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From Chennai to Chelsea, Anaivarukkum iniya puthaandu vazhthukkal!

“I wish Chennai a very Happy Tamil New Year” M.S  Dhoni signed off, after Chennai Superkings (CSK) thrashed Kolkata Knight Riders at Chepauk, in the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket tournament.

It brought a rare smile on my face on what has been a day of lousy, but not to unexpected news alerts, on the ugly affairs behind the scenes of IPL. For those who are bothered in reading further, I would recommend an excellent blog and discussion on this topic, which I’ve been tracking all day:

It made smile because CSK jumped from 7th place to 2nd place, in a league so tightly contested that there are enough voices guessing that all this is all fixed to ensure a successful IPL 2010. While I am not jumping the bandwagon with the conspiracy theorists, given the people involved in running the show & our cricket history, I won’t be too surprised. And Chennai’s 7 to 2, and may be back to 7 in a few days show, just makes you wonder and indulge the conspiracy theorists for a while.

 That was a curiously funny smile 🙂

It made me smile, because CSK is one of the teams I support, and though ultimately I don’t really care who wins, sometimes native loyalties can break all cynicism and indifference you may have for a sports tournament. To me, the real buffet as a cricket lover is India touring South Africa this year, and Australia next year; that what would be the last time I get to see pillars of the Indian game like Sachin and Dravid, before they fade away into the sunset. It’s probably our best chance ever for those two missing series victories to justify our #1 test team tag.

The IPL is a good evening snack to have before the sumptuous buffet later this year, but a CSK win brings out a chuckling smile nevertheless 🙂

For the record, my loyalties for the IPL are divided between Chennai (where I was born and grew up), Bangalore (lived most of my adult life, and is a second home), and Delhi (I’ll back any team Sehwag plays for in any format)

It made me smile, for one of the few positives amongst the hordes of stupidity that the IPL brings. That Dhoni, a man from Jharkand, is seen as their own by the Chennai fans is beyond doubt. He was obliviously playing to the gallery, and expects the Chennai crowd to be even more vociferous in support in the coming matches. I am hoping the IPL does not divide us even more, and make us add to our four walls of religion, community, language and social strata. The bonding that happens between a Dhoni and Tamils; a Yusuf Pathan and Rajasthanis; a Bhajji with Mumbaikars (how did Raj Thackeray allow him to play in the first place?); and a Sachin Tendulkar with all Indians is a special feeling that only sports can provide. Witness the Argentine Messi playing at Barca, for sheer magic!

That was a genuine smile 🙂

It also made me smile, as officially I do not think it is the Tamil New Year in the first place! There was an utterly unwanted, and stupid political move thrust upon by the DMK government a few years back to make January 14 the Tamil New Year, changing the traditional date of April 14. All their petty agendas aside, the people still celebrate April 14 as the New Year, and January 14 as Pongal. I do not know what the official stance is now and I do not care. Even Wikipedia is inconclusive.

 Just as Madras will always be Madras to me, (and so it goes for Bombay, Calcutta etc), April 14 is always the New Year, and it usually means good food. And oh yeah, I would celebrate January 1 and any other new years that are there as well; the more festivals there are the merrier, I say!

That Dhoni was oblivious to the controversy, and wished folks of his temporary adopted home well, and in the process give a middle finger to divisive politicians who have no other work, brought out the biggest smile of the day for me  🙂

So here I am wishing any person reading this now, “Iniya puthaandu vazhthukkal”, or a happy new year in Tamil. We have a short life, so any occasion to celebrate and be festive is precious, and meant to be lapped up.

 I’ll leave you with a song from one of the few Tamil films I loved in the recent past, called Subhramaniapuram. This  is a period film set in early 80s, and this song is a modern fusion of traditional Tamil folk sounds. Sort of represents the good, silly, and funny things about our culture in an interesting way. The dances and village road shows (Thiruvizha) are truly representative of life in the Tamil hinterland.

Have a ball everybody 🙂



Footnote: If you are inclined to comment, please wish me a happy new year in your language, in addition to whatever you had to say. That would be nice and interesting 🙂

Update on April 25: Thanks for those who voted on the poll earlier. For the record, Chennai won the IPL in a classic final beating Mumbai Indians. In spite of all the controversies around, the game was the winner, and Dhoni is on track to become Tamilnadu’s chief minister in the future, given our love for embracing an outsider who shines in our territory 🙂

8 Comments Post a comment
  1. Hi Neeraj, Thanks for the comment.
    I think I am already following you on google connect, but unfortunately does not provide that functionality.
    One option is to be connected thru twitter. My handle is @Awittytwit
    But the best option would be to use the SUBSCRIBE button to get mail alerts of my blog. Please try and let me know if this works. Was a pleasure reading your blog as well 🙂


    April 15, 2010
  2. Dear Vasu,

    I happen to visit your blog for the very first time today. I liked the theme and wish to follow. Can we have a follow widget?


    April 15, 2010
  3. Nandri Rajan aiyya..I watched Pasanga as well and that’s another excellent film. I had alsmot given up completely on Tamil cinema up until a few years back (blame it all on the benchmark set by K.B, Mani Ratnam, Kamal Hassan), but a few more like these do no harm to our proud cinema history!

    April 14, 2010
  4. En inniya tamil maganiku … intha blog-karisal kattil inji tea kudikum blogathi-rajan-in iniya puthandu vazhugal 😉

    ya it is always nice too see CSK win even though I packed to Bangalore 10 years back .. good thing about this move is I have too teams to cheer about except when CSK faces RCB when my roots sentiments side me with CSK 😉

    Yes it was an unwanted and idiotic move of the DMK govt to move the dates but for many April 14 shall be the new year.

    And Subramaniapuram is one the recent movies that I enjoyed a lot. Did you watch the movie “pasanga” it is another movie I enjoyed among the recent movies…

    April 14, 2010
  5. @Mohan: Ugadi Subhakanshalu
    @Suba: Nandri hai 🙂
    @Vaish: It would be so incredible to dig out videos of Thiruvehendipuram from the net…if you promise to do that, I’ll sing THAT song and upload a video 🙂

    April 14, 2010
  6. Vaishnavi #

    iniya puthandu nalvaazthukkal tambi!

    The song reminds me of our childhood days.. reminds me of you singing “saakadai oram Azai vasitalum sandanam pol avan idayam manakkudu… mann vasanai” endlessly during one of our vacations together!!

    Good to see that “the kid in you” is so alive!! May God bless..

    April 14, 2010
  7. subasree #

    Iniya Tamizh puthandu Nalvazhthukkal 🙂

    April 14, 2010
  8. Happy new Tamil year Vasu. May you and your family have best of the year. We celebrate it as Ugadi, which was observed a month back!

    April 14, 2010

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