Sunday, September 11, 2005

"Kannathil Slap Seithaal"...Dangers of slapping a child's face

Audience: Parents, Teachers, Nannies, Child Care Personnel, Anyone who cares for and looks after children, Tamil-movie audience.

Besides causing severe personal injury and insult, punishing a child by slapping on its face can also cause severe hearing problems if the palm that is striking the face strikes the ear or the ear lobes of the child. The closer the striking palm is towards the ear or the earlobes, the more severe is the damage. Maximum damage is done if the palm misses the face and strikes the ear directly.

Unfortunately a lot of face-slapping is seen in movies. Other than the dramatic effect it can create on screen it is never to be imitated in real life particularly if the victim is a child.

I was in the USA when the Columbine tragedy took place and I remember an Amercian colleague at work asking me for my opinon on the corporal punishment, to which I replied, " I would advocate it." My American friend agreed and said, "You know the butt has two purposes. One is for sitting and the other is for being beaten." He also went on to say how as a child he was beaten (on his behind of course!) and that when he had children he did the same thing to them, when it was necessary. My friend also insisted that with the right combination of love and punishment many a today's disturbed teen could be saved. If someone from a country where the corporal punishment is forbidden by the law can say so, it is time physical punishment is performed correctly on children.

I am of the opinion (and that which my parents taught me) that sparing the genital area anywhere from waist downwards is the appropriate place for physical punishment and not on the any other part of the child's body particularly the chest, face and head.

In the Mani Ratnam film "Kannathil Muthamittal" there is a scene where the father (played by Madhavan) when enquiring about his daughter's whereabouts, slaps his son, a small boy, on his face . What irony! The name of the film "Kannathil Muthamittaal" translated into English reads - "To place a kiss on the cheek..."

Monday, September 05, 2005

Be aware of Amway

Audience: Prospective Amway Distributors, Existing Amway Distributors and others who wish to learn about Amway

Before you sign up to become the next Amway distributor or if you have already signed up as one here is a site that you must visit.

This is no run of the mill hate-Amway or anti-Amway propoganda site. The site is run by a former Amway Emerald, Eric Sheibeler. Those of you in the Amway business will be familiar with the Emerald status. Only a small elite percent of the Amway distributors world-wide have achieved this level. The site is certainly an eye opener. The content of the site and the images of the former Amway distributor with important Amway dignitaries including the founder of Amway, Rich De Vos seem very genuine and add credibility to the site and its reports.

Amway themselves are aware of web sites and reports against them and I believe that they are constantly taking legal action against them and this website is no exception. So rush to the site before it is shut down. There are numerous documents that you can either read or download, all for free. Don't forget the quintessential one titled "Merchants of Deception". This is a professionally written e-book that runs into over 300 pages and grabs your attention instantly from the very first page. It is an autobiographical account of the author's initiation into the Amway business, rise, downfall and eventual ruin as an Amway distributor. Along the way the author details the fraud and exposes the evil secrets of the trade. Several eminent people have endorsed the book and it is highly recommended if you are considering the Amway business seriously.

A brave effort by the author to educate the masses. Check it out.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Talented Sada

Audience: Tamil movie-goers.

After watching her second (atypical and focussed) interview on TV on "Vinayaka Chaturty" day I had better write about this new talent before it is too late.

It was early to mid 2003 when the Telugu version of Jayam (I think it was Sada's first movie) was released. What I cannot forget is the very poor and insulting comment made then by a female colleague about the upcoming actress. I did not watch the movie and neither did I watch the Tamil version realeased months after the Telugu one. Only a couple of songs ocassionally caught my ear. I was also under the impression that Sada was from A.P. Now that was a poor guess, something one should never make about heroines in Telugu movies. After the Jayam run I remember Sada in a saree advertisement and then a Madhavan starrer called "Yethiree" which never saw the light of day. But I did notice that Sada seemed to emote very well in her song sequences and also make some fine moves. All the while I did remember the insulting comment made on her.

I then watch the movie "Anniyan", released just a few months earlier. Sada blew my mind away! This was the first time I was watching a full lenght movie of her's and I couldn't believe her evolution and tranformation from the girl in Jayam. Her dancing was flawless and her acting dedicated and confident. She exuded genuiness and enthusiasm. For a girl from the north and someone who speaks very little Tamil her lip-syncing was perfect. She was just adorable.

Coincidentally "Jayam" was being telecast and I couldn't believe I sat through 4 hours of Sun TV to watch the movie. Sada did not disappoint. She was perfect in every frame. Luckily for her, both the Jayam and Anniyan scripts and screenplays provided for and matched her spontaniety. For a girl who does not have even a sari in her wardrobe (yes, she said that in her interview) she was such a natural in the traditional south-Indian half-sari.

Her next movie "Priyasakhi" is running in the city now. I hope I get a chance to see her again. By the way, I believe she stars with Ajith in his next venture too.

I am sure my colleage who made that remark on her has a very different opinion on Sada now.

I am just watching "Run" on Sun TV (yes, that old movie, even remade in Hindi). Meera Jasmine is looking pretty and doing quite well. The movie seems to be moving well too... but that will be another post.

Leave the President Alone!

Audience: Tamil movie-goers, Tamil music-listeners.

Do you remember the lyrics of the song " Mercury Mele Medai Idu" from the movie "Majnu". It went like this " Mercury mele medai idu, Pudu century raagam paadi vidu....Vajpayee varatum paatu ezhutha, Bill Clintonai kupidu isai amaikka, Vandu Saddam Hussein paadal paadatum....". Listening to these lines made me cringe. Maybe some or many of you felt the same. Eager to listen to Harris Jayaraj's next offering it was kind of a letdown to listen to this song with such lame lyrics. Though the "charanam" had a decent tune the "pallavi" was unbearable to listen to with lyrics such as these.

Then came the song from the movie "Boys" - and the lyrics of which goes like this "Maro Maro....Abdul Kalam kaiyyal virudugal vangalam...".

What is with lyricists these days? Why are the names of political figures overused in their songs to an extent where it has become stale and nauseating.

Then to cap it all came the infamous report on BBC's news website of an Indian boy who passed the very competitive NASA International Scientist Discovery examination. Subsequently he was to meet the President at the latter's residence . In this report BBC had also indicated that Mr. Abdul Kalam was the only other Indian to have passed this examination besides Kalpana Chawla. However NASA has emphatically denied that no such examination has ever been conducted by them. I haven't been able to locate this report on BBC's archives. Maybe it was removed because BBC might have realized by now that the news about the examination was false. However the news of the hoax can be found on their site at the following address:

It is anybody's guess these days when one receives e-mails asking to name the person who passed this-or-that competitive exam or developed a certain technology. The correct answer? President Abdul Kalam of course! It suddenly seems that our President has passed every concievable exam and has had a hand in all of our Government's science and technology projects.

And then comes the killer. A couple of weeks ago the movie "Ullam Ketkume" is released. There is a song in the film that goes like this. "Kanavugal....kanavugal kaana...Sir Abdul Kalam.. pole kanavukal kanbom nanba..." This is the LIMIT. Lyricists, Musicians, give our President a break.