Snow pelts down to meet the raging crimson.
Winter broke upon an unassuming land of Kashmir on the day the screaming casually ended. The newspapers didn’t find their usual path of foreboding announcements. A breeze that would carefully caress your cheeks was missing in the atmosphere.
There is no denying that the honorable Union Minister of Education Smriti Irani is self made. Her favorite phrase to use is time and time again and she uses alliteration for optics. She looks down at her feet after saying something profound in some semblance of effect and smiles ineffectually at flashing cameras. No stage is intimidating, no man too hard to defeat. Dubbed the most eloquent of ministers, she walks amidst thorns her big, beading eyes glaring at a thin, blue line between spectators adorned in juxtaposed colors. They are all looking up at her in awe. At scorched excuses she throws their way. At the villainous lotus flower that haphazardly rests between her slender fingers.
According to the legends, He was borne out of love between two men. He has a bereft woman waiting for him at the foothills and will only join hands with her if not one devotee ends up in His shrine thereby breaking out of his long-held celibacy. There sure has to be a joke hidden in there somewhere. Except there isn’t.
Lovingly dubbed kalaignar, the ex-Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Dr. Karunanidhi has been without question, the most prominent person of Indian political history. He is seen as a patriarch of modern Tamil Nadu, who has fiercely defended his language by people of the last generation. Tamil people have always placed him as a stalwart of protests against Hindi and him being an atheist hasn’t helped the cause of mostly religious North Indian politicians. He is the torch-bearer of Anna’s and Periyar’s Dravidian ideologies of communism and atheist principles. For the previous generation, Kalaignar Karunanidhi is a defender of Tamil rights, but for the millennials, however, with internet and age of digital information, the image is slightly distorted.
The curtains opened. The stage had been set up and in came the man everyone has been waiting for. With a histrionic music in the background. Arms enclosed in one another, he stood facing the crowd. And then came a powerful voice from somewhere in the depths of his throat that was both exciting and arresting. Probably one of the most powerful shows in Tamil Nadu, Bigg Boss’s Saturday nights open to huge expectations for actor-turned-politician Kamal Hassan’s brilliant eloquence and politics-topped innuendos, that mostly wouldn’t make sense right there, but probably on your way back home. This is how Aandavar has branded himself: an armed pistol, an inked-up pen.
In reality, the choice actually boils down to two versions of Padmavati: a woman who clung to her chastity and burned herself as an ultimate protest against invading men; and a fierce, beautiful woman who decided to follow her heart to be with the one that risked his life to win her hand in marriage.
In January 2017, the film sets of Padmavati was vandalised a RajPut association called Shri Rajput Karni Sena. In the process one of the painters on set was killed. Midst of it all, Akhilesh Khandelwal, in March 2017, a member of ruling party, BJP, made a shocking Facebook post stating “reward for anyone who attacks the director Sanjay Leela Bhansali with a shoe”. The same group attacked the sets again, but this time, they went a step ahead to target the celebrities involved in the film: Sanjay Leela Bhansali was slapped; Deepika Padukone was assaulted verbally and was driven into having a layer of security to her home after Karni Sena threatened to “–cut her nose off”.
As a Coimbatore guy/girl, the worst thing you could do is move to another city for a job–and honestly, that is the worst thing you can do especially because of people who don’t understand you or the place you come from. Sure you try to explain things (because, um, manners) in the beginning, but they just don’t get it. You basically feel like Cinderella in New York City, or like a fairytale character in a horror story. Also, don’t even bother taking them to Coimbatore–the effort is just NOT worth it. So, here is a definitive guide you can show to people (STOP. READ. GO) before they yabbity-yabba at you or you set them on fire–whatever works.
Today marks the 94th birthday of Kalaignar Karunanidhi and his diamond jubilee in legislative assembly of Tamil Nadu. Blessed with 48 hours a day, the dude has been kicking some serious ass. No, look at it: over seven historical novels, 100 plus poems and cinema screenplays, TV series, thousands of perspective essays on Sangam literature and on top of that some mother-friggin’ experience of running a party (that incidentally flipped the political scene in South as we know it) for over 45 years, he still walks this planet with us. And yeah, he’s humble.
Alright, I know you’re judging me. Vijay fans have always been branded dumb, unable to process simple cognitive skills, just so the main-stream, upstanding citizens of Tamil Nadu can feel better about themselves as they palaver Nolan-bred theories to unsuspecting bystanders. What they don’t understand is how effortlessly Ilayathalabathy Vijay has graced Kollywood with main-stream progressive ideas that define our future and beyond. He has constantly been a comrade for all of the values India stands for and in a way that people draw inspiration from. You may see gigantic effigies of Vijay being worshipped by thousands alike as some sort of blind, gullible fan-following, but I (and rest of Thalabathyites) see it as a stand-alone proof that fairytales of loyalty, goodness, and heroism still sell and mean to people who are otherwise seen as cynical. And that is where Vijay is a beacon of hope.
“2007 was just yesterday. Everything that seems what it is now was what it was then, too. What, I aged like 10 years: no big deal. Okay, may be I didn’t know Vijay Sethupathi was OR I wouldn’t have known the dude named Modi, but it wasn’t that predated. I would have been in school. I would have crushed on the same person. But hey, bring it on guys: I double dare you. Make me feel old. Go on.”
Well, you asked for it. Here’s a list of things that seems ages ago, but was actually only 10 years ago. Buckle up.