Thursday, 25 August 2016

Let me Fly!

Every night, I lie down and miss Locomente. I miss those crazy days when I used to write something-anything every day. Those were the days when I was able to dream, think and express them through words. I wonder why I don’t write anything anymore. Is it writer’s block – a convenient excuse? Or laziness – a bitter truth? Or of course, my indifference – the stark reality?

So, for a change, tonight, I decided to let the thoughts flow through my words. I didn’t switch off the lights to drift into vacuum. Instead, I turned on my laptop and forced to write. That’s the beauty about habits. A gentle nudge – tada! You are back on the track!

Isn’t is funny how something so dear to you gets estranged over a period of time? Is that the essence of evolution? Or is it the mere question of what next! We humans have a tendency to eternally search for something we don’t have. Often, we are unhappy with what we have; something we have lovingly built over time. The quest is never ending and generally frustrating.

For many days, words were my identity. Eventually, I let the camera lens weave magic. Off late, I wanted to create something in canvas. Thus, life moves on. New things will come and old passion remains as sweet memories. But, is letting go so easy? Is moving on as simple as it sounds? Is change the only underlying certainty?

I have only questions and more questions. Most of them answered with another question. The endless loop coils and suffocates me. “Don’t think so much”, says an inner voice. But hey! Who has ever cared about that voice? As usual, it goes unheard.

Tonight, I decided that I will start again. With new vigor and passion. After all, every new day is a new promise. It is a new opportunity to rewrite the sentence called our life and choices differently. Chuck the past. Forget the apprehensions about future. Because as we know, this moment is all we have. To end in a filmy style, “Kal Ho Na Ho”. Who knows if there is a tomorrow? So, let me not procrastinate anymore. Let me not feed slow poison to my dreams and murder it in the name of routine life. Let me not cripple myself by injuring my wings. Let me fly high!!!!

PS: This is my 1500th post... Way to go before I sleep!

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Me & Me!

What do I have in life?
Other than me and me.
The need to have others is never ending…
But, who is there for me?

Other than me and me!

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Anjuna Beach

The beautiful and serene Anjuna beach…

On a pleasant Goan morning!



The Saturday flea market near the Anjuna beach is a heaven for shopaholics. It opens around late evening and would be open till dawn. The shops sell almost everything… from cheap to designer clothes… beaded jewelry to silver ones… Beautiful items for home décor which includes furniture to paintings…
Then, bags, shoes, and what not… 



Of course, Goa being Goa, alcohol is also available!



If you are on Goa on a Saturday, don’t miss this place. Carry a lot of cash (cards are not accepted) and bargain well.

Happy Shopping!


Wednesday, 10 August 2016

A Moonlit Night!


My mother says that as a child, I used to cry when the sunsets and darkness engulfs. I uses to be scared of the gradual darkness and repeatedly ask when it would be morning again. To console me, my parents used to take me out and show me the moon and the stars. She says that I used to smile and become happy.

When I painted this one, this little story was reverberating in my ears. And I saw myself in that little girl who is gazing at the crescent moon.

And of course, this cute quote by ― N.D. Wilson (Leepike Ridge) also…
“The moon was up, painting the world silver, making things look just a little more alive.”


Friday, 5 August 2016

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Details of the Book
No. of Pages   : 330 Pages
ISBN               : 0751565350 (ISBN13: 9780751565355)
Language        : English

From the book blurb
Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.


Author
J .K. Rowling
J.K. Rowling is the author of the seven Harry Potter novels, which have sold over 450 million copies and have been translated into 79 languages, and three companion books originally published for charity. She is also the author of The Casual Vacancy, a novel for adults published in 2012, and, under the pseudonym of Robert Galbraith, is the author of the Cormoran Strike crime series.

John tiffany
John Tiffany directed “Once” for which he was the recipient of multiple awards both in the West End and on Broadway. Tiffany was Associate Director of the National Theatre of Scotland from 2005 to 2012, and was a Radcliffe Fellow at Harvard University in the 2010-2011 academic year.

Jack Thorne
Jack Thorne writes for theatre, film, television and radio.


What I think
Harry Potter is back! He is forty years old, married to Ginny Weasley, father of three children (James, Albus and Lily) and works at the Ministry of Magic. Nineteen years has passed since we last heard about him. Over these years, Harry has become more insecure about relationships. He constantly fears the loss of loved ones. He is fighting an everyday battle to let go the past and make peace with the present. In this constant struggle, his son Albus who feels unloved and unworthy to be a son of the celebrated Boy Who Lived. He believes that his father’s glory lurks like a shadow around him. His misery is further accelerated when the Sorting Hat announces that he belongs to Slytherin. He isolates himself from everyone, hates the magical world and hates his “Potter” identity even more. His only solace is Draco Malfoy’s son Scorpius who is also struggling with his own problems – estranged father, dead mother and a disturbing rumor.   

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, 8th instalment in the Harry Potter series, beautifully deals with complex relationships – between friends, father-son and past-present-future.  It also hints the importance of parenting and also letting go. It is a story of growing up and facing the reality as it is. It rightly hints that with great power comes great responsibility and such responsibilities could be both overwhelming and stressful.

On one hand, Ron’s funny one-liners will make you laugh and the moments between Hermione and Ron is funnier. Hogwarts continue to fascinate us and Sorting Hat still holds its charm. On the other, the friendship between Albus and Scorpious reminds of Harry, Ron and Hermione.  

The book is presented in a play format; so it is mostly dialogs. It lacks the vivid descriptions of the magical world that we are used to.  However, thanks to the prequels in which we have seen JK Rowling building that surreal world with her words. Now, we know that magical world like our own.

It is largely based on the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. But, there is not a single second that could be boring and redundant.  In fact, this is more gripping and filled with many unexpected twists and turn. At the end, I can assure that we would close the book with the hope to read another one soon. I don’t think we could ever have enough of Harry Potter and his magical world!

In short, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is an assured page turner.

Time to get engrossed in the magical world again…
Be ready to get spellbound…

Don’t miss this one!

Rating
4.5/5

Monday, 1 August 2016

Kabali Da!

Being an ardent fan of the superstar, I pre-booked my tickets and watched Kabali on the first day of its release. Okay, not the first show though. Yes, I was proud. Happy! As if, I did the right thing. Since then, I have been creating slots to post the review. But, I just couldn’t. Every day, I used to stare at the blank MS-Word. To be frank, I don’t think that I have ever been hit by a writer’s block of such magnitude. Of course, I am not trying to say that Kabali left me speechless or something. In fact, I had mixed emotions about it. The movie buff in me wanted to give a 4+ rating. But, the fanatic fan in me was fighting to make it 2 or lesser.

Was Kabali a bad movie? No, not all. The story was different – more an emotional drama than a gangster movie. It dealt with relationships and the constant fight between personal and professional life that any of us generally face.

Then, why was I struggling?

I belong to that generation whose first movie in the theater has been Rajinikanth’s – Veera to be precise. I still remember how I danced to the songs and laughed at the ridiculed expressions of the actor. Next was Basha. Should I even say anything about this film? It pushed the actor’s image beyond the imaginable. The star himself had once said that Basha is his favorite movie.

Over the years, I watched movies like Thillu Mullu (impeccable comic timing), Aarilirundhu Arbadhuvarai (awesome acting), Moondru Mudichu (hideously villainous), Padaiyappa (heroism and punch dialogs), Nettri Kan (unconventional story) and many more! The common element in all his movies has been his “style”. Be it the way he walks, sits or even turns! The way he ruffles his hair or the stylish way of putting the cigarette between his lips. His charisma has always blared – “Idheppidi irukku?”As audience, we loved him for that. He was what we were not. He was what we wished we were.

Off-screen, his simplicity awed us. He came across in simple clothes and never really cared about his baldness. He was a representative of millions of us and taught us to be comfortable in our skin. We wanted to be like him. At the same time, we were secretly happy that he was like us. The air of mystery always followed him and we have always been proud of him. We used to wait years together to watch him again on the big screen. We wanted him to tickle our funny bones, looked forward for meaningful punch dialogs and wanted to get lost in his style and charisma.

Then, movies like Baba, Kuselan, Kochadiayan and Linga happened. These movies failed us. We blamed the director, script and everything under the sun. We felt betrayed.

Recently, Kabali also happened. We know that the Pa. Ranjith is a capable director. After all, we had liked his Aattakkathi and Madras. We have liked the raw tunes of Santosh Narayanan. But, we went for Kabali for the superstar. We were not bothered about the complexity or the depth of story. Screenplay or the technical aspects were only secondary. We wanted to see our superstar in action. And the movie just disappointed us because that expectation was not met at all. The actor didn’t make us laugh, he didn’t say any punch dialogs, he didn’t dance or do any sort of things that he has been doing recently. He just came across as an emotional man (like any of us), fighting his own demons and living his life. He repeatedly uttered “Magizhchi” and disappointed us.

At the end of it, I felt bad myself. A fan has to accept the actor holistically. He should not restrict his hero within the constraints of expectations set by his past performances. Rajinikanth would still be doing negative roles, if he didn’t take that bold step to do heroism. If he didn’t try his hand on comedy, we would never have laughed. Hero-worship is one thing. But, letting the hero explore is a completely different thing. As long as we get to watch some meaningful film, nothing should matter. I don’t want to spoil the suspense, but ask yourself – could the climax have been any better? If Naayagan could be celebrated and acclaimed, why not this? Kabali is a movie in which Rajinikanth is an actor. It is not a movie customized for the actor. Why are we stuck in the superstar’s image and failing to see the actor within him?

Just to conclude, if Amitabh Bachchan was a part of the stereotypical films only, we would never have got a Black, Paa or even the recent Wazir.

Let’s not stereotype our superstar. Let him act his age. Let him be!

PS: I liked Kabali! 4 stars for it!! Thumbs up for the unconventional end.
PPS: Rajini sir, you are the star. We love you and that’s all!


Thursday, 21 July 2016

Great Grand Masti

Cast
:
Vivek Oberoi, Ritesh Deshmukh, Aftab Shivdasani, Urvashi Rautela
Director
:
Indra Kumar
Cinematographer
:
Nigam Bomzan
Music
:
Sanjeev Darshan, Shaarib & Toshi, Shaan
Editor
:
Sanjay Sankla
Producer
:
Balaji Motion Pictures
Maruti International
Release Date
:
July 15, 2016
Length
:
2 Hours & 7 Minutes
Language
:
Hindi

My Thoughts
Meeth, Amar and Prem are desperate husbands who are in look out for some masti in their otherwise boring and monotonous lives. They are married and yet live like bachelors. For Meeth (Vivek Oberoi), his wife’s twin brother is the problem, for Amar (Ritesh Deshmukh), his mother in law and for Prem (Aftab Shivdasani), his sister in law. As usual, Prem comes up with an idea - to go to Amar’s haveli where they plan to try some luck with some village bombshells. However, they end up encountering a sexed up ghost Raghini (Urvashi Rautela). The rest of the movie deals with whether the threesome choose to have masti with the ghost!

Well, as a genre, horror is in vogue these days. And this installment of masti uses it very well. Like its predecessor, the base plot continues to be unchanged – desperate husbands, homely wives and a sexy siren. However, unlike the other two, the songs are not very good. The loose script is often saved by Ritesh’s unbelievable comic timings and brilliant reactions.  Usha Nadkarni as Amar’s mother in law is a sure show stealer! And, Antakshari Baba (Sanjay Mishra) makes you laugh every time he is around. Double meaning is added to the famous movie dialogs and songs which is funny. Of course, there are some disgusting scenes which would make you cringe in the seat and a few others which would really take you to a laugh riot. Having said that, there are some dull moments and the climax turns out to be too preachy.

Masti series is famous for its adult comedy. This time they have mixed horror into it. Overall, it’s a onetime watch; a time pass. But then, like Grand Masti (2013), this also is nowhere near Masti (2004).

In short, go for it to enjoy Ritesh’s impeccable comic timing!

Rating
2.5/5


Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Creative Epiphany

L
ast morning, I woke up with an epiphany – Parents should teach some form of creative arts to their children. It could be anything from dancing to singing, playing sports to musical instruments, painting to creative writing. Of course, they should also be encouraged to read!

With a few years of professional life, I have realized that such arts and hobbies are important to keep myself sane and keep me going. My performance appraisal doesn’t make me happy anymore. But, my paintings and writing do. I might be able to travel many places and meet different people as a part of my profession. But, the joy of meeting fictional characters and travelling with them gives an indescribable joy.

Today, I am more than thankful for my parents because they encouraged me to write, when I couldn’t find a word to save my life. They gave me a paintbrush in my hands when I had no idea what I was doing. I was taken to several stages and was forced to give dance performance (though I am not a trained one). Once in a while, it helps me to let my hair loose and move to the beats.

At the end of day, I smile as I down off to sleep. Because I have done something I enjoyed. I didn’t do it to please anyone.  So, there were no criticisms or cynicisms from anyone. I was in no pressure to perform or to deliver my best. I was allowed to enjoy the process and spend some time doing something for myself.


So, I reiterate, please teach some creative art to your children. They will thank you for that throughout their lives.

Friday, 15 July 2016

Lonely Bird

 
All of a sudden, I am bitten by a new bug – Canvas Painting!
I am addicted to the process since last week and I can’t think of anything else…
The joy of mixing and blending colors is giving me an unknown joy…
It brings purpose to my day and makes me feel accomplished at the end of it…

This is my first painting on the canvas (I have done three so far!)
Each painting making me understand myself…

Aiming for perfection…
But a long way to go!

Hope you like it! J

Monday, 11 July 2016

This is How I Love You!

“Don’t love me like this”,
You always insist.
I try to do it differently.
But I don’t know any other way.
I have loved only you.
And this is how I love you.
                                            

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Roja...



“Some people grumble that roses have thorns; I am grateful that thorns have roses.”
― Alphonse Karr, A Tour Round My Garden

PS: Because many people asked me what a Kolam is…
Kolam refers to intricate patterns drawn both free handedly and by joining dots. These can be widely seen in the Southern part of India. Women draw this early morning, preferably before Sunrise after cleaning the courtyard. Earlier rice powder was used – it was a means to feed ants and small insects. However, these days, stone powder and even chalk is used. If such powders are used, it is called Pudi Kolam. Sometimes, brick powder will be used as outline on auspicious days, Tuesdays and Fridays. If rice powder is mixed in water and similar patterns are drawn, it is called Maavu/Maa Kolam. In West Bengal, it is called Alpona. In North India, people used rice/stone powders for the outline and fill the patterns with colors. This is called Rangoli.

It is believed that Kolam brings prosperity. It is drawn for almost all the auspicious occasions like marriages and festivals. When someone dies in the household, the family don’t draw any kolam for a year.  

Children in small towns learn the art of making kolam at a very young age. In fact, a girl who knows to draw impeccable and intricate kolam is a pride for the entire family and the village she stays. However, owing to modernization, city life and apartment culture, this art is soon dying.


Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Udta Punjab

Cast
:
Shahid Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Diljit Dosanjh
Director
:
Abhishek Chaubey
Screenplay
:
Sudip Sharma, Abhishek Chaubey
Cinematographer
:
Rajeev Ravi
Music
:
Amit Trivedi
Editor
:
Meghna Sen
Producer
:
Balaji Motion Pictures & Phantom Films
Release Date
:
June 17, 2016
Length
:
2 Hours & 29 Minutes
Language
:
Hindi

My Thoughts
Abhishek Chaubey’s Udta Punjab is a hard-hitting film that effectively portrays what drug addiction could do to people. It also subtly hints that nothing is more important than self-respect and any kind of struggle is worthy enough to not lose it.

Tommy (Shahid Kapoor) is a celebrated singer who is famous for his party songs that glorifies alcoholism and drug intake. He is a drug addict himself, but eventually realizes his mistake when he finds that people idolize him, get inspired by his songs and end up as drug addicts. A Bihari girl (Alia Bhatt) who aspires to become a hockey player, but is sent as laborer to landlord. She tries to make money out of a pack of drugs that she accidentally finds in the field. However, she herself becomes a victim. She would not only be forced to take drugs, but also be physically abused. Being strong and resolute girl, she gets over the addiction with determination and finds a way out of the darkness. Sartaj (Diljit Dosanjh) is a police officer who ignores crimes related to drug abuse until he finds that his younger brother is addicted to it. With the help of kindhearted doctor/activist Preet (Kareena Kapoor Khan), he finds out the source of such drugs in the market. They also find out that the local politicians back these drug manufacturers resolute to bring the story to people’s notice.

As you can see, Sudip Sharma’s very complex story. There are four stories, interlinked to one another by a common subject – drug abuse. When one uses for pleasure, another uses by force. When one ignores the fact, another fights against it. At the end, they are united by their determination to be free from it. The editing could have made the movie crisper, sometimes it feels never-ending. Some of the dialogs stays in our heart and the background music is good. Cinematography is equally good. Songs are average though.
Alia Bhatt’s performance as the nameless, fearless girl brings heartache. It is very disturbing. Shahid Kapoor’s transformation from the carefree Tommy to the disturbed man redeeming his mistakes is phenomenal. Diljit’s innocence is beautiful and Kareena’s portrayal of selfless Preet makes us wonder if we are doing anything worthy enough in life.

Overall, Udta Punjab is more than drug addiction. It emphasizes on self-respect - no self-respecting man would choose drug addiction and toss his core character to an unreachable height!
Don’t miss it…
Let’s unite and pledge to free ourselves from our addictions –regardless of how big or small it is!

Rating
3/5


Friday, 24 June 2016

You and I

Between you and I
Only I was there
Waiting for that day
When it shall be us
Because love matters
You and I matters
Nothing else

Monday, 20 June 2016

Kumbakonam it is!

Saarangapaani Swami Koil

It’s been a year since I went to Kumbakonam. When I think about it, I am unable to believe it. Time just flies in jet pace. All that remains are the memories fed in our little heads. I also realized that I have not posted some of the pictures yet. So, I decided to do it today – last year, same day, I travelled to the same place… It was a life changing journey…


Waiting for the next one! Hope you enjoy the pictures J



Kumbakonam is famous for the Mahamagham that takes place once in twelve years. When I had been there last year, renovation works were going on because the Mahamagham was awaited. It took place in February this year. So, the Gopuram were either freshly painted or the work was in progress. 




The beauty of the temples in Kumbakonam is that they carry an old world charm and are free from the commercialization that have become a part and parcel of famous temples. Their simplicity is truly marvelling!

Kumbeswarar Koil


The driver who also transformed into a guide for me took me to the Mangalambikavilas Hotel. He told me that it is a very famous hotel and many celebrities go there to relish the taste of the food served there. I have to tell you that it tasted like home food; the kind that mothers cook – free from soda and all that. I had enjoyed the dosa and vada J I still remember its taste. The hotel is situated inside the Kumbeswarar temple. Don’t miss it when go there. And I had also slurped the Kumbakonam degree coffee.




If you are planning a trip to Kumbakonam, Murugan Residency (I stayed here) and Sitthi Residency (Opposite to Murugan Residency) can be a really good option to stay.  And for travel, if you are looking for a good taxi service, you can contact Shankar - 9524724442. Do not miss the famous Kumbakonam Degree coffee…

Mahamagha Kulam

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Oru Naal Koothu

Cast
:
Dinesh, Ramesh Thilak, Bala Saravanan, Charlie
Mia George , Riythvika, Nivetha Pethuraj
Director
:
Nelson.S V M
Cinematographer
:
Gokul
Music
:
Justin Prabhakaran
Editor
:
V J Sabu Joseph
Producer
:
Kenanya Films
Release Date
:
June 10, 2016
Length
:
2 Hours & 10 Minutes
Language
:
Tamizh

My Thoughts
Nelson S.V.M’s directorial debut Oru Naal Koothu revolves around the lives of three women – Lakshmi (Mia George), Susheela (Riythvika) and Kavya (Nivetha Pethuraj). Their lives, situations and lifestyle are totally different from one another; yet interconnected by the common thread called marriage.

Lakshmi hails from Trichy and lives under the shade of her dominating father. In spite of the regular visits by the prospective grooms, she is unmarried and becomes the topic of discussion in her little village. Some people blame her father for not marrying her off and some others suspect that she has some “problems”. Susheela is a celebrated RJ. Yet she is unhappy because she is unmarried. Her family is pressurizing her and she also feels desperate because her older brother (Karunakaran) could be married only after her. Kavya who belongs to a rich family is well-educated and earns well. She has a boyfriend (Dinesh), but he is not ready to marry her yet. While her family asks her consider another boy, her boyfriend asks her to wait until he “settles down”. She is stuck in a dilemma. It can be seen that the men in their lives are compassionate. Yet they are tied down by male ego and fears.

With an interestingly woven screenplay and crisp editing, Oru Naal Koothu convincingly depicts the misery of these women. The dialogs are equally good. The songs are impressive. "Maangalyamae" conveys the spirit of the film, "Adiyae Azhagae"  tears the heart ,"Patta Podunga Ji"  makes us dance and "Eppo Varuvaaro"  effectively coveys the eternal wait of a woman to get married. The cinematographer has presented the film in young and vibrant manner.

A little over two hours, the movie might make us wonder if marriage is the only thought in a woman’s mind. But, the thoughtful dialogs makes us understand that it need not be. But, the family, friends and society would constantly remind them that they are unmarried and inflict a fear in them. The intensity of the fear is such that everything else (their self-respect, identity, living family, professional achievements, good friends, etc.) seem to be meaningless.

All the actors have delivered a good performance. However, Dinesh’ face sometimes look blank and expressionless. As serene and helpless Lakshmi, Mia Goerge steals our heart. Nivetha comes across as fresh air. She is so convincing that it is difficult to believe that she is just a debutant. Riythvika of Madras fame speaks through eyes. Her character is the most liberated one and she has depicted that with conviction. Charlie as the unmarried middle aged man emphasizes on the importance of marriage and Karunakaran as the supportive brother of Susheela is natural. Bala Saravanan’s instant philosophies and one liners will make us laugh.

If Iraivi was about the plight of women after marriage, Oru Naal Koothu is about their difficulties before marriage. It interestingly portrays the dilemma of today’s generation. The unexpected twists in the end makes it even better.

Go for it.

Rating
3/5