Wednesday, 26 April 2017

What is a Relationship?

L
ast day I was thinking, what relationship is all about? Is it caring and unconditional love? Or is it togetherness and trust. If you notice, the last two sentences are contradicting.  Caring and unconditional love could be one sided. But togetherness and trust is built through interpersonal relationship. When the first sentence supports unrequited love, the second shouts companionship. With each passing day, I realize that I prefer and need companionship more than love.  What is the use when someone in a distant land is missing you, thinking about you and has promised to be there for you when you need them? “I will be there when you need me”, is a subjective term to be more specific. I might need you now. I might not need you for the next two months. I mean, such needs are driven by emotions and situations. And what is a greater joy than knowing that someone is waiting to hear you speak at the end of the day? Isn’t it delightful to let your hair down and be yourself? But this overrated concept of love has spoiled everything; killed every aspect of companionship. Needless to mention the glorification of unrequited love has only cold bloodedly killed relationship further.


“I won't ever leave you, even though you're always leaving me.”
- Audrey Niffenegger, The Time Traveler's Wife


Well, let me come back to the same question - what relationship is all about? Is it more about togetherness than separation? Words than silence? Present than a past and anticipated future? A lifetime holding each other’s hands than hope of embracing each other in death? Physical presence than absence.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Jakarta Journal

Last month I got an opportunity to travel to Jakarta, Indonesia. We landed on a Saturday night and we went around the city on Sunday. 

We started our day by visiting the National Monument which is built to commemorate the struggle for Indonesian independence. 

National Monument is surrounded by several small shops, a perfect place to buy souvenirs!! 


These prints are cool, aren't they?



All set to go...!
From there, we headed to the Jakarta Historical Museum. It included items from the prehistory period of the city. However, everything was written in local language. So found it a little difficult to understand. 

Right next to the Jakarta Historical Museum, there are two other museums. Out of them Wayang Museum displays the Javan puppetry. However, due to lack of proper research from our side and language constraints, we missed it. We knew there is a puppet museum; but failed to know that Wayang means puppets!!!

These neon colored cycles were available on hourly rent. Riding it around with the hat was fun! Any guesses on which color cycle we hired? :P


Our last stop for the day was Ancol beach, after doing some shopping at ITC Mangga Dua. We reached during sunset and had a good time enjoying the hues of sky.  
We also took a boat ride. The cold breeze was a treat for the scorching heat we were subjected to. 




Peek-a-boo with the sunshine!

Love locks - But this was not in use anymore

Some loud music and dancing session was in progress.

A restaurant surrounded by water!

We were tiered as the darkness enveloped us. But, we kick started the trip with a bang, I guess!

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Fake Reflection

H
er door was always closed... Curtains were always pulled...
So that she wouldn't look at what she was missing...
Her dreams which were crushed in the name of secured career...
Her passion which was killed in the name of extensive work hours to climb up the ladder...
Her family and friends who were estranged for spending more time at office...
And of course, herself for putting up an act everyday...


But her subordinates considered her as an achiever and looked up to her as inspiration.

Friday, 14 April 2017

Ganesha - Watercolor

Meet my friend Ganesha…
The one who doesn’t bother about the surrounding…
The one who always spreads happiness and warmth….

And may his blessings follow us always...
Happy Vishu to all my dear friends and readers

Saturday, 8 April 2017

kaatru Veliyidai - காற்று வெளியிடை

Cast
:
Karthi, Aditi Rao Hydari
Delhi Ganesh, KPAC Lalitha, RJ Balaji, Rukmini Vijayakumar
Director
:
Mani Ratnam
Cinematographer
:
Ravi Varman
Music
:
A R Rahman
Editor
:
A Sreekar Prasad
Producer
:
Madras Talkies
Release Date
:
April 07, 2017
Length
:
2 Hours & 27 Minutes
Language
:
Tamizh

My Thoughts
Varun Chakrapani aka VC (Karthi), mostly referred as officer, is a fighter plane pilot. In one of the scenes, he says that he thinks God is a fighter plane pilot too; subtly hinting that he considers himself as God – supreme and in control of everything. He demonstrates that side of him more than once – when he recklessly drives a jeep across the beautiful stretch of Srinagar, when he takes off a plane across the snowcapped mountains and when he forcefully takes his love interest, Dr Leela Abraham (Aditi Rao Hydari) for an emotional ride most of the times. His friends also repeatedly confirm that he is self-obsessed and that there is space for no but him in his life. He is complex, erratic, control freak (like his father) and male chauvinistic too. On the other hand, Leela is a romantic who believes in fate and enjoys the simple joys of life like a snowfall, nature and songs. She is also bubbly and selfless. Having said that, she is opinionated, headstrong and independent who believes in equality in a relationship. These two opposites attract and needless to say, they get into an emotional mess.

Through a back and forth narrative of changing times, director Mani Ratnam has tried his best to bring such an unconventional and complex relationship on screen in the backdrop of the 1999 Kargil war.  There are some untouched and unconventional ideas too – pregnancy before marriage, dysfunctional family and its effects on children, fear of commitment, taking people and relationships for granted, etc. Hoots to the situation where Azhagiye is placed in the movie. Double thumbs-up that the director did not stress on marriage but relationship this time (finally). Needless to say, the director continues with his some of his obsessions too - mirror angles, lovelorn hero travelling in search his girl, registered marriage, Srinagar, close-up shots, tinted lenses, darkness, Malayalam, back and forth narrative, etc. Oops! This time, trains were absent! Okay, there were planes. One more thing, there are too many instances that could remind of Alaipayuthe. Couple of mirror angle scenes, scenes between Leela and Nidhi (Rukmini), a telephonic conversation between VC and Leela when Leela is in hospital, to name a few. I think Kaatru Veliyidai is a better dedication to Alaipayuthe than OK Kanmani.

Ravi Varman’s camera captures the landscapes in the most realistic way. When it snows, we as audience feel awed. When it rains, we feel like playing there. When it is windy, we feel cold. All this when it is scorching hot outside the cinemas. The camera has also tried to capture the anger as well as ruthlessness of VC and the fragile innocence as well as beauty of Leela. Needless to say, the suffocation of Rawalpindi jail in Pakistan. Editor Sreekar Prasad has presented the journey of self-love and self-search in the most intimate way possible although the movie is spanned across a wider angle. Maybe in a way, it hints that there is a lot of space in the world, but not in a relationship! AR Rahman’s background music sets the mood and elevates the narration to a musical extravaganza. Sarattu Vandiyile and Azhagiye being the best in album. Strangely, Vaan Varuvaan has some similarities to Omana Penne of Vinnaithaadi Varuvaaya

RJ Balaji’s character is similar to that of Vivek and Rukmini’s that of Swarnamalya in Alaipayuthe. Delhi Ganesh as Leela’s grandfather is cool and sweet. KPAC Lalitha is more like a cameo.

However, the best of technicians and an exceptional storyline is not backed by a compelling screenplay and good performance. The screenplay comes across as an assortment of scenes which has a right balance of signature Mani Ratnam dialogs, background and mesmerizing landscapes. But, it does not convincing explain why VC is so erratic, yet so consistent about his love for Leela. What made him fall in love with her? Why he sees Leela as his trophy girlfriend? Why did he dump his exes? VC’s characterization looks incomplete. He is not chirpy as Manohar (Mouna Raagam), love stuck as Karthik (Alaipayuthe) or even confused as Adi (OK Kanmani). As far as the performances are concerned, Karthi is delivered what was asked. But, the genuineness is missing. His face and voice modulation conveys his hard-heartedness, but in close-up shots, they lack authenticity. Aditi has tried to get her get her dialogs right. Her clothes and accessories look very good. But, she lacks that natural flair that Divya from Mouna Raagam, Shakthi in Alaipayuthe or Tara from Ok Kanmani had.

In short the movie neither evokes the patriotism that Roja did nor inflict lovey-lovey feelings that Alaipayuthe did. This is no Bombay where love story and the crux of the story was inter-woven. There is no Roja struggling in a new place to rescue her husband. There is no Divya who is trying to be herself.  

Kaatru Veliyidai sends as confusing signals as VC. As audience, there will be only one question buzzing in our heads – “Padam ok-ya? Ok-Illaya?” I am confused between “Theriyalayepa (in Naayagan style) and “Theriyaadhu. Aana I love you(Alaipayuthe style).

Rating
3/5


Monday, 3 April 2017

Fate!

Life is a war....

Fought under the captainship of fate!

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Yet Another Sunset


As I always say…
Sunsets never fail to entice me!!!

“When the sun is setting, leave whatever you are doing and watch it.”

― Mehmet Murat ildan

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Some Lines Please


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.


Sunday, 19 March 2017

Lonely Journey

I have come so far alone...
I will go further…
Until the very last breath

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Let me Go!

U never let me go when I wanted to go...

And now u let me go..

But I don't want to..



Saturday, 11 March 2017

Extreme Emotions

I am pulled –
Between two extreme emotions.
One that wants me to stay with you.
Another wants me to walk away from you.

In this constant push and pull,
What I want goes unseen; unheard.
Like a lifeless puppet,
I keep moving…

But until,
The thread called “my life” breaks!

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Harbor


“To reach a port we must set sail –
Sail, not tie at anchor
Sail, not drift.”

― Franklin D. Roosevelt

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Awaiting Miracle...

I am that lone tree
In the midst of vast field
Surrounded by nothingness.

How I wish…
That there was someone else
Like me; or someone different from me.

My fate is bad.
I am just a lone tree
Waiting for some miracle

PS: Inspired by Pablo Neruda's poem

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Lumbini Gardend - Bangalore

Lumbini Gardens - A perfect getaway in Bangalore…  

Dr. Rajkumar there... Huttidhare Kannada naadalli huttabekku

“I like this place and could willingly waste my time in it.”
― William Shakespeare


A surreal experience in the middle of traffic and the related chaos!

This place is named after Lumbini of Nepal dedicated to Lord Buddha. And, I saw a serene looking Budha in the middle of trees. In a way, I was feeling the same in the midst of manmade lake!

Man made both the building and the pool... But the joy of seeing the pool was more overwhelming!

An eco-friendly boating park... With man made wave pool

Cz sunsets never fail to entice me!

A place that have something to offer to everyone across different age groups!

Floating restaurant... A perfect place to celebrate with families and friends!

I don’t know why... But this reminded me of the building next to the London bridge!


I have a question... Behavior guideline only for the unmarried? Married couple can kiss and hug? And get away doing anything mentioned in the list above?

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

மடப்பெண்

அன்று கண்ட கனவுகள்
என்று நிஜன்மாகுமென்று
என்றென்றும் காத்துக்கிதந்தேன்

மடப்பெண்ணன்றோ நான்!

அவை கனவுகள் அல்ல
மணலில் எழுதிய கவிதைகள் என்று
புரிந்து கொள்ளவில்லை.

அலைகள் அடித்தது
தன்னுடன் என் வன்ணக்கனவுகளை
வாரிச்சென்றது.

கண்களில் நீர் நிறைந்துவழிந்தது
ஆனால் அதுவும் வாழக்கை எனும் கடலில்ச்சேர்ந்து
காணாமல் போனது

இருந்தும்
உன்னோடு சேர்ந்ததுபோல் தோன்றியது!

Translation
I was waiting forever…
Wondering when would my dreams…
Would come true!

Such a foolish I am!

Those were not dreams
But poems written on sand!
I never realized.

Waves came…
Took away those colorful dreams;
With it.

Tears welled up in my eyes
But they also disappeared
In the ocean called life.

Yet
I felt like they have joined you!

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Standing on an Apple Box: The Story of a Girl among the Stars

Details of the Book
No. of Pages   : 184 pages
ISBN               : 9352641752 (ISBN13: 97893526417)
Language        : English


From the book blurb
Director, dancer, goodwill advocate for the United Nations: Aishwaryaa Rajinikanth Dhanush is so much more than the daughter of a legendary actor, or the wife of southern cinema's biggest star. Growing up in Bangalore and then Madras, in a household that resolutely kept out any hint of her father's superstardom, she was a quiet, introverted child whose greatest pleasure was a visit to Marina Beach and an occasional meal out. It was not cinema but law that became a preoccupation when she started thinking about college and career - but fate, and her mother, had other plans for her. Aishwaryaa writes with disarming honesty about life as Rajinikanth's daughter, of falling in love and raising two boys with Dhanush, of fighting her own demons and finding satisfaction in a career of her choice. She reflects on the many roles a woman has to juggle at home and outside - in her case, under the watchful gaze of cameras and celebrity-watchers. Intensely personal, but also inspirational, Aishwaryaa's memoir is an unusually frank insight into growing up in cinema-land. A playful meditation on the joys and difficulties of being a woman in this age, Standing on an Apple Box is as much a celebration of individual fulfilment as it is of family.


Author
Aishwaryaa R. Dhanush is a film director and a start-up entrepreneur. She is the daughter of the legendary actor Rajinikanth and is married to Dhanush, also one of India’s best-known actors. She is the mother of two boys. She lives in Chennai, India. Aishwaryaa is a trained Bharatnatyam dancer (recognized by the state government for the same in 2009), a voracious reader and a passionate writer. In August 2016, she was appointed as UN Women’s Advocate for gender equality and women’s empowerment in India. Standing on an Apple Box is her first book.

What I think
As the title, “standing on an apple box”, the book is all about the onlooker’s perspective of cinema industry as well as lives of stars star kids and their family. The interesting aspect is that the onlooker is an insider too. Of course, not any random insider, but Aishwaryaa Rajinikanth Dhanush.

When I came to know about the book (which was through the Bangalore Lit Fest), I was more driven to the author’s name than anything else. I didn’t care what the book was all about. In fact, more than the author, her surnames grabbed my attention. Rajinikanth – the reigning superstar and Dhanush - the uncrowned prince. In fact both these stars have something in common – their humble beginning and the raise to superstardom through dedication and hard work. After all, being a movie buff myself, I know that their journeys has never been easy. But, I wanted to know what it would be like for Aishwaryaa who is born to the superstar and hence could easily be tagged as the “born star”.

Interestingly, the book is about just that – what it means to be a star kid and wife. The difficulties faced to shed the imposed stardom, shedding the shadows of a famous father and husband thereby bringing individual identity into the limelight.

The book is not chronologically ordered. It shuttles between Aishwaryaa – the daughter, wife, mother, director and social worker. However, it always retains Aishwaryaa – the person! She describes how her grandparents instilled moral values and ethics into her system. She extensively narrates how protective her mother is and what a submissive daughter she had been; rather helplessly submissive she had been. She also adds some instances involving her father which only reinstates what an epitome of simplicity he is! The author, wherever possible, has elaborated how ridiculous star kids’ life could be due to constant media attention and of course, owing to the simple reason that movie stars are celebrated like Gods!

The USP of the book is the simplicity and honesty. The author has not touched any controversial limits; neither has she revealed anything new about herself or her family. Yet, the narrative sounds so personal that we almost get a glimpse of her life with her family. Although she has included a few instances from her father’s life, it is limited.  I wish there were more. Also, the contradicting lifestyle in which the author and her husband were brought up is highlighted. But, I wish we could know more about how they fell in love!

In short, as readers or as fans, we would know nothing new. Yet, we feel connected to the author’s world for those 2-3 hours we spend with the book. As the name rightly suggest, we become the onlooker standing on an apple box. But, we get to see only the camera. And the camera has only the motions captured by the director.


Rating
3/5


Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Don’t Leave Me Now...

Oh my dear…
My sunshine… my eternal dream…

I have let you go many times…
But not today, my love. Not now.

Because my heart breaks every time you leave…
And I end up looking for those scattered pieces…

When my heart is fixed and the wounds are healed…
It wanders back to you so that you could break it again…

Secretly, I think I enjoy the game and the pain…
Maybe you also know that. Is that why you always leave with a smile?

Oh my dear…  Don’t leave me.
Not today. Not now.

Let me freeze this moment in my mind…
Don’t leave me, my love. Not now.

I promise, I will let you go…
And let the broken heart be broken for at least this lifetime…

So that the healed heart would not come back running after you…
And I don’t have to see you leave again…

My sunshine… my dream…
Don’t leave me.  Not today. Not now.


 PS: Inspired by Aaj Jaane Ki Zidd Na Karo song!

Friday, 10 February 2017

Zentangles (Flowers)


If you feel like putting mehandhi and get no hands...
Or if you feel like making an alpona and don’t find a courtyard...
Worry not!

Take a black pen and white paper... Do zentangles!!!😁

Monday, 6 February 2017

Bogan

Cast
:
Jayam Ravi, Arvind Swamy, Hansika Motwani
Nagendra Prasad, Akshara Gowda, Varun
Nasser, Ponvannan, Naren
Director
:
Lakshman
Cinematographer
:
Soundararajan
Music
:
D. Imman
Editor
:
Anthony
Producer
:
Prabhu Devan Studios
Release Date
:
February 03, 2017
Length
:
2 Hours and 29 Minutes
Language
:
Tamizh

My Thoughts
Director Lakshman of Romeo Juliet fame, is back with a fantasy thriller Bogan. The movie is based on body swapping where there is a thin line that differentiates the protagonist and the antagonist. The story is different and so is its treatment. There are several twists and turns which will entertain the audience and also keep them glued to their seats.
Bogan is the 3rd movie in which Jayam Ravi & Hansika are the lead actors. As usual, they come across as a striking pair. So does the duo Jayam Ravi and Arvind Swamy. They have truly lived up to the inevitable expectation after Thani Oruvan. Actors like Ponvannan and Nasser are great talented that is wasted.

In this film, just like Thani Oruvan, Arvind Swamy is the show stealer. The ease with which he carries off the character and the way he has handled the transition marks him yet again as a good actor. And, Jayam Ravi is only trying to match the steps with Mr. Swamy, thereby turning out to be a little confused, especially after the transition. Hansika has nothing much to do except to dance and do the glamor bit. She shines with her impeccable comic timing.

The movie is fast paced – thanks to the editor. Cinematographer has presented the film vibrantly and the fresh/young feeling we had while watching Romeo Juliet continues. D. Imman’s opening song Damaalu Dumeelu uses the latest dubsmash craze, giving the mass opening to the hero. Senthoora is not only sounds brilliant but also captured mesmerizingly. Having said that, songs like Koodu Vitty Koodu (b-o-g-a-n) and Vaaraai Vaarai hinders the flow of the film. In fact, they simply elongate the film.

Bogan is backed by a novel idea, stellar performances, interesting twists and turns, mesmerizing visuals and a great background score. However, it seems to be too long, redundant and tedious.
In short, it is a kind of movie that could be watched with family – a rare treat.
So, watch it once and forget the flaws!

Rating
2.5/5