Kollywood is not Bollywood

Kaththi – probably the most awaited movie of the year for Vijay fans brought along with it a strong social message. But critics are quick to pounce upon as Vijay, who acted as an activist against Cola companies in the movie, was also the brand ambassador for Coca Cola few years back. The fans of the actor backed him saying he is just an actor, and not an activist or ideologist. When such things happen in Bollywood or even Tollywood, nobody would dare raise a question. But Kollywood is neither. Kollywood is different.

Why? Ever since the beginning of Tamil Cinema, it has been a medium of activism and ideology. And that is the reason why Tamil cinema is considered to be the gateway to Tamil Nadu politics. Kollywood has produced most politicians than any other film industry in the country. And there is a reason for the same.

There was another news last week, the demise of one of the greatest actors of Kollywood, SSR. He is an ardent follower of EVR and his atheist principles. Because of his principles, he never acted in any film that was religious. It should have been quite tough in those days, when religious movies dominated the industry. And SSR was not alone – actors including MGR, MR Radha and Tamil cinema’s greatest comedian NSK – lived on the same ideologies in both reel and real lives.

The trend continues with the Rajni – Kamal era too. The actors acted in roles based on their real world beliefs. When both clashed, they simply refused to act.

So, what changed? It is a new era of Vijay – Ajith. So far, they have acted in movies that did not have a strong social message. So, nothing really mattered. They were acting for money, let them do it. But we need to remember one thing that audience hardly changes. From being come from a generation where ideologies are everything, it is hard to digest the fact that one can behave completely differently in reel and real life. Yes, he is acting for money. But, this is not Bollywood, where only money matters. And that is why movies like Chennai Express, Band Baaja Baaraat, Bang Bang are bound to fail here.

I don’t want to criticize Vijay here. Other actors do it too. But what Vijay has done here, is a very bad precedent. This is Kollywood – there is more to a movie than just money.

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You’ve dug your own grave, Flipkart!

October 6 – The day that was supposed to be the biggest day for the Indian e-commerce. But what turned out was an absolute nightmare. The next day, Flipkart was the headlines of all news channels and newspapers. Even it found a prominent space in the Tamil dailies who never known what e-com is all about.

I would put the blame on Flipkart’s flash sale. Yes, they were successful doing that for Xiaomi. But this is something different. In Xiaomi’s case, there were at least a few tens of thousands of phones for grab. But here only God knows how many Re.1 Pen drives and Rs.1000 Tablets they had actually offered.

Another stark difference is, unlike Xiaomi’s sale, where you just need to click buy to get the phone (and have the comfort of paying the amount in the next 24 hours), you need to complete the entire transaction to complete your purchase. That too before the stocks run out.

Even more terrible was the fact that the prices are actually inflated to sell them on discount. Though for most part it is true that they have quoted the actual MRP (which is usually way high than their selling price), apps like buyhatke, exposed that they were at the same price (and rarely, even cheaper) the previous day / week even.

E-com had just started to grow over their comfort zone of top tier cities and venture deep into the country. But this, just this, had just spread the E-com story to every corner of the country, but not in the way they would like it. And by that, they have spread the wrong welcome message for the whole lot of users, who are yet to come into their world. Now, it’s even more difficult to convince them to buy from you.

Flipkart, you just dug your own grave – in fact, not just a grave, but an entire graveyard for all those e-com companies out there.

Indian Super League vs I-League: What’s the difference?

We are witnessing history for sure. Beyond any doubt, Indian Super League represents the birth of a Footballing nation. As the country hooks into yet another glamorous league, the question that remains is, what will happen India’s top tier football league, the I-League and the clubs affiliated to it?

So, what exactly is I-League?

Long before we know Ronaldo and Messi as the icons of this sport, we had a complete league system in place in India. The top of the league structure is the ‘airtel’ I-League, formerly in its most popular avatar as the ‘ONGC I-League’. It is the Indian version of the British’ Barclays Premier League or Spanish La Liga. It adopts the same structure as them, with multiple tiers called as divisions.

ISL vs I-League

Basically, those two cannot be compared at all. To put in a cricket perspective, ISL is the 2-month glitzy festival like the IPL, while I-League is bigger and longer Ranji Trophy. The only difference is I-League teams are again franchisees unlike the Ranji trophy teams that represent state cricket associations.

Player Selection

The I-League teams (except a few top-tier teams) are mostly composed of local talent of where the club is situated and based on their financial stability, they could get even foreign player to play for them. Wherein ISL, the players are given to different teams via a draft system (similar to how we take teams in Gully cricket), except two teams (more on that coming).

Why not I-League teams in ISL?

ISL is all about popularizing the sport in the country and that needs a lot of money. You need to get big names into the team, pay them, give world class training facilities and all these comes at a cost. But most I-League teams have not yet broke-even (again, except some top-tier clubs). It would not be commercially viable for them to be a part of the ISL. But – two I-League teams are actually part of the Indian Super League. FC Goa is owned by Dempo FC and NorthEast United FC is owned by Shillong Lajong FC. The domestic players for these teams are taken from their respective I-League teams rather than the player draft.

Why not Bangalore?

Initially, there was a team for Bangalore in the ISL, which even participated in the domestic player draft. But due to unspecified reasons, the team pulled back and Chennai was roped in to fill the spot, with the players selected by the Bangalore team moving to Chennai forming the Chennaiyin FC. Interestingly, the I-League team Bangalore FC is the current champions of India’s top tier football.

ISL – Good or Bad for I-League?

The most part of India, doesn’t know what football is all about. ISL is about to change that. And that change will definitely have a positive result on the I-League as well.

So, C’mon India, Let’s Football..

I’m back!

It’s been quite a sometime since I last wrote a blog. Reasons many, one being my job. But there has been a lot, in the meantime, I wanted to write, but I couldn’t. And finally here, I’m back to writing.

As I decided to write again, I had to decide on what platform should I continue. I had four choices in my mind

  • Tumblr, as my blogs are always short
  • Medium, the hot chick in the town
  • WordPress, tried and tested
  • WordPress backend running on a hosted server

Why no Blogger? Blogger is too mainstream to be considered. And there are quite a few things I don’t like about Google itself. I have long been trying to come out of the Google Empire (that is a separate story, more later).

I had no real allegations against WordPress. But just wanted to consider a few more options. But eventually I have rejected everything and reached back home. I’ll tell you why.

Tumblr

It’s been there for quite some time. But as I went through a lot of blog posts on Tumblr, one thing is clear. It is more about pictures or texts among pictures. But mine is going to be predominantly text. So that is out.

Medium

I really wanted to write in Medium. From a reputed clan, it is the hot new thing that everyone wants. There is a big but though. You cannot have a design out of it. Yes, it is minimal. But give me at least a simple design choice, Jack. I want to be me.

And there is WordPress backend

It’s quite cool. I loved it. And it’s coming along. There have been some advantages of hosting it on wordpress.com but now with Jetpack plugin everything is here too. I’m redesigning my website to be predominantly blog oriented. And when it is done, I will be migrating to it.

So far now, I’m back and on WordPress. More soon…

ESPN Star is changing! What to expect?

Over the past few days, all of ESPNStar network channels (Star Sports, Star Sports 2, ESPN, Star Cricket, ESPN HD and Star Cricket HD) are sporting an animated logo counting down the days for their change. But what is actually up on the cards?

This change, scheduled on November 6, comes at the wake of two important occasions – Sachin Tendulkar’s last test series and Fox Network acquiring ESPN. The first has very little link with the rebranding, but it is definite that ESPN Star wants to make this rebranding  on a bigger day.
There are three different speculations on what will be the change. The first one being the least possible – A tribute to Sachin. Star to rename its 24/7 Cricket channel Star Cricket as Star Sachin! But this is highly unlikely, though one such move will be a fitting tribute to the master blaster.
The second speculation is all about Fox! ESPN and ESPN HD to be renamed as Fox Sports and Fox Sports HD. This is looking convincing but yet there is only a 50-50 chance here. 
And third and final speculation has the best possibility overall. Unification of all brands under a single name. ESPN and Star Cricket might be renamed as Star Sports 3 and Star Sports 4. Similarly their corresponding HD channels will be renamed as Star Sports HD and Star Sports 2 HD.
ESPN Star has made their strong online presence with the name StarSports.com which meant unification was always on the cards. Also having a seperate 24/7 Cricket channel isn’t required (atleast as of now). We have already seen Star Cricket being used for other live broadcasts like the Indian Badminton Legue.
UPDATE: ESPN Star placed in-stadium advertisements in the last ODI of the India – Australia series that read as “Revolutionizing Sports on Nov 6”. Television commercials are also being broadcast under the same tag.

Windows 8 never Shuts Down, literally!

Have a look at this screenshot, captured with the snipping tool, in Windows 8 Release Preview.

win8 uptime

The task manager shows that my system is up for 1 day and 23 hours and 41 minutes (thats 19 minutes short for the second day). But actually that isn’t the case. I turned on my PC just minutes before this screenshot was taken and after a proper Shut Down (Charms -> Power -> Shutdown).

Want to try out on your own? Just press CTRL + Shift + Esc and go to Performance tab. You can also do some more. Keep your power supply on (in case if you use a PC) shut down your system and hit the spacebar twice or thrice. Your computer will turn on automatically. There is even more. Open Notepad. Type something. Shut down and turn on your computer. And you could find the notepad ready for you.

So why does it happen?

The answer is “Windows 8 never actually shuts down”. Yes. Never indeed. In whatever way you try to shutdown your PC (even by executing shutdown.exe), the computer goes to a hibernate-kind of mode. This is not actually explicitly mentioned as a feature of Windows 8 by Microsoft. But they do have a name for this. They call this procedure “Fast Startup”

Fairly speaking, there is nothing to worry about this feature of Windows 8. It neither consumes any power nor does it change the aspects of computing. It just makes our lives pretty easy. But the question is why doesn’t Microsoft publically announce this as a feature of Windows 8? Is there something unannounced hiding inside Windows 8? Well, answers will be on October 26.