Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Ambalappuzhe Unni kannaodu

I asked jo to sing this song for me.He posted it today.i have been hearing the song all day.What a song.JO has done a great job.The song is a beautiful melody, i saw the song in some jayaram hits.It was nicely picturized, jayaram singing the song in midst of a thousand lights.Heard that adwaitham is a great movie too.check out the song here.

Adwaitham in Musicindia
In Raaga

Tuesday, September 27, 2005


This is an old movie, but i got to see it now only. A very nice movie. The movie has some unwanted songs and drags a little in the end.But otherwise brilliant screenplay by ameer.This movie, if linearly narrated is a very simple story, which wont be of any interest to the audience. But ameer starts from the end and slowly unwinds the movie with the suspense intact. Ameer with very few characters and focus on the story, incident keeps us engaged all throughout the movie. He could become a very good screenplay writer. Let c.The movie is well supported by jeeva/rehman/murali/saranya.

Aah Aah
As far as iam concerned mild erotica is ok in commercial movies or scenes as needed in the movie.But this guy is an outright pervert .He lacks everything to be an hero and has acted on the strength that perversion with good music will sell in tamil nadu.Not sure how successful he was in that. More than S.J.Surya, A.R.Rehman has to be blamed for composing music to movies like this.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Ganguly Vs Chappell

This issue is going to make or break indian cricket.We will see some light if ganguly goes otherwise we are doomed for ever. After successfully humiliating john wright, the saurav-mahendra-dalmiya gang is about to do it to chappell, that too publicly. And the prospective of seeing another foreign coach for india will never become true. Even if a foreign coach comes, he will make sure, he makes the captain, the BCCI president and Mr.dalmiya HAPPY. Politicizing Indian cricket will be completed.

It is pathetic that we have allowed ganguly to stay so long.After all these years of international cricket. He still cannot run between the wickets and since the day the fast bowlers found his week spot, he hadn't done a thing to correct it. We are literally playing with 10 guys every match.I was watching the ind-pak one day match that was played in cochin the other day.saurav ganguly comes and gets out in first ball, plays across and misses the ball, leg stump takes a walk. rameez raja comments "sourav is inventing new ways to get out". This guy has been below average for quite sometime, but he is still there, why i don’t know.

you cannot just pay a coach thousands of dollars and wish that the team will change.A team is as strong as the weakest link in the team. And as a captain if ganguly is not ready to change,How can he demand something from other team members.The days of goundappa vishwanath and gavaskar are over.International cricket is a very demanding job nowadays, and there is no place for slackers in have to be 100% fit and active in todays cricket, if not, you got to GO. It does not matter whether it is sourav or sachin. In a nation of billion people where cricket is THE sport, there will always be someone to replace them.

You cannot beat australia just by dreaming and being happy with one or two lucky matches, you have to be consistent and you have to be disciplined.We have an coach who is commited to make the team the best, he is going to be demanding and hard, you have to give it to him.Forget Australia and England even srilanka is a better team than us.If you want to beat the BEST,you have to become the BEST.

Friday, September 23, 2005

The Glass Palace

I liked Amitav's hungry tides and thought that it was more to do with the back drop of the sundarbans than amitav's writing. But now i accept this guy is a good story teller. Actually he is a relentless story teller. He could have easily written this book for another 1000 pages.

In this novel amitav tells the story of two familes. The raha's and the dey's. This family saga spans almost a century. The book takes us through the various political changes of burma like the british occupation, japanese and Indian national armies march, to the latest military junta that is occupying the country and the effect on of all these on the families.

Again he sets the story on fascinating backdrops and explains various lesser know facts detaily. He takes us to the teak forests of burma, the rubber plantations of malayasia, the bay of ratnagiri, madalay, rangoon and calcutta.The backdrops gives an adventure/travelouge book feel to it at times.
Gianiji an ex army officer support's the resistanc movement in india, when asked why he is supporting the resistance movement now, when he as a army officer obeyed the orders of the british officers.for that he says

'You dont understand. we never thought that we were being used to conquer people.Not at all: we thought the opposite. we were told that we were freeing those people.That is what they said-that we were going to set those people free from the bad kings or their evil customer or some such thing. we believed it because they beleived it too.It took us a long time to understand that in their eyes freedom exists where ever they rule'.
Sounds so familiar isn't it.

Amitav takes a strong stand against the highhandedness and double talk of the western powers.Also through various characters you can feel amitav's resentment against the british power and the indian soldiers who carried out there orders without any consciousness.
Arjun talks to an indian sepoy, who was a peasent before joining the army.
what makes you fight?. I would ask them,'when you should be planting your fields at home?. 'Money' they would say and yet all they earned was a few annas a day not much more than a dockyard coolie.For a few coins they would allow their master to use them as they wished to destroy every trace of resistance to the power of the english. It always amazed me: Chinese peasants would never do this -allow themselves to be used to fight other people's wars with so little profit for themselves.I would look into those faces and I would ask myself what would it be like if I had something to defend-a home, a country, a family-and I found myself attacked by these ghostly men, these trusting boys?. How do you fight an enemy who fights from neither enmity nor anger but in submission to orders from superiors, without protest and without consciousness.
In some not so important statements he mentions about the tamils here and there. Even those unimportant lines were of interesting information for me.He tells how the tamils contributed to the growth of burma and malaysia. how the malaysian plantation workers(many tamils) were considered as a race not fit for soldering by the british.
how they died in the rubber plantations to earn a few annas.
I have heard what all the experts say.But the tappers know better.They have a saying, you know -Every rubber tree in malayala was paid for with an indian life'.

At the start the book was slow and very character oriented, then it becomes pacy and more event oriented. At the end amitav seemed to be in a rush to complete the book. The more important incidents that happened later are skipped with a fewer mention, whereas he takes lot of time to explain the incidents that happen at the start.
A british officer talks to arjun, an indian officer.
I dont know what your own feelings are,Roy but you should know that as far as the thrust of british opinion goes, independence for india is just a matter of time. Everyone knows that the days of Empire are over-we're not fools,you know .That last thing an ambitious young englishman wants to do today is to go out to a backwater. The americans have been telling us for years that we're going about this the wrong way. One doesn't have to keep up an empire with all the paraphernalia of an administration and an army. There are easier and more efficient ways to keep a grip on things-it can be done at less expense and with much less bother.

Amitav's remarks of the imperialistic nature of western powers made me think,India is raising, china is raising, but why are they not joining hands and taking on the western powers?.why is that the asian countires are always fighting within themselves?.Are we still being divided and ruled??.Many question's poped up in my mind.Iam still sleeping over them.That is to say that this book might look like a simple family saga.But it is not, there is a strong message underneath.

The book is multilayered.A page turner and an interesting read.

Amitav rejects prize consideration for glass palace
Amitav interview on glass palace
Interview with kavitha chibber
amitav audio interview
Amitav website

Thursday, September 22, 2005

More Movies

Lightning bug:

Its an independent movie, which never got released in theaters. A simple story narrated beautifully. It talks about the dream and reality of a village kid Green (Bret Harrison). His dream, to become a special effects guy in horror movies. His reality, the alcoholic and abusive step father. He lives in a conservative Christian town where nobody understand/appreciates his work. People think that he is doing devils work and for his rowdy MANLY father, it is not a work.In midst of all the sadness he finds his happiness in catching lightning bugs in the fields and is determined to catch his other lightning bug the dream of going to hollywood. What happens to his dreams, is the movie about.


A movie on racism in the american society. But this is not a typical racial movie that talks about white's racially discriminating blacks. This movies goes deeper to tell that everyone is a racist. It is something that is common to all.

The story is told through the life of various characters from different walks of life.Like many european movies, these various character stories are interwoven to give a larger picture. Every character is a victim and perpetuator of racism. The people who cry that they are victimized, in turn victimize others. No body is sensitive to others feelings and they want everybody to be sensitive to theirs.

But all is not lost. Like the newtons 3rd law that, there is always an equal and opposite force. The devil of racism has the god of help, love and care. When faced with a crisis and at times of need everyone turns good. Many of the characters forget the race issue and take actions based on love and to help others. And like racism little acts of kindness and care is also perpetuated by all of the characters. The movie ends positively. The cycle continues.

3 Iron(Korean):

This is an artsy artsy movie.This movie will drive u crazy if u r just a regular movie watcher .The hero never speaks in the whole movie and he is not dumb. Similarly the leading lady also does not speak that much.

The hero just breaks into different houses every day and stays in them. Through him we are introduced into the life’s of different families. At first all these houses seem rich and great, and the hero is made to look like a thief, but as the movie progresses you come to know that a rich and a posh house does not make a home. Of all the houses they break in, they like the one whose occupants, a husband and wife pair are more giving and caring.

The movie is lyrical at times and takes a look at life from an outsider’s perspective. Through the hero's detached view of life you are made to see the life of various peoples as an outsider. The silence that irritates u at the start slowly becomes something admirable at the end.


sin city:

No this is not about vegas .This is a screen version of an comic book. This movies excels technically, this is the closest that u can get to portraying a comic on screen. This dark movie has 3,4 stories intertwined by small incidents.

The movie is in black and white. Not the typical B&W it has a metallic tone to it.Dresses are mostly in leather, provided that the characters are wearing them. Most of the time the background fades out and you are made to focus on the characters, The stunts and the body motion are all comic style. The movie is a beautiful representation of a comic. But the good things stops with the technical part, the movie is loaded with violence and has a story that is as shallow as a COMIC book.

Well dont look into the logic of how a confederate ship ended in timbuktu. Take it as it and enjoy the story. The movie is an adventure trip as the hero goes into the remote parts of africa searching for a treasure laden ship confederate ship. But the greatest part is just seeing the remote parts of western africa, rest of the movie is usual hero beats the villain stuff.

Another adventure story set in the deserts of africa. This time it is a horse story. An all american hero fights hard and wins a 3000 mile endurance race in the deserts of africa. The man from the west fights with the tribes and Bedouins of the desert to prove everyone that the American horse is the best.

The horse that comes in the movies looks like a creature that was lifted from a cartoon book. With animated eyes, this is one unique horse.

A lot like love:
The movie has its funny moments ,but fails in the romantic ones.Oliver Martin(Ashton Kutcher) meets Emily Friehl(Amanda Peet) in an aircraft bathroom.Oh an aircraft bathroom. They join the Mile High Club and this epic romantic love story spans 6/7 years,with maniratnam like info, after 1 year, after 2 years, after 4 years, after 6 months etc. When the last info of this great love pairs, love time line comes up, you will be tired. Through this torturous time line the director makes sure that everybody really really yearns for the pair to get married.Nice technique.

Its an american romance movie, you know the climax. In tamil, the hero rushes with "niruthunga"(stop), when the priest is about to get the heorine married to another guy.It is 'Noooo' during the wedding ceremony in a english movies.But this one doesn't get that close to a marriage, things are set right even before that.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


I recently read this new's item about this 3 year old kid trying to get into the guniess book of records.

A three-year-old boy sets eyes on the Guiness Book as a marathon runner! In the recently-held CRPF athletic meet in Bhubaneswar, Budhia Singh completed a 25 km run and won an award from Orissa Governor.

The child comes from a very poor family. His mother, a widow, lives in a Bhubaneswar slum and ekes out a living doing errands at others' houses.

Since she could not give proper food to Budhia who is youngest of the four children, the other three being daughters, the mother handed over Budhia to Biranchi Das, secretary of Orissa Judo Association. Budhia has been staying in Das's house.

"Budhia has been doing rigorous practice running no fewer than seven hours in the morning and evening. At present he is clocking 10 hours for 48 km," says Das.

Budhia has set his eyes on the Guiness Book of World Records which now lists an 8-year-old boy running 52 km without rest. Budhia plans to run 90 km without rest from Puri to Cuttack. He has already run 60 km from Puri to Bhubaneswar.

This news item disturbed me. For god sake this child is just 3 or 4 years old and everybody is making him a thing of exhibition. I dont know how much the boy likes to run, still he is just 3 yrs old and pushing him so hard is nothing but a torture. I feel just because this guy Biranchi Das wants to get his name in the news, he is taking advantage of the poverty of that kid and pushing him so hard.Imagine a 3yr old kid running 55 miles non stop, will his small body, heart withstand it??.Is it legal to make a kid go through this kind of torture and isn't there one sane voice which can talk against this??.

The Blue Bedspread - Raj Kamal Jha

This is not a run of the mill book with a linear narration. This is a book that plays with the structure of the story. The last time that i read such a confusing novel was when i read "Time of the hero" by mario vargas llosa, But atleast i got a sense of completeness with time of the hero.This one eventhough it had a nice ending, it left with a sense of incompleteness.This is a far more confusing and unstructured book than time of the hero.

The story takes place in one night. The narrator narrates his life as stories to a new born baby over a night. The new born is his sisters daughter, who dies during the pregnancy. The police say that they are going to handover the child to a couple who want to adopt her and he can have the child for that night. Does he hand over his sisters child to strangers?. Well that is the basic story.

The book is not about the story, it is about how it is narrated. As i said before this is not a linearly narrated book. It is more like a scramble with information scattered everywhere. you are supposed to assemble it and make sense out of it. Adding to the confusion is the time discontinuity and change of narrators. Above all you know the name of only one character; all the other characters are unnamed in the story. A paragraph that you read somewhere at the start will start making sense to you at the middle of the book, when u read another paragraph which has a hook to that old one.

Raj kamal jha(Yet another bengali author) has narrated the story in a very different manner,he gets lyrical at times, sometimes surrealistic and ends the novel cleverly. But to get to the end you have to travel through a maze and it gets frustrating at times.If you decide to skip a few paragraphs or read fast not concentrating on the details, you will miss the threads that connect the different paragraphs and will be at a loss later. You have to read the book twice anyways to understand it properly.It is a small book and can be finished in a few hours.

Little confusing but an intresting book.

It is an interesting book for people who love the authors who play with the structure of the story, not for the ones who are looking for a regular linear style book with light story.

Raj Kamal interview in outlook

Monday, September 19, 2005



An awesome picture from the ashes final. The fielder in air, the ball and the faces of audience.

CRY walk

Child Relief and You America Inc. invites you to its countrywide fundraising event – WALK 2005 for child rights, aimed at changing the situation of underprivileged children and to provide people with an avenue to support child rights. Did you know that the CRY America Walk 2005 is taking place in Seven cities around the US? Click on the image for details.more

Disha (Direction) -1990

sai paranjpaye's DISHA review is up in alternative movies

This movie has a character Parshuram Sarpat played by om puri, who all alone digs a well for years.A character inspired by this came in shiva kumar starrer "Ini oru sudhandhiram" think om puri's role was played by janakaraj.

Friday, September 16, 2005


We always hear stories where the good guy is tested but he wins at the end. Confirming our belief that good/truth will always triumph and the bad guy will be punished for his mistakes. But life is not a fable where truth triumphs and the slow and steady wins. Reality is harsh, reality is a place where dreams crash. In katha, Sai talks about reality in the lines of tortoise and hare story to point out how we ignore the unglamorous right choices and go after the glamorous wrong ones in our life.


The tortoise of katha is Rajaram Purshotam Joshi(Naseeruddin Shah) and the hare, Bashudev bhattacharya aka bashu (Faroque Sheikh).Rajaram is a text book example of a good guy.He is a kind hearted, helping and introverted person. He has a steady job and lives in a flat where everyone takes advantage of his helping nature.In comes his college friend Bashudev aka bashu. Bashu is a thorough manipulator, who sweet talks people and uses his charisma to get things done.

Bashu races a head of rajaram in terms of his popularity at the flats, position at his work place and more importantly with sandhya, rajaram's secret love. where does this race end?. Whether the tortoise rajram beats the hare is the climax.


Again sai parajpaye comes out with a brilliant screenplay. which is funny, realistic and different. You can pretty much write a book called "sai paranjpaye and the art of story telling" by just analyzing chashme buddoor and katha.

Her creativity is seen in many scenes in the movie. The movie actually starts with a grand mother telling the tortoise & rabbit story to her grand son. The credits are shown on the cartoon of the tortoise & rabbit story. The cartoon comes up at the end also, to figuratively convey the lifes of bashu and rajaram as hare and tortoise. Like her earlier movies there is a creative dream sequence in this movie also. There is a scene where rajaram dreams his office females as evil women who force him to eat the apple of sin and sandhya his loves comes as a saviour. Another creative and interesting thing that she used in the movie was the photograph of rajaram's parents.

The movie has a good cast.Nasrudeen and farooque sheikh playing the role to perfection. The egoistic anirudh of sparsh becomes the kind hearted and introverted rajaram in katha. Nasrudeen is just awesome in this movie.Its a role where he is always manipulated and taken advantage off. He is one of those introverted characters who does not know how to express himself properly. He acts through untold words and subtle expressions conveying his inabilities to break his own soft nature. It is hard to imagine that he is the same guy who came as subeidhar in mirch masala. Fantastic performance by him.

Farooque sheikh who comes as the soft spoken good guy siddharth in chashme budoor comes as the manipulative bashu. He has also given a great performance. He is the easy going guy, who is always with a smile, a genuine warmth, sweetest of words and an easy feel to charm anyone he meets.

The movie is humorous and light hearted. It is light hearted to the level that it fails us to make us feel the pain of rajaram. I thought more emotional scenes for rajaram would have added so much to the movie. But sai has stayed away from the emotional scenes.The movie ends in a climax that will make many feel unjust.But who said life is fare.

Sai parajpaye entire family is in the movie.Her husband Arun Joglekar, song gautam and daughter vinni are all in the movie.Sudha Chopra comes for a scene to sing Thum sundar song for farooque and mallika.Vinod doshi the premier chairman again comes in this movie.But only for a couple of scenes as a guest in a party.The credit said Tinnu Anand and sarika, i was not able to find them in the movie.

Music is by Raj Kamal and lyrics by indhu jain.Music again is great in the movie.It is sad that music director like rajkamal didn't get many movies.The songs in this movie are so simple and pleasing.It has four songs.And 3 of the songs start with simple repetitive words.

Kaun Aaya
This is the first of the two songs in the movie that involves everyone in the flat and uses one simple and common hook word in a group song.Basu has arrived.The flat is buzz with curiosity.who is this new guy??.They start signing kaun aaya(who has come?).The group song is sung by various tenents, in the end the beautiful voice of sandhya ends the song(with some beautiful expressions from deepthi naval).

listen to the sample here

Tum sundar hoo
Bashu acts in Padambhushan Vijay Tendulkar's play staged for the flat peoples.He says thum sundar ho many times to the heroine sandhta.The scene later moves on to a song that starts with those same words.An enjoyable melody with the romantic and playful facial expressions of farooque sheikh and the ever pleasing smile of deepthi naval. The simple words Thum sundhar hoo(You are beautiful) becomes the catch words for this song.Then it switches to this jazzy beat with the same starting line sung by sudha chopra for a different pair and the degradation of the beautifully melody and the visuals are completed with the third version. This time a discoish techno version. The song which started so wonderfully comes to a pathetic end.The 3 different format where used to show tastes of 3 different peoples.Raj kamal shows that his strength is in In classical melodies and not in the hip moderen musical version. Well the first version sticks the rest are forgotten at the end of the song.

Kya hua
Another song with simple words. The song comes when the flat peoples comes to know about the marriage engagement of sandhya. There is again a buzz in the flat, everybody is curious. the simple word that one uses to enquire "kya hua"(what happened) becomes the hook word for this one. The song which has the joyous occasion feel is decorated with chorus and shenai's. It cuts to a kind of techno and un synching interludes to match the visuals.

listen to the sample here

Rajaram is very disappointed. He is not able to sleep, he vents out his frustration in a melody. who else can sing a melancholy here. None other the greatest comes to deliver a wonderful melody. A la kishore kumar song. A beautiful melody from the golden voice.

Best Regional Feature Film : Katha (Feature Film) 1982

On a earlier post zero told me that.Angered by the late release of Sparsh, Sai Paranjpye named the manipulative Farookh Sheikh character in Katha as Bashu, after the producer of sparsh Mr.Basu bhattacharya.

Mallika Sarabhai
Vijay Tendulkhar movies
Farooque sheikh
Basu Bhattacharya

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Chashme Buddoor - 1981

The gory violent ones, the uncreative one, the story that is remade the millionth time, the highly melodramatic ones and many more types of movies have come in indian film scene. But this one is different. It is a beautiful flower in midst of those garbage’s. A movie which is realistic, clean , funny, sensitive and brimming with sweetness. I would say this is probably the most sweetest movie ever made in india. Atleast i for one haven’t seen such a clean and delightful movie filled with innocence and simplicity. This movie for me shows the amount of innocence that our movies have lost in the past 25 years.

It tells the story of 3 roommates. Siddharth Parashar(Farooq sheikh), omi(Rakesh Bedi ) and Jai Lakhanpal (Ravi Vaswani).Enters Neha Rajan(Deepti Naval) in there life. Both omi and jai go behind her and fail. But they project as if they were successful in wooing her. But in reality neha falls in love with siddharth. When omi and jai come to know that, they try to sabotage their relationship, what happens to there plans is the end.

Not much of a story isn't it. But the movie is sheer magic because of the screenplay. The characterization and the funny tone of the story makes it one sweet romantic movie. Our lives as such has so many funny moments that we dont have to make exaggerated slapstick comedy scenes to make peoples laugh. chashme buddoor points those funny moments. whether it is neha lost in her own world practices singing at the bus stop or omi and jai's lies to the others about how they impressed neha even though they failed to do so, or the usual problems of the room mates, these are scenes that can happen in out own lifes.Those kind of realistic scenes and screenplay makes this movie more closer to us.You would have definitely encountered the characters of this movie in real life or probably you could be the one.

The movie is a show case of sai's creativity. The movie starts with credits on photographs of leaders like gandhi, nehru etc. That is the first still and the second still the great leaders are replaced with a still of semi nude girls representing the preference of different room mates. From the start of the movie itself you will know that this movie is going to be a different one.

Few of my favorite funny scenes in the movie are
#)scantly clad Omi and jai jumping from the roof seeing neha at there door steps.

#)omi attempts to impress neha,he goes to her house. After seeing him neha thinks that he is a plumber and asks him to repair the sink. After failing in his attempt, heartbroken omi comes and sits in a park. A pair comes and sits next to him. First the women sits near him, but the guys looks at omi and asks her to sit on the other corner and he sits next to omi.The heartbroken, visible dejected omi listens to them talk

Women:yes darling
Man:kuch nahi bus,(Nothing, just like that) darling darling

omi at the height of frustration leaves the place.A simple scene made funny. When omi narrates how he impressed neha, he explains that he sat in the same chair and the original lover guy was sitting next to them alone and was looking at them dejectedly.

Sai paranjpaye brings her female sensitivity and sweetness to all the characters in the movie.I wish she had made more movies like this.


Music is by Rajkamal.

1)Is nadi ko mera -Shailendra Singh, Haimanti Sukla
Omi dreams about neha and sings a duet in the old kings and queens fashion.

2)Kaali ghodi dwar khadi -Yesudas, Haimanti Sukla

I have heard kahan se aaye baddra so many times in the KJY hindi hits, but i didn hear kale godhrey till i saw the movie.I was delighted to hear this song. what a wonderful song.Kali gode dhwar khadi(black horse is standing outside) is sung by deepthi naval at her music class.The song shows the funny scenes of how deepthi practices her songs at public places. She practices her song in the mind with hands going up and down with the swaras of the song.She sings Kali gode dhwar khadi(black horse is standing outside)at the bus stop, she utters "kali ghodi pe ghorey saiya chamukhe" there comes our hero Farooque sheik in black yezdi.

3)Kahan se aaye badra -Haimanti Sukla, Yesudas
The pick of the albumn is this song.A vintage KJY song.

Listen to the songs
#) Kahan Se Aaye Badra

the other songs are

4)Ansoo ki aarti -Haimanti Sukla
5)Pyar lagawat -Haimanti Sukla, Shailendra Singh

Unfortunately the full version of "khali ghodi" and "is nadhi ko" are not available anywhere on the let.Here is a sample of the songs

You can also hear the songs here at (works only in Internet Explorer)

The movie does not have a lot of characters.The cast also includes
Saeed Jaffrey .... Lalan Mian
Leela Mishra .... Neha's grandmother
Vinod Doshi .... Neha's Dad
Ranjan Grewal .... Neha's Brother
Amitabh Bachchan .... Guest Appearance
Rekha .... Guest Appearance

unfortunately chashme buddoor was released with some great movie.It was 1981 and the new wave cinema was at its full bloom. It lost most of the awards because of that.
In filmfare it lost the best film to kalyug, best director to muzzafar ali(umrao jaan) .Even in the comedy section it lost the Best Performance In A Comic Role. Both Rakesh Bedi and Ravi Baswani who were both nominated but they lost it to Utpal Dutt's performance in hrishikesh mukherjee's (Naram Garam).

#)The movie had the credits saying introducing Ravi Vaswani.Ravi vaswani was the properties-in-charge in sai's earlier movie sparsh.

#)Vinod Doshi, Neha's dad in the movie is the chairman of Premier Automobiles Limited(Premier padmini).


what will happen if one great screenplayer get's inspired by another?.That too if both of them are very good with comedy scenes.The result should be hilarious right??.

Yep.One example of it is K.Bhagyaraaj's "Indru poi Naalai Vaa".In Indru poi naalai vaa, Bhagyaraj has taken the chashme buddoor thread and has weaved it in his own style.The movie takes the core of 3 men after a women and tells it in the native context. Various componenets of the movie gets modified in IPNV. Like the pan shop owner Lallal miya of CB become the dhobi kuruva, first song "Is nadhi ko aayina" becomes "madhana moga ruba sundara" , the yezdi with the starting problem comes in IPNV as the yezdi that will start only if it sees a women and the crazy climax of kidnap and rescue is almost the same.But no IPNV does not do any straight rip offs.

Another movie that inspired by CB, again by another good comedy screenplay writter.This time it is priyadarshan.The plot of gopuravasaliley where friends try to proove to karthick that they have been close to bhanu priya is an inspiration from CB.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Sparsh(Touch)- 1979


For the mainstream cinema, a blind person is a never ending source of melodrama. They are a cornucopia of sadness, an instrument to extract as much tear as possible from the audience. The blindness is usually mixed with some more sad factors to double the tears. Like most of the time the blind person is a beggar or the hero/heroine who lost his/her eyes in an accident. In short a character you are forced to pity and feel sorry. So by the indian standards these pitiable characters cannot have feelings like ego, anger or pride. They are supposed to be sad and thankful towards everyone who feels pity and helps him. But sai for the first time took a movie which stood away from all these mainstream crap. Sparsh is a movie that is a cut apart, one of the kind movie, that takes you into the mind of blind peoples. It is a movie that does not want u to pity them, but to understand them and think them as one of us.

Anirudh Parmar(Naseeruddin Shah) a blind school principal, is an egoistic, self confident person who doesn't want people to pity him on his blindness, but to understand him. He meets Kavita(Shabana Azmi) a window trying to recover from her husbands death. Kavitha finds a meaning for her life in helping the children’s of the blind school and joins the school as a teacher. Love blossoms between anirudh and kavitha. They decide to get married. But differences creep between anirudh and kavitha ,why and what happens to them is the rest of the movie.

This is a very impressive movie. The question that i kept asking to myself was, what made sai paranjpaye take this movie. We all see blind peoples daily. At most we help them cross the roads.we dont think anything more than that. How sensitive she must have been to there needs, to take a movie like this. She seemed to have understood there emotions and paid attention to the minutest of the details that affect them.

The characters in this movie mainly anirudh's is a complex one. He is an introverted looser, who get's hurt easily and puts on a shield of assertiveness, he never lets his guard down. He is confident, kind and does not want anyone to pity him. He is some one who is blind both physically and mentally. Mentally blinded by his ego(not that different from us on this aspect).On the other hand Kavitha is a lonely widow, who is a giver, a lover. Everybody from anirudh to the small boys in the blind school is attracted to her, including the son of the canteen guy who is not blind. Well everybody needs love and care does not matter whether they are blind or not.

The blind school backdrop of the movie provides so many opportunities for sai to bring up the problems of the blind people. For example the fact that only text books are printed in braille and not many story books are available in braille for the blind children’s. She later through a dream story tells how this unavailability of story books in braille steals the blind children’s from the imaginary and happy world that normal children enjoy.

similarly shabana explains jagdish(Mohan Gokhale) the story that she is about to tell to the children’s in the blind school. The story is that of the lion jumping into the well trying to fight with its reflection in the well. Jagdish, anirudh's assistant stops her and says that she should not tell this story to them as they cannot understand the word reflection. He tells her that she has to tell the students stories where there is more sound related things and not stories like this where there are visual things.

Sai also points out the attitude of the society which thinks that a blind man is not a match for a normal women like kavitha.The sensitive love between anirudh and kavitha, the problems of the blind children’s, the attitude of the society and many other threads are wonderfully connected through a great screen play.

Sai's is a very creative person. In midst of all these serious stuff, she provides us a little escape from realism for the audience, no not through songs. But through the dream of a little boy.

The canteen mangers son is sick and shabana comes to know that he was angry with the blind guy because she didn't not pay any attention to him. she goes to see him at his house. He is bedridden; shabana reads a story for him. She tells this story of this rajkumar who saves a princess. The little boy dreams himself as the prince and the grown up shabana as the princess. Suddenly in midst of all these heavy stuff, you are transported into an innocent child's world. It was awesome, it was so sweet. The scene also serves the purpose to let us know, what stories mean to a child, this kid who has seen shabana can dream about her, unfortunately the blind child cannot, they first of all cannot even think about such a story cause there is no story book in Braille and it takes away a dream from them.

Nasrudeen is at his best in this movie. Through out the movie nasrudeen expresses his anger, his happiness, his disappointments, his ego, his hurt through subtle facial expression .He is a character who is strong as well as weak, his stronger sides ego, his confidence, his love everything comes out through his body language.

cast also includes
Sudha Chopra .... Manju
Om Puri .... Dubey

The movie has 3 songs
1)khali pyaala
2)pyaala chalke
3)geethon ka dhuniya

Sparsh was sai's big movie that brought her into the lime light. Again i feel only a female director could have made a movie like this.The movie was Produced by basu bhattacharya.

A well acted nasrudeen shah movie,so obviously kamal hassan got inspired by the movie and u can see the shades of the movie in Raaja paarvai.

The movie got nasrudeen his first national award in 1979.Unfortunately that year sai has to compete with Mrinal sen's Ek Din Prati Din,Biplab Roy Chowdhari's Shodh and Durai's Pasi.The best direction, movie and actress went to mrinal, shodh and shobana for the respective films.

Think this movie was commercially released only in 83/84.It won the best film, director and dialogues awards at the 32nd film fare awards festival competing against Mahesh Bhatt's saaransh, Pravin Bhatt's bhavna & jaane bhi do yaaro.

Nasrudeen actually spent 1 week at Blinds school to learn the way they walk, see & feel things around. He almost irritated the principal by his observations.

Nasrudeen shah

Sai paranjpye

Indian film industry has produced so many great directors in main stream and in art movie categories. But very few of them did the middle of the road movies. Sai paranjpaye not only belongs to that list of selected few directors, she is pretty much the only female director who made some highly successful movies in that category.

Born in Lucknow into an illustrious family associated with social reform movements, Sai Paranjpye was educated in Australia, where her grandfather was High Commissioner. She published a collection of fairy tales in Marathi when 8 years old. She became well known for her Marathi plays, as a playwright and stage director, especially her plays for children. She started directing for television during the 60s and worked as a producer for doordarshan in the early 70s. She started with films during 1970s.more

As a director she could have done the usual, make a blockbuster movie earn money and fame for that time being and direct more junk movies and always be in the lime light, but she chose to do it the other way. she made very few movies which went on to become classics .

what makes her different from others is her unique sensitivity, creativity and her brilliance in screenplay writing. she can blend a realistic story with lots of humor and real life characters and give a wholesome movie. Like many great directors of india, she does not adapt a book into a movie. Most of the time her stories are from her personal experiences. Incidents that she encountered, personalities or fables everything becomes a beautiful story in her hands. That core is beautifully decorated with a good screenplay, songs ,comedy and realistic characters to create a great movie.

Sai entered a men dominated profession of film direction in the 70's itself. she took some sensible cinema and made a mark for herself. I will be posting reviews of some of her movies.


sai the chairperson of the Children's Film Society of India

sai interview


Tuesday, September 13, 2005

And Quiet Flows The Don

The work of mikhail sholokhov.. can only be compared with tolstoy's WAR and PEACE - Maxim Gorki.
The book lives up to the statement of maxim gorki. This is a book which is very close to war and peace in terms of the setting, the panoramic view of the time period and in putting across the futility of war. Think shokhlov might have as well named the book War and Peace part 2 :).

Unlike war and peace which is set in the napoleon era, AQFTD(And Quiete Flows the Don) is set in the early 20 century during the break out of the first world war, the russian revolution and civil war.

The story has a protagonist gregor melekhov.But it is just not about him, it is not about one character's rise or fall. It is a view into a time period. The novel has some 20,30 characters and through them it gives a panoramic view of that time. soldiers, house wife’s, farmers, ex army men, communists and many more type of characters give their view points and weave a tapestry of that time period.

The story is about the cossacks of tatarsk village, situated near the don river.Through gregor and various other characters the author(who himself is a cossack) gives the description of the cossack life style, their culture and beliefs. Their attitude towards family, women etc at the family and community level it made me feel that this is a story that could have taken place anywhere in india.

The book is divided into 4 parts peace, war, revolution and civil war and the story easily switches from a usual family drama, romance style to war and politics. sholokhov sets us up nicely, in the peace part he writes about their easy life style the beauty of the region, their poems, their simple and happy life. You preety much fall in love with the region, slowly after enjoying the cossack life style and beauty in the first part, you are introduced to war, ideologies and various purposes and reasons to fight a battle. The bloodshed continues with the revolution and the civil war. When u r in the fourth part, you feel like you had enough of it, you feel like crying out loud to stop the unnecessary bloodshed.

I dont think that there are any men made of iron. we are all cast of one material. In real life there isn't a man who is without fear in the battle and not a man who can kill people without carrying-without getting morally scratched.
Love and war, two painful things depicted very well.

#)This book is supposedly a favourite of JeyaKanthan.
#)It seems it took 14 years for Mikhail sholokhov to write this book. He won the nobel prize for literature in 1965 for AQFTD and other works.

Nobel lauret Mikhail sholokhov

Monday, September 12, 2005

New orleans Vs Mumbai

Seeing all the responses and questions to the previous post, i thought i will write a seperate post with some more info regarding the calamity and some answers to the questions.

In USA everything operates in a systematic way.Its a country that is too dependent on the system.It has its advantages and disadvantages. In india we are hardly systematic, so it is easy for us to adapt and manoeuver during conditions like this.It is not the same in USA, here it is all good when everything is going right. But hell breaks loose when the system fails.

Let's just take the example of food.Food culture is different here, you are dependent on fast food shops and restaurants for most of your food requirements. Rest, you go to the store in a weekend and stock up everything from meat, milk to precut vegetables and microwaveable food in your refrigerator.In time of hurricanes the electricity goes out and all the food gets spoiled in are totally out of food and no food store is open. You cannot even light your electric stove, provided your house has still not submerged under water. you are pushed to think about the next meal. And imagine if a whole city thinks that way.It is just not food, your apartment/county wont be able to pump the water to the tank. There is no wells here or no personal pipes.All your water needs are provided by the apartment or county. so when electricity goes down, there is no water also.A city of people with No Food, No water and empty shops what will happen??.This is just food, there is traffic and so many other things that go wrong during crisis times like these.

Every country has its mis managements and negligence. Every year the same ganga and brahmaputra floods and 100's of people die. Every year there is scarcity of water in Chennai and farmers all around the country die of starvation and drought. Experts have been saying so much, but who cares.If something is going to cost a lot for the state then there is always the question of who has to take the responsibility state/center etc. Until something drastically happens, no body will take any action.Its been the same case with the leeves in New orleans also.

If u take the case of water not draining off.To put it simply if it was just rain water, even the amount of rain that came down on mumbai.Any american city which got that much rains might have done better.They might have gotten into lot of other problems but not the problem of water not draining off. Cause they simply have better drainage systems.

In india we have been deploying army for rain affected areas and even for riots for quite sometime. But it is not the case with USA.IN order to prevent military mis use they have made some laws. In USA army cannot enter cities just like that, the president cannot mobilize the army into cities without the written permission from the governor of that state. There was some delay in the governor granting the permission and the president was not able to do mobilize the army faster.

This is not to say that there was no negligence or mis management from the people responsible. There has been a lot of them. But USA here is a fallen giant. The right thing to do would be to go and help the person get on his feet, rather than stand on the sides and laugh at the fall or pinpoint his previous problems. Iam totally against iraqi invasion or Bush being the president. But i dont think this is the right time to pin point that.

And let us think and make efforts to make india measure up to USA, when USA is in its heights, not when its down.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


I got this forward mail from my friend.

I couldn’t stop making this comparison..

inches of rain in new orleans due to hurricane katrina... 18
inches of rain in mumbai (July 26th).... 37.1

population of new orleans... 484,674
population of mumbai.... 12,622,500

deaths in new orleans within 48 hours of katrina...100
deaths in mumbai within 48hours of rain.. 37.

number of people to be evacuated in new orleans... entire city..wohh
number of people evacuated in mumbai...10,000

Cases of shooting and violence in new orleans...Countless
Cases of shooting and violence in mumbai.. NONE

Time taken for US army to reach new orleans... 48hours
Time taken for Indian army and navy to reach mumbai...12hours

status 48hours orleans is still waiting for relief, army and electricty
status 48hours later..mumbai is back on its feet and is business is as usual's most developed nation
India...third world country..

oops...did i get the last fact wrong???

First of all i think it is silly to be proud of the fact that our country managed a disaster well, when we lag with them in 99million other things. Somebody who didn't understand the making of this disaster has created an email like this.Thought i will shed some light on it.

New orleans is 10 feet under the sea level.It is sandwiched between the missisipi river and Lake Pontchartrain which is connected to the sea. Because it is below sea level, levees& floodwalls where constructed on both sides to prevent water from entering into the city. During katarina the levees of lake pontchartrain gave away.The water that entered the city was not rain water, but the water from the lake pontchartrain. And because it is below sea level the water wont drain by itself. It has to be pumped out.

check out wikipedia for more
New orleans

Friday, September 02, 2005

A Healthy Mind.

My body let me down.I was sick with flu for almost a week.I was spending most of my time in bed.I didn't even like watching movies.i was so bored and started flipping on the books that where lying around(i didn't even touch them for a long time).Thankfully my mind was healthy and was asking for more knowledge.I really started reading and finished a few book in that short period.Here is a short review on those books

Maximum City : Bombay Lost and Found

I already wrote the review on it here

Ignited minds by APJ Abdul kalam

The book rehashes many thing that he had told in wings of fire and india 2020.It is a smaller book compared to the others.Targetting to inspire the young minds it is not as inspiring as wings of fire.But reading it i felt odd.We have this guy a visionary, who has beautifully put forth what we need to do to achieve the vision 2020 plans.But will we do it, is anybody listening to this guy??

Magic Seeds By V.S.Naipaul

The book is another typical Naipaul one.It follows the life of the hero willie.In a way it is a "Hazaroon kwahishen aisi" story.It is a story of a how a idealistic dream turns sore.It is an idealistic dream, so no wonder communism comes in.Like siddharth in HKA,Willie Chandran the hero of Magic seeds comes all the way from england to andhra pradesh to fight under kondapalli seethramiah of the PWG(Peoples War Group).Reality bites him hard.The novel follows him and his dreams throught the disillusionment and ends with a beautiful statement.

The book is raw and pointless at times, and as usual there is lot of naipaul's cynicism and hate.The book wanders a lot and bores you at places, when you are really bored, out of blues comes one of those naipaul's gem of a statement, that will make you think for 30 minutes.Even though i was disappointed with the book, it is still a book which made me think on various lines, that is the mark of a great writer.Naipaul brings his wide knowledge into the book in analyzing things and i was forced to understand many theories that i didn't till now.He talks everything from gandhi's satyagraha in "experiement with truth" to Lin-Piao's "liquidating the class enemy".

A very average book with occasional naipaul brilliance.

Communist Manifesto:Marx and Engels

Seriously i tried hard.I tried harder but was not able to make much progress.I remembered kamal hassan's interview where he said he used to read the Das Kapital every night, not because he liked it so much, but beacuse it will definitely put him to sleep in 10 mins.Now i completly understand what he meant.I gave up on the book.

India:Midnight to Millinium sashi tharoor

This book by shashi tharoor is very mediocre.He has written about things that are know to most of the india consious readers.shashi is all positive about india.I kind of started feeling that i was talking to some RSS/VHP guy.

There is a chapter about one of his childhood friends called charlis.The whole chapter was so boring and cinematic.Think he just fabricated the whole story on charlis.The point that he was trying to make was that reservation has helped the lower caste people.

He meets charlis when he goes to kerala for vaccation. He sees him fist time in a playgound. His brother is not including him cause he is from a lower caste.Next vaccation he sees charlis playing with everyone(because of the raise of the lower caste parties, there has been an acceptance of the lower caste people) but still he cannot come into their house and stuff, the next vaccation he is allowed to come into his house, the other vaccation he is fed, but outside the house.And as a climax he goes to the collector's office to talk about some land dispute and meets charlis at the collector's office. And guess who is the collector?? It is none other than charlis himself.I started thinking from which tamil movie this story was lifted.

I was so irked by it that i stopped reading the book.I might read it again, but stopped it for now.I am not sure whether it was due to the fact that i read it in between naipaul's books.Naipaul's analysis and sashi tharoors mediocre writings where on opposite side of the spectrum.

India: A wounded civilization : V.S.Naipaul

Naipaul convinced me about the book the first page itself.I read 100 pages of shashi tharoor in an hour and a half, was not able to move past 15 pages with naipaul.

Now more than 30 yrs after the defilement and in another state of emergency, the temple has been renovated and a new statue of the temple deity is being installed.

Until they are given life and invested with power, such statues are only objects in an image-maker's yard, their value depending on size, material and the carver's skill.Hindu idols or images come from an old world; they embody difficult and sometime sublime concepts, and they have to be made according to certain rules.There can be no development now in Hindu iconography, though the images these days under the influence of the Indian cinema and cinema posters are less abstract than their ancient originals and more humanly pretty and doll like.They stand lifeless in every way in the image makers showroom...But this showroom is a kind of limbo with each image awaiting the life and divinity that will come to it with purchase and devotion, each image already minutely flawed so that its divine life, when it comes shall not be terrible and over whelming

Iam still reading it.

And Quite Flows the Don by Mikhail Sholokhov

This is the one that is next in line.

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