Thursday, July 29, 2010

How Govindan Kutty fell into his own mouth-trap

I don't watch the programme "Students Only" on Kairali for several reasons.

1. The host Govindan Kutty "bullshits" a lot. After introducing the cast and crew of a film, 90% of the time he is talking just crap, particularly when tries to talk on behalf of the filmmakers.

2. Some of his questions are so long and confusing that by the time you get the hang of what he is asking you've lost it.

3. His silly jokes to work up the crowd many a time just don't make it.

4. His obnoxious "Bye-Ya" at the end of the program.

In the most recent episode, "Students Only" involved the makers and cast of the Malayalam film "Neelambari". The story is based on the friendship of two girls and what happens to their relationship when a man walks into their lives and when one of the girls falls in love with him. A topic for a film as this naturally was a sensitive issue and particularly when the the venue of the show was St.Teresa's Women's College, Ernakulam.

After the initial formalities and when the discussions get deeper into the story of the movie Govindankutty resorts to some of his usual ways. This is where I started watching after Jaya asked me watch the college where she had done her under graduation, ironically, B.A in Sociology. In a college where courses both under-graduate and post-graduate courses in Sociology (that includes Psychology) are offered and studied, Govindankutty calls up two girls and asks them a couple of silly questions and concludes .."that's girls". I was wondering how they let him get away with that. He then goes on to distinguish girls and men and how girls don't do things that men do and such. Absolute rubbish. This guy is least qualified to handle such a sensitive topic. All he had to do was host the show. He had no idea of what was coming.

As part of the show students are allowed to ask the film makers questions and a couple of them ask. All the time Govindankutty is also offering his opinions in his usual inimitable style.

Then comes his nemesis. First in the form of Sethulakshmi. The girl in her pleasant demeanor was asking questions and during the conversation Govindankutty is hardly able to give a convincing answer. Then as the conversations go on Govindankutty asks her if she is a "feminist" to which Sethulakshmi politely offered her explanation. I could never find a fault with what she was saying. I was wondering on what grounds he had asked her if she was a "feminist". In fact I wonder why he was resorting to all this when it was duty of the cast or crew to answer those questions. Meanwhile the girls were wildly cheering Seethulakshmi. They were having a blast.

Check out the video below.

The second half of the show was aired the following week and Govindankutty was least prepared for what was coming. This time it was another student, Elsa. According to Elsa she was outside the hall when she was told of Govindankutty's activities and it was obvious in her tone that she was not going to take all this lightly.

It must have been a shocker for Govindankutty because she was clearly on the offensive. I just loved her guts. Elsa asks Govindankutty if he is a "chauvinist" or if he had had unpleasant experiences with other women that prompted him to call Sethulakshmi a feminist. It was obvious she didn't like the way he was treating her friends and she even admits that. I found Elsa's arguments convincing. How can a guy decide what a relationship between two girls is by just asking them a couple of questions.

Though Govindankutty tried initially to calm her with his nonsensical talk he lost his cool completely. What follows was Govindankutty's nightmare having gone totally out of control. The girls were not cheering for him like they normally no matter what he tried to convince them. He even tried winning their favour by asking them if he was right and for which collectively they shouted "No". Instead they were cheering Elsa. His poor English made it worse for him. In fact it was pathetic. The fellow couldn't understand the phrase "Familiarity breeds contempt" and Elsa had to repeat it at least thrice. Even after that when he couldn't understand, she had to explain what it meant in Malayalam. The guy was going bonkers. And when things were going horribly wrong Kairali T.V channel muted several minutes of the performance of our host who by time had gone berserk. I wonder what he was saying in those muted moments.

He then calls Elsa "chechi". I thought he was trying in vain to bring her down and he probably thought this would do it. For me this was limit. Elsa and the girls of the college should have "booed" him and walked out. Just a short while earlier he had confessed his respect and admiration for women and now this? I wish Elsa had demanded an explanation why he called her that.

He then tries his stunt that he did a little earlier, questioning two girls. He calls Elsa's friend and tells the friend to mention her favourite colour discretely to one of the crew on stage. He asks Elsa to do the same to another crew member on stage. He then asks Elsa the colour to test if she knew what her close friend's favourite colour was and vice-versa. Can you imagine! Trying to establish the strength of a girl's friendship by finding out if she knew the favourite colour of her friend. Total kitsch! Elsa's counter reactions and arguments to these actions were also justifiable.

Elsa was truly the star of the show. In the background I could see Sethulakshmi and her friends cheering Elsa and enjoying the spectacle. I am sure the girls who attended the show that day had a memorable day to remember.

Towards the end of the video check out our host cleaning his nose. Doesn't he know he's on T.V?

One final thing. This guy is going to think twice before considering stepping inside St.Teresa's again. He probably never will.

Kudos to Elsa and Sethulakshmi.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Disco Lives

Lonely Planet, the international bestselling guide for the globetrotter mentions in its classic SouthEast Asia on a Shoestring that in some pubs in countries (I am not sure if it was Cambodia or Vietnam) they still play "Boney M" (remember that band?). But looking at a recent video as this one, from Brazil I am not surprised. The singer of the band (I think from Brazil) in the video actually does a wonderful impersonation of Cynthia Johnson of Lipps Inc.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

If nothing works for your muscular pain, try this

GAULTHERIA. Yes, you read right. Sounds like a rock band's name but that is what I picked up at one of those peaks at Coonoor in 2006 after falling for the salesman's pitch. Luckily it didn't turn out to be one of those items that quacks sell you. It has truly lived to what it is supposed to do, relieve muscular pain. If Iodex, Moov, Volini or any of those over-the-counter things don't work for your muscular pain then it is time to give "Gaultheria" a try.

Basically "Gaultheria" is winter green oil. It is dark purple in colour. As per directions mixing two teaspoons with 100 grams of warm coconut oil or gingely oil (seasame oil) makes a preperation that you can use to massage the muscle in pain. For the incessant pain in my calf muscle caused by stressing them nothing provides relief as "Gaultheria" does. If I were to apply "Gaultheria" before going to bed, the pain is gone when I wake up in the morning. Many a time I have used small portions directly without mixing with oil. In seconds your skin will feel a burning sensation which can be severe on soft and tender skin. Probably that is the reason why it is to be mixed with oil.

Caution - Please follow directions. Do not use it on tender and soft skin areas. Never use it in its concentrated form particularly on small children's skin and on areas such as the chest.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Ci Ci's Pizza, Eat all the pizza you can

My friend Shaji Samuel used to tell me that it is actually interesting to sample pizza's from various pizzeria's across cities in the U.S as each pizzeria offers a distinct unique flavour and taste to their pizza. Being pizza lovers and now that it is great fun to watch the FIFA soccer with pizza dinners I couldn't help thinking and writing about a unique pizzeria in the U.S.

When I tell Chaithanya about CiCi's pizza, I discovered at Athens, GA, the very place where he was born, his mouth opens wide. Why? Because I tell him that he could can eat as much Pizza and desserts as he could for just 5 odd dollars. Yes, you read it right. Just 5 odd dollars for the buffet and you can eat all that your stomach can take. You could choose from a variety of pizzas (non-vegetarian and vegetarian) and a variety of desserts all made piping hot. If I am right in the early part of the millennium it used to cost $6.95. The menus have improved and so has the quality. New items I am seeing now are the salads and the pastas. I am not sure if they were in the menus before but I used to go only for the pizzas, not even the desserts.The buffet is free for children aged 3 and below.

As for the taste CiCi's don't rank No.1 in my list but they are good. CiCi's have been highly rated as far as nutrition and health go. You could check their website for details.

I should also thank Professor Sridhar Sangadala (besides working as a Professor at Universtity of Georgia, Athens) he also used to have an Indian Grocery store on Prince Avenue) who pushed the "picky" foodie in me to try out CiCi's. Many a Saturday dinner was spent at CiCi's with him.

Let me see if I can fulfill Chaithu's wish of taking him there at least once or will CiCi's come to India?