Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Rs in my life.

My real name is Rakesh Kumar. My other name is only known to the secret organisation known as SPECTRE (where I am addressed as number 13). Plus the Rs in this post's title mean names that begin with the letter R, and has no relations to the word "arse". Well, maybe...hey let me get on with this post.

When I was young, as tall as a regular flower vase, my mom addressed me as "Geethu:". God knows what the word meant and where she got it from.

Aside: Probably from the name, Geetha, which, sort of, means music in many Indian languages, and I am as musically annoying as a cricket. The insect, not the game. End of aside.

As I grew up and discovered shit lot of things, Including stuff that told me that "geethu" is a girlie name. I scratched that. Being a movie fan (semi-retired now), let's look some Rs that I like in the movie business.

R for Robert de Niro

One of my favourite actors. When you think of him, you better not think of all those violent scenes, especially the one in Casino, directed by Martin Scorcese....If you have seen the film, remember the scene where Bob patted some dude's hand. With hammer.

If you are only remembering that, you are taking a short cut. Remember New York New York, a film also by Scorcese, where Bob and Marty were going through the glory of their victorious lives only to find that they are to be slipped by a banana peel named Liza Minnelli.

But that was a tiny slip....okay, she was not that tiny.

They went on to make many godawesome flicks that involved, to quote (paraphrasing) Schwarzenegger from the fine flick Raw Deal, "murder and mutilations". One fine R here.

R for Robert Downey Jr
Sherlock Holmes. Iron Man. 'nuff said.

R for Robert Duval
To heck with RDJ, Duval can be filmed just eating fried chicken for two hours and I will watch it. Maybe just me. And so, pardon my terrible English, but this Bob is awesomer.

R for Rajinikanth

Speaking of awesomeness, even the Japs accepted this South Indian hero as, well, an awesomestest hero (my superlatives can only go that far). But this guy has been around since my parents got married and still going strong albeit the longish gaps in between his assignments.

Doubt his popularity and you are doubting the existence of solar system which was founded by George Lucas. Ambudutheyn,

R is Hrithik Roshan's dad
Hrithik Roshan, as everyone (who is googling now) knows, is a Bollywood star. Bollywood is....oh crap, you guys have done googling?

Apparently, when I was born in 1973 (same year when P. Ramlee and Bruce Lee went to the other side,,,go ahead and google again, jeez you kids). Raakesh Roshan was one of the hottest bloke in Bollywood, a stardom that probably lasted about 17 minutes and that caught my parent's attention and hence they named me Sivaji Ganesan.

Okay, they named me after him (no not Sivaji) and I think my dad was in charitable mood when naming me that he removed one "a" from the name so that folks, when pronouncing my name, have easier time with their collective jaws .

So, there you go. The R's in the history of my life. The names, I mean. Unless you include others, verbs or nouns like "rejected" or "retard", but hey, I am happy the greatest R of them all, me. Did I mention "retard"?

Monday, December 08, 2014

Dude, Where's My Spage Age part !!

This is a followup to my post back then four years ago, when I was so unbusy that I didn't even bothered to do spell check on the title....and therefore, I retained the "Spage" word, which actually, being probably drunk back then, typed as fast as I can to combine two words "space" and "age" and then, followed by moment of sobrierty when I ran out of beer,  typed the word "age" again. 

Writers, most of them, like me, are the stuff squirels are always looking for. It rhymes with "guts". And I purposely made another mistake on the title just for continuity sake. 

Plus, there is no such word as "unbusy".

Anyway, I write this as as sequel because I am thrilled that they (you know who) are going to 
MARS....yes, that lovely place named after the goddam chocolate bar?

You can read more here and to hell with my rant: 

Recalling my original post, after its own hiatus (it spent time in my parents' home) I got back that scaled down version of Concorde aircraft, albeit the landing gear. The tragic history aside, there is so much behind the supersonic innovation that the world is yet to see, though it can never beat the speed of bitching, gossiping and amateur movie reviews.

Much have happened since then, like losing my job, home, you know usual stuff that hits you when you are in your middle age, or approaching one, like a wet underwear thrown from an apartment few floor upwards when you intent to smell fresh air from your own. Or a suicidal cat. Whichever first.
But, the whole space age thing has always been in the back of my mind, if my mind has an ass. It has been expelling gaseous notion about how awesome it would be if space age is as incredible as they promised. Unfortunately, no thanks to my bad long paragraphical incursion into butt related pathetic jokes, most of Universe is indeed just that, lots of fart....I mean, gas.

As of now, there are no signs of life as we know it. Life as we arrogant mofo human beings would term them, you know, the one that look like the creature from the movie ET, or a mutant potato, or both . moment they would say, "hey, there's sign of of water, therefore there must be life!" only to have some pix of goddam canals that could have been, indeed, where some sort of water like stuff flowed or where Han Solo and Chewbacca landed when attempting to wrestle the control of Millenium Falcon.

Speaking of airy excursion, remember how George Lucas started his space sagas, (no, not Howard the Duck), which started like this...."Long long ago in a galaxy far far away...."

And John Williams gets away by composing the same theme music for almost three, or more, decades. It was exhilarating for us kids growing up in the 70s/80/s and maybe 90s. 

Aside: Note to my son, "No, Nevin, Pingu the Penguin was not in it....but considering what happened in the 90s, you do have an idea". End of aside.

The love for space, thanks to, maybe, John F. Kennedy who promised that Men (not gals, one of his favourite subjects, apparently) will land on moon in few years after his administration, sparked lots of love letters from Hollywood, including the best of them all, Stanley Kubrick's 2001: Space Odyssey, a gloriously beautiful film which is awesome to look at and is as comprehensible prime minister's budget speech.

Not many of you know there was a sequel to that, don't google....I told you....okay, go and get a drink or do that 7% solution.

As usual, my rant is this, where is the space age that we were promised? The Jetsons be damned, we were supposed to be up there, getting up in space home, brushing with space toothbrush, doing business in space toilet (the order of these activities can be  changed, like getting up in space toilet, brushing the business off with space toothbrush...etc....)

How long before we can experience this. As I write this, space tourism initiated by that Branson bloke does not look good. Hell, Branson does not look good. Nothing looks good. NASA is about as cheerful as a Bhuddist Simba in his bro's' restaurant hangout.

As I always say in my most useless and most importantly,  pointless blog post endings, it remains to be seen. Or just go along with the goddam conspiracy theorists and agree that they are faking the whole goddam thing. Don't sue me, I am with Simba in that restaurant getting mauled........

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Confession of A Colour Blind Film Fan.

This morning I had a dream.

I was in this woodenish restaurant (later turned out to be a motel one, as you will find out if you read are reading on, aren't ya?). And in walks Clint Eastwood. I was as giddy as a school boy who found a treasure trove of ice cream and chocolates, and perhaps a stash of porn DVDs.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Aspiration, Ambition and Asthma

As far as I can remember, I always had Asthma.

What is Asthma? In layperson's term, it means difficulty in breathing caused by some shit stuck in your passageway (no, not that Indiana Jones one, you know, the boulder running down the conveniently dug semi-tunnel; and no, we are talking about the goddam biological tubes inside you from your nose all the way down your ass).

The shit is usually phlegm...or mucus....or the thing you sneeze out into your handkerchief and the ones you secretly scrutinise to make sure it is not red (sometimes it is, unless you are colour blind like gad, this is a site to be read with parental guidance).

Did I get it from my parents? Sure I did. But who caused it? Me.

Apparently my mother was hale and healthy (what is hale, by the way? Did someone created that word to rhyme with pale, whale or Christian Bale?). When I was born, I immediately triggered the Asthmatic button in my beloved mother's biological circuitry board. She started wheezing big. Little baby Rakesh wheezing little. We were two person concerto.

Poor dad. First year into his marriage, suddenly he got two Asthmatic patients in his hand. No wonder he went back to religion.

Asthma has proven to be a bane and boon. No, not Bane as in Batman's bad guy or Boon....err....isn't that the guy in early US who killed the shit out of raccoon and wore 'em as hat?

Anyway, boon is this: I took it easy. I never went outdoor much, not much of games or sports or fun and laughter. Hah, who wants that. I sat indoors and read and read and read and watched TV (where and when permissible) and read and read.

Bane is not much. I wanted to goddam go out and playyyy!!!! Arrrggghhhh.....Like kids that time and even now, I wanted to play football (soccer, soccer you Americans). Since I can't run from one end of the field to the other (it always look nearer on TV but why they insist on expanding it 1000 times in real life?) means... after 25 metres, my lung gets happy and starts to play the violin, or cello depending its mood. And I am on the ground. Whining ala Beethoven.

Later, those who were understanding and were seriously understanding my gut-wrenching instinct that I make a great striker while knowing well that Mackerel will never make a water fall hopping upwards ala salmon, relegated me to become a defender (our lingo, we simply call this poor schmucks 'back'). “Stay near the goalie (goalkeeper), back,” they would say, “and just kick the ball out from whoever is coming. Err...which means our opponent, get it?”

Or, “hey you....what's your name...back...back.....” I turn back and there goes the ball over me into the goal post.

I get it, you funsucker.

There goes my football career. Both of my brothers had some sort of success representing school, and later forming, with neighbouring friends, their own football team (named after the housing estate in Kluang or something), but I was out, voluntarily because I know my weakness (I was busy discussing Tamil literature my my newfound brother Chitambaram)

So, it is not beause they didn't want me. But I knew that I am going to screw the team up with my biological deficiency. They understood. I was glad. They kept winning. Crikey, I was proud of them.

But I tell you what! The blood inherited from one Shankaran Nair (that is my father's father and there are, apart from us brothers, cousins like Navin [dad's third elder sister's son], Devanan [dad's sister's son, late, I have written about this awesome bloke and his adventures, and ….okay no more parenthesis and Shubash, my younger brother] were all there. It was supposed to be a family business.

What actually made this team awesome the parentheshit...okay I know you don't give a Shubash, our younger brother, and Anan (the awesome adventurous bloke I wrote about way before) that both of them are goddam lefties.

In retrospetive mode now, since I have indulged in flue/cough remedy: I didn't know then that I would be surrounded by these goddam lefties. My younger brother, Shubash is a leftie, my favourite late cousin Anan is a leftie, wife turned out to be a leftie!.

And what need to be told is about my immediate brother, Balan. He is awesome. Striker, he is like a cobra. Right wing? Sure, he flies like eagle. Left wing? Oh heck, he can be communist (do your poitical maths)....and when he strikes....he strikes like Thunderball........(queue soundtrack from the James Bond flick, by Tom Jones, called...oh it blokes and gals).

Did I play a part?

Hah! They should thank me for that. If not, they would not have won most of the friendly games with various teams in the district and out. And this was the year end school holiday. The next school season started and they had to hang up their boots momentarily. Seriously, if they had me, there would have been a requirement made in friendly games to have, not only water, painkilling spray or stretcher nearby, but also a Ventolin Inhaler.

They were winning because I was not there.

I didn't know the terrible consequnces of Asthma till at one time, when our beloved neighbour, and I hate to point out the race thing because I want to highlight that as Malaysians we are goddam peacefully living with each other no matter what colour creed, whateverfucknots.

She is a beautiful Malay lady, wife to my dad's colleague, their house neighbouring ours (estate quarters, by the way). On that fateful day, her Asthma kicked out the worst possible predicament, and at that time, dad had a car that was borrowed from one of our relatives.

He took both husbad and wife in...and mind you, the plantation we lived in was about, I believe, 40 kilometres away from the main hospital. And not even halfway, she breathed her last.

Let us not even imagine how her husband felt.

It was a tragedy that we mere mortals can not help, let alone assist. My dad did all he could. Her husband spend his married life which is like his entire life to make her a wonderful partner. All ended....there.

Dad was on in his mid-thirties. It was too much for him.

I think the incident still haunts him.

Oh crap....I forgot the point of what I wanted to write. Dad wanted to become a great footballer, and he is a great goalkeeper. I know, I still feel the pain when he kicked the goddam ball and got me catching it only to have my palm in fire...inferno.

I saw him in a friendly game within some plantation organisation where he jumped like, 9 feets, to catch the ball, roll over the ground, holding the ball like a little infant.

I can never be like that. My brothers are over that, they got kids to worry about. But then....the juniors.....

Blog posts supposed to have points so that it is remembered. Those who read this, don't worry. The point: Life is short, unless you are acting as Ewoks in George Lucas Movie
Life is shit: Because you have to leave the unwanted behind.
Life is awesome: Because there's Rajini DVD my son keep insisting on watching every goddam night.
Life is life: When it is over.

Over and out. Aijamalakkadigiri.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Happy Deepavali...And We Are Only Getting Older.

The memory of the celebration called Deepavali festival, as it is called in Malaysia (some call it Diwali or festival of light or "let's think about threadmill walk later program") to me is not that all memorable as I enter middle age. In retrospect. I still have a little bit of future left. So, I better let it all out here, except the part where we were chased by angry geese during one of those open house visits.

Sure, as kids we had fun. We had blasts, literally, though I have no knowledge of anyone blowing off their thumb through fiery explosive malfunction, or lose their tooth due to certain multi-concentrated ball of grain (called kal-urundai, roughly translated as rounded stone).)

But as a kid, following the rituals of the so-called religion and practices, I must admit that I truly enjoyed the event, alongside my two brothers (later, another bloke, my best friend, joined as blood brother because, well, it must be a cosmic reason).

Our very early days of Deepavali, apart from some good food (we were very poor, we can afford only some good dishes and stuff on occasions like this) was to get to know our relatives, most of whom were as strange as Klingon to Captain James T. Kirk.

We used to visit our relatives on these occasions, rather than celebrate it ourselves. We have gracious ones, (my late uncle Ramasamy @Viswanathan, a demi-god) and some others, some great, some okay, some low-life blokes who appear right out of being dunk in a vat of cheap alcohol.

Early morning all of us would go to temple praying to god that I don't believe in, than come to to great breakfast I believe in. Alas, I have faith in great Indian-styled breakfast. Period. Even that, I indulge very rarely. I prefer Nasi Lemak or Mee Hoon Goreng with sambal on the side.

Then, there would be TV specials, many locally produced piss-pots mainly to exploit the given budget, and, possibly, by male producers, onto the female artistes. We were not interested. There were good old Tamil films that will always and still do get my attention. I am not ashamed of it, even if it has MGR (google that initials) in it.

To me, the best part of the whole festival actually takes place the night before Deepavali (like the night before Christmas, Mr. Tim Burton). All of the family members would gather in the prayer to the late family members of the family, especially my grandfather, one Mr. Shankaran Nair, whose name I adapted for my son.

There would be an offering of rice, chicken curry, vegetables, etc on banana leaf. In the years gone by, there would be a bottle of Guiness Stout (apparently, my grandpa's favourite drink), but due to political correctness, it has since been replaced with plain water (poor grandpa).

What follows is the usual prayer ritual (don't want to bore you on that, you can call me to find out more but you have to give me your Credit Card number), and then WHAMMO!

Sorry grandpa, but fun starts thereof. Dad would mix the whole rice, chicken pieces, vege, whatever curry, anything, into balls and give each of us one. It's what, I think, they serve in HEAVEN!

My Deepavali ends there. The next day is just visit to the temple in early morning, breakfast, expecting visitors, sneaking time to take a nap, watch more useless TV programs, nap again, and then thinking about when to go back (to wherever you think you belong to).

There you go. A very bad David Finch-esque ending for you. But what the heck, Happy Deepavali Everyone. After all, it only happens once in a year and we are ONLY getting older. Ta-daaa.....

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Rakesh, STFU.
I am going to be 41 soon, which means I am a lot older. I had issues with health…some involving a taboo-istic issue like alcoholism (Mom: kids stay away from that man…he is an alcoholic) and less pedestrian issue like being a Filmaholic (Very few will understand that).. And so be it. I may be a burden to some folks but I ain’t no murderer or a pick pocket, but my blog posts in the past can assure what I am addicted to movie flicks (Clue: it involves Celluloid).

What prompted me to write this is exactly the issue that I wanted all moms to warn about their kids: Alcoholism.

Is it bad? Is it terrible? Does it kill you like it did to Jim Morrison, Jimmi Hendrix, or any other uncles or aunties that succumbed to that evil, devilish concoction invented so that you stay away from day to day incoming evil dredges, week to week conformities; perhaps confronted by  monthly fears of looking at authorities sanctioned bills?

Who knows.

The recent passing away of Robin Williams still haunts me. The man was a great entertainer (I had to use the word “was”, sorry).. He was energy…someone should have tapped him just for that physics study alone…I mentioned this before, but please do a youtube on him…he is unstoppable. For those who are new to him recently, check out the Alladin cartoon, or ….goddamit anything else….he is everywhere.

But why does the man who chose to entertain everyone decided to put a goddam fullstop one day. Perplexing. Indubitably, missing the point to those who are not familiar with the lives of comics who makes others laugh while they cry (I know, Lenny Bruce always comes to your learned mind).

But anyway, nobody is reading this...And all these posts are for my son..again…in case I am moving to the other side

Son…be patient, be understanding…if you can’t handle it…buy Iced Lemon Tea….it worked when Accha was dating Amma.

Your girlfriends will be talking about issues…this and that….mother said this….father said that….You just take it easy. Sip the juice slowly, and do your best Marlon Brando impression (including scratching your chin) and say, “Aawllll will be fine,”

There is so much in this blog posts. All for you, from the time when I was courting your mom to the time where we are now.

Remember this junior (again, in Sean Connery voice ala Indiana Jones 3)….If it ish not for you mothersh family and my family, thish wouldn’t have happened. The greateshsht trrreassshure is not unity… ishhhh undershhhhtanding…)

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Robin Williams – You Still Keep Us Entertained.

For those who were born in the 1970’s and earlier, Robin Williams crept into our consciousness through this little sitcom called Mork and Mindy. It used to be a staple for us family way back then. Dad and mom used to laugh at his antics and we used to wonder why. Mork, by the way, is played by Williams – as an alien. His keyword or whatever, was, “Nanoo Nanoo!”.

And then he slowly moved into the film world, most notably, though the film was not quite recognised though it was directed by ace director Robert Altman, Popeye. Yes, the same Popeye the Sailor Man. It was not much of a success…but Williams moved on.

It is hard to pinpoint what made Williams a great actor or comedian. There are various sides to him.

The TV introduced a sitcom actor. The film introduced us a comedian. The stage, most importantly, and this is where most goddam stars, superstars fail, introduced us one of the greatest improvising stand-up comedians ever.

Yes, Williams comes in the same lineage of the greats of the past, such as my beloved Groucho Marx, and the others including ….I don’t know who. Groucho’s speed with wit, lividness and ability to attack you and at the same time can only be matched by Williams. And the latter is not an “insult” comic, mind you, He mimics us on our clumsiest days, worst scenarios, terrible behaviour and most foul moments that we don’t ever want to remember…but with laughs.

Forget the movies, check out his skits through the youtube videos. He is better than the movies when he is on stage, drinking one mineral bottle after another unleashing one wisecrack after another, deadpan lines following a previous sharper one, as well as smacking your face with verbal insult and make you laugh at the same time.

If you are too lazy, try the award ceremony presentations or when he actually accepts awards…you will remember it forever.

As they say, comedy is a mask worn by sad people who don’t want to share their pathos side simply because they are not selfish. Robin Williams, like many great entertainers, held behind his dark side, because he is a selfless entertainer. He drowns his dark side in alcohol for a long time (or drugs, but I don’t want to elaborate on that). Some of these traits, many won’t understand.

To live for others is to die a little everyday. Robin Williams didn’t. He was simply called to entertain a whole bunch of other souls up there, or below, or in the middle, or anywhere…simply because of the legacy he left behind.

Never forgotten. We all love you Mr. Williams. Be in peace, but don’t rest. You are still entertaining us through your work.  

Useless Knowledge

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