to the activities of Santa Gloss. We are disclosing these bictures to the bublic.”

The photographic evidences, which reinforced claims that Santa Claus was infact Santhana Bharathi were released to the public.

Evidence #1 :

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‘Santa’ caught making a list and checking it twice. The perplexed look on his face probably because one of the kids had infact asked for ‘Marudhanaayagam’ DVD.

Evidence #2 :

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‘Santa’ spotted with his sack, leaving his headquarters at North Pole  North Madras. He actually made an effort to pose for the camera before diving out through the window.

Evidence #3 :

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Performing well despite the hectic work load has ruled out the possibility of ‘Santa’ actually being an Engineer / IT professional.

Evidence #4 :

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‘Santa’ experiences discomfort but is unable to locate the sensors placed around his belly. Investigation Team 1 – 0 ‘Santa’.

Evidence #5 :

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‘Santa’ attempts to foster the spirit of sharing among people during the festive season.

Evidence #6 :

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‘Santa’ hires volunteer to lie with arms outstretched in bed in a vain attempt to demonstrate the existence of Jesus in every man.

Evidence #7 :

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A delighted young man seen thanking ‘Santa’ for gifting him a shoe for Christmas.

Evidence #8 :

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A humble ‘Santa’ reveals that he is not proud of his actions, but is rather only fulfilling his duty of buying and giving gifts to everyone.

Evidence #9 :

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‘Santa’ blushes when Mr. Madan Bob (far right) reveals that his wife wanted Santa’s beard as a christmas gift.

In addition to indeed revealing Santhana Bharathi as Santa Claus, these photographic evidences also throw light on Santa Claus’s nemesis, who is often seen trying to foil Santa’s plans.

Evidence #10 :

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“Naa Christmas illai nu sollale, irundha nalla irukkum.”

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year  everyone !

santa bharathi

Cricket, Crackers and some Crap

It is a pretty common observation that an integral part of Diwali shopping is buying fireworks. While the task of handpicking the crackers of your choice is arduous, the easier way out is to buy a gift-box, the box that contains an assorted collection of crackers. Having gotten bored of seeing the same old Cock-Brand Firework, Ayan Pattasugal and the ever existent Standard Fireworks, the Board of Control of Crackers in India (BCCI) had decided to launch its own special firework ‘gift-box’, with a new grade of crackers developed, keeping in mind the personalities of some of the Indian players.

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Prior to the actual unveiling, one of the reporters caught up with President ‘Srini Mama’ for a few quick words.

Reporter :Thank you for sparing time Mama. Why start off with a new capital venture ? ”
Srini Mama : ” This industry has been relatively scam free for the last thirty years, and has always been at the back of our minds. The concept of turning money to ashes was something that excited us at that time. The idea was a brain child of Sharad Pawaar during his tenure, who I believe was pestered by youth icon Rahul to gift him something different for diwali. When the idea was put forward, the feasibility of the whole project was questioned by A.Raja, but I believe we have clean-bowled him.

Reporter : ” We believe that this project will be detrimental to the environment. What is your take on this issue ? ”
Srini Mama : *chuckling* We have sought the help of RCB CEO, Vijay Mallya in this regard, and we believe that wearing a Green colored dress while lighting the crackers would significantly reduce the environmental pollution.

Reporter : “What is the involvement of son-in-law Gurunath in this project ? ”
Srini Mama : *waving finger angrily* I have said time and again. He is merely a Cracker Enthusiast. He is not involved in the administration in any way.  ”

Reporter : ” One last question.. we believe that one cracker in particular is your personal favorite. Your comments ?”
Srini Mama : “Well of course….. errr.. no comments “

 mallya and flower potEnvironment Friendly Mallya and the Flower-Pot

The fireworks were unveiled at a gala evening in Sivakasi, with some of the ‘big-wicks’ in the country making it for the grand opening. The host for the night was the President of the Presentation Party, Ravi Shastri himself, who ‘de-lighted’ the audience with his repeated witty reference to “have a cracker of an evening” .

The fireworks unveiled during the evening were  –

Dhawan Dharma-adi

An explosive that has been used in recent times to set alight the festive season. Identified by its conspicuous twirled wick, this cracker is often known to have intimidated people to the extent that they fear setting fire to one of these again. It is equally explosive along the ground as well as in the air, offering a bright positive start.

Vijay Boos-vaanam

Here is a cracker that nobody really wants to find in the giftbox, but is invariably there just to piss off the buyers. It offers absolutely nothing to the entire festival and is more often that not, left untouched in the box and passed on from one diwali to the next. On those rare occasions when people do decide to burst, it simply wouldn’t catch fire. Its abject performance have often led to people questioning the BCCI for their insistence on including this as a part of the package. In a desperate attempt to bring something out of this piece of trash, one of the residents attempted to set it on fire after immersing the firework in a can of kerosene , but it still wouldn’t burst. Its only performance came when it managed to sneak into another house and heat things up, much to the annoyance of the owner.

Sharma Slow-Start Shells

One of those fireworks most people ordered five years ago, that finally arrived recently. It has received plaudits for being one of the finest fireworks during the testing phases, but it often failed to perform during the festive period. This has led to it being subject to satire and criticism, with people citing that its poor performances did not warrant a place in the giftbox, but it has always received the backing of the BCCI, who have stated several times that this cracker is special. It does not pack enough gun powder to guarantee an explosion, but it sparkles with a certain elegance that most people enjoy. While it has been known to last only two minutes, off late its longevity has improved significantly.

Kohli Kolaveri

A special grade firecracker that rate very highly internationally, not just for its explosive nature but also for its ability to keep burning and not get put out easily. It is marketed as a musical cracker, which when lit, will burst in the sky with a sound featuring some uncensored content. The contents are usually in hindi, but can be customized to any regional language.

Badrinath Bagala Bath

A cracker for crisis occasions, which can be lit at any time of the day, depending on the situation. Often seen being lit when the first few crackers have failed to burst, when people are in desperate need to just get something to burst. Rather than gun powder, It comes packed with thayir sadham ( curd rice in english ; bagala bath in kannada ) , and almost exclusively operates along the ground. Once ignited, it almost never stops, but its decibel level is so poor , that it annoys the people beyond a point rather than entertain. Newer versions of the cracker are equipped with a timed defuse mechanism to assist extinguishing itself on purpose, so as to make way for some of the more explosive crackers.

Dhoni Deaf-ender

A fan favorite firecracker, that most people believe is the best way to finish a diwali. It comes with four wicks, cross connected, to resemble a flying machine. When all four wicks are lit, the wicks continue to simmer until 11:59 pm of diwali night, when it finally takes off and explodes in the sky, almost resembling an apocalypse. Limited Premium editions of the cracker come with recordings of Ravi Shastri, which burst with the “And Dhoni finishes it off in style” war-cry, bringing an end to all peace on planet earth.

Sir-round Sound

A firecracker that is auctioned and sold to the highest bidder. No description. It does what ever it wants to.

I’shant Explode

Easily identified in the box by its long frame with an entanglement of wicks at the top, this explosive is really designed to do just one thing – rise straight up and explode. But misguided by the mess that adorns the apex,  it instead takes a tragic trajectory, traversing through trees and end ups near Tambaram.

Sreesanth Satham-illadha Showers

An explosive that was discovered accidentally during a scientific demonstration in Punjab, when unlike most crackers, this one burst into tears, rather than light , upon being struck by another shell. What seemed to be conceived as a path breaking discovery, later proved to be a useless piece of junk, as a consequence of a number of matches that were wasted while trying to light the fuse.

Hydro-jan Singh

A cracker with GPS location-based service modules that head all the way to Australia, verbally taunt and enrage Andrew Symonds ; boomerang to Nita Ambani’s residence, lift her off her seat and deliver personalized greetings , before finally seeking a Sreesanth firework in mid air and bursting near it.

Dinda Dhandams

Identified with a purple tape wrapped around the top of the shell, when set ablaze, this bomb would take a giant leap into the sky with a velocity in excess of the escape velocity of the earth ( adhering to Rahul Gandhi’s Dalit Theory ) , rebound off the moon and come crashing down to the same point, and then explode.

Shastri “and well ladies and gentlemen, that’s it from the presentation area.”

Have a happy diwali everyone !

Idea inspired from :

Image Uncredited Source – Don’t know who created the image to give credit to

Treading in Tiger Territory

This being my first blog post , I actually wish to kick start by talking about something contemporary. Yes, the title pretty much says it all – This post will be about my experience at a largely unheard of , and rapidly rising national park in India , Tadoba. Well, that’s the shortened version of Tadoba Andheri Tiger Project, the largest national park in Maharashtra ( Source : Wiki ).

Upon enquiry prior to my visit, trusted sources revealed that Tadoba was the best place to spot tigers in the wild. This assurance pretty much can kindle anyone’s curiosity to explore this previously unheard of Tiger Territory. So, it was decided. For the first time in 21 years, my family were out on a holiday, and it was to a tiger reserve. Four safaris had been booked , spread over two days, and that pretty much was the holiday. The tickets were booked till Chandrapur, the nearest piece of civilization bordering the gates of the Reserve.

As we made our way through the tiger reserve, I took a quick glance at my phone, and continued to stare at it in horror and disbelief. NO NETWORK COVERAGE. The driver of the jeep chuckles and says that the only network that covers the reserve was Reliance. (Well played Mr.Ambani). I was engrossed in deep thought. Being without a phone for one day seemed improbable, four days seemed unthinkable.  After reluctantly leaving my phone behind, I boarded the safari Gypsy and soon found myself to be a part of an endless line of gypsys, parked outside the gate, remotely resembling the queuing up of Tata Sumos in any Hari Film. While waiting , my eyes wandered taking glimpses at the people in the other vans, and they all had one thing in common. A DSLR. Yes, the same camera that invariably one of your friends possesses, that gives a ‘100 likes guarantee Profile Pic’. Some of them had lenses about the size of a Canon (pardon the pun). I took reluctant yet compassionate glances at my modest Olympus 10 Mega Pixel Camera, as if to reassure that it still had a future in my hands.

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No, that wasn’t the call of the tiger, but rather the roar of the engines… and it was time. The gates had opened, and we entered the Reserve. We were now accompanied by a forest guide, one of those robust forest rangers , not like the Jayam Ravi of Peranmai fame. As we wandered through the land, educated to me as Dry Deciduous Forests, we seemed fascinated by the sheer plethora of wildlife that we saw. Everything barring the Spotted Deer ( which infests IIT Madras ) seemed new. But while we sat gazing in awe, our Forest Guide, Shravan spotted some movement in the grass, in very close proximity. And after a brief hiatus in the grass, it slowly emerged out. A Tigress, around a year of age rose from the tall blades and lazily ambled forward until its entire 6 – 7 feet body was entirely visible. The gypsy pulled over as close as possible to the tiger, and there was a point when we were facing the tigress, as she attempted to cross the road.

This was a moment of fierce competition among the photographers, who had assembled their DSLRs on the tripods and had begun to click away , picture after picture. Some took it further and recorded videos as well. It appeared like the tiger was in fact posing for their clicks , and seemed unfussed by the commotion caused by the photograph clicks. Finally, after providing the viewers with a Tirupati level darshan, the tigress took leave and dived into the forests. The rest of the evening was spent engaging in discussions with the photographers, as they skimmed though the pictures that gave them their bragging rights. It was here that I met two incredibly talented photographers and birdwatchers Yuvraj and Sangameshwar. During the course of the conversation, they brandished their i-pads and flaunted their pictures, complete with watermarks. While most of the birds looked exactly the same to me, the two of them not only identified the bird, but also described its taxonomy, scientific name and gender.  I still cannot fathom how they managed to identify the gender.

     Another day, and another tiger sighting was inevitable.  It was another female, around about the same age, spotted at a distance initially, but our gypsy managed to pull over real close. There was a stage when the tiger was face to face with the vehicle in the middle of the road. Yes, this was a Photographer’s delight and my sister, who possessed a DSLR too, began to click away, being in the best position of all. And then, Good Old Friend Murphy decided to pay us a visit, through his popular saying :

                   “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.”

Memory Card Corrupted. DSLR reduced to a mere toy. And then, suddenly, what appeared to be an insignificant , ancient relic , suddenly sprung to life. The 10 MP Olympus camera, handled by its able commander chief,  shot the pictures, which saved my sister the blushes.

The next day started brightly, but midway through the journey, our hopes became rather dim when the entire forest succumbed to the rolling thunder and streaks of lightning. The forest had transformed into Cherrapunji. So much for calling it Dry Deciduous. The open gyspys were soon covered with plastic sheets and the search resumed. There was a brief encounter of a tiger, moving through the woods, shy to come out and face the limelight. As the vans queued up, there was a growing sense of expectation that the tiger would eventually emerge. The stage was set for a dramatic conclusion as we approached the climax. One of the parked gypsys, featuring a photographer who appeared to be a cross between Malayalam Actor Mohan Lal and Tinkle’s Shikhari Shambu, decided to move in for a better view. And like a Black Sheep exposed in a Gaptun Vijaykanth movie, left the rest of the vans completely exposed, by the sheer racket that it created. The tiger seemed so embarrassed by the attempts made by the gypsy, that it decided to turn its back and head back into the woods, never to be seen again. I don’t know who takes responsibility, but that photographer was at the end of an open firing of curses, ridicule and even an assorted collection of swear words from the other disgruntled by-standers.

And that was how the vacation ended, anti-climatically, but not before throwing us some fine memories which are forever to keep.

Also, the trusted sources were right when they said Tadoba was the best place to spot tigers in India.

It houses 67 out of the 1411. The numbers are increasing. The future is bright. Roaring times lie ahead.