Thursday, 12 September 2013

The Anti Designer Handbag Revolution

It's time for an Anti Designer Handbag Revolution, I say!

Just this past week, there have been 3 snatch thefts. First a friend's friend engrossed in a Mee Siam at a local food stall, then a colleague whose car side-mirror was smashed into, to yank her Coach bag out. And then the last straw was my neighbour's Miu Miu at the red light on a busy street.

That's it! I'm done with the quest for a new designer-labeled, statement-making handbag. I am fine with my old Poloz... Benettini...Vinzi whatever-it-is! It's one of those bags nobody looks at or aspires to have after a bonus payout. It's a squishy-squashy black canvassy-beanbag-lookalike with more zips than compartments. No brand you'd want to hear about. The icing on that cake would be the unsightly navy-blue handle which conveniently slides on and off your shoulder with a single yank. The bag does does fine whether I swing it over my shoulder, carry it daintily on the crease of my elbow or just grasp the handle like it were a tiny briefcase. The basis of my love for it is that I know it is the least sightly among its counterparts in any female social setting. The Old Frump's the underdog!

My girlfriends often hint to me that some sale is on , in the hope that I'd scurry over to buy a Prada or a Miu Miu or any other high browed brand. And sometimes, I want to hold what they hold, to feel the priceless caress of Italian leather. But wait - I think Chien's bag is China-made like many bags out there that masquerade as Italian made masterpieces!

I believe it is time for the anti-designer handbag revolution. It is not just because I am resisting the temptation to buy and own excruciatingly high priced goods on a sadly average income. Well I AM! But that is not the only driver here. ~hmmmpf~ I believe that if we all decide to lay off expensive-looking bags, in Malaysia, that could be a life-saver! No more snatch theft worry! I know some of you must be amused or bemused reading that. But those of you who've been through the agony of a smashed side-window, a break-in or a mugging will quickly agree with me - even if you do so with discreet silence, in accordance with social decorum and in the interest of false reverence for the uppity designer brand. 

I would love to also imagine that a drop in demand for designer bags could lower the price, indirectly affording me and all my average-income buddies one. And in an ideal world, no victims of cheap labour or child, would have suffered the brunt of price drops. Instead, it would be the result of efficient supply-chains and moderated capitalism. And if everyone starts carrying a cheap designer bag, then I'd like to argue that thieves wouldn't benefit from snatch theft anymore, huh? A little reductionist my theory is, I know. But hey, as I mentioned at the start of the para, "I would love to imagine". Besides, if a widespread revolution like this has never been sparked in my neck of the woods, should we be quick to dismiss it?

I admit, in any case, I cannot do completely without a bag of sorts, even  if it means hauling my Old Frump. I do know however, that though I am not guaranteed complete safety against snatch theft, that at least she looks like the weakest horse in the race, that no one would want to bet on. Meanwhile, the labyrinth of zippers creates an additional repulsion for the thief which I would not earn even at the highest of designer handbag prices! With security systems like that, who'd want a designer bag?! :-D

Hence begins my trial period of the Anti Designer Handbag Revolution. And now I pray. That I may successfully resist the temptation.

Friday, 6 September 2013

Shobha Vocalist for Malaysian TV2 Drama Series (Alarum Pookal) Montage Song

Click here to listen to SHOBHA JANARDANAN

Dear reader, 

This is a soundtrack sung for a 13 episode Malaysian Indian made drama series that will be aired on terrestrial tv. The song title and the drama series title are the same - Alarum Pookal .

Drama Title: Alarum Pookkal (3 Doctors)
Channel: RTM TV2
Starring: Bala Ganapathi William - BGW (Hero), Nazira Ibrahim (Heroine) & Seelan Manoheran, Jegan, Aghonderan Sahadevan II, Kishok Kumar, Singer Manivannan Subramaniam, Suthakar Zack, Gayathri Moorthi, Pritha, Priyanka Letchumanan, Rathii Rajagopal, Kogila, Banu, Bavani-Minnal FM and many more.
Production: Radical Media Sdn Bhd
Directon: Alliyar Kutty 
Music: Tiban,  Vocals: Shobha Janardanan
DOP: MG Kumar

Thanks for listening. Lots of love.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Shobha's Book Reviews (Just Humour Me!)

Shobha has reviewed eight books recently written and published by high achiever ex-employees of homegrown companies in country X. 

To be brickbat-free, the reviews (and books themselves) will not be shared in public. This is to protect the the writers, illustrators, editors, publishers, companies mentioned and the identities of the over-compensated subcontractors. 

Entities referred to in these books, bear no intentional resemblance to any entity dead or alive in any country, dead or alive. Any similarity is intentionally coincidentally intentional.

1. Communication: Be Vague or Something Like It by May Bee 
2. How to Excel at Mediocrity: Take It Down A Notch by Relak Singh 
3. How to Excel at Mediocrity II: Work After Hours by Relak Singh (Audiobook available for non-readers) 
4. Get That Increment: Pass the Buck for Bigger Bucks by Hugh Dewitte 
5. Plan to Execute... Your Best People by Usen Throw 
6. Learn to Burn the Intern by Jaswant Slave 
7. 'Dog In the Manger': Every Selfish Employer's Guide by Ivin Yuloos 
8. Sub-contract for a Better Lifestyle by Lay Tze Guy 

To those who've taken this note seriously, please take a chill pill. It's not about you, your company or your country. Honest. :-) 

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Femina India Catches Up with Malaysian singer, Shobha Janardanan (2013)

Shobha's vocal samples on Soundcloud :

Friday, 1 February 2013

Guess What? We're Still Here!


Ramblings post-doomsday. Why? Because I can! 

Armageddon outa here!

When I booked my flight tickets in September for 2012 December Music Season, my mother wanted me to confirm if I would be in India or in on flight, during the much talked about “21st December 2012”. She was, like many innocent consumers of media prophecy (that foretells of an imminent Armageddon), a little worried.  If you watch some TV channels you will know what I mean  the -  the supposed scientific calculations by ancient beings,the prepper shows,the mapping of actual events to prophecies past. 

Somewhere in an abandoned corner of my mind, despite a supposed lack of faith in the media’s interpretation of Mayan Prophecy, I was contemplating a choice of activities for my last hours. Apparently, having been born into a family that consults astrologers for everything from buying a home to removing an ingrown nail, I had acquired a fear that accompanies seekers of truth via prophecy. 

A Winter Solstice Brings Bad Tidings

On December 21st, to the relief of my mother the world remained intact. But a beautiful Carnatic nightingale lost her husband to suicide and the word in town was that the singer cancelled all her concerts for the entire Season. I was in Chennai -  for the very purpose of enjoying the Music Season! A great name in music suffered a loss, and we her fans lost a Season of heartfelt renditions! No one predicted this incident, and yet, no fan in media asked ‘why’ in a traditional culture that is steeped in vedic astrology. They only watched TV reports which stated fact. No prophecies were quoted.

The shock of the incident reverberated throughout the musical community and I met many tearing fans as I queued for various artistes’ shows, or caught up with old friends over filter-kapi. Personally, I felt a little attached to the tragedy myself, as the family was known to me, during a brief but profoundly educational period I spent with a late doyenne of Carnatic music. The doyenne in question, the affectionately-called Amma, was the grandmother of the widowed singer. When Amma was alive, there was not a day in class when her prized achievement of a grand-daughter, was not mentioned with love. 

I felt a little sick in a way I cannot articulate, and am still wondering how no revered traditional astrologer was consulted prior to the recent widow’s marriage.Or, if I had presumed wrong and astrologers were indeed consulted, why had they not predicted, such a catastrophic eventuality for this talented diva! If predicted, could the incident have been averted?

The Future is Nigh

The Mayan Prophecy for one, seemed to fade into the background with most folk, including mom - and myself as January 2013 approached. The lack of faith I had in the Mayan Prophecy as interpreted by documentaries and news channels on television, was now validated.

In this world where every seer boasts prowess in prediction, I guess no one prophesized that Illayaraja would be commended for (1) experimental music by the revered Sangeet Natak Akademi in 2012, (2) shortly after the world it seemed, was supposed to end. Well, not in the news anyway. So, I itch to know if Illayaraja was given a heads-up in private by his personal astrologer. Perhaps he knew that he would win a prestigious award in 2012 and that the funny thing is that the astrologer would have had to predict this win for sometime just after the Mayans apparently drew the curtain on the world  - the latter being the widely announced prophecy by docu makers on say International Geographic* or Uncovery* channels!

In any event, it appears nothing bypasses the astrologer if you consult him (or her) in retrospect. Suddenly there is a reason for everything, an exception to  every rule of prediction and a justification for why something did not go as foretold. Basically, if the prediction is true, he says "I told you so!". If it isn't, he says, "Well, some things are God's will". And yet astrology thrives! It's just like how we still watch tweaked versions of prophecies on TV, well after Dec 2012.

Can't go around blaming the media's version of prophecy anymore. Or the astrologer. It's those of us who condone soothsaying, prophecy and prophetic tv programming that need a little questioning. What say you?

  * not real tv channel names - obviously!