Tuesday, December 30, 2008

For Droogie :)



This song brings back images I would never want to forget,
Images of the best Christmas ever, of songs sung
and messages understood…
For Droogie :)

Yamunai Aatrilaey, Eera Kaatrilaey
Kannan Oduh Dhaan Aaduh…
Paarvai Poothiduh Paadhai Paarthiduh
Paavai Raadhaiyo Vaaduh…

Iravum Poernadhuh, Pagalum Poernadhuh
Mannan Illaiyae Kooduh…
Illaiyae Kannyin Imaithidaadruhkkann
Ingum Angumaey Thaeduh…

Aaiyir Paadiyil Kannan Illaiyo?
Aasai Vaipuhdhae Anbuh Thollaiyo?
Paavum Raadhaa…

Yamunai Aatrilaey (repeat)…

Saturday, November 15, 2008

வாரணம் ஆயிரங்களுடன்

வர்ணம் ஆயிரங்களுடன்

வாரணம் ஆயிரம்!

Directed by: Gautham Menon
Cast: Suriya, Divya Spandana, Sameera Reddy and Simran

A thousand colours unfolding, indeed!

A narration of love in all its myriad forms, a reminder of how basically human we all are, and a gentle motivation to aspire towards a life worth living – that’s Vaaranam Aayiram at its very core, a film that is sure to leave you feeling ironically light hearted.
It’s been a while, a really long time actually, since sensible and watchable Tamil cinema hit the screens in the city, and this one straight out of Gautham Menon’s factory is surely something you wouldn’t want to miss.
Suriya, who plays the male lead role is outstanding in the movie and impresses the audiences from the word ‘go’. His matured adaptation to each of the roles’ demands makes one wonder, where the star was hiding all this while? Add to that the fact that he’s really hot in the film and that he most probably has the sexiest voice in South India – and you’ll know why all the women want to catch this flick!
Suriya has proved he can be an all-out ‘pin-up boy type looker’ and still do justice to his role, acting prowess and everything. The real attention-grabber however is Simran who plays the role of Malini, Suriya’s mother in the movie and the wife to the elder Suriya (Mr. Krishnan). This actress sure knows how to make a comeback and even though she plays an extremely de-glamorized role, she wins the hearts of the audience, most easily. The subtle nuances of being a mother who studied in MCC, Chennai and the fact that she’s Malayali among other things come across so naturally, that one doesn’t even realize a point being made. Subtlety is her forte and she’s made the most of it!
Divya Spandana deserves her credit too. With a role that is so visibly different from all of her previous avatars, this girl proves that she’s an actress who only needed a good role to make that statement. As Priya, she touches everyone’s soft corner as the ultimate-understanding-girlfriend-who-lives-round-the-corner stereotype. We sure aren’t irritated with those stereotypes now are we? Sameera Reddy, the other female lead acts! And that in itself is a surprise to most of us. We should give it up for Gautham Menon, for having transformed just-another-pretty-face into a cute and adorable actress who fits the role like she was made for it. What makes the film a little bit queasy for the ‘normal’ melodrama starved Bangalorean is however the over-the-top portrayal of the relationship between Suriya the father and Suriya the son – we’ve all seen such relationships, but exaggerating them to this level is something highly uncalled for.
Watch the movie for a palpable storyline, beautiful film-making, realistic portrayals – most of the time and for a general feel good after-taste. This one’s a sure winner for Gautham and we’re sure you will have a fun family-viewing experience. It’s a nice movie after a really long time, so go watch it!


Friday, November 07, 2008

The week that was!

This week so far has been mad! So mad that I now need a breather... and this my friends is that breather.
Let me go backwards now... Going forwards hasn't ever worked for me (whatever the case may be...hence!) I just calle Monsiuer R for the fifth time today... and this was the second time someone really weird picked up. I was spoken to in mad Telugu and then halfway through the conversation I realised it was his dad (prospective father-in-law it seems!)... which by the way was just after I came out of the movie theatre.
The movie I watched was Quantum of Solace avec the sooper hot Daniel Craig. Now I wasn't convinced that he was a good Bond till I saw the film, and seriously, kill me but I found this the most entertaining Bond Movie ever!!!
Daniel was RAW and I don't mean out shtoopid secret service! He was as man as anyone's ever been. I was shocked at the fact that I was checking out someone's derriere... I've never done that. Add to that a nice action oriented theme, some nice morale teaching story ideas, two hot women, one helluva madame, and you have the movie.
I was impressed, and even if I wasn't, I'll have to say I was, now that I've said it on camera. Caught on Candid Camera heh? Only difference... The camera wasn't candid and I wasn't caught. Let's blame my junior for getting me into all this! And yes how can I forget... Badekkila Pradeep. So he's a looker! And half of Bangalore's gay desparado is after him... but the boy is straight... seriously... and I'm not comfortable with gay men tainting the image of straight men when they 'really just want them to be gay so that they can have sex with them!'. Gay men in Bangalore... Grow UP!... Back to Monsieur R's dad. Earlier today after I had finished my General Medical Test, which by the way was at Piramal Medico Centre, right next to Namdhari's in Koramangala... I called him for the third time and someone picked up. I first thought it was his maid, but now I'm convinced it was his Mom. Do not blame me, how was I to know? He's never introduced us, and she began questioning me in Telugu. I didn't know what to say, so I said I'd call later, which is what I eventually did and already told you about.
Now back to the Medical Examination, which has been postponed for more than a week. It was at this vague place called Piramal Medico Centre (like I need any more 'mal's in my life!) and we would have lost our way, had it not been for Aviva's sooper sixth sense... Anyway after a mad hiatus and pick up frenzy on MGees at 8am, we landed at Piramal Centre only to discover it was nothing other than Wellspring. Now how do I who never goes to a hospital know Wellspring? Well, haha, the name sounds nice! That's exactlly why, exactly how I love Chevrolet because it's name in the francaise accent sounds so kewl... so we were in the clinic and then got on with our proceedings. The injections came first, which I must say were painless. God bless that male nurse with those stable hands, I've never had a more painless blood withdrawal.
This was followed by a pee-in-a-cup thingy, which was gross! All I was wondering however was how awkward it must be for a woman to do that. Men like to put their weiners into things, and so I'm quite sure at least 40% of all men are partially aroused when they see that small cup begging for attention. Gross images, keep out! Men are dogs and I am gay. So it's ok.
That brings me to the next cool part... Radiology. I was asked to strip very decently, and me did it, quite suprisingly without being one bit conscious about my pathetic body. I shocked myself. It could also be because the x-ray man (shit! that could be the next cool super hero name!) was sooper sweet and urged me on quite a bit. Then came the grossest part of the whole deal - the pathological or whatever test. I was first measured up, and nothing surprised me. So I am 5.4 ft something and weigh 74 kilos, seriously! I'll deal with it!... The next thing's what freaked me out. I was asked to strip again... and this time this over-friendly woman squeezed out blobs of cold jelly all over my body saying quite distastefully "Now, that's going to be cold"... and believe me that was the last thing I'd have wanted to hear...
To be continued...

Friday, October 31, 2008

The other side of it...


I’ve always wondered, as a believable and convincing representation of today’s Indian educated audience, if we expect too much these days. I caught Madhur Bhandarkar’s Fashion yesterday at FAME Lido on MG Road, with a couple of friends and colleagues from MidDay and DNA, and I was surprised how differently we all took to the film.
To begin with, I loved the film. It wasn’t fantastic; it didn’t make me think (for that matter no Madhur Bhandarkar’s – MB from now, film has ever made me think); and it sure didn’t make me feel like anyone’s representation was grossly wronged or under-done or even exaggerated.
I loved the portrayal of gay men and I think this is as refined a portrayal as we’ll ever get. Let’s face it, Indian gay men have been represented by the irritating yet quintessential ‘queen’ who has permeated into every kwalm of society to become the community’s much hated pin-up boy. The representations in two characters – that of Rohit and Khosla are two variants of this very un-ignorable pin-up gay man. They both represent typical ‘queen’ characters that we often meet in the pink circle on any given day, irrespective of the city one lives in. Rahul Arora played by Samir Soni was also someone who deserves much more credit. In a very underplayed and effective way he portrays a gay man, a 'bottom' more likely who isn’t convinced enough of his sexuality as yet. He does not have it in him to face society and come out, but still wants to lead a proud gay life. Samir describes and represents half of India’s booming gay community. Men from the ages of 18 to 60, who all face the same problem and can’t face society even though they’re convinced they’re gay. His boyfriend, Anshu I think, is another beautifully represented character. He defines the word ‘top’ with such panache, its hard for me (a self-convinced bottom) to not be attracted to his charms, even on screen. The lesser portrayed the better, and I’m happy the kiss was edited. It might have not settled in as well as Madhur had thought it would. Kudos to all the characters, all the same – for very apt and moving performances. As a gay man I connected and was not ashamed of the portrayal and in that itself I see the need for commendation.
Whether Priyanka was a good choice or not, is something that I shall leave to the other audiences to decide. I was convinced and did actually see the transformation from small city belle to big city glam queen. Most other viewers will beg to differ and I allow them to seek alms in peace. I am no authority on this one. I was however extremely moved by Kangana’s astral performance. I think that girl has what it takes to make a good actress. She just needs to be prodded the right way.
The other performances were minimal and forgettable, but Kitu Gidwani’s character stood out like matured wine. She seemed to be the actual diva and not once did I see a faux pas in either her styling, her clothes or her acting. She was the Diva in her own right and represented a lot of people who actually run the fashion industry. Powerhouses of etiquette, good clothes, better grooming and proper upbringing, who don’t think twice to shift from Sati Savitri to Bitch-with-fire-up-her-arse. Experience they say, experience.
The music was lovely, and the title track is still fresh in my mind, and that my friends is an achievement. The cameo with Koko and Shorey was so uncalled for, and so were many other scenes that just dragged us all along into a never ending need for self entertaining, whilst still in the cinema hall.
I must give it to Bhandarkar for crawling so deep into the underbelly of the fashion world and digging out these skeletons, but the real selling point of the film is in the realistic portrayal of the people involve in the industry. Be it the photographers, the page three bunch or the people involved in the glam industry, this movie let's one bake the cake and eat it.


Thursday, October 30, 2008

I am fool!

The crushes have all ended.
That was fast.
Instead, I have a crush on a sweetheart from Bulgaria.
It's funny how you can fall so un-believably in love with someone you hardly know...
But then again, if they allow you to do so,
why not?
Crush 1 died a silent death.
Crush 2 might be ugh-ly straight.
and Crush 3 will only smile.
BREAKING NEWS: Romal, you're going to be single for ever...

But I've discovered Laya, and all thanks to Brother Bear 1, the DVD is now my solace.
Culture is my only hope. I will discover all that I need to. I will learn, express, study, experience and enjoy culture. I will have an eternal affair till the day I die.
If someone finds me in that process and the lord wants it all to fall in place...
I will be in love.
If he doesn't...
Then so be it...
The Indian Ocean and all that she's done to my race, people, language and culture, will be my never ending love story, for now :)

"It all ended even before it started, and I knew it would end. I am fool!"

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A tale of three crushes

What do you do when you have a crush, actually several crushes? I have always had one crush at a time and often more than not, I have ended up with the guy I had a crush on, but now suddenly I am single and there are too many men in my life who fall into place, and match my every requirement in a guy. Can I be blamed for having a crush?
This is for those of you who care…
Who do I pursue, is it worth-it pursuing them, and am I just being a stupid romantic to think things might work out? I will describe my options and hopefully kill half my crush in the process, but you can comment and help me solve my eternal question…
To whom do I beautifully belong?

Crush One:
A beautiful guy, far older to me, we’ve bumped into each other quite often and have never spoken. We just got in touch recently when I literally hounded his friends till I connected to him on facebook and got his email id. We chat regularly and he’s so like me. We listen to the same music, believe in the same ideologies, and quite often have magic working in the air even while we chat. Only problem is he believes in fluid sexuality, which I believe in too, but do not subscribe to. He is currently asexual and I have no clue whether he’s even interested in me. We just flirt a lot.

Crush Two:
This is the guy who I fell for the moment I joined my new office. He sits two rows away from me and all I need to do to check him out is stand up. I cannot look him in the eye, for I fear the reaction I’ll receive, but he seems so amiable with everyone around me. I don’t know anything about him and don’t think he wants to know anything about me. But every time I catch him looking at me, I can’t breathe. It’s not funny and even though it sounds cute, it’s the most uncomfortable feeling in the world. I also have to keep restraining myself from looking that way, and it’s really really hard.

Crush 'on the process of happening' Three:
This guy is a looker. Another someone at work, all the girls have their eyes on him. He smiles a lot at me, and even spoke to me – thrice, but that’s it. He seems my type, and is all quiet all the time, a geek of sorts and extremely interesting. He’s the lean type though and even though I’m surprised he isn’t seeing anyone, I’m afraid he’s the type who doesn’t want to either. I still steal glances at him every time I cross his cubicle and he notices every time. Highly embarrassing… I need help.

On the reflex, I’m happy…
Atleast I finally find more than one man interesting. Being in relationships for almost the whole of the last five years, I’ve forgotten how exciting crushes could be. The adrenalin rush is amazing, and even though it’s not really orgasmic, it’s fun…

Friday, October 24, 2008

Happy Deepavali

இனிய தீபாவளி நல் வாழ்த்துக்கள்


दिवाली के शुभकामानाई


ದೀಪಾವಳಿ ಶುಭಾಶಯಗಳು


దీపావళి శుభాకాంక్షాలు


ശുഭ ദീപാവലി

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

This is as corny as I get... I think!

My desperate attempt at trying to write a profile for a gay dating site...

This is as corny as I get... I think!

Read on and be amused!

I’ve always wondered why I need to do this, but there’s never enough of a reason to do so. Profile reads are the most boring things to write… Seriously!
I mean, how much can one talk about themselves and be truthful?
Anyway here goes nothing! I am 22, turned 22 on 28th July and this has been till date, one of the most un-eventful years of my life. I came out of one of the most painful relationships and hope to never get into any such relationship again, ever!
I am still however, a romantic and believe in meeting my true love, my Mr. Knight Inshiningarmour, who will come for me one day or the other – the sooner the better.
I look forward to falling in love again, and I know I might break my heart again, but I guess its worth-it. I believe in love, so kill me!
It’s all a cycle and I’d like to believe like most Americans that it’s all a bloody government conspiracy, but why is it so hard for a gay man who’s come out to the whole world, to find someone exactly like him?
I am not a ‘queen’, I am effeminate, but to a certain well-within-control limit. I am not a ‘butch’ either and believe me; I know I hate being on top. I am one of those boys who has it all in his head, and if we can conversate and argue and just generally be happy with each others presence, I know I can do without sex.
I want a man, a guy who knows what he wants. A man who can control me even without letting me feel controlled, who can protect me even while letting me protect myself, and most of all a man who would let me drown myself in him, literally!
I seem to be a straight-magnet and I don’t like it. Two relationships with straight men over five years, I have nothing to regret, just that I can’t deal with such pointless flings anymore. I need to be loved as much as I love and there’s nothing wrong with that. I’m sure you’ll agree. All I’m asking is for ‘prospective you’ to be open to a relationship and to not be interested in me if you haven’t dealt with your sexuality as yet. Now, that’s not too much to ask for and I know that.
I am otherwise a ‘un-convinced’ Leo, who loves to express in whatever form it maybe. I am a chatter-box and can talk a lot (not really an asset, but me all the same). I dance (Bharatanatyam and Meitei Jagoi) and sing (carnatic classical, and tenor in a choir). I am also a huge reader and love reading fiction as much as non-fiction. My current favourite is Alan Hollinghurst, but I also like Edmund White. I love mad books, and history is like an extended orgasm. Cultures are however my ultimate Viagra.
I am an avid traveler and love riding pillion on any bike (the rider is a huge motivation though). I love the hills (I grew up there) and love the sea equally. I hope to one day retire in some provincial hill town and lead a nice quiet life till I die (Kotagiri, where I grew up is my present pick).
My roots lie in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Manipur and I love these languages and the cultures they represent. I am anti-aryan in my outlook and extremely pro-dravidian, so if that means you don’t want to read any further, be my guest.
I love learning scripts and am a self-confessed lingua-phile. Languages and their respective intricacies turn me on. For example, you can be sure I would make passionate love to you if you suddenly one day discovered the beauty of the ‘sharada seh’ in Telugu or how the ‘zha’ in Tamil and Malayalam are actually phonetically quite different.
I give a lot and expect a lot, so beware. I cannot take indecisiveness. It used to be a turn on till I realized how hard a problem it was to deal with in a relationship. Looks do matter and I will not say ‘no’. Like any other normal person I am attracted to good looks, but that’s not everything. I can get turned on by someone who seems very interesting in my kinda way too. Male chauvinists stay away. I am a feminist trapped in a gay man’s body and I’m proud! I do not entertain married men, but bisexuals I wouldn’t mind indulging.
If I’ve said enough and you’re prompted and convinced to say Hi! Then do just that and get in touch, it’s really very easy you know…

I disown the last line and wish I'd never written it, but then again, if something as simple as this leads me to Mr Purrfect, then its an attempt well-worth all the hardwork...

I just hope it works :(

Monday, October 13, 2008

I shall miss those arms.

He called this morning, I woke up to his voice all over again, and this time, it wasn't my imagination playing tricks on my mind...
I remember the days when I prayed and wished there would be a day when he would be the first one to greet my as I woke up... A radiant smile across his face as he returned an emotion I can only call 'love'...
There were those days, when I could wake up and look at him beside me, happy and content and proud of this lovely human being I could call my 'own'.
Those were those days, and these are these...
His voice sounded as reminescent as a voice could sound...
Feeble, full of emotion and an air of guilt and silence that shrouded everything he said...
This was that very boy I had once held almost everynight in my arms, made love to passionately and dreamed of the future with...
and here he was almost in tears asking for forgiveness, like it was mine to give!
Trust is something that I refuse to make any bylaws for. Once someone has proven that they aren't worth it anymore, I don't see how I can love them, or still want them...
But I still love him, and would have forgiven him in an instant, if he had promised me at least something more palpable...
The only arms I fit into so cozily, have outgrown me, and I now belong nowhere. I shall miss those arms.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

மிச்செஸ் அண்ட் ஹிட்ஸ்!

So.
Im sitting in a brand new office, the place still smells of new wood, plastic, resin paint and young people...
I know I sound like a witch, but feeling out of place comes naturally to few... I am one of those lucky bums... I was born with it!
New office, new people, and a new life...
Maybe this is what they call renewal...
a new new that's visibly different...
and this one surely is!
I have no work for now...
So I sit and update an ancient blog...
I am back feefals...
so look forward (if you ever did!) to stuff quite similar to the jowl I often dish out...


I miss phani and he knows it :(

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I salute thee, oh motherland!

I salute thee, oh motherland!

தாய்-மண்ணை வண்ணக்கம்!


Jana-gana-mana-adhinaayaka, jaya hé
Bhaarata-bhaagya-vidhaata.
Punjaab-Sindh-Gujaraat-Maraatha
Draavida-Utkala-Banga
Vindhya-Himaachala-Yamuna-Gangaa
Uchchala-Jaladhi-tarangaa.
Tava shubha naamé jaagé,
Tava shubha aasisa maangé,
Gaahé tava jaya gaatha,
Jana-gana-mangala-daayaka jaya hé
Bharata-bhaagya-vidhaata.
Jaya hé, jaya hé, jaya hé,
Jaya jaya jaya, jaya hé!



http://india.gov.in/knowindia/national_anthem.php

He who laughs!

There is no turning back for this dream merchant who has an insatiable appetite for good movie making. I caught up with the RGV over the weekend when he was in Bangalore for the release of Contract.

Ram Gopal Verma is not your everyday filmmaker. He’s dabbled in almost all genres of cinema and created his own distinct style in horror and gangster flicks. I met the multitalented director, to talk about Contract, Phoonk, and everything else that makes him tick… here’s what I found out.


LRMS: Why another gangster flick (Contract)?
RGV: (smiles) Well, it’s not really just another gangster flick; it’s more about a backdrop of the underworld, character conflicts and a peculiar connection with terrorism. The story is different because it established that link between terrorism and the underworld.

LRMS: How come we haven’t really seen that much of contract, while Phoonk’s already on everyone’s must-watch list?
RGV:
I guess that’s the case in Bangalore, only because of Sudeep.

LRMS: You’ve been considered to be a father when it comes to two genres in Bollywood – Horror and the Underworld?
RGV: These two genres are my favourites, as they allow me to play around with technique and be as different as I like being. Gangster movies are superb for the kind of characterization you can play with, while horror flicks allow you to get as technically innovative as you can. These are both highs to any director, so why not me?

LRMS: How did Sudeep happen?
RGV: We met a few years ago, when he approached me with the idea of remaking Sarkar in Kannada. I was quite interested after the meeting and watched a few of his movies in Kannada, My Autograph and Ranga SSLC, to name a few. I was very impressed with the screenplays and I saw the potential in him, which is why I offered him Phoonk. The character seemed to match his persona and that he was a good actor was confirmed. So I gave him the role.

LRMS: How is Sudeep as an actor?
RGV: He is very hard working, and would sit-up every night to get the dialogues straight. He isn’t a Hindi speaker, so had to work quite a bit on the language, but he has done a good job.

LRMS: We all know Sudeep is the type who can get very vocal with his thoughts on the set, was it very obvious in Phoonk?
RGV:
Not really. Either he gave up or gave in to me (laughs) I guess he gave in to me, and let me hold the reins. He does however pay a lot of attention to every detail which is a good thing.

LRMS: You seem to like casting south Indian stars as male leads in your horror films, is this habit?
RGV: (laughs) Not really, Chakravarthy to me was more of a Hindi actor when I cast him in Vaastu Shaastra. He had already done Satya with me. Sudeep being cast in another male lead in a horror film is just by chance. I have no such habits.


LRMS: You like casting new faces in films any particular reasons?
RGV: Very simple reason – No baggage. New stars come with no baggage of previous characters and their unpredictability makes then much easier to mould. When I worked with the three Bachchans in Sarkar Raj, there was this baggage that all three actors carried with them. New actors don’t have that disadvantage.

LRMS: Future plans?
RGV: A film with Sudeep sometime in November, we haven’t decided on the subject or the genre as yet and a romantic soon!

LRMS: Three genres you’d like to direct a movie in?
RGV:
A historical for sure. An adventure is my next pick and a comedy like Angoor.

LRMS: A possible return to south Indian cinema?
RGV:
Not in the near future.

LRMS: The last south Indian movie you watched and loved?
RGV: Sivaji.

PS: He smiles! And laughs!




This is Aishwarya Kannan, by the way who was my only source of entertainment all through the interview! Thanks a tonne love!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

In conversation with Vinay Pathak

It’s kind of hard to take someone like Vinay Pathak seriously, especially when you’ve seen Bheja Fry and loved it. This talented actor however is so much more, as we discover in a chit-chat with the man, the mayhem, the one and only, Vinay Pathak…

He is dressed in black and sports a hat, and if I am to be blamed for wanting to burst into a fit of laughter, I am ready to face my judgement. Stereotyped as a funny man, this actor is funny alright, but there’s a brilliant actor lurking somewhere, in those lovely crease lines that appear on his face when he smiles, and this interview seeks to discover that very, Vinay Pathak.

ME: You are considered to be the king of subtle humour, how do you react to that tag?
VP:
I have no issues with it whatsoever, and if my fans think I’m worthy of such a tag, I am humble and privileged. I am however very conscientiously trying to not let myself get stereotyped, which is why I’ve tried every possible role offered as long as it’s interesting enough.

ME: Which character is the closest to what you are in real life?
VP:
None of them actually. Vinay Pathak the actor is whoever the role wants him to be. Vinay Pathak the person is still a mystery to most (smiles).

ME: So you’re not a funny guy in real life?
VP: Am I? (stares and laughs) I don’t know (smiles).

ME: What is that one role you wished you had played?
VP:
I always wanted to play Saif’s role in Omkara. I love that character, but Saif got to it before me. Such characters are immortalized. It’s like Manmohan Desai and Shakespeare are the same person – Creating characters that entertain and can never be forgotten. These characters are so deep, so full of life, it’s amazing. I hope someone doesn’t get to play my favourite character from The Tempest before I do, but that’s surely another character I’d love to play.

ME: You are everywhere, how come?
VP: Bheja Fry made me sell-able. I am now a sure profit and directors and producers don’t mind making a film with me in the main role, as they’re convinced I’ll make the money they want, and I am happy I can do that.

ME: Do you agree that you are a multiplex actor?
VP:
As much as I hate that tag, that is the future! Yes, my films will take forever to reach a stage where I’ll have loyal audiences at all levels, but that isn’t frightening anymore, with multiplexes seeming to be the future of cinema viewing in the country.

ME: When did your career begin and how?
VP: My first film was Fire with Deepa Mehta, where I played a small role and then I did a few roles in films like Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam and Jism. I started turning down such roles only for the fear of being stereotyped in roles I didn’t really care for.

ME: Any South Indian stints?
VP:
Yes, in 1995 I clearly remember I was offered a role in a movie with Charu Hassan, and was asked to arrive at Coimbatore for the music release. I couldn’t pay for the tickets and they refused to pay for it too. Later I realised that I lost the role. I wouldn’t mind a role down south in any language as long as it reads well.

ME: Any other releases we can look forward to this year?
VP: Lots! And guess what in 80 per cent of them I’m playing the leading role. You can look forward to Sourav Shrivastava’s Oh My God, Straight from iDreams directed by Parvati Balagopalan, SRK a remake of a Malayalam movie by Ajay Verma, Mumbai Chakachak from Suniel Shetty’s Popkorn films, Raat Gayi Baat Gayi from PNC with Rajat Kapoor and another film with Rajpal Yadav. That’s nine releases in all (smiles).

ME: Finally, what’s with the chemistry with Ranvir Shorey?
VP: We are 'just' good friends (laughs). We are completely diverse personalities, but when were thrown together in one scene the magic just happens. Like in that Channel V show House Arrest, where a bit of it was us as characters, but most of it was just spontaneous. We have chemistry and it’s brilliant it works (smiles).

I take leave of the madman and as much as I would love to keep talking to the actor who knows what he wants, he hurries away for a photo shoot. Don’t forget to catch him in his next release via Darjeeling, where he is more than a saving grace.


Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Pink Hindi Mein :)

I've always wondered how Pink - that mad crack song by Aerosmith would sound in Hindi, so I took the liberty to crucify it with my translation into Hindi...
This is NOT serious :)
But Bahut Enjoyable Jee :)


Gulabi, Mera naya paagalpan hain...
Haan, Gulabi, ka koi sawaal hi nahin...
Gulabi, aapke premi ki hoton par...
Kyonki Gulabi hain woh pyaar jo tune dhoond liya...

Gulabi hey tumhare angoor par...
Aur Gulabi kyonki tum itni woh ho...
Gulabi hein woh rang ishq ka...
Aur phir fashion ke ssath jaatha hain...

Gulabi, pehle nazar mein heen pyaar...
Haan Gulabi jab light bund kiyaa tho...
Aur Gulabi, ek patang jaise udne lagan hoon...
Aur Gulabi, sab kuch achcha hone wala hain...
Aaj raath hum jo bhi kar lenge...

Gulabi, tu mera saaras ban sakthi hoen...
Kyonki Gulabi, ek naya bhasha hain...
Gulabi ek badaa sa umbrella jaisa...
Aur Gulabi, usko kabhi bathaana mat...

Gulabi, pehle nazar mein heen pyaar...
Haan Gulabi jab light bund kiyaa tho...
Aur Gulabi, ek patang jaise udne lagan hoon...
Aur Gulabi, sab kuch achcha hone wala hain...
Aaj raath hum jo bhi kar lenge...

Main, tumhara premi hona chahtha hoon...
Main, tumhe rubber me wrap karna chahtha hoon...
Jitne Gulabi jaise ki hamarey chaadar...
Kyonki Gulabi mera manpasand crayon hain...

Gulabi, pehle nazar mein heen pyaar...
Haan Gulabi jab light bund kiyaa tho...
Aur Gulabi, ek patang jaise udne lagan hoon...
Aur Gulabi, sab kuch achcha hone wala hain...
Aaj raath hum jo bhi kar lenge...




Just in case you want to cross check (do it! it's more fun!)
Here's the original :)


Pink it's my new obsession
Pink it's not even a question
Pink on the lips of your lover,
'cause Pink is the love you discover
Pink as the bing on your cherry Pink
'cause you are so very
Pink it's the color of passion
'Cause today it just goes with the fashion
Pink it was love at first sight,
yea Pink when I turn out the light,
and Pink gets me high as a kite
And I think everything is going to be all right
No matter what we do tonight
Pink you could be my flamingo
'Coz pink is the new kinda lingo
Pink like a deco umbrella
It's kink - but you don't ever tell her
Pink it was love at first sight
Pink when I turn out the light
Pink gets me high as a kite
And I think everything is going to be all right
No matter what we do tonight
I want to be your lover
I wanna wrap you in rubber
As pink as the sheets that we lay on
Pink is my favorite crayon,
yeah Pink it was love at first sight
Pink when I turn out the light
Pink it's like red but not quite
And I think everything is going to be all right
No matter what we do tonight

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

In conversation with Kunaal Kapoor…

Tall, FAIR and Handsome!

I bumped into Kunaal Kapoor recently at the launch of Bangalore latest Indian Terrain store, and I was quite surprised to discover so much more about this teen heart-throb!
In conversation with Kunaal Kapoor…
He’s famous for swooning audiences all across the country with his lean-hunk image all dressed to kill in designer sherwanis that have never ever looked better! He’s romanced a star far older to him on screen in style and been the muse of a painter in a saga that can never be retold.

He shook audiences with his performance in a path-breaking trend-setter of sorts, and played a copy writer with such panache, that advertising seems to suddenly have become the most glamorous profession on the platter.
Kunaal Kapoor, in all his gorgeous self was down in the city to woo his fans at the launch of the latest Indian terrain store. As the brand ambassador of the label, I got to see quite a bit of him and got to know lots more.
I decided to get more out of this star, and his extremely hidden life, and here’s what I discovered!

ME) In your first movie you were a muse, the sole focus in a movie where you occupied all the male attention in the plot, after such a role how did you manage a Rang De Basanti?
KK) I was just eager to be a part of the film as I found it extremely interesting and the fact that we all gelled really well as a group added to the advantage. I like playing roles that can be defined by one emotion. Be it intense or serious, or angry or patient. My character has to have that one character trait that should stand out, and I love doing roles which cater to such tastes.

ME) So you don’t really like being stereotyped? You however already have been as an intense actor with roles that boast of gravity:
KK) I know that’s the image that I have right now, but the role in Hat trick was aimed at putting an end to that image. There was nothing deep, or even extremely sane about my character in that movie, and even though it didn’t do all that well, I loved the experience!

ME) Characters that you’ve really loved doing other than your role in RDB?
KK)
My role in Laaga Chunari Mein Daag was fun, of course I don’t eat so messily, I promise (giggles), but since I’ve been production assistant before my stint with films, I did associate with the character.

ME) You seem to have a repertoire of jobs before you thought of films, which were the most memorable? And any plans of switching careers?
KK) (Laughs) I’ve been everything under the sun! I was once involved in exporting mangoes and also tried my hand at the stock market. I’ve just decided on settling in films, please don’t ask me if I plan to switch so soon, I really can’t afford to (laughs).

ME) You were an assistant director and the switched to an actor, how was the whole change like?
KK) Funnily enough I was more in front of the camera even during my stint as an assistant director, and often was used when there was the need of an extra or someone who could help people with the lines etc... So it wasn’t really hard. Actually it was all Rakyesh’s idea. And as I always say as an actor you get to be pampered, while as a director you have to pamper everyone else, so I obviously prefer the former.

ME) What’s your favourite Bollywood film?
KK) As clichéd as it sounds, Sholay. I’ve watched the movie over 40 times, and I still never get bored, the characterisation was so brilliant! Imagine a character like MacMohan who didn’t have much to say, yet was immortalised forever through the movie! That’s good cinema to me.

ME) Do you watch South Indian movies?
KK)
Of course I do! I am a huge fan of Rajinikanth. I watched Sivaji and consider it to be one of my favourite films.

ME) Plans to work with a South Indian movie or director?
KK) I was approached for Guru by Mani Ratnam and things however didn’t work out. I wouldn’t mind working in one of his movie for sure though. As a matter of fact I look forward to it. I’ve always been told how systematically the industry down south works, and I’m sure it will be quite an experience.

ME) Your favourite actors down south?
KK) Obviously the BIG man Rajnikanth and one of my personal favourites has been Revathy. I hope to act with her one day and will do anything to bag such a role.

ME) We’ve heard you are an ardent reader, what are you reading now?
KK) I am right now reading Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything and The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid.

ME) Your all-time favourite movies?
KK) The Indiana Jones series, though the latest one isn’t all that great and Chupke Chupke and yes! Braveheart (smiles).

ME) Projects we can look forward to?
KK)
I am right now working on none, but plan to sign a few very soon. Probably you’ll see me on the big screen in a year’s time…

I end the little chit-chat and as I walk away, I can’t help but noticed how the extreme curls-short hair look has done wonders to the already good-looking star. I can’t wait to see him on the big screen too, and hope he does a good job in his future projects, as he has quite a lot of self set parameters to live up to.


To be or not to be!


I like men.
It’s taken us over three decades to finally come into terms with this reality. The recent gay pride march in the city, held in commemoration of the Stonewall riots, was quite a success. That is in terms of it being a parade that broke all barriers and took the issue into the hands of the masses, literally. But is Bangalore ready to accept its gay folk? This question has no answer, not a concrete one at least for now.
We’re still a folk who’d rather ignore than accept. It’s easier to pass it off as something that one will grow out off or even worse, will get bored off eventually. We like to look at all forms of intimacy between the young of the same sex, as trivial games and will even tease a child for being so silly and foolishly intimate. But we will not accept that they could be gay. Even if we finally do accept them, we’d hope at the bottom of our hearts that it’s some disease that can be cured by medicine. If not medically, then religion will surely do the trick, we remind ourselves, and that finally lets our mind rest in peace.
“It’s not natural!” Every educated straight person likes to scream. But then what is?
Society at large, instructs one to hide these taboo emotions for the fear of being considered different and rebellious. Most of us are so dependent on society that we quietly obey in silence and convince ourselves that we’re doing the right thing.
We try as much as we can to hide and protect that uncle who plays with every little boy’s privates or that aunt who can’t seem to stop fingering every young girl. It’s all hushed up and nobody’s allowed to talk about it, like it never exists! Every night, at least a dozen young boys who return late home in this city face a harassment that nobody will ever believe occurs. Young boys are often followed and stalked by elder men in cars. Men who’ve been forced to conform, who have now finally gained independence, usually financially – leading to a sense of liberation. The only problem is the liberation is now filled with vengeance and the naivety of the pure unconditional love of childhood is now lost somewhere between lust, desire and need.
Why do we do such things to people we love? Why force them to conform and accept society’s norms? Marriages often break after a few years when the spouse realises the other partner is gay. Worse still, some decide to live with it and deprive themselves of what is rightfully theirs. It doesn’t have to be like this. A sense of acceptance and more general understanding of the differences from every human being to the other can solve all this. But it will all happen, only if we try and right now most of us don’t want to do even that!


Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Bangalore's Pride!



Gay Parade’s are like ‘Mass’ Telugu films – they are filled with fun, frolic and freedom, they are as colourful as a prism working overtime, they are loud and proud and even if they might not culminate in all the loose ends being tied up they sure do promise to always end with that much anticipated bang!
Our Bangalore’s very own gay pride parade sure was the much loved Bang that the city has boasted so often about. What started off as a very political-looking rally soon went through a very interesting metamorphosis and was soon the loudest and most colourful rally the city has ever seen! Be it our aravaani sisters who mocked the article 377 through their tongue-in-cheek slogans that resounded through the streets or the hundred plus straight men and women who willingly joined the rally at different parts en route as they encountered it.
This was the face of minority Bangalore and the most-obvious and encouraging fact was the diasporic population that chose to participate. The rally cut across the class barrier that is otherwise the most obvious division in the city and brought together an otherwise extremely heterogeneous population under some impenetrable yet encouraging sense of homogeneity. We had every minority represented including the transgendered, the bisexual and even the bi-curious population. While slogans demanding the equality of all peoples filled the streets, smaller more subtle banners like ‘pyaar kiya to darna kya’, got the message quite satisfactorily across to anyone who cared to listen.And like that wasn’t good enough, the rally finally culminated at the Town Hall, in a dance frenzy that spelt the word F-R-E-E-D-O-M. While the spirit of dance engulfed almost everyone, and the drum got most hearts beating faster, there was a sudden sense of pride and hope that swept across the crowd. A pride of being who you are, and where we were. A pride of being different, yet so essentially similar. A pride of being gay, lesbian, transsexual, transgendered, bisexual, bi-curious and more than anything else – of being Bangalorean. We love the city, for accepting everyone for who they are, and even though freedom both legally and culturally is far away, the fact that we’ve made that first step and have been supported, is enough for now!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Farewell my R-dent loser

Farewell my R-dent loser

We’ve been through every single thing two people can ever go through in just a matter of two years, and right now all I want is closure!
I will not thank you for coming into my life, ‘cause you screwed me up more than I could ever imagine and all the while I confused my own emotions for love.
I don’t even think you know what love could possibly mean, but I am curious to know why you were so ‘in love’ when it all began.
Please don’t even think of saying that I approached you, for that never is the case, and that never will be – at least not with someone I have no interest in, and believe me you were FAR from interesting when I first met you.
But then, let bygone’s be bygone’s and I don’t regret using a cliché, for you have been nothing else but one.
Funny how you keep assuming you can slather behind my back to people who are genuinely concerned and even assume that it wont reach my attention.
Funnier still that you continue to do so, and if by chance you do so, on purpose, then oh convoluted mind, free thyself of burden, for it will not affect me – at least not anymore.
I regret every inch of myself that I offered to you, for you were not worthy of anything humanely palpable or conceivable. You might have been worthy of the love of a few, but I wonder why they’ve moved on too?
Heaven forbid you are dating that other misfortunate one, and I pray god spares at least one life from your wicked mimicking ways before it’s too late.
Why are you so excessively self-indulgent? Why can’t you learn to be considerate to those who hurt you? It isn’t surprising that people who mattered to you labelled you juvenile – for you are nothing else! I don’t know what did more harm, the drugs or the religion, but whatever they did do, they did bad.
Nobody can afford to be so inhumanely dumb and so proudly numb. You hurt everyone who cares, by either putting up an act of being submissive and hurt others even more by just being who you are – which is much worse, by the way.
You are not evil, get over yourself, and far from evil, all you can be termed right now is stupid. Sit down and think of all that you’ve forfeited on your own account just because you couldn’t mend you deviant ways.
Nobody needs to love you, and you don’t need to either. Most probably you will end up being treated worse by someone else, and purely for the sake of you learning a lesson, I hope that happens.
Make amends before you’ve lost yourself in your own defecations to such an extent that an asylum might seem a little to lenient for you.
There is still hope. Try and change and next time around play around with someone your own size. Don’t aim for the stars, there are times stars stop shining and you better get used to yours flickering out. There’s hardly any matter left in you to burn up. You’re wasted!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Dasavathaaram – a page from history

An ode to the Vaishnava faith
Dasavathaaram – a page from history

How Dasavathaaram fares at the box office remains for the audiences to decide, but the fact that the movie uncovers many hidden and hardly talked about pages from history will remain something that will keep it in our memories for some time to come.
The history
The movie begins with an episode that re-creates the tale of a Vaishnava Brahmin (Iyengar) who lives in the town of Chidambaram in 12 Century AD. Tamilnadu at this point of time was a purely Hindu country extensively ruled by the Chozhas. Vaishnava and Shaiva politics were in vogue and the Chozhas being vehemently strong Shaivaites obviously supported the Shaiva Brahmins (Iyers). Kamal Hassan plays the role of a Vaishnava Brahmin who refuses to give up his faith in Vishnu and agree to the king’s wishes of a total Shaivic state religion that proclaims Shiva as the prime deity.

What actually happened?
What can be called an inquisition of sorts occurred all over deltaic Tamilnadu and Vishnu or Perumaal temples were often broken into, destroyed or damaged and Shiva was usually re-instated as the prime deity. Many Iyengars fled to other parts of Southern India, a huge number to Karnataka where the Hoysalas and other kingdoms were still quite unbiased. The population that chose to remain were tortured and recently discovered proof even claims that as severe punishments as impaling were prevalent.
The characterisation
The character played by Kamal Hassan is given the option to renounce his faith or be drowned with the reclining idol of Vishnu that was being shifted out of the temple in Chidambaram. He chooses the latter and is drowned alive after his son is forced to perform the last rites. The film ends the narrative at the drowning, but the Vaishnavic tendencies re-emerge at the end when the Tsunami and the re-emergence of the reclining Vishnu kind of re-emphasize the image of Vishnu as the protector. Asin’s character has also been unabashedly based on the life of Andal, the much romanticized other spouse of Vishnu also known as Ranganaayaki, and the fact that she plays a role quite similar to folk portrayals of Andal and is also called Andal in the film is something that cannot miss the attention of any culturophile.
Did Kamal Hassan decide to portray his Vaishnava faith in the film, which is why these influences cannot go unnoticed, or was this just a recreation of history? No one can answer this other than him, but we’re impressed with the guts of the screenplay writer, who has brought back the attention to this forgotten page of South India’s history. Where we come from and who we are, is something no one should ever forget, however bloody our history has been.

தசாவதாரம்

தசாவதாரம்


The much publicized Dasavathaaram finally hit screens today, and even though the hype created about the movie and its making did enough PR for the film, the film passes of as as a mediocre movie on the whole.
A brilliant screenplay that somehow manages to convincingly connect the ten roles of Kamal Hassan is put to waste with the utter chaos in how the film was made. The music was not very impressive, especially when one considers Himesh Reshammiya was paid a crore per song, and while you do get carried away by the gripping narrative and in-numerous twists, the final over all ‘feel’ is not very convincing.
We were impressed immensely by the 12 Century part of the film, where the well researched storyline and brilliant graphics created one of the most outstandingly convincing portrayals of the period. Be it the language, the costume or the emotions expressed, this small glimpse into a bloody episode in South Indian history deserves all the accolades it can receive. Asin was also quite the refresher and her portrayal of a young Iyengar girl in both her roles was a pleasure to watch. The acting isn’t bad, and the story definitely doesn’t suck, it’s the fake graphics and complete chaos in the otherwise brilliant film that acts as the biggest spoiler.
The film has some of the best comedy and action sequences we’ve ever seen, and Kamal Hassan in his Telegu avatar is irrepressible! Watch out for an extremely cute looking Japanese character who manages to pull of her accented Tamil with an incomparable panache. Guest appearances by old timers all through the film, including several directors do add to all the excitement, but the over emphasis on what we can only call Vaishnava-glorifying is something that cannot be ignored. If Sivaji has an overtone of hidden political messages, this one is unabashedly open about its religious inclinations.
The movie is worth one watch and all we’ll say is don’t have too many expectations and prepare to be amusingly surprised!

Asin as Andaal in Dasaavathaaram

Watch out for!
Kamal Hassan, he is the ‘ulaga-nayakan’ (universal hero) for a reason and the bits of maddening comedy all through the film

Don’t watch out for!
A scary background score that does no justice whatsoever and graphics that will make you snigger all through the movie.

Verdict
A definite one-time watch. You will be entertained, just don’t hope to take too much back home.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

As a kid I grew up on very healthy diet of Tamizh Programming on TV thanks to Doordarshan Madras Kendra, this particular ad, however has seemed to have etched a permanent place in my mind and today the ad makes so much more sense...

இந்து டீயில் நிறம் இல்லை
Indha Tea-il Niram Illai
(This Tea has no colour)
சுவை இல்லை, மனம் இல்லை
Suvai Illai, Mannam Illai
(No taste and no smell)
எனது டியில் இந்து மூன்று குணம் இர்ருக்கும்?
Yendhuh Tea-il Indhuh Moonuh-gunam Irrukkum?
(In which brand of Tea will I find all these attributes?)

Today my life seems to be like that! I never seemed to be satisfied, and nothing seems to be working out right... Is it just me or is everyone like me so dis-satisfied in life?
Is it right to be considered wrong when you're actually right?
Or be wronged just beacuse you have a lot of 'right' coming your way?
Why are people so cruel when they can have an equal chance, if only they tried!
Will I ever find something completely satisfying?
Or will I always continue to be in this state of perpetual unhappiness...
I wonder on!
I wish life was as simple as the right brand of Tea!

Friday, May 23, 2008

முழுமதி அவரது முகமாகும்

A free transliteration from the Tamizh of this lovely piece from Jodhaa Akbar...
This is how I would like to translate the amazing verse...
Dedicated to that feeble fawn in my life...
Rahul... and Aishwarya (she knows why!)

முழுமதி அவரது முகமாகும்
I have lost myself completely in blissful memories of his face...
மள்ளிகை அவரது மனமாகும்
In him whose essence reminds me of the perfume of blooming jasmine buds...
மின்னல்கள் அவரது விழியாகும்
In him whose eyes sparkle like bolts of lightning...
மௌனங்கள் அவரது மொழியாகும்
In him whose silence evokes a beautiful expressive language...
மார்கழி மாதத்தில் பணி-துழி அவரது குறளாகும்
In him whose voice reminds me of the fleeting mists of an early march morning...
மகரந்து காட்டில் மான்-குட்டி அவரது நடையாகும்
In him whose stride reminds me of a young fawn in a fragrant wood...

அவரை ஒரு-நாள் நான் பார்த்தேன்
I saw him one day...
இதயம் குடு-என்று வரம் கேட்டேன்
I asked him for the love I wanted...
அது குடுத்து உடனை எடுதே சென்ற-விடாய் ...
He gave it to me for a moment before he took it back and fled...

Thursday, May 22, 2008

எந்தன் ராகுல்...

I really miss you so much...

and I do not comprehend why this is happening all over again...

Did I ask for too much?

Did I even ask for anything?

You are the centre of my life...

I accept it whole heartedly...

எந்தன் ராகுல்...

Please come back!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Trip to Doddamakali - Rediscovering The Cauvery!


“She was angry that year and she raged. Overflowing her banks and submerging all that was then – the splendour of Talakadu. She avenged the wronged and receded, changing her course, leaving a deadly trace behind her – a trace that would last forever, imprinted in history as a mystery, a miracle, an anomaly – something so typical of her.”

The River Cauvery is the lifeline of most of what are the southern most flanks of the Deccan plateau and the plains of North Tamilnadu. A river as old as time – she fed and watered the civilizations that flourished on her banks and she is still the cause of contention between two states that share her waters. She has her humble but beautiful beginnings in the Kodagu district of Karnataka, and flows ever gently south-eastwards towards the Tamil plains picking up speed only at her last leg where she falls in her meandering pathways through the Sivasamudra area. She finally takes her final plunge at Hogénakkal and then enters Tamilnadu for a long journey before she empties out into the Bay of Bengal. A provider of several livelihoods and a sustainer of many lives, River Cauvery or Kaveri Amman as she is fondly known, is the Ganga of the south – she is the angrier and more colourful sister; a sister who exemplifies the spirit of the South Indian woman, a Devi in her own right.


How we decided to go to the Doddamakali fishing camp for that holiday weekend is still quite a mystery. There were options thrown around, and memory only throws up the Galiboré and Bheemeshwari fishing camps as the choices we were initially discussing. The latter two are the more famous Cauvery fishing camps maintained by a semi-government owned Jungle Lodges and Resorts Private Limited. They are closer to Bangalore and fall within the southern extremities of the Bangalore Rural District off the Kanakapura Road. Doddamakali on the other hand was beyond familiar territory. It lay in interior Mandya somewhere off the Kollegal Road from Maddur through Malavalli. A simple map drawn on the brochure did help us as we drove there that morning, the only problem was that unlike more commonly used state and national highways, the kilometres didn’t just fly past, instead we were forced to keep ourselves occupied as we turtled our way on these fast disappearing roads. Somewhere beyond Malavalli we took a sudden left and then drove past a most pristine Lower Ghat section till we reached the Shimsa Hydro-electric project. The road was now reduced to a mud-rubble path, but our van somehow managed to scrape through the remaining eight kilometres, literally!
We passed through some reviving vegetation in what seemed like a forest that had been reduced to ashes a few years ago. Life struggling to replenish itself was seen all around us. Further downhill we crossed what can be typically classified as a deciduous shrub forest with grasslands covering every inch of the hills all around. The green grass occasionally met a liberal sprinkling of white jasmine like blooms from the Kadumalli (Forest Jasmine) tree, and if beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, than this was heaven to me! The last one kilometre or so was however the most exciting as we encountered some really sharply curving hair-pin bends. The van tried really hard to take the challenge, but some of us realised the need for individual contributions and so we jumped off the van to trek the remaining downhill sloping trail. It was the best thing one could do, believe me, because the views we saw we’re so brilliant, that every calorie of energy spent seemed worth it the effort.

A few minutes later we were unloading our backpacks off the van and trying to find tents to claim – the rush was quite interesting as we ran to the spread out tent cabins and kept screaming out – “This one’s mine! Oh! Look at the view… what a lovely view I have, Oh! Mine’s right in front of the dining hall…” and other such ridiculous enthusiastic exclamations! We were soon settled in and we lunched at the common thatched dining hall. The hall is a masterpiece with a thatched domed tent like structure that rests on a few pillars looking right at the river. The views of the refreshingly clean river helped any morsel of food slide down your throat like an elixir – it’s finally all about the ambience, I guess, huh? Post lunch more conquests of tents followed as we needed to find accommodation for the whole team.
A sudden reference to tents being available at the other end of camp, had a few of us rush to the other end to claim territory. We couldn’t have been more pleasantly surprised as we found the tents with the most gorgeous of views lying open, furnished and ready to be taken. After some hurried shifting of luggage we were all finally settled in.
The rest of the afternoon was spent with Cricket matches on the beach and some arbid relaxation while a few of us trekked into unchartered territory. The beach was our personal reference to the vast stretches of off-white sand on the banks of the Cauvery. The river has its claim to fame for its vast banks of sand created due to silting, receding waters and course alterations that occur every now and then.
As the evening turned into night, a few of us straddled on our life jackets and jumped into the shallow parts of the river for a refreshing dip. Rumours of crocodiles can’t really deter anyone from relishing those clear waters, especially when they’re so temptingly inviting. Crocodiles however are spotted once in a while basking on rocks on the banks especially during the peak months of the summer. As the sun set, we set out for a relaxing trip in the round boats so quintessential to these parts. The last rays of the sun filtered through the evening sun as we sang songs and chided each other while we swirled at ease, ripples lashing at our boats, with our faces turned towards the darkening sky. Night soon approached and the lanterns that would light our tents were lit. We retreated to our temporary homes for quick showers and what showers they were! There’s something about clean river water that can do wonders to your skin and hair. Moisturizers aren’t needed anymore and your hair is as soft as it would be after a conditioning treatment. Refreshingly clean we soon were around a crackling fire lit in our honour. Snacks fresh off a grill were passed around as we doused ourselves in some fine wine, beer and breezer’s. The joy that we experienced could only be expressed in song, and we were soon entertaining each other in songs galore! Singing, a crackling fire, friends and the gurgling of a beautiful river to drown out the black silence – could anyone ask for more?
We had a fairly well-made dinner and then decided to play a few games. A housie was followed by several rounds of rummy. Later that night most of us spent lying on the clean sand under a full moon. The moon was reflected in all it’s whiteness on the rippling river, and poems of love, desire and beauty were the only things on everyone’s mind as we finally retired to our tents for the night. A day truly well spent!


The next morning a few of us went trekking upstream on the banks of the Cauvery till we reached the spot where she falls into the valley. A valley she had carved out, this place was surely one of those well kept secrets in South Karnataka. The rest of us awoke as we finally gave into the beckoning light that teased us from every hole in our tents. We just had to enjoy this morning! After what was, as far as breakfasts go, one of the best I’ve had, we quickly had to get ready for our departure. We had planned to trek back up-hill to the point where the deadly hair pin bends start, in order to ease out the trip for our struggling van, and we did just that. Several pictures later, we loaded our backpacks onto the van and began out trek up-hill. Only a few of us made it to the top amidst non-stop breaks to relish the valley from a birds eye view, while most gave up half way through and waited for the van to approach. The few of us who did make it to the top, four kilometres to be precise, we’re blessed exceedingly for our efforts. A Champa (Temple) tree had just lost most of its blooms thanks to the mild showers the night before, and the road was strewn with these white-yellow mildly-perfumed flowers untouched – as is the case usually on such roads. We quickly decided to get some really cool shots and just as we finished with our camera antics, we heard our van approach, around a bend.


We were soon driving along a proper road to a quick stopover at the Barachukki falls – not really en route home, but in the vicinity. An hour of driving later, we were in the middle of the Sivasamudram area in Chamarajanagar district. The Cauvery in its penultimate plunge falls over a vast stretch of black rock, several miles long, in three separate falls aptly named Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara after the holy Hindu trinity. The sight is extremely humbling as is the case with most majestic waterfalls and helps you realise what a small role you play in the big game of our planets existence. We were running out of time and were really getting hungry, so we said our au revoirs and soon enough, we were back on the homeward route.


Trips like these are something everyone needs to do more often, especially as they’re really close to Bangalore and are not very hard to access. Doddamakali is just about 150 kilometres from Bangalore and even if that might sound like a lot, it’s almost the same distance one would cover on a trip to Mysore. The air is clean and refreshing, and there’s usually no one around other than people from the camp. The loneliness from crowds and the presence of friends might just make the trip all that more enjoyable.


As we enter Bangalore later that evening, most of us are still very much in a Holiday mood, and who can blame us? With a river such as the Cauvery flowing right beside you, sun, sand and good food at your service and tent cabins that give you the excitement of a jungle lodge and are yet very comfortably furnished – enjoying life should come pretty naturally, if not instinctively.

We’ve had our share of fun and it’s about time you took the plunge too!

Monday, March 17, 2008

My One-on-One with Shaam ;)

A perfect ambience – the terrace of Café Mocha in Koramangala – Flowing draped curtains, a pristine fountain, light reflecting of the water and lights that remind me of the sets in Mughal-E-Azam. Shaam sits in a corner, crowded around by an ever-interested media, and I cannot believe of my luck – I am going to meet and interview a heartthrob, one of my favourite Tamil actors, a do-gooder and a good looker with enough talent to match his all his gorgeousness.
Shaam is dressed in a suit, I cannot remember what colour though – guess I was too overcome with excitement at finally meeting the man, face to face – but that doesn’t matter, he looked as stunning as he always does, and that was more than enough for me.
We move to one of the quieter spots on the crowded terrace and begin a nice little chit-chat that tells me a lot about this Bangalore boy, his aspirations in the Tamil film industry,

his hopes, his fears and his passions as an actor.

Pic Courtesy: Om Prakash

LRMS: So you finally decided to sport the beard and moustache huh? Is it like a rule in the Tamil film industry for men to sport facial hair?
S
: Not really, I know this will be the first time I am seen with a moustache and a beard,

but that’s only because I star in a soon to be released film called Sivamayam,

where my role demanded it.


LRMS: We haven’t seen Thoondil, but we’ve heard enough of the rave reviews about the film from the media in Chennai, how do you think the film will do?
S
: It’s been doing pretty well, especially since my role has been getting good reviews,

I’m really satisfied with the whole experience. Director Adhiyaman is the one who deserves all the credit though. It’s a city based story and will cater only to such audiences.

I’m sure it will do well with such crowds in the city too.



LRMS: You’ve been typecast as a romantic hero, not that we’re complaining but are you comfortable with the tag?
S
: I am a die-hard romantic, so why would I not want to be typecast as such. Such roles also come to me naturally, I am after all a typical naughty bangalorean boy – romance is my second nature. However, one really can’t survive on such roles in the industry and even though those were the kind of roles I used to be offered, I am now being offered action roles.


LRMS: Action roles? Isn’t that something far from the ‘Shaam’ we know?
S
: It is, I completely agree, I have been known for such roles, but I guess its time to change. The industry is not very accommodating to a pure-romance hero – The Tamil industry is still all about one role heroes, and that seems to be the only thing that clicks.


LRMS: What do you mean by that?

Is that what differentiates Bollywood from Kollywood?
S: Yes, look at Hindi films; you are bound to run out of one-heroed storylines sooner or later and they’ve realized that. Even the biggest of stars have no issues sharing space with another star. In Tamil however that’s not the case – we’re still practically a one-hero per film industry. So many brilliant scripts never get made into movies just because of this. I have signed many such roles but the lack of willing ‘other heroes’ usually hold up such projects.


LRMS: With Sivamayam, you’ll be crossing over into un-chartered territory

as far as your roles are concerned, aren’t you frightened of

losing out on the Chocolate Boy Image?
S
: I didn’t choose that image, nor am I saying that I am unhappy with it – who would? But with Sivamayam directed by a close friend Sanjay Ram, I am willing to experiment. It won’t be an all out action film – we’re hoping for a 25 percent mix of everything – a perfect formula for a good commercial movie. I will be sporting this beard for that film and also long hair.


LRMS: Action Hero? So when are we going to see you rip your shirt off? Actually why haven’t we seen you do it earlier? You do have quite a physique, we know!
S
: (He laughs) Really? Well, I haven’t been asked to do so, and since I don’t really think

you need to have a body or a six pack to be a good actor, it never occurred to me.

But, don’t worry I will shed my shirt in Sivamayam – I’m kind of sure.


LRMS: So you’ll be the first six pack boy from the Tamil huh?
S
: Yes. I guess that will keep at least one set of my fans happy (Smiles).


LRMS: You are one of the first male model-turned actors in the Industry – how was the whole experience, was it really difficult?
S: It was hard, definitely. I knocked on every possible door for four years before I got my first chance, and I am thankful for that. The lack of a godfather in the industry can weigh down quite heavily on you, especially when you aren’t from the film circle. I had to accept whatever I was offered, and believe me I am thankful that whatever came my way was good stuff.


LRMS: We know you are a Tamizh Paiyen from Bangalore,

but the accent is so not Bangalorean, how?
S: I am a Madurai-kaaran, just that my family shifted to Bangalore when I was really young. Studying in St. Joseph’s and growing up in Frazer Town helped me pick up most of the local languages. I however still have a problem with Telegu, and I’m trying really hard to cope with it. It’s a new experience, quite interesting.


LRMS: Thoondil has been receiving some bad publicity in Karnataka,

what do you have to say about that?
S: I believe that you are responsible for whatever you do. If you do come in front of the camera you are obviously leaving yourself to the mercy of the man behind the lens.

We should just get used to accepting responsibility for whatever we do.

If I am caught on camera doing something I shouldn’t, it is my fault right?


LRMS: Lots of North Indian directors are entering the industry,

what do feel about such a trend?
S: I don’t really think it will affect anything here, I mean the opposite is also happening right? And we have enough good directors here in the south, so it’s not like they are really required, but they don’t pose any threat either. Imtiyaz Ali is now planning to remake Jab We Met in Tamil,

it will obviously be better if he directed this one too,

as a director alone knows what his film should look like.


LRMS: Sujatha passed away recently, you knew him personally – do you think the industry will be able to cope with the loss of such a pioneer?
S
: He wrote the scripts of both 12 B and Ullam Kaetkumae, and I remember him personally calling me up to tell me that he felt I did justice to the speech at the end of the film. A real artiste and a genius at his work, his loss will be felt, but the industry does have other script writers who might prove to be equally good soon enough.


LRMS: Your performances in Iyarkai and 12 B have been raved about enough.

You are considered to be a good actor, would you then consider an art movie?
S
: No, I really wouldn’t want to take on such a responsibility as an art movie requires a lot of patience and preparation. I am now looking at making it big in the commercial sector

and hope it works out well.


LRMS: Is it true that you’ve signed on a Malayalam movie?
S: Yes I have spoken to a director called Sudarshan, and most likely will be cast opposite Gopika and Meena, but that is all I can say right now, date availabilities and other technical requirements are holding up the movie, so can’t really say much.


LRMS: What about Kannada movies, any new projects after Tananam Tananam?
S: There are talks on with a director called Kishore; lets see how it works out.


LRMS: Which heroine are you really comfortable working with?
S: I’ve never really had issues with anyone of them.

Most actors in the industry are extremely professional about their work,

so we hardly have tempers flaring or anything out of the way like that.


LRMS: The last Tamil film you wished you had done?
S: Definitely Paruthiveeran – what a movie!


LRMS: Plans for the future in the industry?
S: It took me five years to get here, and I’m not giving up so easily.

One thing about the Tamil film industry is that you need to do what they want you do,

more than what you want to do. You need to appease A, B, C and D audiences and make sure your performances are worth it a hit. Self satisfaction can be earned out of a movie doing well, and that’s what I’m looking at – at least for now.


LRMS: Films your fans can look forward to?
S
: My Tamil films, Anthony Yaar? With director Pandian and Sivamayam,

my Telegu film Cash and Maya, which is definitely looking very sleek and stylish

and my Malayalam movie, whenever it gets done.

Cameras click, and I know the interview is over, as I have nothing more to ask. The ever-friendly Shaam willingly poses for the shots and what poses I say!
It surprises me that such a good actor hasn’t made it big in an industry that claims to be a talent pool of good actors. It worries me further is there is some bias against him from within the industry – what else could explain such a good looking actor with national awards to his credit, not receiving any roles – at least not as many as he would like?
Trends ought to change before the industry runs out of fine actors – action isn’t everything – Please!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Sunflowers...



A field of sunflowers…
Unending stretches of yellow…
The sun as bright and pleasant as it ever could be…

Memories I’ve never experienced…
Images of a lover I’ve never seen…
Songs well known playing in the background…
Of Rehmaan and a nightingale’s queen.

Sounds of running water…
Playfully tease my loneliness…
I dream of the one who will come…
That one among the many.

Holding me gently…
He will never let go…
The joy will always continue…
And forever overflow.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Round-Up January 2008.

Round-Up January 2008

Hi! And welcome to my yearly round-up, that brilliant (self-acclaimed) post of mine that tells you everything you need to know about everyone around me. Yupp, you will have to know me to know whom I’m talking about, but the round-up will be an interesting read all the same… So here’s to friends and joyful memories. Cheers!

Golti-Tamizh Paiyen is till very much in love with Malayali-Tamizh Lover girl. Good for him! We still talk and I still would give anything in the world for him.

Krishnan Ammai is hale and hearty and enjoying life as her annan is now married to sweet-kps-classmate-bhatt.

AK47 is missing in action, god alone knows why; near-fatal incident a la Libra has left us partitioned over several issues I assume. Independence was never the solution.

Goan-Tamizh-Malayali Paiyen is happy. He has ‘finally’ broken off from said cute-Kannada-girl. He marries off his sister in a few days, and I plan to help him with the ceremonies.

Malayali-Dusky-Goddess is in Mumbai, works for a religion and has fallen for a Goan boy. Her marriage is a-pending anytime now. Happiness I see, but I amn’t too sure.

Kashmiri-Adonis is busy playing hide and seek. I miss him so much. Wish he would come back, and be a part of my increasingly boring life.

Girl-I-would-marry-if-I-had-a-chance 1 is in France, pursuing her higher studies. We talk. That’s enough for me for now; actually that’s enough for eternity.

Girl I would marry if I had a chance 2 is in Hyderabad, having seconding issues in love, life and lectures. She is as she always was. She can still never NOT bring a smile to my face.

Golti Film Maker is busy learning to make films, in city he hates, and growing back his cuteness that he lost a month ago. I can see a crush coming. It’s actually already here. He is single and I pray he stays that way. When will he get fate?

Goan-Hunk was sick in town for long times, but is back in biriyani nagar. He forgets who I am the moment he sees the coloured rices. Promiscuousness is not something I need worry about. Food was always man’s first love.

My Adonis is now happily married to animal-healer girlfriend. They live together in harmony not far from Home 1, and still watch movies. He gets hotter when he is happier. I naat like. Actually I very much like.

Konkani-NDTV is working for Google and still dreams of her journalism career. She met her first boy bastard and has come out a winner. A bit late, but everyone has to start somewhere.

Nine Ten is busy being clandestine. But if that’s what keeps her happy who am I to spoil her happiness. She in the meantime applies for courses, and cuts her hair, and becomes more girlish.

Adi-Dravidaar Ponnuh now two times with work and an MBA, she grows prettier by the day. People think we are in love. Are we? I am not too sure we aren’t.

Her sister is still being an American Call doing girls, and works hard now to literally keep the family. Marriage was in season but is now just a phase. Thanks be to god.

Goodhal is busy colleg’ing. Wonder if she’s upto anything these days other than teaching fatally gorgeous Iranian boys. I so J.

Brother Bear 1 is enjoying his press freedoms. Still randomly dating, Guess he’s got the most chicks in the family (?). Has a band now with said Goodhals above, Brother Bear 2 and a friend.

Brother Bear 2 is busy being himself. Plans on studying are finally materializing. It be so cool. He dreams of Japan and I pray it happens.

Brother Bear 3 is still lounging. The Piranha still eats and landscaping is now the final frontier. Oh yes! He is a year older in his marriage-ful life.

Original Boy-Wonder is working now, somewhere and all. We hardly meet and talk. I miss Krupanidhi only for what I miss of him.

Naidu girl is married and missing from action.

Business-Boy is still very business-see even though he is unemployed. Funny I must say. His clients are still his clients even though he doesn’t work for them no more. He watches movies like nobody’s business.

Isue is losing her extra pounds and looking prettier than ever. Don’t know if she’s seeing someone. Wish she’d find Mr. Right and get married. I want to be sweet uncle of sildrens. Yeah! She has so much plans. It gives me hope.

The G Girl Junior is happy in life. I like it that way. Looking so much better. She does miss Mallu-Hunk in Londyn but that she’s happy keeps me happy all the same.

The G Boy Senior is still managing the city’s talkers. The station is coming back. Whatte fun! He looks more aged and slowly acting that way too. Still a hunk though.

The CJ Ma’am is mommy again to a princess who grows prettier by the second. It’s so much fun when you know someone knows you eggjacktly. She’s that only one.

The Mallu-Hunk is in Londyn and still flirts like crajee. What would life be without such items ya? Miss him a lot, don’t know why though.

Musician-Hunk lives now in my dreamland (not my dreams, but where he stays). Plays hard to come by and I must say that hair is finally getting to me. Enough hair on face pliss. Reduce pliss.

The Lord of The Rings works with me, growing prettier locks, and becoming so girl-ie looking by the day. Never knew he was such a natural born good-looker. His band goes strong and everything seems ok.

I QC, subtitle and still live life. There’s so much I can look forward too, and I hope it all works out. Love seems to avoid me, but I think I ask for it. Opportunity also has forgotten my postal address. But life still goes on, and my biggest joys are from the littlest of things.






Welcome 2008.
May you be more rewarding than 2007 (atleast for me!)