Gumbal, Sundal and a lil

Gumbal, Sundal and a lil bit of Bloggal during Pongal !!

The Madras Blogger’s meet code named Gumbal, Sundal and a lil bit of Bloggal is happening again this year. Organised by Suds and his team it is set to happen tomorrow(18th Jan 2004) starting 5 pm at Planet Yumm in Besant Nagar Youth Beach.

Last two years it was called Chennai Blogger’s Meet organised by Kiruba.

There is already a long list of bloggers who have confirmed their presence. Unlike last couple of years, I am at chennai this time and will be dropping in to have fun.


27th Chennai Book Fair –

27th Chennai Book Fair – 2004

Chennai is flooding with bookworms or at least there are so much of onlookers for this book fair. I’ve been a regular to this book fair for more than a decade. I’ve never seen so many of stalls or even so much of crowd for this book fair. The publishing industry is growing by leaps and bound every year. This year there are around 500 stalls sporting their books.

I peeked in by 11 am and by the time I was out, it was already evening and KaviKo Abdul Rahman was hosting a Kaviarangam. The specialty is this. Every evening a famous author or a poet host special shows. Also you can bump over your fave author during these special shows. You can have a personal chat with them and find out that they are also as normal as us.

Every year you could find a book or two doing well in all the stalls. This year it was tamil transalation of The Life and Times of Che Guevara and also Akira Kurosawa‘s tamil transalation of his autobiography called Something Like An Autobiography. Also doing well is the Sahitya Academy winner Vairamuthu‘s Kallikaattu Ithigasam. It has offlate recieved fave reviews and is selling hot cakes even when being prized at a huge 200 bucks. If you would have read it already on Ananda Vikatan, you know why it received the award. The treatment and honest handling of the subject earned vairamuthu this award, which is one of the biggest awards in Indian literature. Ofcourse there are many debates about Sahitya Academy’s selection of this book. It goes on forever.

I picked up a bagful of books and am planning to go back to buy the bound edition of Kalki‘s Ponniyin Selvan. When I was in Kavvya Book stall, I found Sujatha’s Vivathangal Vimarsanangal. The book looked dirty and soiled. It was a 1985 edition and wasn’t re-printed after that. The cover page has Sujatha’s pic in his mid-forties sporting a moustache and a few gray hairs peeking on his head. Kavvya is planning to bring a re-print of this book this year. But I picked it up because it was the last copy and one of the rare books of sujatha books. This old book is what I am currently reading and just can’t keep it down.

Uyirmmai Publishers have released some more books of Sujatha which include Sujatha’s Thernthedutha Sirukathaigal (best short stories by Sujatha), Aazhvaargal oru Eliya Arimugam and Srirangathu Kathaigal. Another interesting release is Aathavan‘s Enn Peyar Ramasheshan. This is one of the books that I was amazed to read. Uyirmmai publisher’s effort is commendable and their selection of books comes out of their passion for books.

Some of the books that I bought include Jayakanthan’s Jaya Jaya Shankara, Indira Parthsarathy’s Kuruthi Punal, Sa. Kandasamy’s Tholaindhu Ponavargal (remember this was one of the most successful serials in DD), Indha Nutrandin Sirukathaigal – Vol 1(Best Short stories of this century – Vol 1) and some red books. Gnani’s Theemtarikitta is back in print from last year and subscriptions are accepted in the stall. Kaalachuvadu publishers are selling fabulous paintings of Bharathiyar as a calendar. As usual, books like 30 days to Kundalini, Samaipathu eppadi, Saapiduvathu Eppadi are also found all over the fair and still selling hotcakes. lol.

Many drop in to book fair just to see what’s in store. But the fact that is irritating is that they manage to munch a popcorn bag or cotton candy when they browse thru the books and by which they make the book dirty. Books are one’s friends but they can’t take such abuses.

Some pics on Photo Blog


The Chennai Bookfair 2004 is

The Chennai Bookfair 2004 is open now and will go on till 19th of this month. Organised by the Booksellers’ and publishers’ Association of South India (BAPASI), it’s happening in Quaid E Millet College. If you are expecing some dazzling girls there, don’t bother too much. They are all concentrated in Nungambakkam stadium where the Carlos Moya and Srichappan are fighting for the TATA Open Tennis title. The last couple of years have been successful for the organisers and the participants of this book fair. The crowd was enoromous and sales reached it’s peak. As Sujatha says, it’s a cycle. Book reading habit will come back and people will pull out the heads that are stuck to their televisions. It’s happening. I’m planning a peek tomorrow.

Saarang, the mother of all student organized cultural festivals is set to happen from the 21st of January to the 26th at IIT Chennai. The pro-shows which are the source of prime attraction include Udit Narayan‘s Light music, Classical music show by TM Krishna, the rock show by MOTHERJANE accompanied by Pin Drop Voilence and a special unity concert by Euphoria and a 2 man band from Pakistan band called Strings. As usual lots of musical fever and fun guranteed. Make sure you take a spin for a show or two.

Saw Matrix Revolutions again today in theatre just to get over the Matrix phobia. Couldn’t like it as much as I did it the first time. Simbhu’s Kovil has released today, taking an initial lead in the pongal releases. Virumandi is ready to hit the screens before which Kamal is doing his pre-release marketing through Vijay TV. From 12 to 16th of this month Virumandi Special show will be up in the air from 10:30 pm – 11:00 pm. And we know why Kamal is happy excited about the movie release. Being his own production, it has been sold out in all the areas for a huge sum. Guess who’s the prime sponsor for Virumandi’s ads. Reliance. Huge hoardings of Virumandi and Reliance are placed all over Chennai. Especially the one near Guindy reminds me of the grand Aalavandan release.


CASed Away I was one

CASed Away

I was one among the millions of cricket frency Tom Hanks of Chennai who were castaways by the CAS(Conditional Access System for Cable TV) introduction. No Kumbleys. No Googlies, No Mandira Bedi, No Cover drives, No Late cuts, No Dravids, No Tensed Gangulies, No Cool Steve Waughs, No Hoodibaba and ofcourse No Sachin. Heck! I decided to try out CAS.

Now I am poor victim of CAS who is facing a risk and discouragement from envied friends and neighbours who resist CAS but unable to resist their temptation for cricket. I bought the Set top box along with a big risk that the government is considering removing the CAS system. The first program I watched after buying the Set Top Box was ESPN Cricket Show, hosted by Harsha Bhogle. The guests included Sachin, Saurav and Ravi Shastri. Just after the day of the last test, Sachin and Saurav looked sleepy with a poor over-makeup. It was an one hour program analyzing the entire test series between India and Australia. When Sachin’s batting in the last test was discussed, he confirmed that he was nervous for the first 20 minutes of the play and once he started playing the onside deliveries in an unusual manner, he communicated to the aussies that he isn’t going for his usual cover drives and misjudged shots. It was good to see Sachin and Saurav complimenting each other not just for the show but in a natural unassuming way. Way to Go !!

This morning it was Forrest Gump in Star Movies. One of my all-time favs. With just these two programmes, I have got back the worth of STBs. No more discouraging me, guys !!. No more !!.