Bitty Ruminations 75

On Jan 30, 2003, I wrote this review for The Economic Times: Madras Plus. And that makes it a decade since I began reviewing (and indeed, writing) for publications, a decade since I shucked off a life in another continent and began another back home in India. Felt I needed to mark this on the blog, hence this bitty post.

It was a very rough time at first, since no one really tells you how little writing pays, but things got better and I can’t complain. Well, if I look at my richly compensated peers in IT and management jobs, I do begin to whine from time to time, but then there are things about my job that they wish they had, so it all evens out, I guess.

Over the past few years, I’ve been speaking in various colleges and institutions, and the thing they always want me to talk about is how I left engineering and carved out a new career for myself. It makes me laugh, because most of these colleges are engineering colleges, and the kids want to know how to get out of engineering. So along with the usual spiel about how I went about the whole thing, I also tell them this — that following your passion, your dream, is fine, but just keep in mind that one day it becomes a job.

That’s one thing you’re not really prepared for when you begin to “follow you passion,” that one day it will become a job, and the pieces you used to write at your leisure, for fun, for a break from the daily grind, now come with deadlines. No one tells you that, one day, the passion becomes the daily grind.

Of course, I’m not complaining. I’m doing what I want to do, what I set out to do, and it’s gotten me recognition — and no one can complain about that. It’s just that there’s another side to everything, and I wanted to point out this other side.

But that acclimatisation has been easier than a more personal one, that of practising a profession in the public eye. As an introvert, your mantra is “please leave me alone; I’m happy in my corner reading a book.” But in this profession, your mantra is “don’t leave me alone; don’t ignore me; please read me.” And reconciling these two aspects of my personal and professional lives has been the most difficult part of the last decade.

The kind of skills I’ve picked up — not just communication and networking skills, things like seeking out people and extending your hand and introducing yourself, but survival skills — could make up a book, and there are times I feel that this is what I should write about next. (But no, don’t worry. I’m not going to inflict that self-help book on you.)

Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who reads me, and especially to the regulars on this blog. Thank you all very much.

PS: It’s funny how many people I’ve met from public professions who claim to be introverts. Must be something in the water.

PPS: And no, I really cannot believe it’s been a decade.

90 thoughts on “Bitty Ruminations 75

  1. Congratulations! Always look forward to reviews, and always grateful that the days of Arre o Sambar are over :D


  2. Hi Baradwaj,

    It felt good to find out a little bit more about a person whose writing I admire quite a bit. I stumbled across your blog a while back, and it needed very little persuasion on your writing’s part to add your blog to my reading list. I have enjoyed reading your reviews for quite a while now, mostly because of the different perspective you provide about almost all of the films that you review.
    (For example, Roger Ebert’s take on the “The Impossible” vis-a-vis yours.)
    In any case – congratulations on finishing a decade of doing what you love, and here’s hoping this was the first of many such decades to come. All the very best!


  3. I’ve sat through a good number of ‘follow your passion’ lectures (being an engineering and MBA grad you can imagine the number of such speakers I’ve heard at both colleges). From my own very unscientific survey, I can tell you that > 95% will be there only to be inspired in the moment but once out of the hall they’ll be making fun of these airy notions. Which is only natural.

    But there will be a few dreamers who would have walked into the lecture with the same sort of cluelessness that made them drift into engg/ MBA in the first place. And for these people your warnings about passion becoming a (dreary?) job would be a problem they’d love to have.

    Congrats on 10 years of critiquing. Is there any chance you won’t take a week off? Because KAI PO CHE needs reviewing. :-)


  4. It’s been only a decade?! here i was thinking, “I’ve been reading Rangan since forever!” :P But seriously, the gratitude is all ours.


  5. A decade as a critic , that is a long time in this field. What are the most notable changes have you seen in your profession? More Movies, More Money, More Competition ? My observation is, in all the above 3, the quantity has increased and not the quality.


  6. “No one tells you that, one day, the passion becomes the daily grind”

    Man, it takes guts to come forward and tell this. You always hear only the rhetorical “follow your passion” speeches.

    “Kai Po Che” review happening?


  7. Hi Bharadwaj,

    Many congratulations on completing your decade in review writing.

    I have been an avid follower of your blog and more likely than not concur with your views on film reviews. I esp. find the little observations interesting.

    Wihtout digressing much, i just want to put forth a suggestion that it would be good if you would have a rating system for movies like you had earlier. I know this is analysis you post here but it would not hurt to know which all films you hold in high regards sometimes not always conjured from analysis. My two cents thats all.

    Anyway gr8 job!!


  8. wow..congratulations!-a decade of following your passion, watching it become a job, and still writin!-.Been a pleasure to read your articles(NO, No – I aint a groupie or a sycophant…!!) and yes, I think it becomes more and more difficult to negotiate the public and personal personas butthechallenge is to do it and at the end of the day be able to look at yourself squarely,baldly in the mirror!!-gods bless!


  9. Congrats with your 10-yr anniversary as a blogger. From a Dutch filmfan who’s been following you for at least half that period. Appreciate your smart & sensitive comments very much.

    Liked your strong and o so true words on the “follow your passion”-theme. I made the same choice and paid the price, but never regretted. Thanks!


  10. I did my engineering too (in electronics) – I dont know a thing. And now its software. But like you, I have found my calling – teaching yoga, languages (sanskrit, hindi, english), and alternative education for kids.

    Not sure how long it will take to completely transition over, but I will !

    Basically, there is no balance in any job nowadays – could I hope to work for just 6 hours a day for $$$ ? I cant unless I am my own boss. Besides, a natural chemical-free life needs money until one can break free from the matrix :|


  11. The first review I read on your blog is KKNK, referred to your blog by Jai Arjun. I immediately realized that i stumbled on a great blog and has been a regular ever since. Except for your Mani Ratnam partiality, you are really a great writer. Wish you all the best


  12. Many congratulations on the anniversary and on this lovely post.

    I am a religiously-regular reader of your blog, though have never commented before. Reading this post sent shivers down my spine. There is just so much here that I can relate to. Everything that you said about ‘wanting to get out of engineering’ and ‘the other side of following your passion’ (that nobody mentions actually.EVER.) is so true. And especially loved the part where you mention your struggle to become an extrovert ( at least partly ) for the sake of the ‘passion’.

    And by the way, just to let you know : I would love to buy that self-help book that you have decided against. Would be way better than the ‘Cheese moving’ and ‘Safari selling’ drivel that we have at the moment. :)

    And I have a question, did you ever. for the slightest bit of time, feel the impulse to ‘to get out of writing’ ? Like you felt for engineering.


  13. Hi Bharadwaj, Congrats on your milestone.. I have been an avid reader of your blog since half a decade now but have not commented much here.. the factor that keeps me coming back here is the depth you bring to your work in terms of analysis, language or content..its rare to find such intellect anywhere else.. I presume you chose this field for the love of
    both cinema and writing.. my question to you is which one of these two do you love more?? also would you consider non-film writing seriously?? I would enjoy anything written by you..


  14. All: Thanks again for the comments/wishes.

    jussomebody: You know, there are times I feel like starting the series again just to see how you and Bala will react :-)

    Nidhi/ oneWithTheH: On a bit of a review break now, sorry :-)

    Rajesh Mehar: Not sure I get what you mean, but everything I write (except maybe the Hindu edits) are on this blog, and there are links to the edited versions in the publication.

    Shreyansh Shukla: Most notable change… in what? Reviewing? Or the movies themselves?

    Karin L: If I may ask, what is the choice you made? Oh, and no regrets on my side either :-)

    vishal yogin: That’s totally awesome. I mean, you’ve totally broken free of the matrix. My transition is nothing in comparison.

    Mukesh: No. Even when I take a break, I’m always writing something, seeing something that makes me want to write. So at least as of now, very much happy about opting for writing.

    soumya: Both… I guess? And yes, I do the occasional non-film writing as well, like this one and this one — two pieces I’m especially happy with. It’s just that one doesn’t get the time to do more of it, when most of your writing is being channeled towards cinema (it being why I was hired and all). But I do hope to do more non-cinema writing.

    Radhika: Thank you for reminding me of this link. I was smiling when I read this part – “Do you know someone who needs hours alone every day? Who… can give a dynamite presentation to a big audience, but seems awkward in groups and maladroit at small talk?” Most people just don’t get what this is all about :-)

    Also LOL-ed at the first comment, “The only time I resemble an extrovert is through the keyboard.” I could’ve written it :-)


  15. Congratulations! I have always admired you for blending intellect and simplicity in a wonderful way. I look forward to the next decade, I guess :-)


  16. Hey! Congrats man! I’m shocked to know that 3-4 years senior to you as far as writing professionally goes (though I haven’t got your skills or the talent) :-)


  17. Rangan, let me join the chorus. :) Congratulations on the 10-year milestone. May you have many more.

    I began reading you a few years ago, and then, I think, almost compulsively read all your archives.

    I read this piece with interest – because I was in the process of informing my son that writing as a passion and writing as a job are two different things. He is young, and therefore knows everything. :) But he listens a bit more carefully to me because I’m that rare creature – who took her degrees in Literature and History (and had a father who didn’t push her into Engineering, though she had both marks and aptitude) and ten years of being a hack, turned around and said, “I wish my father had pushed me into Engineering.”

    But hey, mild regrets apart, things are fine. And it does give me the creds to tell my son ground realities of his (for now) passion. Guess there is always a silver lining. :)

    Keep writing. It’s a joy to read you.


  18. Baddy, I thought it was funny where a number of folks congratulated you and immediately asked you about Kai Po Che….I guess in 10 years and considering how prolific you are, that’s a reasonable question!! :-)

    Congrats, da!! Really happy for you….and remember…you are the shrink we turn to, for some sanity, in the midst of our IT and management jobs!! The passionate conversations we have here, the discussions, the arguments etc are all a yearning part of us that can never hope to achieve what you have done. March on…buddy!


  19. Writing, like any other creative process, I’ve realized can never be boring, especially if you love it. I am exhilarated each time I complete something I set out to write. This when my writing is not something many people will feel exhilaration at. So I can understand how Baradwaj Rangan feels about never wanting to opt out of writing. Hell whenever I read one of his extremely eloquent pieces, I wish I could obtain that skill, opt out of what I do right now and get busy writing. Alas, that’ll have to wait.

    As someone said above, the gratitude is all ours, Mr. Rangan. I’ve been reading your blog for the better part of half a decade, and whether I’ve agreed or disagreed with you, whether I’ve cursed or celebrated your reviews, I’ve never been able to not read them. I’ve learnt as much about harnessing the power of the English language as I have about film analysis. So that’s really something you’ve done if you can inspire me not only in your area of expertise but on more broader terms.

    And although it is heartening to people looking to opt out of engineering to see people like yourself and Sidvee taste success at writing, I am still unsure of both your histories with writing (though a post like this does clear things out). Both of you are obviously so good at what you do that I always wonder whether you took any sort of formal education (in film analysis or writing) or whether you simply decided one fine day that enough was enough and abandoned ship to dive into writing. So what was it, if you don’t mind me asking, did you just send random blog posts of yours to all the newspapers hoping they would accept or whether there was a larger thought process at work? Just hoping to form a clearer picture if/when I decide to jump ship myself. That’s all. :)

    Anyways, yours still remains the one voice on Indian films/Hollywood films screened in India I seek out each time I walk out of one. Here’s a toast to Mr. Rangan, I am truly hoping for another decade of us getting to read some pretty darn great writing.


  20. @Baradwaj: Dei, Dei. Why summa you are putting empty threats :D Also, happy 10th. Been a reader since the desipundit days(I think. (It was DP no?) Now, where is that book on MMKR. Seri ok, on Kamal ? Seri, forget that, where is that movie man ?


  21. We should write the book together. We are both in the same profession.

    Tumhare paas national award hai. Mere paas baaki sab kuch hai. Fans, twitter followers, popular blog, Bollywood directors queuing up to be interviewed by me. Hainnn. Lets feed off each other.


  22. Congratulations! It’s such a pleasure to read you. So glad that you switched careers ;-)!

    P.S: Did you mention a ‘next book’? Is it too early to talk about it?


  23. Congratulations Baradwaj. I read your posts regularly though I hardly comment. Learnt a lot about movies and did buy your book with Mani Rathnam – such a pleasure reading it. Good luck.

    Your comment (below) “the kind of skills I’ve picked up — not just communication and networking skills, things like seeking out people and extending your hand and introducing yourself” – I very well can relate to having gone through such a journey myself. It is always a bit funny to look back at this aspect.

    Good luck

    – Ravishankar


  24. Congrats brangan.. You are one of those rare critics who write articles focused on Film appreciation. your reviews and articles focus on the trivial aspects of film making which fascinates me.

    I think there is a lot of truth to that. Passion can become work, but it comes with a heavy baggage that not many can handle.
    Congrats again and hope you carry on your wonderful work.


  25. Second Balaji Sivaraman here. Can you tell us your story if you don’t mind us asking?

    [Looks like I miss my ‘follow your passion’ lectures from college :D ]


  26. Congrats. I am sure it has been an exciting journey. These are indeed wise words and I hope everybody who has this ‘fit of passion’ will read this first. I write regularly – well, not quite so regularly of late – on cricket and otherwise on anything that I feel like and sometime in the not so distant past, I was at the crossroads, having to choose between ‘passion’ and ‘occupation’ (I am a CA by trade). But I realised that a job is a job at the end of the day and anybody who thinks he’ll get to do ONLY what he loves ALL THE TIME is dreaming. It was important for me to realise this because I don’t like pressure writing. Whatever I write should be a spontaneous expression of my thoughts and I can’t really tailor it for somebody else’s requirements beyond a point. Needless to say, I chose a very different path from you but the point is well made. Don’t quit your occupation just because you don’t like it (maybe it’s then a question of finding the right org or simply being more devoted and going beyond the ordinary requirements of the job), go for your ‘passion’ if you are really sure that you cannot do anything else 24/7. But you can’t escape from emails, meetings and the boring admin stuff or just simply working with people whose company you don’t enjoy, that should never be the reason to make that choice.


  27. Congrats…have always looked out for your reviews…and like the way that you describe a film not with the usual goodness/badness but as a sum of parts some of which work and some don’t…by the way why does the Saturday paper say that you will only be back on march 23rd?


  28. Yes, do start Arre O Sambhar! Big time fan…what fun it was!

    Oh, and happy 10th year and all that.


  29. Congratulations on your tenth anniversary. I have been reading your blog for about 5 years now, I have enjoyed all your articles. Wishing you all the best.


  30. Congrats, pa! You have been doing too much film “appreciation” these days….Come on, rip into those movies. Don’t spare anyone. There are no sacred cows, not even MR…


  31. Congratulations!

    I completed ten years as an applied researcher (my first and only job) a few weeks ago. I was a bit surprised by how much of your article resonated with me :-)

    There’s a lovely little turn of phrase in Roger Ebert’s review of “Bird”, a biopic on Charlie Parker: “… where work is play, and everything else is work.” It’s amazing how much the everything else part expands to fill our lives sometimes, and how much we have to rely on the work itself to keep our sanity intact.

    Once again, congrats, and all the best for the next ten!


  32. Congratulations BR!

    Had I followed you 6 years back (when i was in college) I would have chosen to be your intern and really learnt how to watch movies and also how to craft a sentence ..! No one is better qualified to teach that!

    Your biggest achievement is, you, in your own way, teach us how to think, how to watch movies as a whole and not like “first half is better than second half and climax could have been better” type analysis. Thank you for that!


  33. 10 years? Good to come in and see that! National award with the big B? Check? Writing for the hindu? Check. Book in conversation with Mani fing Rathnam? Check. Numerous interviews on TV? Check. Successful in aggravating engineers with your “logic”? Check. Worth it all? Of course! Pity Muffy is such a big fat idiot that he never did what you do though. :)


  34. BR, the one aspect I have asked you earlier about your transition from engg to arts(and I don’t know if these kids you asked that at these lectures) is the subjective part of your job/evaluation. I am not sure if you answered that at that time. You might say that it comes wit the territory, but then I feel that it could be a difficult demon to conquer as well much like the public-private life clashes that you talk about. The fact that you had an initial background where everything can neatly be metricized and then you jumped into a realm where you have ultimately nothing but your own instinct to go by on what you wrote was good or bad. I mean some days you might think you wrote a mediocre piece and there might be glowing comments here(and from your boss/peers) and then days when you thought you had written a great one and people tear you to shreds. How do you reconcile with that? Must be extra difficult for an ex-science/engineering student I imagine. It isn’t just about the money or readership is it? Have you ever waken up some day and felt insecure or unsettled about it all?


  35. Congrats Baradwaj! It must have been a gutsy decision to quit a lucrative engineering job to become a reviewer/ writer which comes with a lot of uncertainties. As any reader of The Hindu would say, Kudos!


  36. Congrats on the completion of ten years of such superlative writing about cinema. As many have recounted in the comments section, it’s a pleasure for me too, to read your take on movies. I had written to you earlier of waiting for your reviews before booking for a movie. We had that much faith in your views.

    I totally relate to the “…. that following your passion, your dream, is fine, but just keep in mind that one day it becomes a job,” bit. I am passionate about writing romantic fiction, though I haven’t done much about it till now. But this is one advice I would keep in mind when I get serious about this passion. :-)

    But where are you? Not on The Hindu, not in your blog. What about all those Oscar movies reviews that we are waiting for? Please write soon :-)


  37. Congratulations and thank you for making that decision! You have certainly given me (and I’m sure many others) plenty of reading pleasure.


  38. Baradwaj: I went the other way around. Inspired by a great love for the medium I somehow stumbled into the movie industry long ago. Worked as a translator, prod. & editing assistant, editor and finally screenplaywriter. Was quite succesful but disliked the snakepit too much. Found out I was an introvert after all, more interested in the workings of the human mind and life itself, than in any story the mind can conceive of. But always movies, especially from other parts of the world, remained a major source of joy and learning for me.


  39. Congrats B! And it comes as a great consolation knowing that someone of your calibre is an introvert :)


  40. G: Numerous interviews on TV? I dont think ive ever heard his name even being mentioned on TV. Would you care to post the links if any, for the benefit of all?


  41. Wow,Congratulations. nice I have been reading you from 2007, I think. easy journal days :)
    KANK and Maqbool were my earlierst ones.

    As some one else said, thank you for making the decision to follow your passion. Your reviews and this comment space( except for the trolls now and then – oh well they make up the ‘funny’ quotien) are such a joy to read. Even if the tastes arent really similar, you give enough justification to see where you come from.

    It has always been a wish to have more reviewers like you in India – i mean someone who can write well, will try to provide full justice to the movie maker and us the readers … umm..

    If passion is backed by talent, one can find success.


  42. All: Again, thanks for all the wishes.

    Anu Warrier: Thanks for sharing that story. But no, I never got that “I wish my father had pushed me into Engineering” feeling — though my version would have probably read “I wish my dad had arm-twisted me into not quitting Engineering” :-)

    Balaji Sivaraman/ Nidhi: reg. “whether you simply decided one fine day that enough was enough and abandoned ship to dive into writing” – that’s pretty much what happened. About my “journey,” i.e. how it happened, will write about it in a future bitty post.

    Ramsu and others: This post seems to have prompted a lot of readers to share their own journeys. Got to a know a little more about you guys, i.e. more than just the fact that you like film. Thanks.

    vijay: Actually, that was never that much of a demon because I was never an “engineer” in the strict sense that you mention. In a lot of ways, it was always “subjective” over “objective. Also, every creative person has some level of insecurity in him, so that kind of goes with the territory, but that happens at a different level, not at the level that I wrote something got and got mauled or I wrote something mediocre and got praised.

    Jerina: “I am passionate about writing romantic fiction…” Oh but you should give it a shot. Please email me, and I will put you in touch with a friend who’s started her own imprint.

    Nikhil R: “but it’s very easy to believe that you are an introvert…” Just curious, why do you say that? I ask because I believe that all writing is autobiographical to some extent, and I’d like to know what aspect of my writing expressed this to you.

    Adarsh: Oh, I wouldn’t say “numerous” interviews, but if you go on YouTube, you’ll find a fair bunch of deer-in-the-headlights clips :-)

    sachita: “Even if the tastes arent really similar, you give enough justification to see where you come from.” Thanks for that. That “justification” of my views is something I take seriously, which is why I get surprised every time someone — despite that “justification” — still goes on about why I’m “wrong” about a film.


  43. “Oh but you should give it a shot. Please email me, and I will put you in touch with a friend who’s started her own imprint.”

    Can i be a proof-reader please ? Nothing like reading Indian amateur romantic fiction.


  44. I have great respect for people who shun traditional careers aka the big money ones and pursue their passion. It takes guts and if you emerge even a bit successful then it should be profoundly satisfying, Illa?

    That said, you are quite true about the passion becoming a grind. I gave up a software a job of 6 years to take up writing. It was not easy since the money was good and I was also good at my work. But zero motivation to work and circumstances pushed me to the wield the pen.

    Freelancing is not easy but there is tremendous pride in seeing my work published.
    There are very few indian writers who are worth reading today and you pretty much top the pack. Keep it going.

    (I started reading your blog mid way I guess when somebody from our alma matter linked it and have been hooked. But needless to say, went back and karaichikudichufied the archives ;-))


  45. Br, I found a 30 minute video of you talking about the book on YouTube. And ROFL-ed when you were called Srinivasan Rangan by that mama :P


  46. I just found the clips you mentioned on youtube….doing a blurb kinda thing for rock of ages, brave etc..was it some kinda vlog by hindu? and you do this for every hindu article u write???

    Seeing you speak for the first time and totally awestruck. It’s like watching a character from book come alive….in a good way of course.. :D


  47. Congratulations on your tenth anniversary! And hope there are many more to come.

    The first time I stumbled across your writing was with your Omkara review. Since then,I have loved reading what you write, and look forward to what you have to say about the movies. Even when I don’t agree with you, I have to concede that you make interesting observations. And when something I felt about a movie is reflected in your review, it makes me pleased as over the years, your writing has influenced how I view movies. Thanks for all of that!


  48. Congrats Bharadwaj-ji.
    I too read your blog and have high respect/regard for you. Well said on the passion becoming chore bit. It can work the other way too. I switched from liberal arts to engg out of necessity and what was dreadful feild became most interesting…took many years and lot of patience and learning but eventually in love :-)


  49. Hmm. Why do you come across as an introvert?

    1. You don’t write in a normal conversational tone in the way extroverts seem to. You write in a way that your sentences seem to be a chiseled out form of your deep thoughts. “Spit-polished” as you once described. Extroverts never seem to have the patience for these things.

    2. You mentioned once that you as a journalist can never just thrust a mike under somebody’s nose and ask very private questions.

    3. You didn’t ask Maniratnam if he likes dogs or cats.

    4. You as a boy obviously read a lot, your vocabulary points at that direction.

    Hence Proved. And congrats on the 10 year thing. :)


  50. “Oh but you should give it a shot.”…Thank you so much! I am most humbled by your suggestion. Shall get that e-mail ready, pronto! :-).


  51. Finally managed to post this (My previous three attempts failed) …..

    Sometimes I wonder if we find books and authors or they find you!!
    Mr Bharadwaj, I must confess that I wouldn’t have ever known you existed had it not been for the book – “Conversation with Maniratnam” having found me!! And that was just two weeks back!! Since then I googled you and discovered your blog , hidden and concealed in countless content within the so called aptly called “world-wide”web”. And let me confess, It has been a great discovery. Simply love reading your posts and your thoughts….Congratulations indeed for 10 years of “pursuing” your passion!! I have just scratched the surface of your blog so theres plenty for me to read!!

    In your language , just like Thiruchelvan says to Amudha in Kannathil…, it was not them who adopted her, but she adopted them….I must say Im glad that you and your writings found me!! I am honored indeed…Congratulations once again


  52. Hithesh Devasya, best wishes to you.
    Offhand, I am reminded of a story about the legendary ballet dancer Rudolf Nereyev. Whenever a newbie asked for his opinion about their ballet dancing, he invariably replied – “You suck . you should look for something else to do.” His reasoning was, ballet needs dedication and self belief more than anything. If he really takes Nureyev’s word and quits ballet then he was not meant for it.


  53. I come late to this party, and everything I could possibly say has been said far more eloquently by many others above.

    I love this blog because I love the writing. Period. Can’t quite fathom those who post regularly only to nitpick (I have a rule. At the 3rd posting that contains banal writing or viewpoints/beliefs/ that are in complete conflict with my own, I take a hike).

    Just started your book thanks to a lovely cousin who brought it with her from Delhi. And there, at the very 1st page of your intro, I see Ambassadors referred to as “pachydermal”. And I think….large, lumbering…usually black…yes! Why not pachydermal?”

    Which perfectly sums up what I like about your writing.

    As I said elsewhere, keep on rocking, B!


  54. @KayKay, I expected more from you!! By now, we should all be accustomed to how this space operates. You referred to Ambassadors as pachydermal (quoting Baddy’s book)…since it is usually black. Well, in India, there is an abundance of white ones, given that they are/were the fancy of politicians. So maybe what Baddy actually referred to was pachydermal in the sense of white elephants (as an idiom!) !! :-) See, I surpassed myself in unearthing the hidden layer!! :-)


  55. Shankar, I kneel in abject shame, a dagger poised inches from my belly, composing a haiku before commencing with my seppukku:-)

    I need to bring a bigger shovel the next time:-)


  56. congrats BR, i wish you many more such anniversaries in future..wish you more success, more awards and more loyal readers (such as me :) )….i have always enjoyed your writing and will continue to do so…

    so, do we see the beginnings of another book sometime soon….


  57. venkatesh: “Nothing like reading Indian amateur romantic fiction”… Oh fess up. You just like reading desi “matter” scenes, don’t you? :-)

    meera: where do you write? and do you have links? thanks.

    Arjun: Oh that vlog was a disaster. They kept insisting on it despite my protests that I am a bad speaker, and finally I had to write my lines out and have the techie hold it as I read them out, sort of like a homegrown teleprompter :-)

    The Gypsy Girl: “And when something I felt about a movie is reflected in your review, it makes me pleased as punch.” Thanks :-)

    Rahini David: “You didn’t ask Maniratnam if he likes dogs or cats.” ROFL!

    Hithesh Devasya: Good luck with your writing. Just keep at it, and you never know where it can lead you.

    KayKay: “large, lumbering – usually black…” That was exactly the sense I was going for. (Sorry Shankar :-) ) And your seppuku bit reminded me of “Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence,” which I saw first on DD, of all things.


  58. @brangan : Thanks a lot :) I sure am going to keep up with it.

    @Rahul – Thanks. The ballet story is something that inspires me. :)


  59. To paraphrase delhi ganesh in Baabaa….(sing it like the BGM in the movie does..)
    Naan koodathaan denam naalu velai kulikkaren, boojai panren…
    I am also ulaaving the blog world for the same period of time…
    jokes apart..
    Congrats on your writing career… aduththu enna panra uththesam?


  60. Congratulations!!! Its been a pleasure reading your articles. Thank you & looking forward to many more decades of interesting analysis and perspective….


  61. Congratulations on completing a decade.

    I’m so glad you’ve pointed out how at some point, your passion becomes a job (and the poor pay for writers — I’ll include reporters — bit). I faced a similar situation in this profession (except the ‘job’ part got to me…so..I’m always in awe of people who find a way to balance it out) and often find it both annoying and amusing when people consider this a “glamourous profession that must pay a lot.”


  62. Congrats Buddy Rangan :) . I know its a bit of a late comment but felt now I don’t want to miss on a mark of a journey in which even I have been a part of, for many a years as a regular reader of yours.

    Don’t remember when exactly did I start reading your writings. Ofcourse it was back in the Express days, may be around 2005-06 (High school days…nostalgia.. ;) ). Not much later, caught up with your blog and has been an avid follower here ever since. Not really been a regular commenter though.

    Your detailed, depthfull, personal writings on films (and other stuffs in this blog) week in week out, has always been something I enjoyed and looked forward to. So keep up the good work. Hope to see you through many more years.


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