IMPERFECT – Reflections on Sanjay Manjrekar – By Ram Murali

Ram Murali blogs at


‘AUDI’YA AATTAM ENNA – by Ram Murali

(Zola’s Note)

Probably the most vivid image of  cricketer Ravi Shastri that my generation, who were introduced to Channel 9 in the mid eighties, has is of former Australian Captain Ian Chappel handing over the keys of  a brand new Audi car to the Man of the Series (Ravi Shastri) of the Benson and Hedges World Championship of Cricket .

It must have been the first time that any team (let alone the Indian team) celebrated a series win of this magnitude by driving around the stadium  (with a few sitting on the bonnet pouring out the champagne)

Read on !

Ram Murali blogs at :




Zola’s Note :

Sunil Gavaskar was controversy’s child. He wrote his autobiography, ‘Sunny Days’,  at the ripe “old” age of 26 and the book was an instant best seller. He confessed that apart from the fact that at that time he was the media’s blue eyed boy, the book’s success  was more due to its controversial contents than the subject matter.

For instance, in one chapter he mentions that he wasn’t in the least impressed by the Lord’s cricket ground – a place that any Indian cricket fanatic would  die to visit. This naturally caused a stir but he has never deviated from that view  to this day.

The ground slopes from one end to the other.  And on one occasion, after England were trailing miserably,  rain came to the rescue and  promptly  Ray Illingworth (captain of England) and  left arm spinner Derek Underwood exploited the conditions  and spun the opposition out of the game…….by having Underwood bowl towards  the slope which soaked up the rain !


My friend Ram Murali was recently in England on a business trip and seized the chance to visit the “Vaikundam” of cricket.


Check out the details of his “darshan” :


Ram Murali blogs at :



A tribute by my friend and classmate C.S.Hariharan (Junior)

Vietnam Veedu


In 1949 the famed American playwright Arthur Miller created a sensation with his Play ‘Death of a Salesman’.
The play was about the quintessential American dream of making it big and ‘Willi Loman’ the central character had dreamt all his life, that age had caught up with him and his ideas. His children want to pursue their dreams, his office was no longer interested in him and his envy of his neighbour and their family’s success only incensed him even more. The only spark to his existence was his wife, but like all good things in hand he ignores her trying to focus on making it big one day like his brother. He hallucinates and even has a son in his imagination, who is everything he dreamt of being, a highly successful lawyer and well respected one to boot.
His world slowly crumbles as he alternates frequently between his imaginary world and reality that at a point of time he is unable to separate reality from dreams. Ultimately he understands that the only way he can contribute to his family’s success is by allowing them encash his insurance policy.
This story was probably the most powerful statement made in the US especially when the country was trying to rebuild itself after the World War II. The central theme of chasing ones dreams at the cost of the present is so universal that applies to every one of us even today.
The intelligence of any good script writer when he is adapting such a screenplay to a different audience and tastes is difficult beyond words and to adapt such a screenplay to Tamil is even tougher, a language unique and ancient than any other and a culture of joint family system so common till the last decade or so looked down upon families who lived alone or nuclear as the phrase goes .
‘Vietnam Veedu’ was the perfect adaptation and regionalisation of an internationally acclaimed play that many failed to see the similarities between the two. It is to the credit of its script writer Sundaram of UAA playgroup later known as Vietnam Veedu Sundaram that the play was written with the central character as a Palghat Iyer, (clearly highlighting his weakness in his name as) Prestige Padmanabhan, loud brash opinionated but fiercely loyal to the company he works for. The term Vietnam is more a metaphor about the blazing issues at the home front.
While the entrapments of dreams that interlace the Arthur Miller play are deleted, the ambition for self and children, and a similar vein of rebelliousness by his children are clearly brought out too. The Tamil film directed by Sivaji regular P.Mahadevan is no ordinary tear jerker it hits bulls eye on all aspects the lead actor Sivaji as Prestige Padmanabhan is amazingly accurate that all future Palghat Iyer/ mallu speaking tambrahm portrayals of any actor was benchmarked with his character. It took nearly 30 years for Kamal Hassan to highlight a more comedic touch to the Palghat accent in Michael Madana Kama Rajan as Kameshwaran the Palghat cook.
Similarly actress Padmini as Savitri mami is equally on par with Prestige Padmanabhan that it’s a vigorous joust of fencing, with amazing deft touches between the two seasoned actors.
The biggest success of the film was the discovery of Vietnam Veedu Sundaram as the story and screenplay writer, so successful was he, would go on to pen more than Eight other films for Sivaji besides directing Gowaravam. Vietnam Veedu Sundaram continued his success in writing many other successful films and later in a career change switched to acting in various TV soaps, often seen in character roles till date. His sudden death on August 6th 2016 is yet another loss to the Tamil film industry of professionals from the golden era of the 60’s.


A poetic reminiscence by my friend and classmate Kicha

Vidya Mandir ’86 Batch  Rocks !

A 30 year look back. ..Palli mudindhu aanadhu aandugal muppadhu
andha naatkalai patriya ninaivugal koadi muppadhuNaangal sandhitha aasiriyargal muppadhu
Avargalai patriya ennangal sila muppadhu

LSK maidhaanathai kadakka nimidangal muppadhu
Lubber Sir thalai vaara edutha nimidangal muppadhu

Renuka miss maadhathil thittiya naatkal muppadhu
AG miss pudavaigalin ennikkai aayiram muppadhu

PT Sir maadhathil throwball aadiya naatkal muppadhu
SSM sir jannalai thirandhu weatherai azhaitha thadavaigal muppadhu

Physics Miss classil kaeta kurrattai saththam muppadhu
English miss classil aditha arratai nooru muppadhu

cricket match andru classukku varaadhavargal muppadhu
adhai arindha Tara Missudaiya BP eriyadhu muppadhu

ED class sollikudutha vaadhyaargal muppadhu
Aanalum adhil naan vaangiya markkugal muppadhu

Shantha Johnai yematri vaangiya markugal muppadhu
GBS Sir Examil Mohan schoolukku pona thadavaigal muppadhu

Palliyai vittu aana varudangal muppadhu
Irukkirom ippodhu ulagil idangal muppadhu

Pazhaiya ninaivugal thodarudhu eraalam muppadhu

Naam iruppome nanbargalaaga innum aandugal muppadhu

Editor’s Note :
While I was reading this, my father who was sitting next to me and is constantly fighting a losing battle with the Battle of the Bulge suddenly asked me.
“Unnoada Waist size ennadaa ?”
I replied “MUPPADHU !