CRANKS CORNER

Festival on crack

It’s festival time. With the bustle and sparkle of the moment, it may be easy to forget the real tradition of the occasion. We will remind you: It’s about purchasing electronic consumer devices that you mostly have no need for. It is a practice that goes back to Lord Krishna’s time, as we can see in this verbatim exchange between Him and Yashodha: Yashodha: I will tie You to the

Raiders of the last arc

ISuggestThatYouTryReadingThistAloudWithoutAnyPauseAndWithoutLettingYourIntensityDownEvenForASecondAndWhileAtItYouCanAlsoTryTwistingTurningTwirlingKickingAndRunningAroundBecauseItWillGiveYouAGoodIdeaOfWhatItTakesToBeA… Tcha! I lost my breath there. I guess you too would have, unless otherwise you happen to be Ajay Thakur. But if you are Ajay Thakur, you can probably read this entire column in a single breath. Ajay Thakur is capable of this because he has no lungs. Okay, that is an obvious lie. Ajay Thakur is capable of this because he is the star raider for the Chennai

Crazy thieves of Ambattur

The other day a friend cattily suggested that with the nation’s economy tanking many of us may soon need to resort to burglary. And my response as a responsible journalist was, “we better, especially because there is an alarming decline in the quality of existing criminals”. My statement was based on what had happened last week at the residence of my friend Janardanan, who for the sake of protecting his

Doll Tadka

The nine-day Navarathri in South India, which is 10-day Dussehra in North India — days are shorter in North India due to global warming — is upon us now. This year’s Navarathri is doubly special because — religious almanacs say this phenomenon occurs only once in 144 years — it helpfully telescopes into Gandhi Jayanthi and brings along with it the promise of a 5-day holiday. The biggest highlight of

The Hunker Games

As a newspaper dedicated to hyper-local news in Chennai, this week we, with typical thoughtfulness, focus on Hurricane Irma that hit the American coast. Watching news of Hurricane Irma, with it about to flatten Florida, was mostly great fun. Now, don’t get us wrong. The hurricane effects were, of course, sad and scary, but just that the way the American news networks covered the whole thing you would have thought

We don't need no education

School education system is the second most deeply debated topic in Tamilnadu these days. The first, needless to say even more hotly discussed subject, is: What Kamal tries to convey in his tweets. Nobody in TN, and we seriously believe this includes Kamal too, is sure about the contents of his tweets. It has reached a stage where many feel understanding Kamal’s tweets is tougher than cracking NEET. Getting back

Money story 

This week, with the RBI coming out with its annual report, the focus is back on demonetisation, which the Central government implemented clearly as part of the assigned tasks in Blue Whale Challenge. The biggest takeaway from the annual report is that the RBI is still around. It is something that was not possible to say in the immediate aftermath of demonetisation. After demonetisation was announced, the RBI practically vanished

Celebrating Chennai's celebrations

For the Madras Week, Crank’s Corner has chosen to celebrate Chennai’s iconic celebrations, starting with: Funerals at Saidapet When you talk of fun, you have to talk of funerals. At Saidapet, to be specific. A typical death ceremony in Saidapet sees more rambunctious enjoyment than you get to witness at an upper-crust wedding reception. A death procession at Saidapet, in terms of loud music and dance, is basically a full-hearted

Sports journalism 1: AI 0

This week’s topic: Artificial Intelligence Scientific developments always open up new possibilities for humankind, and one such area of progress is Artificial Intelligence (AI), which is basically about letting machines handle the jobs hitherto done by humans so that humans can have a lot of spare time that they can use looking for a job that will pay them for their everyday living. AI is now the buzz all over the world as

The day before

‘Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny’ thus dramatically begins Jawaharlal Nehru’s first Independence Day speech, which to this day nobody knows how it ends. Because, let us face it, howsoever historic the moment may have been, it was still an Independence Day speech, hence boring. Nobody really pays much attention to it. For instance, Indira Gandhi, when she was the Prime Minister in 1982, in her Independence

Poor driving force behind poverty in nation: Think Tank

“They must try their best to inherit massive wealth or co-found Flipkart”  Chennai, Aug 10:  A new study on the economic development of the nation in the 70 years since its independence has put down the growing problem of (economic) inequality on the “inability of country’s poor to get rich adequately”. The in-depth study, undertaken by the well known think tank on economics (well known to its 5 members), TTE