Thursday, March 31, 2005

Million $ Baby

Million dollar baby didn't bag the Best adapted screenplay award, but it got some of the other top oscar awards like Best picture, director, actress and supporting actor.

This movie is based on the novel "Rope Burns" by F.X. Toole.Adapted by paul haggis. This is not a typical Rocky type boxing movie. Boxing is just the field on which a great story is told. Boxing is also used as a metaphor for explaining some philosophies. The movie is a multi layered one, exploring relationship between various characters, the spirit of boxing ,some moral questions etc.

Clint eastwood has directed the movie beautifully .It is hard to keep the audience interested in a movie with 3 characters that too 2 old guys with no villain. He seems to be very clear on what he wants to convey to the audience. He does not explain about what happened in Dunn's(clint) life, why his daughter estranged him but takes lot of time to develop the characters and their relationship. The movie is like a collection of small stories combined to give a big novel. Some of the characters when viewed alone become a story of their own. Like scrap(morgan freeman) an half blind ex boxer and his relationship with danger(kind of a retarded guy),Clint and hillary looking to find their broken FAMILY in each other etc.

Clint has broken down the whole movie into small pieces and has placed them so well. He mixes the boxing scenes with the plain dialogue’s. Various scenes that didn't have any connection to the main storyline at the first look add to the story line later.

Even though everybody had acted well. My pick is Hillary swank(Maggie Fitzgerald) , from her body language in boxing to her change from the bubbling enthusiastic girl to a hardened boxer and to a shattered woman, she rocks. Looks like she has done a lot of homework for the movie, you can see the difference in her body, the way she hits the speed bag , does her training etc.

This movie is definitely clint's best so far, better than Mystic river as a director. But it doesn't leave you with the impact of Mystic River though. The climax of mystic river comes crashing down on you. MDB leaves you with sorrow, but as soon as the movie ends, the mind races to the start of the movies to rerun the whole movie.


I generally watch all the movies that gets nominated in the Oscars's best
pictures category every year.I didn't see any of them till the awards were i started checking them out recently.Apart from the best
picture category i was intrested in the best Adapted screenplay category
also.I thought i will do a series on these movies.Let me start with the
Best adapted screenplay category.The movies that got nominated were


Tuesday, March 29, 2005

The Battle of Saragarhi

I was talking to my friend on the other day and our discussion which started with the US proposal to sell F16 to Pakistan issue somehow drifted to battles and I mentioned him about the battle of saragarhi. He didn’t know about the battle and neither did many of my friends. so thought I will enlighten my blog readers about this famous battle.

Sikh Regiment, the pride of the Indian army boasts this famous battle to its credit. This is a battle that is listed as one of the top 8 battles of collective bravery by the UNESCO. This battle is a matter of pride for the Sikhs in general.

The Battle of Saragarhi was fought in 1897 in the now NWFP(North West frontier province) in Pakistan.It is an epitome of Valour, Courage, Bravery and Sacrifice. Havildar Issar Singh with 21 Other Ranks made the supreme sacrifice repulsing 10,000 of the enemy. This sacrifice was recognized by the British Parliament, when it rose to pay its respects to these brave young soldiers. All 22 were awarded the Indian Order of Merit (IOM), the then highest decoration for an Indian soldier. This 'Kohinoor' of the Sikh Regiment is one of the ten most famous battles of the world. Even to this date, this battle forms part of the school curriculum in France.more

The Campaign

Tony blair

Another version in pdf

Monday, March 28, 2005

Suraj Ka Satvan Ghoda

Suraj ka satva ghoda (The seventh horse of sun) is a rashmonish movie by shyam benegal. The movie is based on Dharamavir Bharati novel of the same title. Iam not sure about how much of adaptation was done for the screen. The story is narrated in a non-linear style. It uses various techniques, story inside story, spacitial and time discontinuities, stories narrated in different threads with hook points to relate them. Above all the story mixes fact and fictions and leaves the conclusion to the viewer.

The story is enriched with so many beautiful characters played by some great actor/actresses. The movie does not have one central character, there are two narrator 's in the story but the importance is not given to them but to the characters they narrate. The director uses different threads to develop the characters, the viewer comes to know the character’s little by little with every story.

I havn't seen an indian movie that has employed so many narration technique's. It keep's the viewer engrossed in the different stories, switching between fact and fiction. At the end of the movie i felt as if i was a kid and benegal like my grand ma told a fairy tale. You tend to believe everything when it is told , but after the story has ended and u look back at the story and say "that cannot be possible, it is not true". The movie comes together like a cloud formation and vanishes leaving you groping for truth.

If you are a fan of good movies/literature/non-linear style stories and dont mind off beat movies, check out the movie don't read the post anymore. For all those who will never see this movie here it is.

*********** spoiler alert*************

The story starts with raghuvir yadav in a modern art exhibition. He comes across this picture which reminds him of his mohalla (neighborhood) and his college days. He starts narrating about his days and starts talking about Manik mullah (Ranjit kapur) a railway employee who was a great story teller and how he and his friends would go there when ever they get free time and how manik would tell them stories.

The movie now shifts to a flashback where young raghuvir yadav and his friends discuss about the current literatures and romance. They ask manik to tell them a romantic story in his own style.Manik starts the first story "Being true to one's salt".Manik who is sitting in the window looks down at the next house and sees a cow tied to the shed and a girl walking towards the cow.He starts the story that when he was young they used to have a cow and the next door neighbour girl used to frequent to there house.

Even though manik starts talking about his story, the main character becomes jamuna( rajeshwari sachdev ).jamuna is kind of a romantic and dreamy character who is in love with another neighbor thanna.Jammuna is lonely and spends time thinking about thanna and reading romantic book's like devdas.Thanna is afraid of his father mahesar dalal and does not want to do anything against his will. In this first story you hear the voice of the father shouting to his son who is looking at jamuna and there are also references to what kind of a character he is,but you will never see who the person really is. In the next story he is revealed as amrish puri. jammuna keeps talking about thanna to manik and slowly manik and jammuna fall in love. jammuna later gets married to an older man.

At the end of the story manik and the gang start discussing about the moral of the story in a humorous tone. When the gang asks more about the fate of jammuna. He shows the horse shoe in the house and starts the next story " The Horse shoe". Jammuna married to a rich zamindhar is childless ,she often goes to the temples with a tanga(horse cart) driver randhan and he promises her that if she wears a ring made out of horse shoe she will have a child.Her frequent temple visits with randhan brings her closer to him .jammuna starts having a illicit relation with randhan and bears his child.

Again the gang start discussing the moral of the story and they further enquire about waht happened to the diff characters in the story. Manik starts the 3rd story. The 3rd story starts with the other side of the first story. Now you see amrish puri the father ,the story moves ahead and joins the initial point of the first story when manik meets jamunna near the cow shed. The same story also starts describing about the other women's lilly(pallavi joshi) and satti(neena gupta).lilly is chosen as the bride for thanna. Thanna has a child with lilly and he dies in a train accident. The story also starts developing the character of amrish puri as a womanizer. satti is a low class soap maker living with her uncle chaman thakur. Mahesar dalal makes advances towards satti and she resists it. Suddenly there is nobody in chamman thakur's house and a villager says that he saw chamman thakur driving a cart filled with his belongings and a body covered with white clothes. The people conclude that probably mahesar dalal and chamman thakur have killed satti.

The next day the gang again ask more story and mulla starts the story of lilly. Again a story discontinued in time. manik and lilly are in love. lilly is about to get married to thanna ,manik once again backs up and ask's lilly to forget him. Lilly get married to thanna.The gang again discuss about the story and someone says that manik's stories are plain and straight forward and he does not employ any technique in his stories. Manik answers by saying that only people who does not have anything to say use techniques and he is a fan of improvisation and pure story telling.He says he likes to make impromptu stories about any object that he sees and he likes flaubert, maupassant and chekov way of story telling. He narrates an incident with chekov where he told a lady that "writing story is not hard. keep any object before me and i will weave a story around it".Then one of the gang member challenges him to tell the story of satti around a knife that is in manik's room. Manik says he doesn't have to make the knife as the center as it is, a very important part in the story and infact it is the same knife that satti had when she met him the last time.

Manik starts the story of satti .He frequents her place to help them with their soap business accounts. manik and satti kind of get close to each other. Mahesar dalal befriends chamman thakur ,buys him drinks and gives him money to marry satti. mahesar dalal rapes satti. satti comes to manik's house escaping from her uncle and mahesar dalal and pleads with manik to take her some where. manik asks her to sit in another room and reports it to his brother. His brother brings mahesar dalal and chamman thakur, she fights them with the knife but is over powered by the 2 and she is taken away by them. The story end with the previous scene in the 3rd story where a villager narrates that he saw chamman thakur riding a cart with a body.

Again they start discussing the story and manik says he regrets his decision of betraying satti and after her death his poetries are filled with morbid thoughts. manik then says he has to go to work and the gang asks him to buy a tea for everybody . manik agrees and on the way to the tea stall raghuvir yadav says that when manik was narrating the story he had lot of imaginations , he says he saw a rainbow and a cart being pulled by mahesar dalal with 3 children’s the children’s of jammuna, lilly and satti and the served legs of chamman thakkur walking etc. manik after hearing to it says that his ability to imagine is a gift and that he should reform his dreams into a story. He goes on to say that stories are a medium to mold one's dreams with reality to fulfill one's own desires and stories are a strange mixture of reality and dreams. As he is talking this to the gang some beggar woman asks for alms ,manik turns and is shocked .It is satti with a child and chamman thakur in a cart that she was pulling. satti is also shocked looking at manik and she backs off and runs to the cart .manik runs behind her into a fog. Raghuvir yadav ends his narration saying that he never saw manik after that , but he as become a successful writer now.

As the movie ends ,you are left with hundreds of question on what is real and what is fiction. Did manik invent the stories on the fly with the objects that he saw?. If it is true then what about satti??. Manik’s confession that he likes flaubert makes you realize that the jamuna character has the resemblance of madame bovary , it again puts a question what is real and what is fiction. when talking to manik Lilly reference’s one of his character called jammuna which again adds to the confusion. If he was making up the stories why was he shocked seeing satti ??.

If you come out of manik, then there is a higher level narrator raghuvir yadav. Going back on his statement that he has became a successful writer makes you wonder on how much was reality in what he told. Did he give shape to his imagination?. Did he mold his imaginations with reality? Did he invent the whole story on the fly after seeing the modern art??. The movie leaves you dumb folded by its complex narrative style.


Sunday, March 27, 2005

One day Vs Test Match

I used to like One day's more than the test matches. But somehow in the last few years. I have started to like test matches more. A test match keeps u in suspense of what is going to happen the next day, which makes watching the next day's play more enjoyable. That to, if it is a good series with roller coaster rides like the Ind Vs Aus or Ind vs. pak it is great.

Iam fascinated by the old test matches also. The pace bowlers bowling the perfect off line and length with a bunch of slip's.If the test match is in england or australia then there is a special feel to it. The lush green ground, the birds flying when the ball comes towards them, the silence and the occasional claps.

I feel test matches because of availability of time brings the best in the bowler’s and batsmen. A spinner get's all the time to set up a batsmen and not worry about the scoring to get him out in the last ball of the over. Similarly a batsmen's temperament and mind reading the bowler comes to test more in the test matches than the one days. Captaincy becomes an art in test matches.

The match in bangalore is greatly poised now. Will india go for a win?. i doubt it. A draw is definitely on the cards. Defeat unlikely, but hi this is cricket anything can happen.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Idle Gold

A great move to tap india's vast wealth, the gold.But will it work?.

India, the world's largest gold importer and consumer, announced last month that mutual funds could launch Gold Exchange Traded Funds to enable people to buy and sell gold in units as small as about $2. The units can be listed on stock bourses. Details of the scheme are still being worked out.more

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Born into brothels

Atlast i got to see Born into brothels.Came to know that i had missed the Q&A with Ross Kauffman, the co-director of the documentary.This oscar winning documentary is set in the calcutta sonagachi red light area.I don't know whether the documentary will make the same impact on indians as it had done with the foreigners.

Zana Briski who came to shoot a documentary in the red light district is not able to shoot it because of the camera shy people out there. she tries to capture their lives through the eyes of the children’s of prostitutes. She trains them and takes them on trips to develop their photographic skills. Avijit one of the kid, get's to go to amsterdam for a children photographic exhibition. Zana tries to put them into a boarding school, except for one girl & a guy everybody else drop out of the school.

I think they could have bettered in the editing area. The scenes of prostitutes and the red light area are very hazy. Not sure whether it was deliberately done or because they shot with a low-resolution digital camera. When the children’s are interviewed, they tell us how even they have to end up in prostitution business when they grow up, about their dope fathers, prostitute mothers and there doomed future. There is a scene where two prostitutes have a verbal duel in a dingy building; they speak the most chosen of bad words. That show's the kind of an environment the children’s are growing up.Then the scene shift to the children’s outing in the beach. A sunny day, the open sea, blue sky, the very expressive puja frolicking in the beach and her big grin suddenly puts all your worries about their future and wretched life into the abyss. She is like a pure flower in a garbagge dump.

I wish zana didn't come in the documentary. I felt as if she was trying to take credit for all that she was doing for the childrens.She accepts that she is not a social worker and she can only do a few things. But looks like the success of the documentary and the oscars have made her into a social worker. Check out the Kids with camera foundation. Is she another Dominique Lapierre in the making?.

Kids photo gallery

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Venkatesh prasad calls it a day

Bapu Krishnarao Venkatesh Prasad announced his retirement today.

If there is one image of prasad that will be etched in my memory for ever, it will be him showing Amir sohail, the way to pavilion. That was 1996, world cup quarter finals between India and pakistan at chinnaswamy stadium, Bangalore.He was one of the main reason for the immense joy that many Indians felt that day. Another great cricketer hangs his boots.
India's 287 was a daunting total in those days, but Pakistan began well. Sohail and Saeed Anwar added 84 in 10 overs before Anwar was out for 48, off just 32 balls. Then came a defining moment of the game, as hothead met hothead. Sohail, having smashed Venkatesh Prasad for a four to extra-cover, indicated to the bowler that the next ball would disappear there as well. Prasad, a mild-mannered man outside the field of cricket, glared at him, strode back to his mark, and rushed in. Sohail tried to make room for the shot he had promised, and the ball middled the off stump.

That was the decisive turning point. Prasad, mixing it up beautifully, then took the wickets of Ijaz Ahmed and Inzamam-ul-Haq. more


Tuesday, March 22, 2005

The importance of a pilgrimage

Fantababy's post on vaishnov devi made me think about my experiences when i took that trip.Vaishnovdevi is a great spot.I took the trip not as a religious one but as a fun trip. But i felt very refreshed after the trip. My mind kind of cleared up and i was feeling very good for a couple of weeks. i was wondering why?.

The shrine is located at the top of the hills and you have to hike it.I did the trip at the end of winter and it was damn cold .It drained me, i almost gave up. But continued for a while and then my body became numb, i didn’t feel pain anymore, my mind became mechanical, only concentrating on the next step.The fun part was crawling into the caves. The entrance to the deities is just a small hole that you have to crawl into.

There is definitely something in that air and water. Or something about hiking at that altitude, it clears your whole system. You kind of feel rejuvenated and peaceful when you come back.

There is a saying in tamil "Thirupathi sendral thiruppam nigazhum" meaning If you make a trip to thirupathi, there will be a change in your life.Thirupathi also has the same concept, you got to hike the hills.You can take it literally that if you make a visit to lord balaji/vaishnov devi and they will grant your wishes.But i think it is more on your mental and physical changes that the pilgrimage brings to you.

The fact that you hiked the hill after so much hardship gives a sense of accomplishment and increases your confidence levels. If you are on the verge of taking a big decision or starting some business etc, you would be more focused and positive after a trip like this. And saying like "go to thirupathi you will have a baby" means you will be physically more fit after a pilgrimage and your physical changes will make your body respond more (secreting more hormones etc).

The reason why certain god is supposed to be more powerful than the other could be attributed to the environment of the shrine. You feel more refreshed by that particular environment compared to others. If you are a very religious person, you will be doubly refreshed :).

Monday, March 21, 2005

Jnanpith for JK

What a news. A crowning glory to the Literary giant.

The 10-member jury, which included eminent writers Mahashweta Devi and U R Ananthamurthy and Sahitya Akademi president Gopi Chand Narang, praised Jayakanthan for his works, which 'unveils every depth of human emotions and equations.His literature represents deep and sensitive understanding of the complex human nature and is an authentic and vivid index of Indian reality,' the citation said. Announcing the award after the meeting of the Selection Board this morning, Dr Singhvi said Jayakanthan has 'not only enriched the high literary traditions of Tamil language, but also made outstanding contribution towards the shaping up of Indian Literature.It is a moment of great pride for the Bharatiya Jnanpith to choose D Jayankanthan for the Jnanpith Award for the year 2002,' he said.more

Feel like reading JK
check out the english translation of Agni Pravesam & pudhiya varpugal

Listen to some of his songs in dhool.

1.vEru idam thEdip pOvaaLO from sila nErangaLil sila manidhargaL.

2.chiththirappoo sElai from pudhu seruppu kadikkum

3.udal enbaar from pudhu seruppu kadikkum

4.Thennankeetru oonjalilE from Paadhai theriyudhu paar

Don't know what happened to the p siva kumar site on JK.
Here are some other links on JK
JK intro

JK short stories in tamil at Project madurai (need TSCII fonts)
Short stories colleciton 1
Short stories colleciton 2

Sunday, March 20, 2005

A matter of principles

The issue is just not denying visa to a person. By doing so USA has concluded that he is the person who is solely responsible for the riots unilaterally.

What are the implications of this on the security of the country?

Pakistan has been trying to escalate the Kashmir issue for a very long time now. It has been trying to convince the world that there are large scale Human rights violation in kashmir and lot of innocent people are killed by the army. These groups can sight modi's issue as an example and ask to revoke the visa of the kashmir chief minister or something on that line to get world attention. And USA will again unilaterally pass judgement about issues that are taking place in kashmir and other parts of the country.

We must not allow other countries to pass judgments on our citizen’s .Such a decision is just one step ahead of arresting him or taking any other action against him. If modi can be unilaterally judged, it could be done to any other indian citizen too.

Is US promising that this particular law will be used strictly without any discrimination?.
I don’t think so. This law will be used selectively on a political need basis. And that's why we have to ask the question. Why now? Why Modi?.

Friday, March 18, 2005

B* slapping modi

Sepia mutiny's article on modi's visa denial made me think on this US action.

Given the fact that modi is still the chief minister of an indian state, clearly shows that he has not been found guilty so far. So how can USA make a unilateral decision on whether modi is guilty or not?. Can india deny visa for BUSH cause he was responsible for killing so many peoples in iraq?.

Or is it the fact that USA doesn't want someone who has allegedly killed so many indian people in their soil. Then what was warren anderson doing in USA.This man is responsible for killing more than 20,000 people in bhopal gas tragedy

If it is public opinion that forced the decision, then lot of people should have been B* slapped. There is always protest when ariel sharon visit's US.
Since Sharon took office, in Feb., 2001, over 2000 Palestinians have been killed, 327 by extra-judicial assassinations. Nevertheless, Bush describes Sharon as a MAN OF PEACE.more

Chinese premier Jiang Zemin visted USA and there were lot of protests. But when the Chinese President, US protestors had flags and banners ripped of from their hands by the police.
The Chinese people began to hope for greater freedom. In 1989 thousands demonstrated in Tiananmen Square in the capital, Beijing. They wanted democracy and freedom to express their views. Their protest was squashed with tanks and guns. The U.S. was furious that China had turned military weapons on its own people. To punish China's leaders, the U.S. cut back on trade.

Now both countries' leaders say it's time to talk. Last week they did agree on some business deals. U.S. companies are eager to sell more goods to China's 1.2 billion people. Jiang said China would buy U.S.-made airplanes and, possibly, nuclear-energy reactors.

But the two men did not agree on the issue of human rights. Jiang refused to apologize for the killings in Tiananmen Square. He paid no attention to American protesters, including some Congressmen who want him to free prisoners jailed for their political beliefs. Nor is he interested in granting religious freedom to the people of Tibet, in southwestern China.
How come a man who supported crushing of people under the tanks was not B* slapped?. Because you cannot B* slap some one from People's Republic of CHINA, If you do u will have to face the consequences and you cannot mess with the Israeli’s either. But anyone from india, hi bring it on....

Iam not trying to justify modi's action in the Gujarat riots. Iam just questioning USA's unilateral decision and double standards.We are not ruled by a dictator and we have a free and fare judicial system. But USA taking a unilateral decision and denying visa to a man holding a high official position in the govt is belittling to our judicial system. Granting him visa and denying it without consulting the indian govt is also a mistake.The indian govt should take this matter seriously and assert itself.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005


Last weekend i saw this movie. One of the great movies i have seen in recent times. If you like parallel cinema , you will definitely like it. The movie cover said "india's Official entry for 1985 oscar's".This is a mahesh bhatt movie with anupam kher and H.rohini in the lead roles.Saransh's credit's at the start said "Introducing Anupam kher".It is said that anupam played the role to such an extent that after saarash , he only got grandfather, father,uncle kind of roles.

**spoiler alert***

The story revolves around anupam kher who is an retired school principal Mr.B.V.pradhan and his wife parvathi is played by H.Rohini. Pradhan's son gets killed in a mugging incident in USA. He loses his interests in life and lives without any purpose, while his wife drowns her sorrow in religious activities. Paravthi's guru says her that there son's athma is looking for a womb and soon he will be reborn,very close to them.

Pradhan in order to add to his meager pension, rents his house to sujatha(soni razda) a budding actress.sujatha's boyfriend vilas is the son of local politician gajanan chithre(Nilu phule). Pradhan goes out in search of a job and gets caught in a riot.He get's mugged in a subway.Having undergone the same thing that his son might have undergone, humiliated, his helplessness drives him to an suicide attempt. But he is saved by vilas.

Paravthi says Next time she will also join him in his suicide bid.Pradhan says courage is needed for suicide and she does not have any. But parvathi says she is ready and they both decide to end there life on sujatha's bday. But right before paravthi is about to drink the poison she comes to know that sujatha is carrying vila's baby.she concludes that it is her son reborn in sujatha's womb.

Vilas asks sujatha to abort the child,but parvathi is against it.On parvathi's insistence pradhan sees vilas father chithre and as usual he refuses for there marriage and ask's pradhan to vacate sujatha from his house. chithre's intimidation strengthens pradhan's resolve and he find's a new purpose in his life, to bring the child into the world. He feels that he didn't have the power to save his son, but he has the power to save sujatha's baby and he will do what ever it takes to do it. But he is practical and does not believe that his son is being re-born. After a lot of hardship he unites vilas and sujatha. And as soon as he unites them, he asks them to leave his house, cause he wants to fight his wife's superstitious belief.

Parvathi is heartbroken on sujatha's exit and reminds pradhan of there suicide pact , but pradhan is unwilling. He tells her that courage is needed only to live and not for dieing. One can't die for the dead and life itself cannot end and must continue.


Pradhan undergoes feelings of bereavement, helplessness, resolve and hope which are brought out beautifully by mahesh bhatt and anupam kher.The movies becomes little regular masala type in the middle for a while and then comes back to a great finale. A very powerful, moving and positive movie.Mahesh butt has to be commended for directing such a beauty with 2 old couples in the lead.A masterpiece.

Monday, March 14, 2005


Saw the movie Flavors this weekend. It is yet another movie on the 1st generation indian immigrants in USA.Yet another movie for the desi's to laugh at themselves. It was a well done movie.

But Rather than being just another cross over movie, the directors have really taken some extra effort to narrate the story in a different way.The movie is character based rather than story based. The narration style of the movie is like a mix of autograph and theen deewaraen.It starts with a marriage, showing the different characters who attend the marriage and then does a maniratnam style.. tat tat tat 7 days before and tells the story of every character present at the wedding and how they are all intertwined and related to the groom.

All the characters are narrated in 4 different stories. The main one is RAD the groom who is getting married to an american girl jenny and his father and mother are visiting USA for the marriage, then there are these 3 guys who are in bench(between jobs) at a company guesthouse, a bored house wife and her recently laid off husband and a long distance love story.The 3 bench characters are the humor flavor of the movie and there are some great jokes with them.

The directors have taken great care in not showing the typical characters seen in a desi movie. For a change the parents of rad don't object to him marrying an american woman and are very understanding. Not much emotional display from any of the characters, but there are a few heart warming scenes, told in a subtle way. There is an interesting commonality in the different stories, they all get a tele marketing call to switch to a cheaper calling plan to india.When kamla (rad's mom) starts talking back to the telemarketing person, for a change the telemarketing person hangs up on her.

Flavors also has a nice sound track and some interesting camera angles to support the story. Credit should be given for handling so many characters effectively and for an intelligent screen play in connecting all the characters together in a realistic and humorous way. A simple and sweet comedy movie.

Saturday, March 12, 2005


I came across an interesting article about cows. It talks about how cows are capable of feeling strong emotions.
Cows are also capable of feeling strong emotions such as pain, fear and even anxiety — they worry about the future. But if farmers provide the right conditions, they can also feel great happiness. more
It also says that
Our challenge is to teach others that every animal we intend to eat or use is a complex individual, and to adjust our farming culture accordingly.

I started thinking about cow and its role in the hindu many random thoughts came to me. Here are some

#)Did the great sages and forefathers knew these informations.Was the importance given to cows in hindu culture because they knew these before. Or was it just another blind belief/custom.?

#)If the article is true then the festivals like "Mattu Pongal"(A day dedicated for cows in the 4 day pongal festival in tamil nadu) make sense. Probably all the cows will be expecting mattu pongal eagerly all year round, the day when they will be spotlessly cleaned, horns painted, decorated and well fed.

#)On the other hand how could a religion be so sensitive to animals and not show that sensitivity to fellow human beings of a lower caste?.

#)Is the importance because of the docile nature of the cow and the low input high output capabilities of the cow?

#)For the west the cow is just an animal raised for milk and beef. But for the hindu's it is god. Everything from its urine is supposedly holy. Rather than being practical are we still living in the fantasy world.

#)Last but not the least is it going to make a big difference whether we care about the cow's are not?.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Democracy Drama

Anos Ekka

The jharkhand politics is one of the interesting movies that has come in the indian democracy theater.It was very interesting to read how the NDA smuggled out the 5 important MLA's.
The MLAs were whisked away from Ranchi last evening around the same time Shibu Soren was sworn in as CM. The five MLAs and 15 of their supporters and two BJP MLAs — Pradeep Yadav and Ravinder Rai — left Ranchi for the nearest airport in Kolkata.

As they entered West Bengal through Asansol, the 22 travellers received a frantic call from the BJP leadership in Delhi, asking them to change course to ‘‘ally’’ BJD’s Orissa. The MLAs then drove to Bhubaneswar via Bankura before they boarded IC-878 to Delhi this afternoon.

Meanwhile, the 36 MLAs of the BJP-JD(U) combine, who arrived by chartered flight yesterday night, divided their time today between Gujarat Bhavan and Madhya Pradesh Bhavan, waiting for the green signal to leave for Rashtrapati Bhavan to prove their strength before the President. more

The news is funny but it also pathetic how democracy is being caried out in the world's biggest democracy. Iam sure this was not what ambedkhar had in mind when he wrote the constitution.

The indian politics is getting chaotic every day.100's of ideologically different parties and 100's of independent MLA & MP's are doing good in the election business. It is high time that we make some serious changes in the way we elect our representatives. I personally feel some of these changes should be done.

#)Completely abolish individuals from contesting for MLA and MP posts. Even though it gives greater power for the citizen to take part in democratic election, it is not worth the trouble it is causing. Imagine a senario where the total 543 MP for the lok sabha are 543 independent contestants. The country cannot arrive at any solution. The country's defense , economy every thing will be in a state of chaos. Even though this scenario is unlikely, still there is a probability.

#)A party should contest in Lok sabha or state elections only if they contest atleast 60% of the total seats. The biggest problem that india is facing is the regional parties. These small parties don't care about the country's well being as such and end up taking care of there own state and there political future in the state.This will prevent the regional parties from misguiding people from voting for issue's concerning whole india and not just there state's.

I think it was the Singapore prime minister Mr. Goh Chok Tong who said The problem with india is that it is having too much democracy and all it needs is a “Disciplined Democracy“.It's time to make some serious change in the election process for a Disciplined Democracy.

I would like to hear some more ideas to clean up the indian election process, from you all.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Who are you supposed to call

Farnam firefighters pulled out their new firetruck Monday evening, hooked it to a hydrant and fought the fire that was consuming the fire station.

Nebraska Fire Marshal Dell Cerny said this morning the fire destroyed the station, three trucks, bunker gear, pumps and assorted firefighting equipment. He estimated damages to be at least $200,000. more

Monday, March 07, 2005


Somehow i missed the news of Great malayalam film music director Ravindran's demise.The MD who kindled my intrest into malayalam film music has passed away.

I first came to know about him in early nineties. I was watching tv and there was a news clipping, it said that Dr.KJ Yesudoss had won the president award for best singer that year.It was for the movie "Bharatham" and they played the song "Ramakadha" for a few secs.It was the first saranam where KJY breaks into this high octave, high speed rendition of the song, his voice control was staggering. I went crazy after hearing that song.I went to the nearest music store to get the cassette. After visiting a few music stores it dawned on me that we tamilians love our language so much that we have completely shut ourselves within the tamil music world and that it is not that easy to get a malayalam film cassette in the outskirts of chennai.Atlast i got it from a music store near a mallu area.

It was my first malayalam music cassette, after listening to bharatham,i realized it was just not ramakadha but the whole album was studded with beautiful songs, then i bought "His highness abdullah".HHA convinced me that the malayalam music industry is in a level of its own and after that i started listening to more malayalam songs and when ever i listen to a beautiful malayalam song , most of the time the MD will be ravindran. songs like Harimuraliravam from "Aaram thamburan" Azhagey from "Amaram" , sayanthanam from "kamaladhalam", "Kannadi adhyamai" & "andholanam" from Saargam, All songs from "Manichithra thazhil", Maaney from "Ayal Kadha Ezhuthukayanu" etc.Even though i have heard the songs of "Rasigan oru rasigai" i didn't register him as the MD till i heard a lot of his malayalam songs.

I loved his songs for strict classical compositions and for the songs brimming with bhavam's.Such a great composer is no more. check out the tribute to raveendran in dhool.Here is another one which lists all his tamil films by saravanan

Friday, March 04, 2005

Inspired kamal Hassan

The blog by KKK on kamal. Made me want to add more information's to the inspirations of kamal. So here it is.

Kamal is one of the easily inspirable people in tamil film industry. My ideas about kamal and his greatness all started crumbling when i started watching english movies other than the regular box office hits.I was surprised to see the number of movies that he has copied or got inspired. I will be watching some obscure english movie and suddenly one scene in that movie will ring a bell , it will remind you of a kamal movie and boom. if you put everything in perspective you will know how that movie got transformed into a tamil movie.Kamal copies entire movies, small scenes, characterizations, makeup etc etc.

Kamal is a big big fan off dustin hoffman, If you closely observe kamal's body actions, movements and facial expressions in many movies it will all resemble Dustin hoffman.For example you can see the "Rainman" in "Guna".Here are more

#)Avvai shanmugi/chachi 420
It is not just a copy of MRs.Doubtfire.It is a mix of both Mrs.doubt fire and Tootsie.
Tootsie has dustin hoffman dressing as a woman. All the scenes with the landlord (manivannan) are total lift off's from tootsie.

#)Raaja Paarvai
This movie is a lift of from Butterflies Are Free (1972) ,The blind school scenes are based on sai parajpaye's SPARSH and the climax scenes from Hoffman's "The Graduate".

#)Enakkul oruvan
Reincarnation of Peter Proud(1975)

#)Indiran chandiran
Richard Dreyfuss Starrer "Moon Over Parador"

Richard Dreyfuss & Bill Murray ‘s What About Bob

God Father

#)Devar Magan
you will be surprised. Kamal he himself told the inspiration for the movie was "God Father". Now put shivaji as the Marlon brando, Al pacino as kamal, the barzinni and other mafia's as Nazar. Gang wars into clan fights, you got the Devar magan. It is definitely a great adaptation; lot of credit goes to kamal. But still inspired, by his very own words.

#)Kurudhi Punal
Govind nihlani's Drooh kaal ,jumping before train sequences from money train

#)Vassol raja M.B.B.s
Munna bhai M.B.B.S

#)Hey ram
Hey ram is one of the best movies i have seen. Lot of credit goes to kamal on this movie, but like all his other movies there are some inspiration's in this movie.
Apart from the controversy on the story, there are scenes lifted from some movies.
I was watching Barabbas starring anthony quinn. It is a biblical story. Barabbas is the criminal they set free so that Christ could be crucified. The whole movie is barabbas quest for the reason why he was spared and how he is haunted by jesus crucification. Ultimately He understands his mistake in the end.
Similar story line as hey ram. If You are thinking this is just a coincidence. There is a scene where barabbas pondering something stumbles on a blind beggar, who with his haunting white blind eyes tries to touch barrabas face with his searching hands. A chilling scene. There is a same scene in hey ram where the blind muslim girl in the hut tries to reach kamal.
Take a few chapters of "Freedom at mid night" and mix it with Barrabbas and Gandhi’s sandal story you have a rough version of hey ram.

#)Vetri vizha
Was based on the Robert Ludlum book "Bourne Identity"

Let's not go into the james bond style story line of this movie.Check out the costumes, it will remind various movies from star war's to biblical movies.

The great thing about the movie is not the story line.But how the movie is narrated. Unfortunately a very old technique, used by kurusawa in the 50's.Actually kamal is not the first to be inspired by Kurusawa's Roshmon, vennai balachander's has already taken "Andha Naal" on the same style.Jail interviewing part is from "The Life of David Gale".

KKK's list

Very Bad Things (1998)

#)Naala damayanthi
Green card(1990, Andie MacDowell, Gerard Depardieu)

#)Sathi leelavathi
She-Devil (1989, Meryl Streep, Roseanne)

#) Magalir mattum
Nine to Five (1980, Jane fonda, Dolly Parton)

To Sir With Love (1967, Sidny Poitier)

#)Anbe Sivam
Planes, Trains & Automobiles

zero said
#)GUNA is based on Tie me up Tie me down.

Remake of Sunny Deol starrer Arjun.

If you think Kamal has made some XYZ movie without any inspiration at all, beleive me it is a false notion.The fact is this that you still havn't seen the original.When you are watching some old english movie one day, you will come across a very familiar scene and then you will know how much inspired that XYZ movie is.


New video addition to this blog......Checkout Inspired kamala hassan part 2 . here

Sample Video

Raaja parvai copied from graduate.Graduate scenes at the end.

Kamal Hassan Raaja Paarvai Copied From Graduate by inspiredkamal



Thursday, March 03, 2005

Checking CHINA

China's which has been following the Deng's rule of "concealing the capacities" and not attracting attention for a long time, has not been able to do it anymore. It's recent military buildup has started becoming a concern for a lot of countries, especially USA and Japan. Even though india should be more worried than any of the other countries we haven't been doing much, apart from the late actions to get myanmar out of the grips of china.

China has been encircling india.
•Pakistan: China has been building a deep Sea Port in gwadar in Balochistan province.

•Bangladesh: China is strengthening its ties to the government and building a container port facility at Chittagong. The Chinese are "seeking much more extensive naval and commercial access" in Bangladesh.

• Burma: China has developed close ties to the military regime in Rangoon and turned a nation wary of China into a "satellite" of Beijing close to the Strait of Malacca, through which 80 percent of China's imported oil passes.
China is building naval bases in Burma and has electronic intelligence gathering facilities on islands in the Bay of Bengal and near the Strait of Malacca. Beijing also supplied Burma with "billions of dollars in military assistance to support a de facto military alliance," the report said.more
It is also building large helipads in the disputed India-china border areas. The nepal king closed the dalai lama's ofice in nepal from chinese pressure and some believe there is a chinese hand in the king's recent coup.

We haven’t been doing much against all these. But looks like the west has waken up to china's ambitions both in the indian ocean and the taiwan strait.

Some of the recent reports reveal america's counter moves.
A small unit of US commandoes is operating within Myanmar to dislodge the military junta with the help of dissident youth who have spent years in exile in Thailand.more
Pakistan may withdraw from the Gwadar development project, after compensating China for its investments, and this follows direct pressure from US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld on General Parvez Musharraf.more
US has also been making efforts to keep the european union selling arms to China and is co-operating more with japan to check china on the taiwan straits.

The recent US willingness to sell the Patriot missile's to india could also be a part of its strategy to contain China.
A central goal of the confrontationists has been to deploy an anti-ballistic missile shield (ABM) in Asia, which the administration is now in the process of doing. So far it has enlisted Japan and Australia in this effort, and it is wooing India as well. While the rationale for the ABM is alleged to be North Korea, the real target is China's 20 intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).
It's high time for the indian goverment to wake up and make counter moves against china's ambitions on the indian ocean. It should utilise the current oppurtunities, to co-operate with US and other countries in containing china.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?