Balakumar K

Bond baaja baarat!

The year was 1982, which with my investigative journalism skills, I can confirm to be 35 years ago, when I first watched Moonraker, starring the recently-demised Roger Moore, at Madurai’s Thangam theatre, the largest movie hall in the entirety of Asia. Whether this claim was true or not, Thangam theatre was surely the largest theatre in the world that had rats, the size of a standard football, darting around from

Journo sacked for revealing in headline what the report contains

* Sub-editor pays the penalty for slipping up on basics of click-bait journalism on Rajini report New Delhi, May 24: When young Naveen Tripathi, a New Delhi-based sub-editor with a popular Internet site that is known for hard-hitting investigative news stories like ‘7 reasons why you will not read this story’, found a news report on Tamil film superstar Rajinikanth’s putative entry into politics land on his news desk, he was

Thoughts of Train

If you are a Chennaiite and looking for a quick getaway that is agreeably cool but relatively cheap, where nobody can reach you on your mobile, a location that is mostly quiet but still not too remote, a place that is new and still not fallen prey to the predatory tourism industry, well, I think I have found an ideal spot for you: The Nehru Park Metro Rail station. I

You can read this free*

Let me start with an apology that I morally owe to the lawyer community, who I thought was the worst in the world. But recently I got to understand that banks plumb depths that even lawyers would find too low to stoop. If ever you come across in a room a top banking official and a black mamba, which is one of the most poisonous snakes in the world, you

NDA govt's 3 years longer than any other govt's 3 years: Venkaiah

Justice Karnan to hear PIL filed by Karnan against SC Judges Arvind Kejriwal ready to prove election symbols too can be tampered New Delhi, May 10: It has been a happening week on the news front, what with the bizarre happenings involving Justice Karnan, AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal being caught in a bribe scandal and he hitting back with claims of EVMs can be tampered, and the NDA government all set to complete 3 years in office

Message in headline 

Last Wednesday a leading Malayalam newspaper came out with a dramatic frontpage where all its news was voluntarily scrubbed out with black ink. It was the publication’s way of sending to the general public the powerful journalistic message: “Hey guys, listen! The full-page ad for our frontpage got cancelled at the very last minute. And it is too late for us to find any actual news now. So we will

All is love and fair in French politics

Everything you didn’t want to ask on France and its elections Paris, May 3: As a newspaper devoted to focusing on issues of interest to local citizens this week we turn our eyes on that one event over which Chennaiites have been exchanging a lot of WhatsApp messages: French elections. Probably you too would have got that WhatsApp forward that talks of the ‘love life’ of presidential election frontrunner Emmanuel Macron, who is being described by journos as the ‘French Kennedy’ because

Akshay, Amitabh and ACs

The 10th edition of the IPL is more than half-way through and, as ever, this year too this column gets down to analyse the core aspect of the IPL season: TV commercials. But before we get down to discuss the IPL season ads, just a small disclaimer. We will not mention any brand name here. This is not because this column is too classy for such plugs (actually, we wouldn’t mind

Plane truths

It is annual summer vacation time, a period when you set out with your family members to a new place for some fun and frolic, a trip that will enhance your understanding of the world, a voyage than can help you gain more wisdom, one of which is: a family which travels together is the family that keeps fighting each other. Vacation travels provide a lot of tension and lead

Baasha!

The beauty of India is that it may be a country of hundreds of languages, each so varied and unique, but it still is united by people who more or less believe that those speaking a language other than theirs are complete morons. This is why we repeatedly have language controversies. The recent one is over the attempted imposition of Hindi by Central government agencies through various means. This immediately

Eat shoots and leaves

If I have to give you one single dietary advice then it has to be this: Stop eating whatever you eat. I got this insight after extensively going through the various dietary plans that are popular these days. Some seriously say don’t go anywhere near ‘carbs’ (carbohydrates of our days have undergone weight-reduction and become carbs now). They are such a villain that some of you may already want to