My biggest peeve about Chennai is the fact that it often seems to be on an exploratory mission up its own culturally superior posterior. Yes, it has terrible weather and rank filmi politicians and many other ills that put it in the list of bad Indian cities, but that is infrastructure and we Indians know deep in our heart that only a Chinese-style suspension of democracy will fix that problem so why even bother discussing it? It is this illusion of cultural superiority that I am speaking of. I mean, here is a city that prides itself on blending traditional and modern when, in reality, beyond the paneer rubber masala next to the sambar rice served at Tamil weddings now, there isn’t much blending going on. The real, honest way to render this ‘old meets new’ trope is that the anachronisms stay—even as they use FB and Whatsapp to aid in sustaining regressive social values in a spiffy modern way. The city still does the kind of moral policing that could earn consulting revenue doing training sessions for Saudi Arabia. The cops still demand to see marriage certificates of couples sharing a moment on Marina beach. The city still thinks that beer must be sold only at dens of state-run corruption and—unless silk saris, overrated veg food and formulaic Carnatic boredom is your thing—has no music scene. Yes, the city of Ilayaraja and A.R. Rahman is far too busy in a pointless multiplayer online death match over who is the better one when, truth be told, the creativity and innovation in indie Bolly music far outstrips the mind-numbing electro pop cringefests that play out on local radio all day. Heck, forget Bollywood and its large wallets, music from some of the newer films in Malayalam show more imagination in a single song than entire discographies from here. Yes, we are the ‘knowledgable’ Chennai crowd, the one that applauded a visiting Pak team for its historic win in the last Ice Age, but alas the only thing we don’t seem to be knowledgable about is that we’re stuck in the stagnant morass of our own illusory cultural sophistication. The day we get an inkling of that, I'll say we finally have a chance.
Krish is a techie, blogger, Madras liker and crow lover
Almost all the targets of Krish Ashok’s vents (One Word for a Year-II) seem a counter to some stand taken by someone, and the associated good buzz. It is akin to the advantage enjoyed by the debater whose turn is last. “The world is doing laudatory Chennai 375 montage videos, heck, let me do something different....” This unconvincingly contrarian piece is just that.
Santosh Kumar T.K., Hyderabad
Krish be damned, Chennaiites are the most simple living and the most knowledgeable creatures in the world.
V.N.K. Murti, Pattambi
Negatives of Chennai
Cultural sophistication, bad weather, kanjeepuram siks,
generation gap, cultural policing, All know attitude,
Too much democracy, unimagination, copy cats,
applauding the winning visiting pak team.......
So goes the peeves of Krish.
But acknoledge chennaites are most simple living knowledgebale
creatures in the world.
My guess - but strong nevertheless - is that this outpour is not an outcome of a long yearning for a change in the city culturescape. Almost all of his so called "creations" come as a counter to some stance taken by someone, and the associated praise or the good buzz that comes with it. It is akin to the advantage that is enjoyed by the participant in a debate competition whose turn it is the last.
"The world is doing laudatory Chennai 375 montage videos, heck let me do something different..." I admit it is actually quite a disadvantage to be aware of the writer's resumé. It takes away all the objectivity that one needs to appreciate a single piece of work with.
There are several online exhibits including nauseating attempts at pseudo TEDx talks to prove KrishAshok's irritating attempts at being unconvincingly contrarian. "The world likes Nokia 3310/1100, let me do a piece on iPhone 5S"
"The world disses photoshopping and looks down upon vocal processing in singing, let's do a there's-no-modern-work without-any-of-these"
"The world likes old world charm, heck let's do a there's-nothing-wrong-with-modern"
"It's fashionable all over to hate Justin Bieber, but Bieber is actually very talented"
"It's easy to hate pink pants, orange vests heck let's do a there's-nothing-sad-about-pink pants"
"The world laughs at T Rajendar, let's make a cool popcultural rockstar out of him"
"The world likes charming, salubrious Bangalore climate heck let's do a can-it-hold-a-candle-to-Madras" ... well until now
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