Book Review: Amma-Jayalalithaa’s Journey by Vaasanthi

Ever wondered why some people’s life fascinate us? Why are they so enigmatic? Dr. J Jayalalithaa was an enigma! She made her rule, in two professions that had always been dominated by men. The reigning movie star way back in the 60s and 70s, and then the queen of Tamil politics in the decades that followed. Her life had seen it all- fame, adulations, humiliation, defeat and victory. She was always under public scrutiny. Yet, she was a mystery in many a ways, and probably would remain so. Vaasanthi’s book on Amma and her journey from a movie star to

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A Page from Chennai And its Mega Stores

It sure does take a great deal of research to make a movie with a realistic story. I recently watched one such Tamil movie called Angadi Theru (Eng: Market Street). This heart wrenching movie revolves around life in a mega-sized store on one of Chennai’s busiest streets-one which is literally home to countless men, women, shops, and businesses. Life on Ranganathan Street If you have ever been to Chennai’s Ranganathan Street and shopped at the all famous Saravana Stores, you would understand exactly what I am talking about. Not only in Chennai, but cities across the state of Tamil Nadu

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Kabali Mania Grips the Nation

July 22, 2016- For many, this date would be a “self” declared national holiday. ‘Cause it’s the day when their very own Super Star, from the south of the Vindhyas, has a movie release- Kabali If you think you have experienced fanaticism, wait until you have seen a “First Day First Show” of a Rajini movie. Not long ago, in a popular theatre in Egmore in Chennai, I experienced this unique fanaticism. As early as 4.00 am in the morning fans gathered around the life sized cut out of the actor to perform “paal abhisekam” (a holy bath with milk).

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Pickles- They Sure Do Tickle!!

It was a sweltering hot afternoon when I reached my mom’s home in Chennai. I was exhausted, my throat parched and my clothes soaking in sweat. In the dead of summer, my appetite almost always seems to diminish. But well you know how moms seldom agree to this. “You’ve got to eat something otherwise you would fall sick”, she said. “At least eat some curd rice. I have made fresh lemon pickle”. Ah! The South Indian in me came out totally. I was already drooling over the tanginess of the pickle. I agreed to eat curd rice, just for the

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She Cracked the UPSC Exam Not Once But Twice!

In 2013, Dr. Ruveda Salam, from the remote Farkin village in the border district of Kupwara, made history by becoming the first woman from the Kashmir valley to crack the UPSC exams. After serving as the Assistant Commissioner of Police in Chennai for a year, in 2015 she yet again cracked the UPSC exam to fulfill a childhood dream of becoming an IAS officer. Living in the Kashmir valley poses its own set of challenges. Political disturbances, strikes, curfews and local stone pelting episodes are many and frequent. Twenty seven year old Ruveda Salam had to face these challenges on

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Jakamma & Your Fortunes! #AToZChallenge

Josiyam paakkareengala (want your fortune told?)”, she asked me. As I sat with my legs stretched out in the cool sand of Marina Beach in Chennai, I was approached by a 40-something lady. She was clad in a simple cotton sari, a wire basket in one hand and a black staff in another. Her hair was well-oiled, confined in a bun. I have never really been inclined to any sort of astrology or fortune reading in my life. Never really found any logic in them and always stayed away from them. But that evening on Marina beach, seeing the plight of

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