Diary notes

I greeted the rains on Saturday night with an invective. “Oh, shit! It’s raining,” I said as the steady sheet of water poured. I had just swung open the door of the Internet café near home when the rain caught me off guard. For a moment I was joyous. Rains surely meant that I would see some respite from the heat. Then the surprise gave way to the realization that I would not be able to walk the few metres home and to bed. Not for the season’s first time the rain had played spoilsport with my simple plan to get home to food and bed.

If you saw me reacting, you might think I had not seen it rain before. Most Chennaiites would tell you how terrible the summer here is. I have spent about 10 summers in this city now. None to my memory have been horrible. Nothing that a cold glass of water and a few minutes in an air conditioned room could not help set right. Unlike the water of the city, which has left me balding theyby reducing my marriage marketability, the city’s heat has not scarred me forever. True, in moments of great irritation brought on by the unrelenting sun’s heat, I have often wanted to run indoors straight from a traffic signal. But when it rains like it did on Saturday night, I have always found relief even joy.

But these rains did more than make true the headline: Rains bring respite to city. According to the paper I work for, the rains brought down some 18 trees, snapped power lines and brought down a few buildings. No casualties.

But in all this what I want to impress upon you is that rains, even when they upset my plans, are a great source of joy to me. On Saturday night, for example, the sudden thunderstorm reintroduced me to the romance of watching a movie during a thunderstorm. After taking an auto home, I saw The Prestige, a friend’s DVD. The movie stars Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman, who play rival magicians trying to achieve the impossible trick of transporting man from one closed box to another. Directed by Christopher Nolan, it is typical Hollywood fare, only bit more exhilarating to watch. The electric storms, a big part of the movie, were made even more thrilling by the thunderstorm raging outside.


Tonight (June 27) I watched two movies back to back. Ratatouille directed by Brad Bird and Consenting Adults directed by Alan J Pakula. I was impressed by Kevin Kline’s turn as a man on trial for the murder of his neighbour’s wife, whom he never killed. It’s a role that call in for some great acting skills and I was surprised to see Kline, who was so good in the A Fish Called Wanda, perform a role that quite the opposite to his in that great comedy.


Movie releases don’t excite me like they used to. A child who has overcome the thrill of bursting crackers doesn’t have any excitement on the day of Diwali. I, like that child, have mostly lost it for the movies. Or so I thought until I saw the trailer for Quantum Of Solace. I am a big bond fan. Even though a part of me knows that the 22nd instalment in the bond francise won’t be a great movie, I still want to watch it. It promises to bring back memories of all those bond movies I spend hours and hours watching as a kid. One of my most memorable experiences in movie theatres is of watching Golden Eye. I walked in certain that no one would be able to match Sean Connery, but was surprised how well the new movie had been put together. None of the later instalments recreated the euphoria of watching bond again after years. I hope the second movie starring Daniel Craig as Bond isn’t disappointing.

(For weeks, I had a laptop, but no Internet connection.  A couple of days ago, I finally managed to get myself hooked. These diary notes are from weeks earlier.)

4 responses to “Diary notes

  1. hm..that brought back memories of that only summer I spent in Chennai..and the rain was sheer relief, until it flooded the road to the hostel. I remember five of us stuffed into an auto, with our feet propped up against the side of the auto as dirty water sloshed a good few inches higher then its floor. But considering our flat had no a/c, the rain sure brought a cool relief. But nothing beats the horror of Kolkata summer – the smoke coming from a thousand old vehicles and the vicious kamikaze mosquitoes sure make life interesting there!


  2. Good to read your blog. Talk of the weather can never be taken lightly. I think sometime or most of the time our moods over rain or shine are dictated by selfish interests. I enjoy sunny days when the temp is just right. Witnessing the pouring rain is a nice experience. I remember when I was a kid I used to purposely drench myself.


  3. i remember rains in acj. everybody went to the terrace all the time it rains to have a peek. some would drench themselves too!

    srinivas sir, what u say is but natural even though u sound grouchy about it. we all want the weather to be juuust perfect


  4. Hello,
    Reached this blog through this link http://phoenixflicks.blogspot.com/2006/02/tribute-to-sura.html that I found while searchin for a poem of your grandfather.. ‘nee yaar’.. heard a bit of it in a documentary of the same name few days back and have been searchin for it since then.. It would be very kind of you to send me an english translation of this poem… I am in complete awe of his writing.. have asked my chennai based friends to send me translations of his books but that would take some time and I can’t wait to read this particular poem.. hence, bothering you..

    thanks and regards,


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