• Movie Review

    Journey to the West (2013)

    Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons is an interesting fantasy comedy from China. It follows the journey of a Buddhist disciple who goes from places to places to save the villagers from the horrors of demons, he competes with four other commercial demon hunters. There is a lot of blood, killings and mutilations in the film, if you can avoid taking it to heart and see the comedy on the narration you will enjoy the film. It is available on the Kanopy streaming service. The first twenty minutes where a blood-thirsty water demon attacks the residents living on river stilt houses built was pictured very well. The action sequence…

  • Story of the Dutch Occupation of the Thiruchendur Temple

    Paintings narrating the Dutch occupation of the Thiruchendur temple

    இன்று திருச்செந்தூர் முருகர் கோயிலுக்குச் சென்றிருந்த போது பிராகாரத்தில் இந்த ஓவியங்களைப் பார்த்தேன். அதில் டச் படையெடுப்பின்போது கோயிலில் இருந்த முருகன் சிலையையும், நடராஜர் சிலையையும் தங்கம் என்று எண்ணி டச்சுக்காரர்கள் கைப்பற்றி எடுத்துச் சென்றது பற்றியும், அதை எப்படி நாயக்கர் உதவியோடு உள்ளூர் மக்கள் மீட்டனர் என்றும் இருந்தது. இந்த நிகழ்வு நான் அறிந்திராத ஒன்று, இந்த நிகழ்வைப் பற்றி விக்கி தளத்தில் விரிவாக இருக்கிறது. ஐரோப்பியர்கள் இந்தியாவின் மீது படை எடுத்தது என்றாலே நமக்கு ஆங்கிலேயர்களைப் பற்றி தான் நினைவிற்கு வரும், அவர்களுக்கு முன்பே போர்ச்சுகீஸ்காரர்களும், டச்சுக்காரர்களும் வந்து நம் செல்வங்களைச் சூறையாடி சென்றிருக்கிறார்கள் என்பதை இது போன்ற இடங்களுக்குச் செல்லும்போது தான், நாம் தெரிந்து கொள்கிறோம். “வரலாறு மிக முக்கியம் அமைச்சரே” என்று வேடிக்கையாக நடிகர் வடிவேலு கூறுவது தான் நினைவிற்கு வருகிறது! திருச்செந்தூர் கோயிலில் உள்ள சண்முகர் நடராஜர் சிலைகளை டச்சுக்காரர்கள் கொள்ளையடித்துச் சென்ற வரலாறு: Footnote:  A friend of mine and a reader of this…

  • கதை, கலை, பாரம்பரியம் - வீ.ஆர்.மால், அண்ணா நகர், சென்னை

    Stories of South India by Sriram V at VR Mall, Chennai

    The future of architecture is culture. Philip Johnson In a culturally rich country like India, you will find influences of art, history and mythology everywhere, except in one place – yes, you got it right – the shopping malls that have come up in all the cities – they are all “air-conditioned, sanitized, standardized” and devout of creativity. So when I saw the posting about a culture walk being done by Mr Sriram V titled “Stories of South India” at Chennai’s newest shopping arcade,  the VR Mall, Anna Nagar I was intrigued. If anyone can narrate elements of history in a place as modern as a mall it can only…

  • Chennai,  Events

    Kapaleeshwarar Temple – Madras Week Heritage Walk

    Sahapedia had organized a heritage walk as part of Madras Week, to the famous Kapaleeshwarar Temple, Mylapore. Conducted by a friendly host Mr S Jayakumar, who is a Carnatic musician trained at Kalakshetra and an independent researcher on the cultural history of South India.  The walk started early in the morning around 7 AM from the East Gopuram entrance to the temple. In many of the Hindu Temples, the presiding deity faces the East side, here the Lord Kapaleeshwarar, faces West Direction and his consort Goddess Karpagambal faces the South.  The temple dates back to 7th Century A.D. when it was believed to be constructed by then ruling Pallavas on the seashore area near…

  • Book Review

    Scion of Ikshvaku

    “Scion of Ikshvaku” is the latest book by Amish Tripathi who is known for his earlier work “Shiva’s Trilogy” which sold over two million copies. Like in Shiva’s Trilogy (ST), Scion of Ikshvaku (SOI) is a work of fiction which reimagines Indian mythology. In the former Lord Shiva was retold by Amish to be a Tribal head from Tibet, in the latter Lord Ram remains closer to his role in Epic Ramayana but is disliked by his father Emperor Dashrath for being born on the day he tasted his first loss in a battle. I had pre-ordered in Amazon the first part of Ram Chandra Series, got the book promptly delivered by 8AM on June 22,…

  • Book Review

    Sita’s Ascent

    Saturday morning, Madras filter coffee in one hand and The Hindu Book Review page on other hand. Seeing an image of “Ramayana” Sita being taken back into earth with two youngsters looking at this from the side, I stopped flipping of pages. In most recitals of Ramayana the part of Lava, Kusa and Sita’s return from earth are generally not elaborated. So I always gets curious and interested to learn more on this episode in Ramayana. Reading the text that accompanied the image in The Hindu, I learned that title of the book was Sita’s Ascent and the author was Dr.Vayu Naidu. I added it to my Amazon wish list…

  • Shiva Trilogy
    Book Review

    Shiva Trilogy

    I have been hearing about this Trilogy by Amish Tripathi. When I recently read “Thundergod” a fiction about Lord Indra, my readers recommended I read Shiva Trilogy by Amish. So I did that for last two weeks. I started with the first book “The immortals of Meluha” which turned out to be a great piece of fiction painted against well known Indian Mythological characters and an imaginary map of India. Three kingdom – Sun Dynasty, Moon Dynasty and Nagas are in constant tension. Against this backdrop comes their saviour, a tribal man with a blue throat from Tibet who was known in their legend as Neelakanth. The journey that takes…

  • Book Review

    Thundergod by Rajiv G Menon

    I finished reading this book in nearly one sitting, it was certainly a page turner. The book was Thundergod (The Ascendance of Indra) by Rajiv G Menon and its a book on mythological fiction genre. It is hard to believe this is his debut novel. I am new to this genre and I felt it to be a great read for me. Indra, the lord of Devas is a well known figure in Indian Mythology. To tell Indra’s story as a fiction is a tall order which Rajiv has done very well. Thundergod is a fine mixture of stories from Indian/Zoroastrian mythology, figures from Vedas, the land scape of Central…