Tuesday, August 09, 2005

After a Long Time

I am staring at the "Create Post" screen. Contrary to what certain gentlemen think, neither have I gone into hiding and nor have I moved my blog elsewhere. It's the same ol sob story actually - work and lots of it! (How about some sympathy here???):-) )
Yanways yesterday I was struggling with a simple ALTER TABLE query and when that column stubbornly refused to add itself to the table, my mind wandered from the scary land of SQL into
nice things in life. And I started thinking about my favorite columns in The Hindu. (TOI readers can stop right here. :-) And don't get me started about people in Chennai who read Indian Express on their own volition when Hindu is available! :-) )
One more reason to look forward to Sundays is the Hindu Magazine. My favorite part is "Slice of Life" by V. Gangadhar. His columns always remind me of the stories that Amma and Appa keep telling, about the good old days back then. The sporadic "Short Story" is usually very good and it was one such short story that got me started on Wodehouse (That's another story in itself, and therefore will be another post in itself :-) ) There used to be this column called "Village Vistas" by some Ghosh or someone. I used to like that too in a differert way. I could hardly relate to any character, but it was good reading all the same. Wonder why it isn't on these days. I also read the odd article in "Literary Review" (most of the stuff are a lil high brow for my taste! :-) ). But I like Pradeep Sebastian's Endpaper where he discusses lots of random stuff about books and reading. Art Buchwald's column was pretty entertaining and gave my first insight into American life before the advent of sitcoms and Star Movies.
"Know Your English" is a little cliched and sometimes slightly boring column that comes on Tuesdsays but I read that anyways. The best part about it is the quote at the end which makes it worth reading the whole article. It used be written by Krishnan and Upendran years back and now it's just Upendran's. "Between You and Me" (by the same Krishnan I think) was another favorite Tuesday column. It talked about various issues in the city and always ended on a joke told to a fictious Parthasarathy. Needless to say, it was the joke I looked forward to more rather than city happenings. :-) As a school goer, the science and technology section interested me a lot and I used to cut out the "Question Corner" section with the aim of making a newspaper clipping encycloepedia.
I used to follow "This Day That Age" with a lot of interest until the news about our independance. Somehow it lost its charm after that. Nowadays I check it out once a year, to find out what happened in "that age" on my birthday. :-) And yes the famous Hindu crossword. I have always held in the highest esteem and have never attempted to solve it even once. :-)
The Friday Review, Metro Plus, Young World et al are also good reads, but no regular column in them.
I realise that no column like Paul Krugman's or any sports column or anything of actual importance has made it into my list. Heck, I am made this way! :-) So what's your favorite?

31 comments:

Barath said...

The Hindu...I cant live without it...! right from my big bong days I dont remember a day going by without the sports column! I have to agree with you on the crossword...never attempted to solve it even once! know your english...young world..entertainment..what not..but for some reason I feel the quality is deteriorating slowly!

Rohan Kumar said...

I personally have never been a regular Hindu reader but it has always been highly recommended from many of my friends, ur post reminded me of my days when I used to be a big fan of a daily called The Pioneer, dunno if its sill around.

janani said...

@barath - It started going downhill the day they chaged the typeset. :-( But it's still the best paper around though. One way to check is to compare the headlines on the Hindu and some other paper.

@rohan - Which city is the Pioneer based in? I guess there is one such favorite in all places.

Vetty Max said...

I am one of those staunch anti-Hindu buggers who reads the Indian Express and wrote for the TOI. ;)

But Hindu too does have its good columns. I am probably one of the very few guys who likes what Ted Corbett writes in the sports column and at the sametime also believes Nirmal Shekhar is crap. Used to like the Saturday Sports Special...but for some reason Hindu as is its wont in going from bad to worse, decided to scrap it.

Art Buchwald was awesome. Trying to solve the crossword used to be a very stimulating good post lunch, pre nap ritual in college. Probably should start off again.

But the best column in the Hindu, in my opinion is the one by Ramachandra Guha, previously about cricket called Cricket Lore and now called Past and Present. These days this and the Shashi Tharoor column are about the only columns I read in the Hindu.

Phew...huge comment.

sandeep said...

another "back with a bang" post!:-)and yea..me was a hindu fan during my good old chennai days but now TOI ku maariyachu!

Subs said...

Hey - " Slice of Life " - that used to be my fav too ..
nowadays - even if i don get time to read the news stuff in hindu ( thats silly ... still ) ..
i definitely get time to solve " su do ku " .. somehow .. i got addicted to that 3*3 matrix puzzle..

Subs said...

And of course ..
Romba naal ku apuram oru blog.. and a good one too ..
Don stop writing di ... i get bored if i don read ur blog ..
;-)

janani said...

@vmax - The disclaimer on my post is meant for people like you! :-) Yes I accept, The Hindu is not what it used to be, but yet it is better than the rest. And I can safely say that its definitely better than TOI and Indian Express. :-) You don't have to pimp for TOI just 'coz you did your internship there. :-)

Yeah Shashi Tharoor and Sevanti Ninan's column are also pretty good. And I am not into cricket, so Guha's column was neglected until it eveolved into its present state.

@sandeep - Another "back with a bang" comment from the guy who never comments! :-)

@subs - Oh yes the sudoku craze. I knew someone would write about this. :-) And I am sure H will write about the Sunday classifieds. :-)

I wanna write too, but .... :-( Can't promise anything till the end of this month. But watch this space from Sept onwards. :-)

Jinguchakka said...

Hooray! you're back!
To much work? Tsk..Tsk.
And posting about Hindu! Wow!Pradeep Sebastian's is up there in my list too.Art Buchwald! KYE! Question corner! This day That age! Ofcourse Cross word! Hey, I could've written your post! I would add the centre page, in its entirety, to my list. And P.Sainath's gut wrenching pieces. And the entire third page of Sunday Magazine! If I go any further, the full Hindu would be there. And I know what I say, having to put up with papers like HT. You know what, Long back in the 60s, before we were born :-), The Hindu was adjudged as one among the top 10 newspapers of the World!! I forgot the institution that rated thus. And welcome once again!

k said...

I used to read Know ur English long time back .... now nothing in particular....but find sunday magazine and metro plus interesting ....also a search for movieland area during weekends is definitely there :)
Hey what happened to the ALTER TABLE query?? ;)

janani said...

@jinguchakka - Aww thanks for the much needed dose of sympathy! :-) And good to know another Hindu lover. :-) Yeah the centrepage is usually much raved about, the editorial and even letters to the editor. Hindu rated among Top 10 in the world - woah that's news! Seriously, sometimes I feel good about Chennai that a quality paper like Hindu rules. I hope it's market isn't eaten away by trash like TOI and Deccan Herald.

@k - Of course MovieLand is a must, how else can we plan our weekend? :-)
Yeah that ALTER_TABLE worked finally - I wasn't enclosing the default value string literal in quotes. :-)

Anu said...

just came by to have a look! great blog!

Bharath.G said...

hi Janani

i have been reading your blogs... thanx to subbu... this one is good... but being inside the hindu i guess i need to clarify a few points that have been raised by you as well as by ur frenz who have posted their comments..

firstly the new look Hindu.... u need to realise that every product has to undergo certain changes in order to remain fresh... that is what we have done... "classic yet contemporary"... i hope u saw all the campaigns that we ran before the redesign.. secondly a lot of science has gone into the redesign.. in terms of visual appeal.. page layouting.. etc... iam sure u would appreciate it soon and get used to it... am sure thought uve not mentioned it u must be solving the su do ku's everyday..


itz nice to know the variety of columns that u and ur frenz go through in The Hindu... personally i dont miss any of them... i also read the Young World, the Metro Plus and Friday reviews regularly... no regular columns in them but pretty informative in their own way..

lastly thanx to ardent readers like you we sell over a million copies with a readership base of 4 million... and with this new look we aspire to grow the ilk of your kind more...

since u read a lot i suggest u start reading the businessline also (if ur not already reading it)... very informative and well researched stories...

Fathima said...

I was a regular reader of THe Hindu during my college days. Nowadays, its Rediff News, Google News, etc.
But when I had been reading THe Hindu, I used to read randomly,for I don't remember some of the column names. Only after cing ur post, I am associating them.
But I used to cut this "Crossword" and "Know your English". I collected it for some 3 years, so that I will read it later. And one fine day, I dumped the whole thing into the bin;-(

janani said...

@anu - Thanks! :-)

@bharath - Wow, a comment from the horse's mouth. :-)Gud to hear from you.

Yeah I understand a lot of research and survey has gone into the redesign. And any product does have to eveolve over the ages. But all said and done, the "Hindu" look seems to be lost. No big worries about that thoug, but just a sulk! :-) With this kind of content, it will take more than this to move over to an other paper. :-) The Sunday Magazine alone is reason enough to be a Hindu loyalist.

And will check out your business line! :-)

@fathima - Google news and rediff news are fine, but I somehow need the physical newspaper in my hands every morn to make my day complete. :-)
Wow, you collected the Crossword - that's great. But then you threw it all away? Awww! :-(

harini said...

g8 to see u back n keep writing...u know wat i love the most in hindu...the thing tat i never miss every week:):)....guessed it yet??:):)...lol i m sure u wud hv found it out...anywaz keep it to urself n dont reveal it here plsss:):)

Fathima said...

Harini, hope it isn't movies & serials timetable section or matrimonial column.

janani said...

@h - Yeah I know! :-) I was thinking of that while writing this post. :-)

@fathima - Shhhh... :-)

Rohan Kumar said...

Pioneer was available in Delhi, shud have been printed in a few other cities for sure.

littlecow said...

when i started reading hindu (way way back when my fingers were still an inch long), i got a huge kick out of deciphering the long words... long after, i was still only going through the first page and the sports column (all the while puzzled about the horse racing results) - then i figured the horse race stuff (while going across guindy race course in a bus) and got another huge kick out of it (no pun)...

then the sci tech column became interesting, know your english, friday features, the editorials... and so on. i was well into my third year at college when i got hooked to the sunday literary supplement. as for the crossword, the best i got was seven words in a day. (and yes, that day i felt utterly happy inspite of my mediocrity!)

in that sense, its like the movie 'matrix'. more and more interesting things unravel with time and keeps The Hindu firmly entrenched as my favorite.

janani said...

@Rohan - Well not in Chennai for sure! :-)

@littlecow - Long time! :-)

So the first thing that struck you in the Hindu is the horse racing bit? I live very close to Guindy and my dad's factory is a stone's throw from the race course and here I am, a race illiterate! Wow I am a very good girl. :-)

Hindu rulez any day! And 7 words is pretty cool, much better than 0 zttempts at any rate. :-)

totti said...

Nice post. I did'nt follow any columns with zeal but used to read randomly bits and scraps from here and there. Nice stories and funny ones too. thanks for reminding.

(Karthik Sarpatwari)

janani said...

@totti/karthik - Thanks :-)

MA said...

any plans to come back ??

P said...

Hey you! whats up? long time no see! mail back..

Point 5 said...

Hindu Trivia

Hindu was the only National daily which didn't carry the news about "Assassination of Mahatma Gandhi" on it's frontpage....cos they had already reserved it for other articles and advertisements...

I had the fortune of reading Hindu only for 4 yrs during my stay in Madras.....my favourite was always the Crossword....

Eroteme said...

Hmmm... I must agree. Hindu sure left its mark on a lot of readers. I never got along well with politics and current affairs, but the columns you mention were and still are on my list. I always look forward to the Literary Review and Sebastian is good. Their Business paper is also very informative :-)

Been a while since I came to your page... I gather that it will be a wile before you will put up a new post. Till then... :-)

janani said...

@p - Yeah will mail

@.5 - Oooh I didn't know that! Thanks for the trivia.
As a kid someone told me that the Hindu crossword is one of the toughest - so I've stayed away. :-)

@? - The only thing I read in their business supplement is the toon by Priya Raj. :-)

Eroteme said...

Not the business supplement... :-o

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