Sunday, December 19, 2010


-Pondatti Edhukku? Bonda Tea Irukku!!


Restaurant: Geetha Cafe

Location: Coimbatore

Ambiance: Old-world

As you walk through the congested Geetha Hall Road in Coimbatore at around 7: 30 am, the spicy aroma of Arachu vitta Sambar wafts through the air and fills your otherwise stink infested nostrils. It is not long before you find out that it is coming from the building proclaiming itself as ‘Geetha Hall’. Though it looks like, and is in fact, a marriage hall, there is a portion inside which serves as a no-frills tiffin centre. There are absolutely no signboards of this place, Geetha Café, outside the hall. A small doorway leads to quite a spacious joint which resembles a marriage hall dining area. There are rows and rows of straight-backed wooden chairs behind marble-topped tables. The place, like its people, is spic and span.

A waiter takes your order and if you have a whim for hearing a racy recital of the menu items he is very obliging. Hardly a minute would have passed when your plantain leaf (Vaazha Ilai – South Indian Style) gets filled with Idlys which justify the heroine associated with them to the core. A generous helping of their special Arachu Vitta Sambar makes sure that the fluffy Idlys vanish in a matter of minutes. Next in line is their uniformly sieved and delicious Sevai (Vermicelli). Along with the carefully ground and seasoned Coconut chutney it forms a scrumptious salsa on your taste buds. In the meantime their Medu Vadai serves as a worthy side snack and is the perfect option if you are someone who likes the outer layer crispy and the inner portion mushy. Their pepper sprinkled Venn Pongal is another item to be savoured and the amount of ghee added is just about enough to give you the flavour and at the same time not form a sticky film on your fingers.
If you are a Dosa aficionado then the best option here would be their Ghee Roast. The Ghee blends with the Sambar to give a relishing flavour to the whole fare which lingers in your mouth long after you are done. The Sada Dosai is a routine addendum to the menu and does not offer much to write about nor does the Poori Kizhangu.

Though Geetha café has a limited menu, the importance given to taste and quality makes it a must-eat place for any visitor to Coimbatore. The clincher is that though your stomach feels heavy and content, your purse, surprisingly, doesn’t feel any lighter at all.

Recommendations: Idly, Sevai

PRICING per person

·        Normal: Rs. 30 to Rs. 40
·        Pant loosening: Rs. 70 to Rs. 80
·        Shirt Button Ripping: Rs. 120 to Rs. 150

Thursday, December 16, 2010


-Pondatti Edhukku? Bonda Tea Irukku!!!

When you land a job in the marketing profile there are a lot of disadvantages like no chance of career shifts to research or production, continuous target pressure from management and the predicament of having to live out of a suitcase. But there are other advantages and the prominent one is the chance to eat at different hotels in different places. Hence, I have decided to utilize this advantage to spread some knowledge about the eateries that I chance upon. Patni Pandaaram is a going to be a varying, unscheduled series about different dining places in south India, ranging from plush restaurants to local Aaya Kadais.

The first article of the series will follow very soon...

There is no harm in saying you live to eat, as long as you LOVE TO EAT!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


If the two-test curtain raiser held in February 2010 in India was any indicator, then we are in for some pulsating action, come 16th December. India and South Africa locked horns in that mini series and neither of the teams managed to unlock them. So the 3 test series beginning in two days will be one last chance for the two teams to establish supremacy in the world test arena before the ODI fever catches on from February 2011.

On comparing the two teams it is evident that India holds the edge in Batting while South Africa is easily the better bowling outfit. So, many ‘experts’ have already dubbed the series as ‘Indian batting Supremacy vs. S. African Bowling Fury’ which, according to me, is not entirely convincing.

When two teams with exceptionally strong line ups with respect to batting or bowling face each other, it’s not the stronger departments that should be compared but the weaker ones. We all know that South African Bowling attack has the capability of taking twenty wickets on any sort of pitch against any batting line up. Similarly the Indian batting line up, on its day, can put any bowling attack in the world to sword irrespective of rumoured weaknesses and pitch warnings. So the two strengths cancel each other out. What about the South African batting line up and the Indian Bowling line up? In my view, these two departments will decide the whole series. So let us make an independent comparison of the two departments. Fixing the maximum rating points as 60, we shall compare the four Indian bowlers (leave out the bench for now) against the six protean batsmen. Each Batsman will have maximum rating points of 10 while each bowler will have 15. I have tabulated the results after taking into account the performances of the players in the calendar year of 2010.


South Africa



Pts (/15)



Pts (/10)




























De Villiers






*PP is Performance percentage which is calculated with respect to the number of matches that the player has made an impact for his team as a percentage of number of matches played in the year 2010. For example, Zaheer Khan has played 8 tests in 2010 and has made an impact in 4 of them, making his PP 50%.

It is clear from the above table that South Africa is stronger than India when it comes to its weaker department.

Thus, statistics say that South Africa, in accordance to the favourites tag, should win the series.

But Statistics tell only half the story right? Well, let’s wait and watch…

Thursday, December 9, 2010


I would like to start this post by declaring that I am ashamed of the Tamil film Distributors Association and Tamil film distributors as such. Most of the biggies in this industry have raked astronomical sums of money from commercial pot boilers which follow the ‘Song-fight-comedy-sentiment’ formula. But sadly, not one of them had an eye or, for that matter, a heart to accept Nandalala’s brilliance and release it through their banner. It had to be done by Ayngaran International – a relative toddler in the Kollywood distribution arena – while the Marans who seem to be releasing every other crap in Kollywood chose to overlook this gem.

Let’s move to Nandalala. Nandalala is a story about two people – an eight year old boy and a forty year old man – journeying with each other in search of their respective mothers. While the eight year old Akilesh is your average kid next door, forty year old Baskar Mani is a mentally retarded man with the thought process similar to that of an eight year old. On their way they meet a host of characters who end up helping them or harming them in some way. Finally when they do reach their destination, do they get to meet their mothers? Well, Yes and No. Confused? Well, watch the movie…

Nandalala is a movie straight from the heart. It is also directed straight at the heart. Mysskin is clear about his characters (Nasser appears for 3 seconds in the film, so better ‘watch out’ for him!) and his portrayal of the script. There are no scenes which go overboard with emotion. There are no scenes which exploit the sensitivity of the ‘mother-son’ relationship. Still, Nandalala manages to reach that particular place in your heart which has a direct link to your mind. Every frame of the movie talks to you. When the characters don’t talk the visuals do. Be it the scene where a surly lorry driver manages to discover the child in him as he prods at ‘touch me not’ plants along with two ‘8 year olds’ for company or the scene where a poor slum girl who sells herself to earn a living drenches the sorrows, filth and dirt in her life by standing in the rain, the visuals more than make up for the lack of dialogues. Coming to performances, it would be an understatement to say that Mysskin has lived the role of Baskar Mani. He has given us an unforgettable, indelible portrayal which could have been pulled off by very few in the industry. Ashwath Ram has essayed the role of Akilesh quite brilliantly and has emoted exceptionally well for an eight year old. Snigdha reveals that she is not a ‘yellow sareed’ item girl after all. With a single scene where she describes her stained life, Snigdha proves that she is an actress par excellence. Rohini comes in a cameo and literally disarms you with her looks and her performance.

There is one other person who, according to me, is the actual protagonist of the movie – Ilayaraja. There are certain sequences in the movie which could have come off as bland or even incomprehensible if it hadn’t been for the background score. The music hits your senses where it should. Ilayaraja proves that he is a master when it comes to the art of plucking strings in instruments which will have the direct effect of tugging at the strings of your heart. His orchestration speaks to the viewer on an emotional, primal and psychological level. There is very little need for dialogues when such magical music keeps you spell bound and satiated. After experiencing Ilayaraja in Nandalala I am convinced that all other music directors in India are light years behind him when it comes to background score. Not one of them can compose music that can speak to us. The maestro does it, and does it effortlessly.

Nandalala is an enriching musical experience. It’s an honest attempt at meaningful cinema by a gutsy director. It’s an emotional travelogue for all sons and mothers of this world. It’s a journey which happens almost exclusively on the road. On the road less travelled.