Kabali - A review

Rajini is a cult (I mean this in the best way possible) , a religion, a god.His movies have a way of polarizing opinions. I have, in the past, given honest review of Kuselan (too long, not enough importance for Rajini etc) and gotten called really dirty names by my 'friends'.

So, I am writing this, fully aware of the potential risk of being called names by Rajini Devotees.

The movie Prestige begins with a dialogue about magic, it talks about how every magic has 3 parts :

  1. "The Pledge". - The magician shows you something ordinary: a deck of cards, a bird or a man. 
  2. "The Turn" - The magician takes the ordinary something and makes it do something extraordinary.  But you wouldn't clap yet. 
  3. "The Prestige" - The hardest part, where the magician brings back he just made disappear. 

Every movie is a big magic trick (sometimes consisting of many small magic tricks). There is first
"the intros" (the pledge) where the director introduces the characters and set the background. Then
there is the "the problem/incident/plan" (the turn) that the protagonist(s) attempts to solve, resolve or implement. Finally the 'Climax' (the prestige) , where the main tensions come out and the story intensifies before the big end.

Rajini has a larger than life presence, if you are a magician director , he is the best trick you can
ask for. But you have to get "The pledge", "The Turn" and most importantly "The Prestige" right.
A big trick (like Rajini) , needs an equally larger than life script.

K.S. Ravikumar with Lingaa, Soundarya with Kochadaiyaan, P.Vasu with Kuselan have something in common.
They took a big trick (Rajini) and presented it in a poor act. Kabali unfortunately does the same.

It has a long pledge with the Thanu productions's characteristic akka,amma,family sentiment. A super long
turn that sometimes turns too much and too far out from the main act and a prestige that will leave you wanting more .
Overall a very normal act. What saves the act is the trick(Rajini) itself , for the trick is so larger than life
that you would have watched it even without the act.

That said, the beauty of Malaysia (Thanks to G.Murali's cinematography), acting skills of Radhika Apte, Dhanshika and Rajini himself, try
their best to salvage the damage created by the editor sleeping at work and the script writers
desperate attempts to create a good 'prestige', a big reveal. The songs goes well with the context,
but except a couple of songs, others are jarring when listened to as music .

While I am inclined to blame Pa.Ranjith for showing my hero is poor light and possibly creating another flop (or an average movie at best) , I must say Thalaivar(Rajini) might be starting to exhaust his almost infinite power of being a strong trick. As a long time Rajini fan, after watching Kabali, My long wait to see Rajini again in a super act such as Baasha , Annamalai, Padaiyappa continues....


Cold lunch, Cold customer service and cold interest levels to retain customers - Eat24!!!

Disclaimer: All opinion expressed here are my own. I don't represent or speak for any company or person.

So here is how the story goes. I ordered lunch on Eat24 from a restaurant about 0.6miles away from where I was staying. The food came in around 73min. During this time I had requested Eat24 to cancel the order , but they wouldn't because - "The restaurant wouldn't allow it"

They told me 3 times that they had requested the restaurant to make it a - "Rush Order"

The food arrived cold. I complained and Eat24 offered me $3 back from my $48 order.

I mailed customer support about my problem. They apologized on "behalf of the restaurant" ???.

I mailed them explaining that the issue is theirs, two of their agents refused to cancel the order and that's the issue- they ignored my complaint and sent a generic response.

I tweeted - no response, after the initial send us an email

I asked them to cancel my account and they promptly did.

Makes me wonder how high or low their Customer Acquisition Cost is , Also who handles their customer retention cell (if any) and who invests in a company that doesn't want to apologise for goofing up and doesn't want to retain customers.

Must mention that the order was originally placed as a pickup order and within the first 5 min of placing the order was moved to delivery - thanks to Eat24

P.S: Eat24 asked me in couple of contacts as to what they can do to make things right. But they ignored my basic request, own up to your mess-up. For spoiling my Sunday lunch, for serving me cold food and for not cancelling the order in spite if multiple requests.


P.S: BTW try https://www.grubhub.com/ :-) 

Update:  Eat24 replied, acknowledging the issue, empathising with my inconvenience and assuring the issue wont happen again. All is well once again in my food-land. :-)
Mail from Eat 24 :


I do apologize for the inconveniences that were caused while using our
service. Everything you are saying is completely correct. What you have had
to deal with is unnaceptable(sic). We really do appreciate your feedback about
this. We are always looking to improve our service in any way possible.

I definitely understand your frustration and want you to know we always
have your back. I really feel that we dropped the ball here. I have
personally followed up with the individuals you chatted with as well as the
restaurant. Trust that this will not happen again. I have also refunded your
order in full. Please allow a few business days for the refund to post to
your account.

If you ever have any questions, comments, or concerns, we are here 24/7 to
assist you. Please feel free to contact us via Live Chat, Email, or by

Your friends in food,

Eat24 Customer Care


My response:

Hi Zander,

Thanks for the kind and customer-friendly response. This is what I was expecting in the first reply from eat24 - Acknowledgement of the issue, empathy towards my bad experience and assurance that the issue wont happen again. Glad that eventually we arrived here.
Kindly help reinstate my account. A colleague of yours helped me get it deleted this morning.
P.S: Thanks for the refund of the order that's an added bonus. Your kind email was all that I needed.

Google Plus Custom URL Selection - Could Google have made it any more painful?

Google Plus is "Allowing" me to select a custom URL, but it feels that any name I suggest including weird ones like Badrinathafwez are a very common name (apparently too many people have it).

 I wonder how they came up with the stupid algorithm/logic that determined that random weird names like Badrinathafwez are common.

Btw Google Search for that name returns the result "No results found for badrinathafwez".

Unfortunate that Google Plus team hasn't done a good job at using Google Search skills to determine if the name is common or not. Anyways after trying 20+ meaningful and weird combinations , I give up , I don't want a custom URL on Google+.

Skyfall - Review in less than 100 words

I don't understand this new obsession the bond movie makers have in redefining 'James Bond'. First he lost his weapons and started fighting with bare hands(that was ok), then he lost the super cool cars(this was a bit sad), now he has lesser gadgets and has 'emotions' (this is plain stupid). Thanks to the hype all around about it being the 'best bond movie', Skyfall is boring, disappointing and a big let down. Yes it has its cool moments, but they are too few and spread too far.


The Atheistic Prayers!!!

I had told myself that I will blog when this happens again. The last two times I was disturbed but not disturbed enough to blog, the third time has given me the required push. Let me introduce you to the characters in this story

Mr.Y : My good friend; sworn atheist; reads-practices and advocates Richard Dawkins to everyone
Mrs.Y : Of course my friend's wife, also a sworn atheist, in fact they got married partly because they were impressed by the "atheistic characteristics" of each other.

Not that it matters much, but to set the background, they are both Brahmins, they defied(fought with) their parents and married in (what they thought was) the atheistic style - just signed at the registrars office, exchanged rings and organized a lavish dinner party for friends.

I argued with him a lot to make some concessions for his parents and get married at a temple or at least have a few prayers but he was adamant about upholding his atheistic freedom and argued it was because educated people like him and me give in to pressure from society that 'the myth' of 'organized' religion was getting stronger and 'hurting' so many.

5 years have passed since this argument, He settled in Toronto and we  have had multiple more arguments about religion, vedanta and stuff like that. He has always, always maintained that Dawkins is the smartest and that religion is the root cause of all evil. He even ridiculed me when I talked about prayer and stuff but in spite of all that  we have still remained good friends who agreed to disagree about religion.

Mrs. Y gave birth to a  baby gal recently and Mr.Y sent me an invite for the baby's ayushhomam and punyavachanam. (the prayer for long life of the baby and the naming ceremony respectively) . I 'smiled' and sent them my very best wishes. I would have stopped there and would have not written this blog. But he did a big mistake, one he shouldnt have done - he shared a video of the function with me.

You see , seeing him and his wife pray for the child's good health and long life, seeing them do all the prayers required for the ceremony so diligently, seeing them apply sacred ash on the child got me really disturbed. Normally it wouldn't have mattered cos that's what parents do when they have kids. But this couple who have always maintained that religious people are hypocrites, that religion is evil that there is no God and prayer is stupid and those who denied their parents the joy of having some prayers in their kids wedding - were now all pious when it came to their kid. They paid a good deal of money to fly their mothers to Toronto for the function, hired priests in Canada paying them in dollars for the function but have for years argued with me that spending on religion is foolish and a waste , especially when you can give that money to the poor and needy.

I guess the moral of the story is atheist or theist when people are scared about something( sometimes their kids well being) - they need God(or someone powerful who can support them).

I am not against people being atheistic, in fact in many ways atheism is good(more on that late). But what irks me off(confuses me, astonishes me)  is how people can so strongly, passionately argue about a topic for years and suddenly switch their allegiance overnight. Note: This is the third time so far in my life, when a sworn atheist friend of mine has religious done his kids punyavachanam.


Sorry idiot, I deserve to be slapped (a bit) too!!!

He was turning his bike a bit to the right, the indicator wasn't on, the lady who was his pillion was smiling and chatting with him. I was right behind him on the same road trying to turn left, I must have been riding by at about 40kmph.

 While thats not too much as such, on these small roads near my house , even 40kmph could be dangerous. I was aware of the risks but was trying to catch a cab driver who had overshot his mark (my house) and was going 'god knows where' really really fast.

 My Spidy sense was triggered (I watched "The Amazing Spiderman" last night, more on that later) , I knew I was going to crash into his bike , I breaked hard, the disc breaks in CBZ dint fail me, I stopped really really close to him . My old super smooth tires left a big black mark on the road(they are really old).

"Idiotttttt!!!" I shouted. "If you are turning right, switch on the damned indicator, you have a pillion who is not even wearing a helmet, had I crashed into you, she would have fallen into the gutter" (there was a gutter very close to where he was trying to turn)

"Sorry Sir, but I wasn't turning right" He said, extremely politely, "In fact I want to turn left, and I am just starting my bike from this point". He sounded genuine. "Yes sir, we want to turn left, in fact it was you who scared us by the heavy brakes" his wife/pillion rider chimed in.

"Morons, they deserve to be slapped", I said to myself and left the spot. 15 minutes later , after I calmed down from the stress I was going through. I saw the entire incident differently.

Although it all happened in less than a minute, From the end of the street(which wasn't too long) Just before he 'tried' to turn right, I had seen him remove his vehicle stand, I had noticed his pillion board the vehicle and had watched him losing his balance and shake a bit. But yet when I got angry and shouted at him I claimed that he was trying to turn right. May be I was the idiot........

i) I realized that when things happen really fast and when I am stressed, I perceive things differently than they really are. I chose to see only one small part of the incident(his vehicle turning right) but left out the other vital parts (he actually lost balance and slightly turned right , without even realizing he was doing so)
ii) The couple were extremely humble, very soft spoken, that ashamed me and taught me a lesson. Even if the other guy is an idiot, if you are humble , you can diffuse the session and may be the other guy will realize his mistake
iii) 40 kmph is still very fast, I have to learn to drive slower in the lanes near my house.
To the couple who taught me lesson through their humility : Thanks and I am really Sorry!!!

Dhanush's - Kolaveri Di - Song Lyrics - 3 Movie

I dint like the lyrics much the first time I heard this song, but the last 3 days I have heard it at least 10 times , its really catchy and there is something about it that makes me keep humming it. I am guessing its the easy and casualness with which Dhanush has sung it, the weird but funny 'English' Lyrics and the really cool music by Anirudh. For all those who want to hum the song, here are the Lyrics

Dhanush's - Kolaveri Di - Song Lyrics - 3 Movie
Yo boyz I am singing song, soup song, flop song.
Why this Kolaveri Kolaveri Kolaveri Di,
Why This Kolaveri Kolaveri Kolaveri Di.
Rhythm Correct
Why This Kolaveri Kolaveri Kolaveri Di
Maintain This
Why this Kolaveri..Di
Distance la moon-u moon-u,
Moon-u color-u white-u white background,
Night-u Nigth-u Night-u color-u black-u.
Why this Kolaveri Kolaveri Kolaveri Di,
Why this Kolaveri Kolaveri Kolaveri Di.
White skin-u girl-u girl-u,
girl-u heart-u black-u.
Eyes-u eyes-u meet-u meet-u, my future dark.
Why this Kolaveri Kolaveri Kolaveri Di,
Why this Kolaveri Kolaveri Kolaveri Di.
Maama notes eduthuko, apdiye kaila snacks eduthuko
Pa pa paan pa pa paan pa pa paa pa pa paan,
Sariya vaasi, super maama ready
ready 1 2 3 4.
Whaa wat a change over maama,
Ok maama now tune change-u,
kaila glass only English…
Hand la glass, glass la scotch,
Eyes-u full-aa tear-u, empty life-u,
Girl-u come-u, life reverse gear-u,
Lovvu Lovvu, oh my lovvu.
You showed me bouv-u,
Cow-u cow-u holi cow-u,
I want u hear now-u,
God I m dying now-u,
She is happy how-u,
this song for soup boys-u, we don’t have choice-u.
Why This Kolaveri Kolaveri Kolaveri Di.
Flop song.

Cheers, --Badri--