Monday, 28 July 2014

Velai Illa Pattathari



Cast
:
Dhanush, Amala Paul
Saranya Ponvannan, Samuthirakani, Vivek
Director
:
Velraj
Music
:
Anirudh
Producer
:
Dhanush
Release Date
:
18th Junly 2014
Length
:
2 hours & 14 minutes

Disclaimer
I am a diehard Dhanush fan. He awes me with his hard work and dedication. And, most of his movies are different with unique plots and his acting is always simple which seems real. In short, I adore him.

So how will I hate D25!!!!


My Thoughts
Yes! Velaiyilla Pattadhaari (VIP) is Dhanush’s 25th movie. The movie is all about a mechanical engineering graduate who is struggling to get a job in his chosen field.

The screenplay is a nice mix of humor, sentiments, love and subtle heroism. The movie delivers something or the other for each strata of audience. The movie is appealing although at times, it does seem like dragging too much; editing could have been better. However, the smart dialogs comes as a rescue. There are several dialogs that would make you clap!

The songs are average. The choreography is equally average. Therefore, none of the songs lingers around you or make you hum. Also, most of the songs are misplaced and pops up at the least expected moments further obstructing the flow of the movie.
The dilemma and frustration of qualified yet unemployed youth is wonderfully captured in the movie. The protagonist Raghuvaran, essayed by Dhanush, takes things lightly. However, deep within, he is sad and desolate. His characterization is so real that you would recognize him as yourself or as one among the many friends you have. Dhanush, on the other hand, has made the character more believable and real!

Saranya Ponvannan as Dhanush’s mother is brilliant. She shines as an understanding mother who stands by son’s harmless tantrums and speaks up when the son goes over the board. Samuthirakani as Dhanush’s father comes across as a strict father who wishes only for his son’s well-being. Amala Paul, as Dhanush’s neighbor is a dentist; well-read and very understanding. Vivek as Dhanush’s colleague comes on screen in the second half and presents his signature comedy for us.

I really liked the manner in which the relationship of Raghuvaran with his family is established.
The movie is run by sentiments and convictions. And, I can assure that it will strike a chord with you!

In short, the movie is a mass entertainer which carries subtle heroism with it. It is real and believeable and an assured treat for all the Dhanush fan.

Thus, Dhanush’s 25th film is a feast all his fans.
And if you are not one, go for this and see why he is what he is today!


Rating
3.5/5

PS: Dhanush you rock… All the best…
From a diehard fan from Thulluvatho Illamai day J

Thursday, 24 July 2014

The Greatest Works of Kahlil Gibran

From the book blurb
FOR THE FIRST TIME TWELVE BOOKS IN ONE OMNIBUS EDITION

Book 1 :          The Prophet
Book 2 :          The Wander
Book 3 :          Sand and Foam
Book 4 :          The Madman
Book 5 :          The Forerunner
Book 6 :          The Earth Gods
Book 7 :          Nymphs of the Valley
Book 8 :          Tears and Laughter
Book 9 :          Between Night & Morn
Book 10 :      Secrets of the Heart
Book 11 :      Spirits Rebellious
Book 12 :      The Broken Wings

Author
Khalil Gibran born in the town of Bsharri in the north of modern-day Lebanon (then part of Mount Lebanon MutasarrifateOttoman Empire), as a young man he immigrated with his family to the United States, where he studied art and began his literary career, writing in both English and Arabic. In the Arab world, Gibran is regarded as a literary and political rebel. His romantic style was at the heart of a renaissance in modern Arabic literature, especially prose poetry, breaking away from the classical school. In Lebanon, he is still celebrated as a literary hero.

He is chiefly known in the English-speaking world for his 1923 book The Prophet, an early example of inspirational fiction including a series of philosophical essays written in poetic English prose. The book sold well despite a cool critical reception, gaining popularity in the 1930s and again especially in the 1960s counterculture. Gibran is the third best-selling poet of all time, behind Shakespeare and Laozi.


What I think
The book is a compilation of the greatest works of Kahlil Gibran. There are twelve stories in the omnibus and each one is unique and different. The cover page is simple. The book blurb has nothing but the names of twelve stories.

The font used in the book is big and very good. I appreciate the publishers who use such eyes-friendly fonts. It becomes imperative when the book is as huge as this one! I also liked the fact that the books is reasonably priced at Rs.299/- making it very buyable.

Well, having said all this, I am not going to review the book. Kahlil Gibran is one of the most acclaimed and celebrated writers.

The quotes are awe-inspiring and thought provoking. Each story renders a flavor of its own and stands our distinctively. Reading the works of such writers also makes us feel the magic of words and its majestic power.

Another beauty of Kahlil Gibran’s works is that you can read and reread; each time it forces you to think differently.

Yet another distinguishing factor is his writing style itself. It is poetic in nature; making it sound like a sweet song!

Out of the twelve stories, The Prophet, which is also the first story in the Omnibus, is my favorite. It is philosophical and beautiful.

But...
The book is really huge. Therefore, it is tough to carry. I wish it was, instead, released as two volumes.


Should you read it?
An omnibus of one of the greatest writers…
What else can be the reason!


Rating
3.5/5


Thank you
I heartily thank Jaico Puiblishing House for giving away the book for review. I also them for taking efforts to print the works of such renowned authors and make the same accessible to young readers!

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Once smitten, Twice shy, Thrice lucky

From the book blurb
A narrative that spans 16 years and four cities, Varun takes a trip down the memory lane and opens up his world to you, describing the intricacies of shouldering the burden of expectations his family has on him and yet coming up triumphant, the importance of having a friend’s shoulder to cry on when you are down and out and the perks of being a soldier’s son. 

Join the emotional sissy that he calls himself; in his roller coaster ride as he tries to unlock the eternal mystery that is LOVE. In a romantic relationship that has gone kaput, with two women who are as different as chalk and cheese, he finally meets the love of his life. But do good things come the easy way? Before that, he has to bear the gut wrenching blows of the henchmen of a local Corporator, physically assault a senior HR leader in his company, almost lose his life in Dharavi and then take on the might of a powerful landlord turned realtor – all though at different stages of his life. True love is never a one-time event in one’s life. It can hit you in various forms. ‘Once smitten, twice shy, thrice lucky!’ is a story that tells you why Love is a perennial feeling, a mixed bag of myriad emotions no one can ever describe in the true sense



Author
Born in a small town near Warangal in Andhra Pradesh, Sandeep Kothapalli spent most of his growing years in Air Force bases at Bangalore, New Delhi, Chennai & Pune before his family eventually settled for good in Hyderabad. Son of a soldier who served in the Indian Air Force for 20 years before calling it quits, he spent most of his time watching the majestic Sukhoi’s & Jaguars take off for routine sorties and sometimes indulge in breathtaking dog fights. He is an engineer from JNTU Hyderabad and an MBA from IIM Ahmedabad. An avid blogger and a budding photographer, Sandeep currently is working as a Senior Manager in one of India’s top business conglomerates.

He blogs at

And tweets with the handle @taureansandy.


Characters
Varun            : Emotional fool… believer in love… confused at times with childlike innocence.
Vishu               : Uncertain and too young to make decisions
Nancy              : Ambitious and someone who regrets her hasty decisions
Lahari              : Charming and bubbly with a mysterious past
Meera              : Perfect sister and a great advisor. A loner
Rekha, Satish : Friends – That sums up all!
Sasha               : Teaches that life is not about how long you live, but how you live!

What I think
The cover page is too simple with the long title written in big-bold font. On the other hand, the title, Once smitten, twice shy, thrice lucky (OSTSTL), is too long like a Bollywood movie title. But, once you complete the book, you realize that it is perfect! The book blurb is elaborate and tells you beforehand why the book is so bulky; sixteen years is too long to curtain in a less bulky book!

The book is divided into three parts each pondering into different stages of the protagonist, Varun’s life. The narrative is simple and lucid. There are several characters and the author has nicely established each one of them in such a way that they leave an impression in our minds.

I enjoyed the manner in which the relationship between Varun and his younger sister Meera is portrayed. There is an ample dose of friendliness throughout and a touch of brotherhood towards the end.

I also liked the different kinds of love that bloom during different phases of life. First love, where you are ready to risk anything and everything. A cynical love which happens soon after the first love and finally, the real love which surpasses ego and past!

What makes this book special is the optimism and positivity it carries. It also sends out a strong message – Love is a perennial feeling; it never ends. Love might break your heart, but only love can give you happiness. There are no villains but circumstances which turns out to be villainous.

OSTSTL is a feel-good book.
It caresses your heart and gives a reason to fall in love again!


But...
The book is huge with about 340 pages. Many times, it also becomes redundant.
I wish it was shorter!


Should you read it?
It’s an easy breezy read.
It will certainly entertain you like a movie which has happy ending!


Rating
3/5


Thank you
A book from the author is always a pleasure. And I heartily thank the author for giving away the book for review. I wish him all the best in all his future endeavors! J

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

The Journey Home


From the book blurb
WITHIN THIS extraordinary memoir, Radhanath Swami weaves a colorful tapestry of adventure, mysticism and love. Readers follow the former Richard Slavin from the suburbs of Chicago to the caves of the Himalayas as he transforms from young seeker to renowned spiritual guide. The Journey Home is an intimate account of the steps to self-awareness and also a penetrating glimpse into the heart of mystic traditions and the challenges that all souls must face on the road to inner harmony and a union with the Divine.

Through near-death encounters, apprenticeships with advanced yogis, and years of travel along the pilgrims path, Radhanath Swami eventually reaches the inner sanctum of Indias mystic culture and finds the love he has been seeking. It is a tale told with rare candor, immersing the reader in a journey that is at once engaging, humorous and heartwarming.


Author
Radhanath Swami was born in Chicago in 1950. In his teens he set out to wander the world on a spiritual quest where he eventually discovered the yoga path of devotion. He presently travels in Asia, Europe, and America teaching devotional wisdom, but can often be found with his community in Mumbai.

People who know Radhanath Swami speak of his dedication to bringing others closer to God. Almost in the same breath they speak of his lightness, simplicity, and sense of humor. Visitors and friends are inspired by his unassuming nature and natural unwillingness to take credit for the works he inspires developing communities, massive food distribution to indigent children, missionary hospitals, eco-friendly farms, schools, ashrams, and emergency relief programs. He seems to see life as a continuous blessing of Gods grace, one admirer said, and yet he never loses his humanness. His accessibility leaves people feeling that with a little sincere effort, they too will find the path to inner peace and God realization.


Characters
The book, being an autobiography, is all about how an American named Richard comes to India… takes the spiritual path and becomes Radhanath Swami. This book is his journey and his quest for spiritual enlightenment.


What I think
The cover page is very simple. It has silhouette of temples and a lonely man. It is serene and gives a gist of what is in store in the book. The book blurb equally gives away the plot. The font is really good; it doesn’t make us strain our eyes at all. The book is divided into four parts and the chapter titles are poignant and interesting.

Disclaimer: I am not a big fan of non-fictions and worst when it comes to autobiographies. So, I was not very excited to read.

But, the book amazed me. Something pulled me into it. It let me get drowned into it and allowed me to swim through the author’s journey. I read the book for long stretches taking few breaks. The words of author, his situations and his experiences awed me.

The simple narrative and vivid experiences never bores. Each page has something new in store. There are wise words and several enlightened characters.

One of the characters who stole my heart is Ghanashyam. He is a devotee of Sri Radha – A selfless servant of God who sees fellow human as God’s friend. He dedicates his life in serving God and God’s friends.

Further, I liked author’s description of Afganisthan – A place which has suffered a lot and often ignited memories of plight and terrorism. But, the author has described how nice the people are. The author tells us how content they are in spite of poverty and also about their desire to share!

In short, some books transforms you. It urges you to become a better person. The Journey Home is one such books!


But...
Towards the end, he narrative starts to lose its charm. It tends to be redundant. I wish that it was edited more crisply because this could be because the book has about 350 pages!



Should you read it?
Go for it!
This book transforms you.


Rating
4.5/5


Thank you
I heartily thank ThinkWhyNot for giving away this book review.



Monday, 21 July 2014

Life's Purpose

Content in your love
As it makes me what I am;
Shows my life's purpose


PS: Thanks to Haiku Horizons for the prompt – Content J


Sunday, 20 July 2014

If only you were here...

It was cloudy though the sky still had the traces of orange sun. It seemed like a split air conditioner was fit into Mother Nature. It was unduly cold.

She stood there waiting for that blob to drop from heavens. She heard a slight thunder which almost came as a whisper. The clouds are secretly embracing each other. May be that’s whys such a subtle thunder, she thought. He fingers distractedly started playing with her long tresses.

She was still waiting to witness that kiss between the sky and land when she gradually drifted into a reverie.

If only you were here, she thought. She drew her hands closer to her with the hope of dwindling the cold. She wished that he was near her, holding her and talking to her. She always considered solitude as a gift; a bliss. She has never complained of being alone. Her mind would always entertain her with some crazy thought. Else the fictional characters in a movie or book would hold her hands for some time.

But that evening seemed unusual. If only you were here, she sighed. Her long curly tresses swayed as if shying away from the gentle caresses of the icy breeze. Her eyes refused to blink and her heart started racing. If only you were here, she heard her inner-self plead.

He was her love, her life. He came and friendship bloomed. They talked and love sparkled. They fell in love and life turned into a sweet magic.

Her heart pleaded her to take the smart phone and swipe to call him. But her brain alerted that he would be in office. Yes! It was a weekday and she had taken an off owing to her fever.

His thoughts dominated her. The urge to at least hear him multiplied. Even the velvety sky failed to charm her anymore.

She heard the phone ringing inside. She disinterestedly walked towards it for she knew it would not be him. Should be from office, she thought while unhurriedly walking towards it.

Then a smile creaked in her face. It was him!

A glister propped into her two weary eyes.

“Oh! Guess what! I was just thinking... If only you were here... and look who is calling!” she confessed.

He asked, “Is this the first time?”

She knew it was not. It happened all the time. Whenever she has had a strong urge to talk to him or be with him, he had startled her by calling or messaging her right away!

“Temme, had medicines?” he asked with concern.
Oh yes sire! It’s just that...” she said in a tired voice
“What happened?” he asked. His voice unable to conceal the panic.
“Hmmm... It’s just that... I love you and miss you tons” she said playfully yet truly.
“You are a crazy woman. Drama Queen. You scared me. Have some work. Call you soon” he said
Her energy level seemed to have pumped up to an unknown level when she said, “Love you”
She knew he smiled while he said, “You too”

Whenever he was in office or if others were around, he would say only “you too” and not “love you too”

With his myriad memories and a heap of joy, she walked back to the balcony and continued to enjoy the reverie!


Saturday, 19 July 2014

Panchatantra


About the Book
This masterpiece of Indian Literature contains the most widely known stories in the world. In fact, it is universally acknowledged as the best collection of stories known to civilized man. It is presented in an artistic form of wise and witty stories that has never failed to bring delight to millions of people.


Author
Arthur William Ryder was a professor of Sanskrit at the University of California, Berkeley. He translated a number of Sanskrit works into English, including the Panchatantra and the Bhagavad Gita. He was a member of the American Oriental Society and the American Philological Association. In the words of G. R. Noyes:

Taken as a whole, Ryder's work as a translator is probably the finest ever accomplished by an American. It is also probably the finest body of translation from the Sanskrit ever accomplished by one man, if translation be regarded as a branch of literary art, not merely as a faithful rendering of the meaning of the original text.

What I think
I would like to begin my thoughts with a disclaimer. I am a die-hard fan of Panchatanta and I have grown up reading these stories. These stories are a part of my childhood and who doesn’t like to revisit them?!

First things first. The cover-page is simple and very Indian. The book blurb gives a background of Panchatantra.

Panchatantra means five books in Sanskrit and needless to say, this book is divided into five sections. For those who don’t know about Panchatantra, it is a collection of short stories written by Vishnu Sharma in Sanskrit. It conveys the important lessons on righteous life. This is not conveyed through preaching. But, through the small stories. Most of the characters are animals and birds. Each story has a moral which is relevant to mankind.

The beauty of this book is that it will never lose its charm. This is still relevant and will be so forever!

The author has wonderfully translated the stories. The poems in the middle of stories are very beautiful; often rhyming.


But...
The book is more like a work of literature. More so because this is a translation and not retelling. So many a times, the narrative becomes too tedious and boring. The poems in between, in spite of the beautiful language, becomes an overdose.


Should you read it?
Doubtlessly.
Because:
i.                    A book that would be a pride to any book-lover’s collection…
ii.                  And a story that can be retold and never loses its charm!


Rating
2.5/5


Thank you
I heartily thank Jaico Puiblishing House for giving away the book for review

Friday, 18 July 2014

Locomente - Marry Like a Crazy

“Uf! Rabir, I am telling you, this is the best ever idea… In the middle of sea, in a nice ship…” I tried to convince Ranbir Kapoor for the hundredth time.

“Arey, tu sach mein Locomente nikhla. Why don’t you understand that people will think that he is trying to be cool as Siddharth Malya”, said a frustrated Rishi Kapoor. Neetu Singh sighed. It was loud enough for me to hear.

“How about in aircraft?” I struggled to keep the enthusiasm in my voice.

“Whats wrong with you? Don’t you see that the Malaysian aircraft was just blown?” said a fierce looking Neetu.

OKAY. When did I say we are going to fly in Malaysian Airways. Come on, these cinema people can be so dramatic at times. MANY A TIMES.

Wedding Planning has been my dream since Band Baaja Bharath days. For those who don’t know what I am talking about, it is a Bollywood movie which gave a-you-can-hate-me-but-can’t-ignore-me Ranveer Singh. The hero and the heroine (Anushka Sharma) do wedding planning and become Crorepatis. I dreamt about  undertaking wedding planning because I didn’t know when Kaun Banega Crorepati would start again. I didn’t have time. And, imagine, getting ready for weddings – Anarkalis, Gagras, saris – OH-YEM-GEEE!!! - Also matching accessories and nice hairdos… which girl doesn’t want that.

Everyone, from family to friends to random strangers, believed that Wedding Planning as a profession is a crazy idea and only a person with crazy mind can think of such a career they said. And those repeated comments made me coin the name for my Sole Proprietorship:

LOCOMENTE, THE WEDDING PLANNER
MARRY LIKE A CRAZY!!!!

Holding a certificate on Marketing from IIM-A, I knew how to advertise and sell. In a couple of years, I started getting big clients.

With the help of Baggout, I bought the best looking attires and tried to look at my striking best. Killer smiles were given when camera winked. And, soon I became a known face in Page3.

Tada! I planned the wedding for one of the seven sisters of Ranbir’s girlfriend (soon-to-be-wife). She fell in love with my work and promised that I would be called to plan her wedding.

I had almost forgotten the promise until one fine morning, I received a call from her announcing her wedding date and also asking me to promise that I shall keep the news a secret.

And all thanks to her. I am in this ridiculous situation now. I wanted to cry and run. But, this was my career and I can’t ruin it.

“How about a GO-Green wedding?” I asked and winked.

Suddenly I saw keen interest in their eyes.

“What’s that?” cried Ranbir’s girlfriend (soon-to-be-wife).

“In the middle of trees… with water bodies… twinkling stars… With the wild… In one of the most exotic places…” they looked confused. I paused and continued Lets make an open-air palace in an island surrounded by trees!

“You know, this marriage would also convey a message – Global warming because of the Go-Green concept. It will elevate the stars’ status. This will also bring the couple to the limelight for the right reasons” I concluded

“Perfect! If he is Being Human, I am Going Green” Ranbir said. Everyone nodded in agreement.

“But, how will you decorate the place? Accessorize the dancers who will dance for our movie songs? Wedding planning is not only about concepts” said Neetu.

I officially HATE her.

“Please don’t worry. Locomente will ensure that you marry like a crazy” I smiled reassuringly.

In the back of my mind, I told myself, “where there is Baggout, there is a way out!”


The Orange Hangover


From the book blurb
The Orange Hangover, a work of fiction by Rahul Saini, features the story of a young architect who has been lucky enough to have led the coolest of lifestyles, with the best of friends for company, a lucrative job in his pocket, and a girlfriend in his arms.

Unfortunately for him, his cool lifestyle is now a thing of the past, as an unforeseen circumstance bundles him off to his small hometown, where good restaurants and cool parties seem to be nowhere in sight. His move also ensures that his friends are a long way off from home and to top it all off, his relationship with his girlfriend is on shaky ground. As if things aren’t bad enough, he manages to embroil himself in a terrible crime. While the whole town thinks of him as nothing but a basket case, there is one girl who seems to understand him. Now, if only she weren’t so tongue-tied.

Being the protagonist, he is expected to follow his heart, win the heart of his dream girl, and be absolved of all crime, which is definitely a tall order for anyone. As for the outcome, only time will tell if he manages to bring his life under control. The book offers a funny take on life, touching on various topics such as learning from one’s experience, standing up for personal values, and helping others in times of need.

The Orange Hangover was published in 2012. It has received mainly positive reviews.


Author
Rahul Saini is an Indian architect-turned-author.

As of July 2012, he has written three books—The Orange Hangover, Just Like In The Movies, and Those Small Lil’ Things.

His writing, classified under the contemporary fiction genre, focuses on the vibrant, fun-loving nature of young Indians in the 21st century. It is funny and fast-paced, and clearly aims to resonate with the youth. His books include quite a few references to various television shows and movies.

Saini was born on May 8, 1983, in Jalandhar in Punjab, India. In 2006, he graduated as an architect. In addition to being qualified in architecture, he also has sound knowledge of Fine Arts and Design. Saini is involved in various aspects of film-making and photography too.


Characters
Rishab Suri, a young architect… likes to think out-of-the-box… hates his profession… struggles to figure out what gives happiness… a child at heart… movie buff… funny!

Natasha, knows what she wants. She is confident and understanding.

Mansi, is silent and an introvert.


What I think
The title is really catchy the meaning of which is nicely explained in the book itself. I am not going to give spoiler! The cover-page is orangey and nicely depicted. It is a sure eye-catcher. The book blurb is not very interesting. It is too vague. But, the checklists conveys the most and grabs attention.

The entire book is from the protagonist’s angle; about his life and thoughts. The narrative is lucid and funny. The chapter heads are catchy and relevant. I also liked the little cartoons here and there. They are cute!


The entire book is the hues and cries of a 25 years old man who is not ready to grow up and is unsure about what he wants in his life. It has about 230 pages. The first 100 pages are an assured page-turner. It is witty and there are several laugh-aloud moments.

There are two aspects that I loved the most in the book. One is the relationship between Rishab and his mother. It is well-depicted and their bonding is well-established. But, I am wondering why so little is mentioned about his father. Secondly, I liked the relationship between Rishab and Natasha. Their friendship is the most platonic one and she really lives to the saying, “A friend in need is friend in indeed”. I wish that Rishab was a listener too and that he bothered to get to know her.


But...
When you are halfway through the book, the redundancy would bore you. And, the climax would make you wonder what the purpose of the book is. Neither there is a premise nor there any interesting incidents.

The protagonist thinks a lot, exaggerates even more and over-explains. 


Should you read it?
If you have nothing else to do…
And for the sake of first half!


Rating
2.5/5


Thank you

Thanks to Jaico Publishing House for giving away this book for review.