This is a photograph of a real driving school located just opposite to my residence and I see the owner/instructor every day as also some of his students on and off.

A regular feature of this driving school is the very obvious discomfort shown by some actors that I can observe from my veranda but cannot hear.

When the instructor is punctual, the student is sometimes delayed and the former frets and fumes. There are other occasions however when the student lands up only to find that the instructor is either away instructing another student or has not yet turned up. The student in turn frets and fumes and very visibly gets agitated. Waiting for a few minutes the student inevitably leaves the vicinity and the frustration can be very visible. The dance takes place when the instructor almost always lands up no sooner than the student leaves, only to be told by the watchmen located just a few feet away from the board that the student had come and had just left, leaving the instructor much annoyed and frustrated.

Apart from this particular drama another kind also unfolds in the mornings on some days. Three of my neighbours have school going children.  Each goes to a different school but the pick up point for all for their respective school buses is just near this sign board.

The drama is when the bus comes and the child has not yet come.  The driver, honks his horn looks up and down to see if any signal comes from some balcony and after a few moments, moves away.  Within seconds of the bus leaving, the child will appear at the spot and frantically ask the watchman if the bus has come and gone!

In the alternative, the child will wait and the bus will not come for some time after its due time.  The child will go home and get one parent to take it to the school.  No sooner that departure takes place, the bus will arrive!

Real life entertainment for me for which I don’t have to pay for the pleasure of viewing.

This week’s Friday LBC post topic was suggested by me.  I had something else in mind when I suggested that topic but I thought that my readers will find this post more amusing.  Please visit Shackman and Pravin to get their points of view on the same topic.

The Magnificent Seven.


I haven’t seen a blue blooded Western with gunmen, guns, horses, Indians, saloons etc, in a long long time. When I found that Denzel Washington was acting in a remake of The Magnificent Seven, I just couldn’t stop fretting till I was able to see it earlier today.

Like I so often find, the theater was almost empty and I am glad that I went today as with that kind of reception, it is almost certain that it will be taken off tomorrow. I don’t have to fret any more.

Denzel Washington is the only name that I could recognize in the entire team and he did not disappoint me. None of the others did either.

I have forgotten how many times I saw the 1960 version with heavy weights like Yul Brynner, Eli Wallach, Steve Mcqueen, and Charles Bronson in it. It was certainly more than four but quite by how many more, I can’t remember. It was that long ago.

The basic plot remains the same but the locale, characters and action differs from the 1960 version. The difference however does not take away anything from the attraction that such a story has for viewers.

I enjoyed it thoroughly as did my friend Ramesh. Both of us were thrilled to have seen another Western after such a long time.

If you have not already seen, it and you like to watch Westerns, this should be a ‘must see’ film on your list.


40 Questions.

Kylie has inspired me to do this exercise. She has already done so at her blog in two instalments.

1. Are you named after anyone?
Yes, Ramana Maharshi.

2. When was the last time you cried?
I don’t remember.

3. Do you like your handwriting?

4. What is your favourite lunch meat?
I am a vegetarian.

5. Do you have any kids?
Yes. One. A son.

6. Do you use sarcasm?
Yes, but rarely. It often fails!

7. If you were another person, would you be friends?
You bet!

8. Do you still have tonsils?
Yes. In my childhood, whenever they acted up I was asked to gargle with warm salted water and that seems to have kept them under control.

9. Would you bungee jump?
No. Both my hip joints have been replaced and revised. Can’t afford to indulge in such adventures.

10. What is your favourite cereal?

11. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?
Yes. I wear shoes with laces only for walking as an exercise. I wear pumps otherwise.

12. Do you think you are strong?
Mentally yes but due to my age and the hip problems, physically not.

13. What is your favourite ice cream flavour?
Cashew nuts and resins.

14. What is the first thing you notice about people?
Their eyes.

15. Red or pink?
Neither. Blue.

16. What do you least like about yourself?
My pot belly.

17. What colour pants and shoes are you wearing?
White pajama bottom and black flip flop slippers.

18. What was the last thing you ate?
Amul Dark Chocolate.

19. What are you listening to right now?
Sound of traffic on the road.

20. If you were a crayon, what colour would you be?

21. Favourite Smell?


22. Favourite sport to watch?


23. Who did you last talk to?

My friend Ramesh enquiring about his health.

24. Real hair colour?


25. Do you wear contacts?

No. I however wear corrective spectacles for myopia.  Another answer could be, I try not to wear them down, but sometimes it just happens.

26. Favourite food?

Tamil Brahmin cuisine.

27. Scary movies or happy endings?

Happy endings. I don’t watch scary movies.  The world is scary enough as it is.

28. Last movie you watched?

Parched.  I have written a blog post on it,

29. What colour shirt are you wearing?

White Kurta.

30. Summer or winter?

Neither.  Monsoon is my favourite season.

31. Hugs or kisses?

Both thank you.

32. Favourite sweet food?

Kulfi Ice Cream.

33. What book are you currently reading?

Theatres Of Democracy, Between The Epic And The Everyday  by Shiv Visvanathan, Awaken Bharata, A Call For India’s Rebirth by David Frawley and A Tale For The Time Being by Ruth Ozeki.

34. What is on your mouse pad?

It is blank.

35. What did you last watch on TV?

Crime Patrol. Dial 100.

36. Rolling Stones or Beatles?

Beatles every time thank you.

37. Favourite sound?

Falling rain drops.

38. What is the farthest you have travelled?

Atlanta, USA.

39. Do you have a special talent?

Yes, lazing around.

40. Where were you born?

Dr. Patro’s Maternity Home, Bombay.



Parched should easily qualify to be the mother of all Indian Chick Flicks.

This film earned three wins and a nomination in International Film Festivals.

I understand that it has not done very well at the box office in India during the first few days of its release, despite the subject being of great national importance in the present day India where feudalism and patriarchy is increasingly under pressure from modernists. I hope that it will change soon and more people here will see it for the message that it carries. Hope for Indian women and shame for Indian men.

It is a powerful story dramatically brought alive on the screen by excellent direction, acting, editing and photography. It would help if one has been to this part of India and has some knowledge of local customs and practices including bride price being paid instead of the more common dowry. If one does not have that background, it does not matter as many universal truths are tackled effectively.

As I have been saying in my recent posts on Indian films, there is a dramatic shift in such films being made and I am very excited about this development. I hope to get to see more such films in the future.

If you possibly can get to see the film, please do not miss it.

Bridget Jones’s Baby.


Still The Lucky Few in her comments on my post Akira had suggested that I review some chick flicks and here is one!

While it can stand alone on its own merits, it still would be better if the viewer has seen Bridget Jones’s Diary. The action is ten years later to the diary film and some of the characters are the same.

It would also help if you can easily follow the English accents/innuendos if you are used to only Americanese.

Bridget Jones’s Baby is difficult to pigeon hole. It is a chick flick, tragicomedy cum standard bearer for feminism, single parenthood, same sex relationships etc.

With so much going for it, it has to entertain viewers and that it does quite well subject to the provisos contained in the second and third paragraphs of this post. I was very entertained and was glad that I spent the little over two hours of a Sunday watching it. If you can catch it, do see it.

Professional performances by the entire team should be lauded and the concluding scene of the newspaper headline suggesting that Daniel Cleaver is alive would indicate that the franchise is already working on a sequel!