Showing posts from May, 2009

The Greatest Blog Post Ever!!

I have been planning this blog post all week. To tell you the truth, I wasn't too happy with the last two blog posts I wrote. They felt pretty boring for me. So from last week, I started cooking up themes and ideas for this one. I wanted it to be really funny and really quirky. It was going to be an epic, like the Mahabharat, or the one like about the 'I am what I am' post!

Here I sit with writer's block. Honestly speaking, I wonder whether how I am writing this and secondly, I cannot think of what to write about and it is very frustrating. The manifestations of writer's block are unique. It feels like having an old world monkey perched on your shoulders, jabbing you in the center of your head everytime I lay my fingers on the keyboard. But I have decided to figuratively throw the metaphorical monkey and barge ahead. It is the only way to complete this.

The point I would like to make here is that you cannot plan greatness. It just turns out that way. Don't put th…

Movie Review: Kadha Parayumbol

Kadha Parayumbol sees Srinivasan at his best not only as a writer but also as an actor. The story is like the modern day adaptation of the timeless Krishna--Sudama story. In the context of the film, it is about a superstar and a barber. He is not ashamed to stick to the old world terminology of 'barber' and not the fancy words like hairstylist or beautician that have replaced the word barber.

Balan (Srinivasan) is struggling to survive in his traditional profession, as he cannot find anyone who would give himma loan to upgrade his equipment without taking a bribe. Being a principled with acerbic tongue presents its own for this middle-aged barber who has the responsibility of bringing up three school-going kids.

Staying in a sleepy village in a house that has no basic amenities makes him a subject of ridicule among his own people as well as the public in general. All this changes after a film unit lands up at the village for a shoot. It is believed that the film superstar Ashok …

Movie Review: Serendipity

I am not such a great fan of English movies but I do like certain movies. So when my friend told me about this John Cusack--Kate Beckinsale starrer "Serendipity", I was damn sure that I had to catch this movie come what may. Most of our Bollywood movies are blatantly copied from English movies, so I felt that this movie offers a lot of scope to be remade as an Indian movie.

On a bustling shopping day in winter, Jonathan Trager (John Cusack) bumps into Sara Thomas (Kate Beckinsale) when they both try to buy the same pair of gloves at a departmental store in Bloomingdale. Two strangers amid the masses in New York, their paths collide in the mad holiday rush as they feel a mutual attraction. Despite the fact that both are involved in a relationship, Jonathan and Sara spend the evening in Manhattan. The night reaches its inevitable end and the two are forced into determining some kind of next step. When the smitten Jonathan suggests an exchange of phone numbers, Sara balks and pr…

Movie Review: Garbo

"One of the most celebrated people in the world, desperate not to be recognized...". This is how the latest documentary about the former actress Greta Garbo that was released in 2005, a week before her 100th birthday calls for viewers' attention to the personality of this great actress. I have myself not been such a great fan of documentary movies but being associated with the "Laadli" team, I have been forced to do my homework.

To understand her more profoundly, the director Kevin Brownlow aims at detailed exploration of Greta's life. Her wonderful but short screen career as well her later reclusive life. The whole movie is supplied with great instrumental music by Carl Davies. Having seen Steve Cole's version GRETA GARBO--THE LONE STAR and some of the other minor documentaries, I admit that GARBO is the best biographical film that captures the life and times of the Swedish beauty.

The documentary presents Greta as someone who is full of contradictions …

Alone at last....almost

I'm back in Mumbai, in the chaos and hustle bustle of day-to-day life. The sheer number of people who call the city their home is mind-boggling. Every square inch is filled with crowds, noise, and more people. And yes in the midst of all the commotion, our mind seeks solace. It looks for some peace, a getaway. One could call it a secret spot. As a little kid, my biggest thrill was on discovering a secret spot. I assumed that no one knew about the place and then I would show it off to my friends. Kids have terrific imagination levels. The secret spot would fit easily with my imaginary friends (pixies and elves), and real ones too.

As I grew up, the city seemed to be shrinking more and more. It was difficult to even walk by myself in a fairly isolated part of Juhu beach, without someone stopping me to sell something, or an urchin begging for money. I would bump into intimate couple looking for privacy. Now, it seems as if this city of Bombay doesn't have those secret spots anymor…

I am what I am

A while ago, I was having a conversation with Neeraj and his wife Sejal. We discussed friendships, male bonding and so many other things. I sighed and told him that I have been unlucky in friendship. Somehow, long-standing friendship has always eluded me.

Neeraj smiled a little too widely and asked me if at times I wondered if I knew how to keep friendships? Was I unlucky with friendships or was I just not good at keeping friends? A casual statement perhaps but one that hit home. The inevitable introspection that followed, circled around my friendships and the friends I lost.

Did they lose me or did I lose them? What happened along the way? I think all friendships have a fallout somewhere. I think this not as an exception but as a rule. Small fights, expectations and ambitions all come in the way of what started out as the most innocent associations in the world. But one word that kept coming into my mind is the word "unforgiving". It is not how we deal with what happens after…

Excess Baggage

I was reading something the other day. All the airlines are now planning to charge overweight people which means extra money for tickets. In fact, some of the airlines in the US have already started implementing this cheap practice to earn money. It seemed unbelievable...and in some other ways, pure injustice and discrimination of a new kind, based on one's fitness levels. Discrimination comes naturally to most of us and fat people have always been discriminated against in some form or the other.

Even kids who know no better will instinctively pick on fat kids and make fun of them or discriminate against in some way. Anyway, with the airlines in the US set to implement this new rule, I foresee lawsuits and a lot of headlines about this particular issue. So, are they justified in doing so? Recently on a flight back from Cochin to Mumbai, I was seated next to an obese person who was halfway spilling onto my seat.

I could not even lower my armrest. It was a terribly uncomfortable fligh…

Encounter with Reality: Passenger

With hardly any movie releasing in the multiplexes this summer in Bombay, I decided to watch a Malayalam film "Passenger" just to stay in touch with my roots. Since the release of this film coincided with my cousin's wedding in Cochin, I watched this film in Cochin since Malayalam movies hardly release in Bombay.

Passengers gives the ordinary filmgoer a hope that there are new filmmakers, who want to try something out of the ordinary. The film written and directed by Mr. Ranjith Shankar, stays away from the cliches as far as possible. The gist of the film is simple: a common man with the courage can take on the high and mighty and fight injustice.

The backdrop of this film is a train journey and a group of people who use the train daily to earn their livelihood. They become friends with fellow travellers and pass their time playing cards and gossiping. Sathyanathan (Srinivasan) is a member of one such group. His character is established as an activist with zeal; running a …

Movie Review: Zindaggi Rocks

When is Indian cinema going to appreciate directors who experiment with stories, when are we going to come out of love triangles and the mushy stuff? Year after year, Shahrukh Khan gets a Filmfare Award for the worst movies he's ever acted in. On one side, we have talented filmmakers like Tanuja Chandra who is working hard to bring cinematic excellence by experimenting with storylines. "Zindaggi Rocks" is a movie that was hardly recognized in India.

This film is tailor-made for a person like Ms. Sushmita Sen. and she does full justice to her role. After all, she is the rockstar Kriya, a stage performer and a single mother. In every right, Sushmita is the only one who deserves the accolades for this movie. She has been a single mother by adopting a son named Dhruv when he was just two years. Now, Dhruv's family consists of Kriya, Kriya's mom and twin sister (Moushumi Chatterjee), a squeaky secretary Antara (Kim Sharma) and the assistant Shardul (Ravi Gossain) who b…

Cool Things to do this summer

I hated the summer leaves too much time with too little to do and the primary reason being the hate. The worst part this year is that there are no movies to watch in the multiplexes this year which adds to the woes of kids across the country. The troubles of these kids are just bound to soar exponentially. Before I sat down to write this column, I thought long and hard to come up with some interesting things to ensure your usually boring summer break isn't so boring this time around.

Of course, a lot of these things involve going out in the stifling heat we have been passing through so I'm ready to hear a host of complaints. But then, nothing good has ever come out of sitting at home and doing nothing..well, almost nothing. How about going to the golawalla and when he finishes scraping the ice, stop him from spiking it with syrup. Take the plain cold ice and rub it all over your face. Then try spreading it across your arms and along the decorous bits. Someone is s…

What I need is some fun

This was supposed to be my first travelogue...but I abandoned the idea because I found it childish!! I thought I was much better by travelling in buses me...travelling by trains is tougher! I am in this rude shock of boarding a local train which is nothing less than a challenge for me.

Just to explain, I have always got cold feet when I see these jam-packed crowded local trains. It doesn't necessarily mean that I hate travelling by them but I really cannot picture myself boarding or alighting from a crowded train with sufficient air to breathe. I arrived in Mulund on 24th April 2009, ten minutes prior to the arrival of my 5:22 Kalyan local. As usual, I am all alone again without the support or encouragement that I need. I pray this train is not crowded since it is a Kurla-Kalyan train. No matter how old I am, I think I will have to keep commuting all by myself. Thankfully, there was enough place for me to assimilate into the crowd and enough room to stand.

Prior to the …