Saturday, 20 May 2017

Let me Free

I feel like a bird…
Caged in your heart…
Let me free

Let me fly!

Monday, 15 May 2017

Tu Tu Mein Mein - 30

Mind   : What is wrong with you?
Heart : Nothing. Why?
Mind   : You look distracted and sad
Heart : Come on, I am not. I am telling (smiles)
Mind   : You are smiling, but it doesn’t reach your eyes. Tell me what is wrong!
Heart : You mean I am faking? Why would I do that?
Mind   : When did I say that?
Heart : You don’t even realize what you say. You don’t care if your words hurt others
Mind   : Does this mean I am the reason for your sadness?
Heart : Yes! You are the ONLY reason (agitated)
Mind   : In that case, you could have told me that
Heart : I just told you
Mind   : Yes, you just told me. But not when I asked.
Heart : I am not answerable to you, remember? (Irritated)
Mind   : Okay, I get that. Leave it.
Heart : If everything is okay with you, why do you ask?
Mind   : I am sorry. I made a big mistake by asking if you are okay (sighs)
Heart : See, now you are irritated
Mind   : I am irritated? You seriously think so?
Heart : What do you mean? Of course you are. I am anything but irritated
Mind   : Fine (Walks off)
Heart : FINE (Yells back. Starts crying. Feels sad)

Thursday, 11 May 2017

I think about you...

I think about you...
And I wonder if you were a dream.
A fragment of my imagination?
A part of my illusion?

I think about you...
And I wish it was different.
Can I revisit and rewrite?
Can I erase and start afresh?

I think about you...
And your smiling face flashes in my mind.
Why does it spread emptiness in my heart?
Why does it pain so much?

I think about you, my love
Day and night…
In dreams and fantasies
In happiness and sadness.

I just think about you
Because you are my soulmate
Unmindful of the pricking reality;
And the shadowing helplessness.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Pa. Paandi

Cast
:
Rajkiran, Revathi
Prasanna, Chaya Singh
Dhanush, Madonna Sebastine
Director
:
Dhanush
Cinematographer
:
Velraj
Music
:
Sean Roldan
Editor
:
Prasanna GK
Producer
:
Wunderbar Films
Release Date
:
April 14, 2017
Length
:
2 Hours & 32 Minutes
Language
:
Tamizh

My Thoughts
Dhanush’s first directorial venture Pa Paandi is a heartwarming story of past sixty year old man (Raj Kiran). Born as Paandian Pazhanisami in a small village, he moves to Chennai and becomes a celebrated stunt master in cinema. That’s when he rechristens himself as Power Pandi so as to make his name catchier. His son (Prasanna) is a workaholic. He also comes across as strict and rigid, mostly due to his overt concerns. He is married (Chaya Singh) and has two children; these kids are the lifeline of old Paandi. In a subtle way, the director has conveyed the indispensable role reversal that would happen in any family – children treating their aged parents like a small child and the related suffocation that any parent would feel. Hoots for Dhanush for taking up such an unconventional story and handling it in the most subtle manner possible. There are no out of the world dialogs or any hint of over dramatization. The dialogs are mostly minimal; often thought provoking or claps worthy. The relationship between the grandfather and the grandchildren is well established. Although the generation gap between the father and son could be a major reason for the drift, substantive plots to showcase their moments of togetherness is missing. The pre-intermission scenes comes across as a shocker – a deviation from clichés and perceptions. Second half brings younger version of Pandi (Dhanush) and narrates his experience of first love with Poonthendral (Madonna Sebastine). There are a few cute eye to eye moments. However, its sweetness is nothing compared to the scenes that follows in present between older Pandi and older Poonthendral (Revathi). The movie shouts – age is just a number and that we should never stop living for ourselves.

Pa Paandi has a rich ensemble of stars, all of them rightly fitting into their skin. The background music adds to the sweetness of the narration. Venpani Malarae hits us like a cold breeze. The cinematographer has beautifully captured two eras (present and past). The fight scenes involving Rajkiran could look too cinematic. Yet, it is a means to convey that “you decide your age” and don’t let your biological clock decide that.

Rajkiran as Pa.Paandi shines in every frame. He has brilliantly brought out the innocence and helplessness of the character. He is surely the show stealer. So is his younger counterpart – Dhanush. He infuses lots of energy and youngness into the narration. Revathi is charming and looks very beautiful. So does Madonna Sebastine. Prasanna as the strict son will definitely strike a chord with the middle aged folks. His transition from being aggressive to helpless is effortlessly portrayed. It was a pleasure to see Chaya Singh, TV anchor Divyadarshini (DD) and Vidyullekha Raman on screen.

Overall, Pa Paandi is a breath of fresh air in Tamizh film industry. Although many movies are made with middle aged or old people as the central characters in Hindi and Malayalam, such movies are almost non-existent in Tamizh. Hats off to Dhanush for being a game changer.

Pa Pandi is like a beautiful melody.
Take your family. Go to the cinemas and enjoy this.

Rating
3.5/5


Monday, 1 May 2017

Bahubali 2: The Conclusion

Cast
:
Prabhas, Rana Daggubati
Anushka Shetty, Tamannaah
Satyaraj, Ramya Krishna, Nassar, Rohini
Director
:
S S Rajamouli
Cinematographer
:
K K Senthil Kumar
Music
:
M M Keeravani
Editor
:
Kotagiri Venkateswara Rao
Producer
:
Arka Media Works
Release Date
:
April 28, 2017
Length
:
2 Hours & 48 Minutes
Language
:
Telugu/Tamizh/Hindi/Malayalam

My Thoughts
Since the release of Bahubali – The Beginning, entire nation has been waiting to know the answer to the burning question - why Kattappa killed Bahubali? Rajamouli’s Bahubali 2: The Conclusion solves the mystery in style. The second and final instalment is much wider in scale, the emotions are deeper and the lead – Prabhas (Bahubali) and Rana (Ballaladeva) are more beefed up. Of course, Anushka (Devesena) is more beautiful.

Bahubali 2: The Conclusion is the usual story of love, dirty politics and betrayal. But, the way it is presented on screen makes it nothing less than an epic. One man’s (Rajamouli) vision is made true by a brilliant assortment of technicians. Art director Sabu Cyril’s sets infuses life to the extravagant palace of Devasena and the fictional Mahishmathi/Magizhmadhi. Senthil Kumar’s cinematography makes the flying boats, army of men and arrows realistic. Special mention to the CGI and VFX team who have helped in presenting the world of Bahubali in the realistically. Keeravani’s background music gels with the scenes and helps in evoking the right emotions in audience. But, the songs are not as catchy as its prequel. The editor’s cut makes the climatic scenes engrossing.

Prabhas as Amarendra Bahubali and Mahendra Bahubali/Shivudu is a treat to watch. He becomes the real-life version of all the kings who were a part of our bedtime stories during childhood. Amarendra Bahubali, especially is so loveable – a perfect son, warrior and lover! Hats off to the actor for his relentless dedication. Rana as Ballaladeva is cunning and silently plays his cards until the climax. If there is someone who can fight the bulky and strong Mahendra Bahubali (who could carry heavy Shiva Lingam, climb mountains with ease and what not), it is Ballaladeva. Watch out the duo in the climax fight sequence! Every inch of Anushka as the brave and beautiful Devasena looks like a Princess. She is opinionated and fearless; a feminist too. If there can be someone who can sideline the dominating and aggressive Rajamatha Sivagami (Remya Krishna), it is Devasena. And, I have no words to describe Remya Krishna. Her eyes speak; they emit power. She shines in the midst of towering presence of Prabhas and Rana. Nassar as the crippled Bijjaladeva/Pingaladeva is similar to Shakuni in Mahabharatha – capable of manipulation. Sathyaraj, as the pivotal Kattappa, emotes the dilemma with ease. Tamannaah and Rohini could be seen only in a couple of scenes.

In short, the cast and crew of Bahubali 2: The Conclusion have given their best and beyond. The end result is a spell bounding 168 minutes of visual treat which is both gripping and awe-inspiring. Hoots and shouts to the visionary director – watch out (again) for the climatic fight sequence. His imagination has no limits!

Well, the movie is not flawless. But, it doesn’t bore you and are minor. That’s all matters at the end of the day, isn’t it? And, worry not if you missed the prequel. This movie could be enjoyed as a standalone film.

Bahubali 2: The Conclusion is a pride. Don’t miss it!

Rating
4/5


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