my thoughts.....

constellation, assimilation, formation and expression of my cerebration!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Sixth Sense









கனவுகள் தின்ற நம் இரவுகளை
உன் காதல் தீபம் விலக்கியது!
நினைவுகள் தின்ற என் இரவுகளை
அத்தீபம் வீசும் கல்லறை விளக்கியது!!


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Saturday, September 5, 2009

A Wednesday - Review

When you watch artists like Naseeruddin Shah perform so brilliantly in films like Wednesday, you painfully realize their inadequate celebrity status and their carrying the useless and burdensome prefix "character" in front of their title. It is not cold and the absence of cold (hot), but It is hot and the absence of heat (cold). Similarly, It is not character artists and artists, but It is artists and non-character artists. Naseeruddin Shah is an artist and a great artist.

Wednesday is an excellent movie, packaged with an interesting story, fast-paced script, brilliant editing, good direction and great performances. The movie opens with a long montage capturing the craziness and discombobulation being experienced in the day-to-day life of people in Mumbai. It then zoom focuses on to a common man, looking like a retiring clerk, traveling in the metro. In the next shot, it walks into the office of city police commissioner Prakash Rathod. He receives a call from the common man with a bomb threat and a demand for negotiation if the attack should be stopped.

The common man is Naseeruddin Shah and the police commissioner is Anupam Kher. Then there are three more characters along with these two whom the movie sprints around for 99 minutes. One of the three roles is that of Jimmy Shergill as an ATS officer. His role interestingly and metaphorically complements to some of the sensitive perspectives of the theme. He does not have big opportunity for acting but his presence in the movie is very important throughout. His dual with one of the terrorists in the climax is critical for the objective.

While the director mainly focuses on terrorism, he smartly touches upon some of other relatively trivial but very annoying social attitudes too. When a budding actor Arjun Khanna seeks the help of police commissioner on a crank call demanding 25 lakhs, he claims he is targeted as he belongs to a minority in an industry dominated by khans. It is likely a sarcastic dig at a similar claim from an erstwhile cricket player? In an another satirical scene, an UTV reporter sensationally covers a drunkard falling into a pothole in the city and being stuck into a nearby electricity pole
for 15 minutes and through a live wire in the hole and then the 'electric man' ferociously taking on the city for its mistake! This scene serves the sorry state of news hungry TV channels with a flavor of dark comedy.

In a fast-paced thriller like this, editing is very important. Editing is what shapes the face and sets the pace of the movies and its role is even more critical in a movie like this. The movie is 240 minutes long in reality and 99 minutes long on screen. If editing 'd been underdone, the movie 'd have looked out of contest. Conversely if it 'd been overdone, the whole movie 'd have looked distastefully scrambled. Given this tough job, Narayan Singh has done a commendable job.

The suspenseful inter-cut of the two scenes of Jimmy Shergill ending up in the wrong under construction building in search of the common man and the common man sitting on the top of another under construction building and hearing a sound at the same moment is well done. One of very few sore points in the movie is the casting of Deepal Shaw as the UTV reporter. She does not have any screen presence even for this small role. She looks totally out of place. She has got a hot body though. But it does not certainly suffice. As she faces the camera for the first time in the movie and makes sure she looks OK, she repeats "It is good" pointing to each of her forehead, cheek and chin. She points to, in my opinion, the wrong places rather!

The last 20 minutes of the movie is simply awesome. The depth and breadth of acting by Naseeruddin Shah during those moments is mind-boggling. His expression of anger, frustration, disappointment and determination through his deceptive sitting--on-an-easy-chair body language and quickly-shifting-but-controlled-yet voice modulation is simply out of words to explain here. In front of his giant silhouette of acting, Anupam kher stands certainly tall as Prakash Rathod.

The relevance of A Wednesday is very high in our current weeks filled with terrorism.


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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

கந்தசாமி - ஒரு அக்னி பார்வை!

Thai மொழியில் இருந்து விஷ்ணுவர்த்தன் சுட்டுட்டாரு; Memento வை முருகதாஸ் சுட்டுட்டாரு; Bicycle Thieves ஐ வெற்றிமாரன் சுட்டுட்டாரு ன்னு சொன்னா netflix ல நாலு English படம் பாத்துட்டு மேதாவித்தனமா பேசுறேன்னு சொல்லலாம். அத்த கூட ஒழுங்கா சுடதெரியல அப்பிடின்னு சொன்ன ரொம்ப ஓவரா பேசுறேன்னு சொல்லலாம். அட நம்ம உள்ளூரில நம்ம ஷங்கர் எடுத்த படங்கள சுட்டது மட்டுமில்லாம அதையும் ஒழுங்கா சுடமா நம்ம சீயான வச்சு எடுத்து இருக்கிற இந்த கொடுமையை எந்த சரவணன்ட போய் சொல்றது.

ஒரு ஹீரோவோட அறிமுகம் இவ்ளோ சின்ன புள்ள தனமா இருந்து சமீபத்தில் பாத்ததா சுத்தமா ஞாபகம் இல்ல. கொக்..கொக்.. கொக்கரக்கோ...ன்னு கேவலமா கூவுனதுக்கு பதிலா நீ எந்த ஊரு நான் எந்த ஊருனாவது கூவீருக்கலாம். கொஞ்சம் கெட்டப்பாவாவது இருந்து இருக்கும். திரைக்கதை ஒரு தெளிந்த நீரோடை மாதிரி இருக்கனுன்றது ஒரு அடிப்படை நியதி. இந்த படத்தில் ஒரு தெளிவும் கிடையாது அந்த ஓடையில சுத்தமா தண்ணியும் கிடையாது. காட்சி அமைப்பு தர்க்க ரீதியாக (logic) இருக்க வேண்டுமென்பதை அரைகுறையாக புரிந்து கொண்டுள்ளதன் வெளிப்பாடே சீயான் சேவலா பறக்கும்போது, பிண்ணனியில் பாடுபடும் அந்த பத்து பைத்தியக்கார பயல்களின் வெட்டி வேலை!

காட்சி அமைப்புக்கள் தர்க்க ரீதியாக இருக்க வேண்டும் என்பது உண்மை தான். அதே சமயம் சில காட்சி அமைப்புக்கள் தர்க்க ரீதிக்கு அப்பாற்பட்டது. கலை நுணுக்கத்திர்க்கோ அல்லது நுண்ணிய உணர்விற்கோ எந்த தர்க்க ரீதியும் கிடையாது. அது வெறும் மௌனமாகவோ அல்லது மிகைப்படுத்தப்பட்ட சித்திரமாகவோ இருக்கலாம். உயிருக்கு உயிரான காதலியை கொன்றவுடன் காதலனின் கோபாவேசத்திற்கு இரையாகும் உயிர்களின் எண்ணிக்கைக்கு எவ்வித தர்க்க ரீதியும் கிடையாது. இன்னும் சில பிம்பங்களுக்கு உருவமே கிடையாது. உதாரணமாக, ரஜினிகாந்த் எப்படி பறந்து பறந்து சண்டை போடும் ஆற்றலை பெற்றார் என்பதற்கு எவ்வித உருவமோ அல்லது விளக்கமோ கிடையாது, தேவையும் இல்லை.

கந்தசாமி பாத்திரமும் தர்க்க ரீதியாக எளிதில் விளக்க முடியாத ஒரு மிகைப்படுத்தப்பட்ட பிம்பமாக மட்டுமே இருக்கக்கூடிய ஒரு பாத்திரம். அதை தர்க்க ரீதியாக விளக்க முற்பட்டு படம் நெடுக அமைந்திருக்கும் காட்சிகள் வெறும் கேலிக்குரியது. அடர்ந்த செடிகளுக்கு பின்னமைந்திருக்கும் அந்த பாழடைந்த இடத்திற்கு படகில் செல்லும் விக்ரம், அந்த மெடிக்கல் ஷாப்பிற்கு பின்னால் அமைந்திருக்கும் பாழடைந்த வீட்டிற்கு பைக்கில் செல்லும் gentleman அர்ஜுனையும், IT ரைடால் பக்க வாதம் தாக்கும் (அல்லது வந்ததாக நடிக்கும்) ஆசிஷ் வித்யார்த்தி, IT ரைடால் பக்க வாதம் தாக்கும் செல்லமே கிரிஷ் கர்நாடையும், கந்தசாமி பற்றி பேசும் ஊர் மக்களின் உரைநடை, இந்தியன் தாத்தாவை பத்தி பேசிய மக்களையும், இறுதிக் காட்சியில் சியான் பார்க்கும் பார்வை, அந்நியனில் விக்ரம் காட்டிய அதே பார்வையும் நம்ம கண்ண முன்னே கொண்டு வந்த சுசி கணேசனனுக்கு, விவேக் பாணியில் பதில் சொல்லனும்னா, நாங்க இதெல்லாம் ஏற்கனவே பாத்துட்டோம் சுசி கணேசா!

படத்தின் ஒரே ஆறுதல் கவர்ச்சி புயல் ஸ்ரேயா தான். படம் நெடுக வளைவு, நெளிவு, சுளிவுடனும், பாதி ஆடையுடனும், அதிரடியான குரலுடனும் வளையவரும் சுப்புலட்சுமியே படத்தின் ஒரே வெற்றி லட்சுமி. Alegra பாடலிற்கு அவர் ஆடும் அந்த பெல்லி நடனம் படத்தின் வெகு சில ரசனைகளில் ஒன்று. ஆனால் இந்த சுப்புலட்சுமியின் ஆட்டத்திற்கே மயங்காமால், ஒவ்வொரு பாடலின் போதும் அரங்கமே வெளியே தம்மடிக்க சென்றதும் நிகழத்தான் செய்தது. ரசனையற்ற முறையில் பாடல்களை படமாக்கிய விதத்திற்கும் திரைகதையில் அவை இடைச்செருகலாக அமைந்ததற்கும் ஸ்ரேயாவின் கவர்ச்சி புயலென்ன வேறு எந்த புயலும் ஈடு கொடுத்திருக்க முடியாது.

பணம் நிறைய இருக்கிறவண்ட இருந்து புடுங்கி அது இல்லாதவண்ட கொடுக்குற கந்தசாமி மாதிரி, நிறைய கதை இருக்கிறவண்ட இருந்து புடுங்கி அது இல்லாத சுசி கணேசன் மாதிரி ஆளுக்கிட்ட கொடுக்க வேற எந்த சாமியாவுது வந்தா பரவாயில்ல!


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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

My NY Trip - part 2

Two weeks back, I traveled to east coast of USA for the first time during my stay of eight years in the country. I have planned to write my encounters, experiences and perspectives from the tour in multiple episodes. This is the episode number two and from my visit to Niagara Falls

I started on a bus tour to go to Niagara Falls, from Chinatown in NYC. It was a Monday morning around 10 o'clock. My tour guide was a Chinese as it was a bilingual tour in Chinese and English. Majority of the tour group, as expected, was Chinese with few Indians as well. As I had a prejudice about the quality of English the tour guide 'd speak, I was quite indifferent to listen to him when he started speaking and giving an introduction to the tour. He later not only proved me wrong but amused me also by his commendable and entertaining bilingual skill.

Throughout the tour, He 'd first speak in English and immediately translate that in Chinese. Well, That is very normal of a bilingual tour guide. But the most amazing part - I later turned extremely attentive after the initial indifference - is that he translated not only the tour details but also his answers to every question from us, his quick wits, his greetings, his apologies, his passing comments, his requests and anything and everything he expressed in English every time in the same exact fashion. That was very remarkable of him. I was also amused at the purity of his Chinese language as even proper nouns like Niagara were chinesized in the language.

We stopped for our lunch at a chinese buffet in the middle of nowhere, after a long four-hour drive, by 2 o'clock. I hate chinese buffets because I am very allergic to the weird smell that the eye-popping mix of hundreds of meat varieties, umpteen number of fruits and jellies and the half-cooked potatoes create inside the restaurant. The restaurant also reminded me of the ones in India where Omnibuses that I used to go to Chennai from my native place by, 'd stop at midnight in the middle of nowhere for a quick refreshment. They 'd also look similarly unusually crowded, cheap and carry bad food in big quantities. It is obviously a deal between the bus driver and the restaurant owner in both the cases.

After another stretch of four more hours, we reached Niagara Falls by 6 o'clock in the evening. We first went to a place called American Falls where you get to see the top view of Niagara Falls. You are at the same level with the water before it starts dropping down as Niagara Falls. This view is like a compelling teaser of a big entertainer for two reasons. First, You can stretch and look over the fence by the water to get a partial view of the falls. Second, You get to see small but wide drops at the level where you stand. When you realize how beautiful the small drops themselves are and try to imagine what 'd be like to see Niagara itself in the next few moments, You feel totaly excited.

It was also such fun to watch the wind getting drenched in wetness every time it tried to blow past the water. You 'd be enjoying the view and 'd suddenly feel colder as the wind blows. At the blink of an eye, the entire space 'd be mystified and everything in it 'd get wildly drenched in wetness. It was pure fun.

We then walked to the place where the ferry ride to Niagara Falls, dubbed as "Maid of the Mist", starts. Each of us was given a blue-colored poncho before we boarded on. It was a twenty-minute ride. As soon as we were given a go to get in, I galloped and ran into the top deck and grabbed a place to stand by a corner at the front.


Snaps @ Niagara Falls as a YouTube video

As the ferry started, my excitement shifted to top gear. As I was eagerly turning my heads back and forth at both sides to get a glimpse of the falls, a beautiful rainbow on my left side was what my eyes caught first. As the ferry further cruised on, I started seeing the falls on my right hand side first. As few seconds passed by, I started feeling all my senses going numb as the ferry cruised past the falls on my other side too. As few more moments passed by, we were covered by water on all the three sides. During when the ferry had to trace the horse-shoe to come back in the opposite direction, all I could sense was only Niagara. All I could see was the water. All I could hear was the water. All I could feel on my body was the water. All I could breath was the water. I was completely buried under the blinding mists, piercing drizzles and deafening sound of the falls. What an experience it was! As the ferry turned back and when I get to see the rainbow again, I knew how it'd have got formed. Anything that goes near Niagara - be it wind or sunlight or anything earthly - gets shattered and mystified into particles by the sheer power of Niagara. That is how the sunlight should have turned into the rainbow too.

After I got off the ferry, I went and walked up a wooden staircase that took me very close to a corner where Niagara falls. As I took every step on the case and inched closer to the falls, the water falling torrentially like in a tropical storm pushed me back heavier and heavier. I stopped when I was completely soaked and started feeling difficult to breathe, and started walking back. The falls was still not close to me yet but I could not go any closer.


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Monday, August 17, 2009

My NY Trip - part 1

Two weeks back, I traveled to east coast of USA for the first time during my stay of eight years in the country. I have planned to write my encounters, experiences and perspectives from the tour in multiple episodes. The first one is from my visit to Madame Tussuad in NYC.

I reached the world-famous Madame Tussuad's by 10 o'clock in the morning on a Wednesday and got amazed at the hugeness of the crowd on a working day. As I entered into the main hall of the museum, a large crowd of wandering onlookers and waiting look-alikes gave me a rousing welcome.

An inviting hand of gorgeously looking Oprah Winfrey was what first drew my attention in the hall. I accepted the invitation and spent few precious moments with her. The person who joined me next was Whoopi Goldberg. I loved her smile as well as her nicely done braids.

I then tried to snatch Angelina Jolie away from Brad Pitt and take her with me into my camera. After so many attempts, I miserably failed at the end. They were standing next to each other so elegantly and near perfectly that I could not sneak in. That Mr. and Mrs. Smith were not separable for my snap was still very cute though. But Julia Roberts was very much available and quite accommodating. While she was standing behind and leaning over her chair, I sat in it and felt like her man for few seconds.

In the main hall, I also met Mr. Indiana Jones, Captain Jack Sparrow, Pulp Fiction partners Samuel Jackson & John Travolta, Friends sweetheart Jennifer Aniston and plenty more. They finally took me to J Lo. Gosh, she was literally mind-blowing! She was a cocktail of grace, sensuousness and sexiness mixed together. None could have resisted touching her and so could not I. I took a Jodi photo with the lovely Jodie too.



Snaps @ Madame Tussuads as a YouTube video

I entered into the next hall where politicians, diplomats, leaders, scientists and celebrities from all over the world had been brought to life. They included from Fidel Castro and Yasir Arafat to Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi; from Dalai Lama and Pope Benedict XVI to Picasso and Einstein; from Bill Clinton and George W. Bush to Princess Diana and John F. Kennedy. I also had one of my memorable experiences there. I trespassed into Mr. Obama's office around the corner and attended one of his calls. It was too late when I realized that he was just standing there with his arms crossed and throwing smiles at me. It sounded little silly but was fun nonetheless.

When I entered the next hall, It was a mix of pop singers, business tycoons and eminent sports personalities. The voluptuous Beyonce, the hard candy Madonna, the hot and petite Shakira and the king of pop MJ were some of the most prominent pop symbols. Bill gates represented the business tycoons while the world greats Pele, Mike Tyson and Michael Jordan symbolized sports personalities.

Beyonce was very creative in showing off almost every curve of her. She requested me to sing and held the mic for me. All I ended up doing was simply ogling at her pretending to singing the piece she requested. Madonna was apparently striking a pose from one of her albums "Hard Candy". I have just got a reference from Wikipedia reading that, as quoted by Madonna as the explanation for the name of the album, "The title is a juxtaposition of tough and sweetness, kind of like I'm gonna kick your ass but it's going to make you feel good. And of course, I love candy". Her pose was exactly that! It was little hard to believe he was the king of pop and it was quite disappointing.

Some of my other interesting encounters included but not limited to sharing the coffee table with George Clooney, looking so closely into the eyes of the immortal Marilyn Monroe and taking a snap with our own big B.

There were bunch of school kids visiting the museum that day. One of the kids approached me and told giving a surprise look at me, that he thought I were not real. He turned around and got surprised again looking at J Lo and told his friend that he thought she were real! Well, That is exactly what Madame Tussuad was.


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Friday, August 7, 2009

The Bridges of the Madison County - as felt as I watched

Watching movies could be one of the richest experiences in life. It could thrill, tickle, frighten, haunt, challenge, even madden and most of all touch your heart. Being touched is unique of all and is possible only when you see a life in it as well as empathize with the characters in it. "The bridges of the Madison county" by Clint Eastwood is one such type.

The story is a beautiful depiction of a soul's freedom struggle from the clutches of social definitions. We all have dreams. It is sometimes defined and sometimes not. You wished it'd become true one day and totally forgot about it later. Because you got sucked into life. Life becomes all of a sudden too crammed and you are imposed to fight for your own place in your own life. How sad!

A woman living in Madison county casually encounters a photographer working for National Geographic and approaching her for a help to get the directions to a bridge in the county that he has come down to cover about. The casual encounter grows into an invite for a tea, then a dinner together, then an evening walk and finally a serious encounter in the bed. It is a life of fantasy for both for the next four days until the woman's husband and the kids come back from a state fair.

The whole story unfolds as the kids of the woman read her personal diary after her death. It feels to have a sense of immorality, a touch of eroticism and a flavor of incest. But buried under is the beauty of a girl's simple dreams, the pain of them being unfulfilled not because it never happen but because she could not. make it happen. The limitations of the social definitions, unaccommodating nature of life, complexities of human emotions and lack of empathy in people are because of what she could not.

Clint Eastwood, the photographer, asks Meryl Steep If she is happy in the little town in Iowa. She responds that she is quite appreciative of the quite nature of the town, the friendly neighbors, the clean husband and the loving teenage kids. Clint Eastwood interprets to her that she must be happy then. But she is not. Her dreams as a girl are never fulfilled. The happiness in his companionship is never felt before in her long marriage. She never felt before as erotic in everything of a man in her long sex life.

She feels the certainty of love in him and so does he. He proposes to take her with him but she does not want to. She does not want to break her husband's heart nor likes to set a wrong example to her kids. She can't live her dream as well as live her life. Life is too crammed to have a space for both. Some details of live have to be lived out while few are too precious to live out. They are meant to be buried under as dreams. Their four-day encounter falls that way.

The masterpiece of Clint Eastwood's direction lies in neither letting the viewer feel their four-day extra-marital nor allowing the air of fantasy of sex with a stranger fill up the space. He directed the movie away from all these issues and ideas to a honest and beautiful portrayal. He succeeds in his attempt to cut open a little girl's little heart and to give you a chance to see - to see what is inside! Well done Clint Eastwood and very well done Meryl Steep!


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Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Matrix - Decoding (Part 1)

It has taken little over a decade for me to finally catch up what is one of the most talked about movies in the the history of hollywood, The Matrix. I have tried my best to chew this movie over by going back the decade as much as possible. And I am planning to spit this out in pieces!

The fighting of good against bad and good saving the world from bad at the end has long been the one of the most beaten up themes in celluloid. The Matrix also revolves around the very same. The pattern of long and tough hurdles faced by good and bad thrusting the upper hand throughout until the last moment are also very familiar in the movie. Even love inspiring the hope in good in the dying moment has also got a sense of deja-vu. But what makes the movie quite extraordinary is the sky-high definition and scope of the central story line presented to us through never-seen-before stunning visuals.

Here the bad is conceived to be what mind believes to be real or its reluctance to wake up from a dream that it is so sure to be real or more precisely The Matrix - a computer program with a set of a definitions, rules, protocols and boundaries that drives the mind to believe what it believes so. The good is the freewill wanting to break away from the rules - The Matrix and its trying hard to unplug itself so that it could wake up from the snooze as quick as possible. The story here is quite symbolic in depicting the false boundaries rooted in human mind and showing the real possibilities our mind can see.

The relevance of the story is quite critical to today when lot of the long-existing cultural protocols, social definitions and geographical boundaries are being questioned and broken away for both good and bad causes. The Matrix is for sure bored with the sense of deja-vu and wants to modify itself while the freewill is bored with very basic components of the matrix - time and space and wants to race past them. It is a very interesting dual.

What we see the kind of globalisations, shifting of global political and economic power centers, the natural calamities like Tsunami and earthquake, the perception of heightened terrorism or our increased realization of global warming is nothing but minor adjustments or rewriting of few modules in The Marix. But what we have not seen is our losing control completely to The Matrix and becoming its slave. We might just be used to give life to the changed world just as a battery is used to charge the electrical devices by us today.

But the beauty of humanity lies in the existence of freewill within each of them and their ability to hack The Matrix upon the realization. I am also sure most of them will choose the red pill when they could finally meet Morpheus and thus free themselves!


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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Poem for a newly married couple - II

This is the song I composed for Mayil and Preethi on their reception - 25th April, 2009


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Poem for a newly married couple - I

This is composed and blessed on Mayil and Preethi on 25th April, 2009 by Rathi Aunty - Deepa's Mom. I have posted here for those whoever missed the occation. Please click on the image to read it.


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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I finally earned my $5.95...

It is certainly not about communism or about waging a war against minimum wages in this country or not even about my first job at Burger King! It is all about you and me being ripped off day in and day out right here, right here in this country.

Are you one of those guys giving away a big slice of your wallet (yeah it is your wallet, not your pizza on a friday night!) to one of AT&T, Verizon or T-mobile just because they keep you close to your girlfriend round the clock? Or are you one of the guys loosing out those few extra burgers you are left with after paying the tax, mortgage, car, credit card and groceries off your pay check, to one of Bank Of America, Chase or Wells Fargo in the name of NSF fees? Or are you one of those guys struggling as much hard to loose some balance off your plastics as shredding some fat off your belly. If so, read on.

Do you know something? The moment you push the holy green on your mobile candy, the clock starts ticking at the other end?! Did you get it? Have your ever doubted the accuracy of your monthly cell phone bills? What the heck? Who has got a time to go through the boring novel every month! You are right! But, let me tell you something. You know you are out of minutes and you are on the last day of your billing cycle. It is a beautiful friday evening and you have a plan to go an a date with your girlfriend. All you do is you ring your girl friend up to say you will be there by 7. You do not need to be an engineer (I hate those rocket scientists! They always steel the show!!) to tell it 'd hardly take 30 seconds to make that call. If you are one of those detail-oriented graduate students and also that month happened to be your sharing the most love over the phone with your might-be, could-be, would-be or whatever-be, won't you get surprised if your bill is up a buck instead of fifty cents.

More surprised you will become when you realize...realize what? ..go back and read the first line of the previous paragraph.., on your calling AT&T or one of your other buddies to clarify why your bill is unusually up? You know what? I literally went crazy when I was told by a representative at AT&T that they start the clock the moment I press the green button on my cell phone. Am I a stupid? Am I missing a point here? I got so FURIOUS and took couple of deep breaths (nice thing about learning Yoga) and told the guy how about me calling my friend and her not picking the call at all? Will still a minute be docked off my kitty? Hell NO!!!

Along came another person from Bank of American in my life. I had my hair-cut on Monday and it cost me ten bucks. I got little depressed as It was still only Tuesday and bought me a six-pack and it cost me about eight bucks. I did not have time to cook on Wednesday and ordered a hand-tossed pizza from Pizza Hut and it cost me..phew..thirteen bucks. It was Friday finally and went to AMC and watched Australia. It was a lazy saturday but my mind was still active to remember that It was first day of the month and my rent was due.

Few days passed by. I was going through my BOA account and got shocked to see five charges of $39 each in my account and immediately rang up BOA. I was told by a BOA representative I did not have enough money in my account for any of the the transactions I made in the last few days. I knew I was not so broke that I could not even pay for my mid-week beer! I knew I had few hundreds left. They told they took care of my rent first before they paid for my six-pack or my hand-tossed pizza. What the heck? You are not my dad. You don't manage my wallet. I know finance myself. But this guy told it is his, well, BOA's policy to pay off the highest amount first and the least amount last. Thank you, Pal!, I said, I have a question. I wondered I had my haircut on the start of the week but my rent was due only at the end of the week, well almost.

This smart kid had an answer for that too! The merchant posted the transaction on the same date as my land lord did. Would any of you guys call me paranoid if I doubt the beautiful coincidence of all of my hair-dresser, 711 shop owner, my big fat pizza guy and my land lord asking the money from BOA the very same day?! I don't give a damn!! Because I have a point to feel frustrated - I had to pay almost 200 bucks for somebody else wanting to manage my finance better, yeah BETTER!

The most beautiful of all is what I encountered hours before I wrote this article. Another smart kid from Capital one is the one I had to deal with this time. I had to spend 87 valuable minutes explaining the following scenario: "I get a brand new plastic from Capital One with $2000 credit limit on second of a January. I swipe the card the very next day for $1000 and I make a payment of $600 on 28th of January. I make another payment of $200 on 25th of February. I get a second statement from Capital One on March 2nd after the first one on 2nd of February. I have only one question in this scenario - what 'd be the finance charges on those two statements?"

Would not you go nuts if you are told you 'd be charged for $1000 in the first month and $400 in the second month. I hung up on that idiot and called another guy and went about explaining the whole 99 yards, yeah it was that long! This guy was reasonable enough and agreed he 'd not charge for $1000 but only $400 in the first month. Because there is a 30-day grace period for new purchases. He must be a mart kid! But he said he 'd charge for $400 in the second month. STUPID!!! How about $200 I made on 25th, almost ten days before the due date?

Basically Capital One put a finance charge on $1500 balance, which I paid off almost a week before the due date of the month, for the entire cycle instead of 22 or 23 days and ripped me off $5.95! It is not just $5.95! It is what millions earn for a week in more than few parts of the world. It is what cost to eat three times a day in India. It is what cost to get a nice pair of a shirt and a pant in Thailand. It is what many get paid for chewing those tootsie rolls and hot dogs. It is a big money. So, I am excited that I have earned this $5.95 and could chew that tasty fresh chicken sandwich tomorrow without thinking too much!


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