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Archive for September, 2010

The Fox and the Lion!


AESOP’S FABLES have been long thought and taught to be didactic allegories with a moral. Well that is the NURSERY STUFF. But each animal is understood by us to have certain qualities and this is deeply embedded in the human consciousness. These stories actually appeal to those “qualities” which are most often surprisingly discovered in us during poignant situations.

The LION is the King of the forest and therefore FEARLESS and expects subordination from other animals and mostly obtains it. Further he is ably assisted by other animals in his venture and sometimes taken advantage of because of his  “SUPERIOR FEELINGS” of himself.

The FOX represents the OPPORTUNISTIC FORAGER, CUNNING ADVISER and NEVER EVER LOYAL except to his OBJECTIVE.

The ASS stands for DOCILE, HELPLESS STUPIDITY.

The LION, the FOX and the ASS thus consistently being portrayed by Aesop with these traits, reveals to us,  that we are LIONS or FOXES or ASSES, depending on the situation. Here are some samples which might keep us amused as well as edify:-

THE ASS, THE FOX, AND THE LION

An Ass and a Fox went into partnership and sallied out to forage for food together. They hadn’t gone far before they saw a Lion coming their way, at which they were both dreadfully frightened. But the Fox thought he saw a way of saving his own skin, and went boldly up to the Lion and whispered in his ear, “I’ll manage that you shall get hold of the Ass without the trouble of stalking him, if you’ll promise to let me go free.” The Lion agreed to this, and the Fox then rejoined his companion and contrived before long to lead him by a hidden pit, which some hunter had dug as a trap for wild animals, and into which he fell. When the Lion saw that the Ass was safely caught and couldn’t get away, it was to the Fox that he first turned his attention, and he soon finished him off, and then at his leisure proceeded to feast upon the Ass.

THE ASS IN THE LION’S SKIN

An Ass found a Lion’s Skin, and dressed himself up in it. Then he went about frightening every one he met, for they all took him to be a lion, men and beasts alike, and took to their heels when they saw him coming. Elated by the success of his trick, he loudly brayed in triumph. The Fox heard him, and recognized him at once for the Ass he was, and said to him, “Oho, my friend, it’s you, is it? I, too, should have been afraid if I hadn’t recognized your voice.”

THE FOX WHO SERVED A LION

A Lion had a Fox to attend on him, and whenever they went hunting the Fox found the prey and the Lion fell upon it and killed it, and then they divided it between them in certain proportions. But the Lion always got a very large share, and the Fox a very small one, which didn’t please the latter at all; so he determined to set up on his own account. He began by trying to steal a lamb from a flock of sheep: but the shepherd saw him and set his dogs on him. The hunter was now the hunted, and was very soon caught and dispatched by the dogs.


THE LION, THE FOX, AND THE STAG

A Lion lay sick in his den, unable to provide himself with food. So he said to his friend the Fox, who came to ask how he did, “My good friend, I wish you would go to yonder wood and beguile the big Stag, who lives there, to come to my den: I have a fancy to make my dinner off a stag’s heart and brains.” The Fox went to the wood and found the Stag and said to him, “My dear sir, you’re in luck. You know the Lion, our King: well, he’s at the point of death, and has appointed you his successor to rule over the beasts. I hope you won’t forget that I was the first to bring you the good news. And now I must be going back to him; and, if you take my advice, you’ll come too and be with him at the last.” The Stag was highly flattered, and followed the Fox to the Lion’s den, suspecting nothing. No sooner had he got inside than the Lion sprang upon him, but he misjudged his spring, and the Stag got away with only his ears torn, and returned as fast as he could to the shelter of the wood. The Fox was much mortified, and the Lion, too, was dreadfully disappointed, for he was getting very hungry in spite of his illness. So he begged the Fox to have another try at coaxing the Stag to his den. “It’ll be almost impossible this time,” said the Fox, “but I’ll try”; and off he went to the wood a second time, and found the Stag resting and trying to recover from his fright. As soon as he saw the Fox he cried, “You scoundrel, what do you mean by trying to lure me to my death like that? Take yourself off, or I’ll do you to death with my horns.” But the Fox was entirely shameless. “What a coward you were,” said he; “surely you didn’t think the Lion meant any harm? Why, he was only going to whisper some royal secrets into your ear when you went off like a scared rabbit. You have rather disgusted him, and I’m not sure he won’t make the wolf King instead, unless you come back at once and show you’ve got some spirit. I promise you he won’t hurt you, and I will be your faithful servant.” The Stag was foolish enough to be persuaded to return, and this time the Lion made no mistake, but overpowered him, and feasted right royally upon his carcass. The Fox, meanwhile, watched his chance and, when the Lion wasn’t looking, filched away the brains to reward him for his trouble. Presently the Lion began searching for them, of course without success: and the Fox, who was watching him, said, “I don’t think it’s much use your looking for the brains: a creature who twice walked into a Lion’s den can’t have got any.”

The last one takes the cake when the fox gives an explanation regarding the missing BRAIN!!



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CINEMA HOUSES in TN – LAW & PRACTICE!


I was surprised when the entry fee to PRARTANA open air theatre on the East Coast Road at Chennai  was a mere Rs.120/- for the opening show of BOSS YENGIRA BASKARAN. Of course they collected ramp charges of Rs.30 per vehicle ( i call it vehicle as a “Scorpio” according to me is neither an SUV nor a car and borders on a mini truck) and many of those Scorpios were parked in the bays, obstructing the view of the late arriving aerodynamically designed Honda cars.

I was surprised because in Bangalore and Delhi, the rates of cinema tickets are exorbitantly high and on weekends there is a quantum jump, putting the budgeting families in disarray. As usual i asked a couple of my friends as to why the pricing was so “cheap” and the standard answer was that, by such pricing the exhibitors believe they would be able to attract family viewership. Not satisfied with the explanation given by them, i decided to google and ended up with an AMENDMENT to the Rules regarding Cinema Houses extracted below:-

Tamil Nadu Cinemas (Regulation) Rules, 1957

(vi) The maximum and minimum rates of admission to the theatres in the
Multiplex having more than three theatres with air-condition and with family
entertainment and restaurant facilities shall be of Rs.120/- and Rs.10/-,
respectively.

G.O. Ms. No.405 Dated :20.05.2009

So that says it all. The Government of Tamil Nadu keeps stepping in and regulates the ENTERTAINMENT industry. What is more poignant is that SOCIALISM in the Thamizh Entertainment industry has reached such levels that there is a prescription of the minimum rate of the seats too, thereby compulsorily forcing the theatre operators to not only allot seats for Rs.10/- but also make it affordable for even an indigent idler in the society!

I LOVE YOU TAMIL NADU! Yaam petra inbam iv vaaiyagam peruga!! There is no such thing called as FREE ENTERPRISE, watching a movie is not merely a liberty in Tamil Nadu , but a SUBSIDISED  RIGHT ( at the cost of the Cine industry, distributors and exhibitors!) for every movie goer. The rest of the country has a lotta catching up to do!!

Entertainments Tax (Section 4)
A. Entertainment Tax on Cinema shows from 12.6.2000 onwards :
(a) At the rate of
twenty five percent of the gross payment for admission inclusive of the
amount of the tax for new films; and
(b) at the rate of
twenty percent of the gross payment for admission inclusive of the
amount of the tax for old films;

Now the Entertainment Tax on a ticket is 25% and that is supposed to go to local bodies and the States revenues. The state does not relent in the collection of Entertainment Tax for Cinemas but it squeezes the theatre operators and does a whole lotta SOCIALISM. There, it seems, is a more succinct expression for  ROBBING PETER TO PAY PAUL and that is SOCIALISM!! If Peter has the capacity and the enterprise to provide a service or manufacture an item and create a demand, the society SHOULD NOT impose such exorbitant taxes and to compound to it by fixing a ceiling to the rates.

ANYWAYS some of the Thamizhargal believe that this is the way to propagate Thamizh!! Long live Thamizh.

Ram Gopal Varma and his guts!!


It needs guts and loads of it to say what Ram Gopal Varma says despite being in the show biz. His latest interview in THE BANGALORE MIRROR states: forced to make a choice between a beautiful woman and an intelligent woman, i’d rather go for the beautiful one, as i am already intelligent and there is no need of inteliigence in a woman!

GUTS is because he makes his personal preference appear to be the NORM. Let us look at it this way, probably had he been great looking and lagging behind in intelligence probably he’d have preferred “intelligent woman” (pardon my oxymoron!) and would have given reasons as to why he preferred an INTELLIGENT WOMAN. I am a strong believer that a WOMAN NEEDS BRAINS LIKE A FISH NEEDS  BICYCLE. She has to be beautiful, not outwardly, nor like the Paulian prescription at I Timothy 2:9:

In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;

but beautifully “expressive”. It is like the beauty of a flower that strives not to capture your attention, but silently “IS” expressing its beauty for the connoisseur to appreciate.It is that BEAUTY which is ELEVATING. Intelligence in a woman makes her EARTHY and not ETHEREAL. It is that ETHEREAL-ness in a woman which makes her beautiful. She makes “choices” but declines to give reasons because her reasons might hurt others, she is “kind” but never allows others to “use” her, she is “wily” but clothes her actions with excitement and tears that no man would dare attribute evil motives to her ( remember how  Eve ate the forbidden fruit and after having transgressed God’s command “gave some of it to Adam” too and ensured that ADAM was also guilty of the same transgression! Made him an accomplice sweetly!!), she resolves her conflicts in silence and well integrates her solution with emotionally charged tantrums, apologizes for inane infringements but keeps all those criminal thoughts and deeds to herself! That is what makes a WOMAN beautiful. It is this compendium of qualities which make her BEAUTIFUL in the eyes of a MAN. A severe “challenge” to his INTELLIGENCE. SHE is an ENIGMA, as the man needs proof and the woman conceals it with an “exterior” which defies the tantalizing “proof” that he supposes he discovered!!

Beauty is that. Let us go to the movie GONE WITH THE WIND and see those 2 women characters- Scarlet O’Hara and Melanie. The opening words of Margaret Mitchell in the book is , “ Scarlet O’Hara was not beautiful, but..” and goes on to show how beautiful Scarlet O’Hara was. It is such “beauty” that probably Ram Gopal Varma has been talking about.

My lady friends especially THE ONES on the side of the Woman’s lib would argue that MEN FEEL MORE COMFORTABLE WITH MORE BEAUTIFUL BUT LESS INTELLIGENT WOMEN. Maybe they are right, and as a wag put it MEN SELDOM MAKE PASSES AT A WOMAN WHO SURPASSES!

Let me conclude with one of the statements of one of the greatest researchers of human mind said about woman: Sigmund Freud- “Despite my 30 years of research into the feminine soul (pardon his presumption- as if they had one!), i have not yet been able to answer ………the great question that has never been answered: What does a woman want?”


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