Wednesday, August 17, 2011


'India against corruption' has definitely outgrown its expected turnout. Mind blowing! Honestly, I am not writing this to advertise Anna Hazare or his motives. In the past few days I learnt that there are supporters of the movement who are against Anna Hazare, the activist. Whatever maybe your justification, please realize that we are against corruption. Let us not shift our focus from that. I personally feel that Annaji has never gone to make this movement a reality out of his political interests. He has taken a strong stand, come up with reviving of the Ombudsman Bill and has perfectly executed with the right panelists and, of course, mass support! Sadly, I saw few people saying that Annaji is trying to be the new age Mahatma and is sitting inside DGP's air conditioned room. The latter is such a sadistic view of someone who has struggled a long way to take a positive step forward. The former is very disheartening to even hear! Annaji, in my view, never tried to claim the title of another Mahatma, nor does he intend to. He has fought for our nation during the 1965 Indo Pak war and has played a vital role in building Ralegaon Sidhi in Ahmed Nagar district, Maharashtra. For the record, the village runs on solar power, windmills, etc. I feel that someone of this stature who has contributed in a discreet manner would never in his right minds want to make self-claim of being Mahatma. You get what I mean? He genuinely intends on directing the Janlokpal bill on the right path, though, your perception of the bill could have a negative review. If so, then please refrain from supporting Annaji and his movement. You are free to do so, right? Mahatma Gandhi was known as Mahatma for his impeccable execution of ideologies at a time where electronic media, hype, second by second update of reactions were absent. But, the success of this movement deserves a big applause to the masses of India all over the world.

The success of this movement is not celebrating Annaji's conviction, but it is of how a cause can get the masses together. Like Chetan Bhagat had mentioned earlier, initially a lot of people were against Anna Hazare, the bill, etc. for reasons better known to them. But, today we have to garner and express that support for the kind of arrogance the political parties are showing. There is absolutely no gratitude, respect, empathy for the citizens of India. On one side we have reckless commentary and decision making and on the other side... *silence*. MMS has definitely no intentions of speaking up, or has rather forgotten how to do so and instead deploy spokespersons who accuse Anna of being dipped into the ocean of corruption. I knew the Govt. would not agree to the bill so soon, but showing utter ignorance to the common man's view is disagreeable. I didn't support this fight earlier because I felt we had to remove the temptation from within ourselves. But, after the ungrateful assembling of voices belonging to the party sounded so foolish and immature, I want to support this movement to show how much I regret having them into power. I want to support to show my respect towards a bill that deserved its empowerment ages ago. I want to support to prove that the common man won't bend for foolish notions set by the Govt. I want to support to show that we are indeed united. So let us have arguments on whether this is new age revolution, or Anna's greed to popularity, or if we should equalize corruption with Annaji later! This is the moment to understand and acknowledge the power of the common man. Unite.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Padmanabhaswamy - The Lord and his wraths!

The Padmanabhaswamy kshetram is rich. Yes, a lot of money indeed. I don't even know how many zeros to put against the 1. So we all agree that the temple represents frontier of our history. I heard that Maharaja Swathitirunal had put in lots of coins at his sad and good times into the bhandaram as this was one of the ways through which he found peace from chaos and trouble. Presumably, the money is not in the form of ready cash, right? I think it has a mix of cash, antique objects and souvenirs that belonged to the yesteryear rulers. Please correct me if I am wrong here. I do find it surprising when some are in the opinion of the money being used for the 'welfare' of the common man .I definitely wouldn't trust it in the hands of politicians for the simple reason that many are way too tempted to devour it to entertain their personal needs. This kind of treasure should be protected in a reserve or a museum, built to distance it from the eyes of thieves. The temple mirrors the religious sentiments of many, and some amount of discreet tone is maintained due to this. One thinks twice, thrice before passing any comment on the money, worried that they will be targeted by communists and secularists. Most of the recent additions to this huge treasure are in the form of money and various gifts to the Lord in the name of archanas, poojas, festivals; that have all been followed as a part of tradition. I adore the architecture, one of the main reasons as to why I have visited the temple around 6 times in 4 years. But, I was always against certain rules we abide by in the name of God. Why I get angry is because these rules are manmade and are followed in a mandatory pattern by blaming God. You cannot wear a salwar or any form of pants because God dislikes it. Says who? Once upon a time, I used to hear people giving up non veg on the days they visit temples, but interestingly, very conveniently they have a bath after consuming non veg, claiming that the bathing purifies their body. What they failed to learn is that the mind has to be pure, not your pot belly. To each... his own. I respect others views on certain traditions as long as it does no one bad.

There are enough and more charity organizations, NGOs and Govt. approved schemes that are helping the poor. Yes, it isn't enough but you can't demand our traditional collection to be used to serve the needs of the people. Not that I am against this idea. With so much money one would only want to make generous, fruitful use of it. But, to knowingly place the sword in the hands of the deceiver, one shouldn't expect development, but destruction. In no ways am I in a mood to agree on using this money for the nation's welfare only because if it is misused, it is going to take forever to punish the guilty and to procure the lost wealth. What a Bad Idea sirji!

The recent repercussions after the findings by the temple's astrologer triggered a lot of mixed thoughts. It was disheartening to see such statements coming out on such a sensitive issue. I really felt that the religious sentiments were being taken advantage of. According to these astrologers, God's wrath would be unleashed if the respective vault is opened. I wish the thieves would fall for that instead of poor devotees. I have believed in astrology as a form of science, not astrologers. Their inaccuracy can be a cause of huge hesitancy in the minds of millions of people who believe in it. Making strong statements like the exposing of the vault can lead to extinction of your generation is so absurd and uncalled for. Mr. Sunderarajan, the 70 year old man who revealed the Temple treasure died of fever. Apparently he died due to God's curse and was not an outcome of sickness, according to few who are narrow minded. Sadly, there are so many who are going to believe this and will, subsequently, begin to fear God all the more! My request to these astrologers who exercise important powers of not only detecting astrological signs, but who are responsible in influencing devotees' beliefs, must be more responsible in their conclusions. Trust me... if God wanted to curse and spew venom on 'wrongly done activities'... terrorists, scamsters, and the bad guys would have been rotting in hell long time back. That is not how this world works.

I understand that exposing the treasure can attract corruption, but it can also at the same time make us proud of our culture and diversity. Isn't that what India is best known for? Let us be more transparent and help resolve this issue that can satisfy the religious, and the atheists .Security is the main issue and no wrath can keep Robin Hood away from possessing the wealth. I hope the SC takes a wise decision and unfolds the secret treasure and make us feel more responsible in safe guarding it.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Veetilekyula Vazhi - A selfless journey for the sake of humanity

The way to a destination, chosen by many, that brings together the lines of meet. When the journey begins with a Doctor having to fulfill his patient's last wish, there begins the tryst with destiny that could change many people's lives altogether. But, let me be more concise. Prithviraj, the doctor, takes up the momentous responsibility of taking a little boy all the way to his father, an alleged terrorist. How he does it is what this movie is all about. Basking though the glory of the very famous Pushkar Mela in Rajasthan to the ice tingling snowcapped hills of Ladakh, they have been beautifully captured through the lens.

This elongated search begins with the little boy being recklessly handed over to the doctor, whose vision is too unrealistic but at the same time too determined to have its way. I love the way the boy bids a simple goodbye to the little institution that took care of him till now. Though he may be a little skeptical of what the future has for him, he seemed to be very confident or rather too ignorant about his migration. Amidst his journey, his little habits and mannerisms were what enticed me into falling in love with him. He would watch Tom and Jerry with a lot of curiosity, being a freedom he was getting for the first time. Initially, there was a scene where the doctor had gone to inquire about his father's whereabouts and the boy had just got off on his own doing his own little thing .Later on, quite sheepishly he would always clung onto the doctor's hands , somewhere worried about being left alone, a moment of accountability. Unaware of his past and future, and unaware of the outcome of this intentional quest... he is just comfortable with a little aeroplane or a little ball, or anything that can distract his mind and can keep him occupied. Towards the end there is even a moment when he asks the doctor if it is necessary for him to face his father. Such is the innocence of a 6 year old, beauty of childhood.

I am liking this toned down look and presentation of Prithviraj's character in the movie. He doesn't sound loud or doesn't even make me, as an audience; feel like he is a superstar or whatever. There is certain honesty in his eyes, his biggest asset. At one scene when they were at a terrorist hideout, unprepared for what was about to happen; he looked unhappy while witnessing the making of bombs hidden inside the disguise of a beach ball. He kept looking, not knowing how he should react. It is one of those times when we don't know if we should just stick to what we are doing or should care of our surroundings. Somehow, none of this mattered to him. Though, he did try to strike a small arguement with Indrajith, another Jihadi, it seemed to go nowhere. He knew he couldn't change their motives and he just wanted to give his mission a full stop. In fact, in another scene (which was shown in the trailer), he says that there are several routes that lead to home. Whichever route one chooses, he finds it to be the correct path. Though it may not seem right for the other, one cannot choose for another.

Dr. Biju has incessantly stressed on a selfless element throughout. A doctor who decides to give life to an opportunity which includes people, who took away his zest for living, is a beautiful portray of how one perceives life. There is never a selfless deed, isn't it? Even a philanthropist gains satisfaction after losing his wealth intentionally to charity. But, here, it was a selfless moment, deed, a selfless fight for what was asked for. At several points the doctor is asked the same question again and again... why this selfless journey for someone who is not your’s? Some commendable moments are how he had brought a shade of calmness in most of the terrorists' characters. Terrorists in this movie are calm and composed, and sometimes even have a good heart. There was this loud and happy Punjabi driver who happened to give doctor and the boy a lift. The driver was shown speaking his Hindi in typical Punjab style. This was followed by some typical bhangda music. Another funny moment was when he refers to the doctor as a 'madrasi' on realizing that he is from the South. The plight of South Indians! Whether you speak Telugu, or Kannada, or Malayalam or even 'Manglish'... you'll always be known as a madrasi for most of them up north :)) Such amazing musical forms have been depicted through the sandy deserts of Rajasthan. I also got to hear some real Sufi music along with a small ghazal piece. They all have been so aptly synced with most of the scenes. The only fictitious thing in the whole movie was how easily the doctor could break through into the terrorist circle. The rest is for you to see and judge. The use of other languages has been timed perfectly with the characters and situations that it doesn't make one feel out of place while watching it.

Veetilekyula Vazhi for me is a journey towards finding one's selflessness, an irreplaceable emotion from hugging the bigger cause -humanity.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Ajay Menon and his 'Beautiful People'

Ajay Menon, the eye behind Papaya media, has always weaved magic through his extraordinary images inside his eyes :) And everytime he would update his photography page with some amazingly captured moments, I would crave to be a part of it someday !! Whenever I met him I kept nagging him about how he never has time to click his friends' photos and he would always say that we never have time to pose. Just two days back during Avial's pre gig relaxation, we were all sitting together having coffee and fries and pakoras and this man just stood up with his camera, abruptly flashing around, catching us unawares! Then, he asked me and Sreenath Bhasi to sit behind each other and 'act' like we are having a jolly good time. We tried everything but apparently I made all the wrong moves and the photographer seemed to get tired of waiting to catch THE moment. But, we patiently went on posing and ended up getting few 'average' moments caught beautifully in his camera. One of those average moments is what you can see below, featured in 'Beautiful People'. To know more about Ajay Menon and his skills just check out his Page on Facebook :

Justice delayed IS Justice denied

You've got to believe this. I was just trying to, like a normal, inquisitive individual , Google the latest updates on the Soumya rape case and didn't find any useful details. So, I thought of blogging on how pathetic the system is and blah blah, because I tend to become wacky everytime I see nothing being done on such important issues. Then I refrained from doing so as I always end up writing long, boring lectures on this , feeling helpless ! Then, on twitter, happened to read a retweet "In 2010: 48,461 rapes in India. 2011: 5 months, 185 rapes just in Delhi! #SHAME" by @jainnimit.

There are the ones that never get registered, or enough media attention, and hence due to no major reporting being done they're denied any action or justice at all. But the ones like Soumya, how much has actually been done? The whole of Kerala was outraged months ago when the incident took place and it seems like the whole truth was laid out by Govindachami himself before the police. When everything is out in the open, why is it taking so much time to punish him? A month back I read few absurd details on how few top advocates are actually fighting this case for the rapist. Apparently 5 of them are on this case and the soul which is not resting in peace is probably up there crying tears of pain, on how pathetic it will further get for all the other women who might have to go through this terrible fate. I can still remember seeing an ad campaign by Ajan Rs regarding this. Watch it below.

Soumya IS dead
Govindachami IS STILL alive
Politicians HAVE Spoken out
They WILL speak again
When the NEXT Soumya passes away
Open your DAMN mind!

There is nothing left to be said after the countless number of debates and counter sessions of justifications. Yes, justice delayed is justice denied. And hell yeah, we aren't going to forget this for a long time until Soumya doesn't get any rightful justice. If there is someone who knows anything extra about this case or on how it is progressing , please be kind enough to mention it here.