Mumbai Diaries….Dhobi ghat!


So, I happened to see this movie over the last weekend and felt that it was not a movie. But, to think of the story line and the narrative style – I felt for an amateur in film-making you can’t decide how good the screenplay is and stuff like that. Ofcourse, you can’t expect Kiran Rao to be a Spielberg or a Nolan, or maybe even our Indian greats too.

I would like to briefly touch upon the story line and probably make people aware that this movie should be actually given a try. Not for the sake of the happiness of watching a romantic comedy and believing everything in love is happy or a subtle movie suited for the multi-plexes. This movie is actually a true replica of how the modern India thinks like. Struck in between the taboos and the westernization, struck between the line that divides the rich and the poor, struck between the moralities and immoralities which vary in every body’s head. This movie is the closest you can get to see how India and especially the metropolitan cities have changed or evolved.

The story is strictly in Mumbai and follows closely the lives of 4 people for a very short span of their lives. It is a diary-based screenplay of showing everything in their lives on the big screen. The camera work in certain frames is really spell binding, because it is simple and easier to correlate with the theme of the movie. You get annoyed with the extensive usage of the handy cam, but again, that is part of the movie and looks like a deliberate attempt to go with the theme of the movie again. Certainly it is not the movie which is going to compete with the commercial cinema but trust me, there might be a section of audience who love the way the debutantes acted in the movie. Absolutely amazing!

This movie isn’t about how a typical commercial movie or an art movie progresses. It sounded as a perfect short story that you read on a blog or a magazine or a newspaper and has that spark in it to say, “Wow! that is a good story and a good narration”. I failed to understand the screenplay at times, particularly because it was a bit lagging on the pace and otherwise it was a brilliant attempt to a character-driven story.

There is no point in writing about the movie, as I would like to dig into the characters and understand what they are and how they are portrayed that made them memorable.

Arun is a modern artist and a professional painter. He is completely devoid of any human element in his life and is at a stage in his career where he is looking for an inspiration to work for his next exhibit. He is a recluse and he enjoys his space or maybe trying to break free out of that lonely world, but doesn’t know how. His lack of social aptitude is depicted in the scenes where he apologizes to Shai after the one night stand. When you go a level deeper into his mindset, you understand that he is a divorced father of a kid who is living with his mom far away from Mumbai. He is amazed and extremely happy and the brush strokes are back with superfluous energy when he happens to voyeur into Yasmin’s life through her video tapes. Watch out for grey streaks of hair on Aamir Khan. Probably, first time he is flaunting them in a movie. I don’t know actually.

Arun’s character represents a character who is emotionally drained and searching for a connection with the external world. Being in the creative field doesn’t help him either. He has to search for something that will inspire him and definitely help him out with his mental stage as well. Also, any disturbance in the life of a extremely creative person actually impacts more than what it does to a normal mind set.

The first prominent female character in this movie is Shai. She is a banker who is on a sabbatical and enjoys the break from her monotonous corporate work indulging herself in her photography hobby. She captures Mumbai through the eye of an inquisitive individual with a different set of idealogies that are uncommon for a native of that city. She has that energy to search for something which is so common in the lives of a mumbaikar. She represents the people who fall in love with a city for all it’s history and beauty. The innate beauty of any city is the people and she tries to study them and interacts with a lot of people and she is a born cosmopolitan. She has a crush on Arun after a one night stand and feels that they are connected on a mental level that is clearly visible through her speech and actions. Unfortunately, the movie doesn’t try to build the story or screenplay on that front a lot. That is one of the loose ends of this movie.

Somehow this character is one of those hippy-ish kinda girls according to me. Maybe I am wrong, but I feel she is driven by factors that are typical of those set of people. The attitude that is represented in this character is a care free girl. She doesn’t care much about the job or any such obligations. She feels that everything should just sail and she will do whatever to make that sail smoother and will not care much and can run away if it’s turbulent. You can’t say that these kinda people have a passion and they will pursue it at the cost of their lives. They are mostly ‘I don’t care, I don’t know’ kinda people.

There is an interesting character ‘Munna’. He is a movie aspirant and a fanatic of  Salman Khan. Again, I loved the way the director didn’t go berserk on establishing the fact that he is a movie aspirant and works as a Dhobi during the day and a rat killer during the night and all for the sake of making money and feeding himself. It is not at all exaggerated and it was heartening to see that. Aren’t we bored of seeing the build up to the story entirely and characters lost in the cloud somewhere due to this exercise of the commercial cinema? Welcome change! His character I would rate is the best performed amongst all the other characters. I am not saying that Aamir Khan didn’t perform or wasn’t good. He was extra-ordinary, but that is expected out of him. Munna’s character is something that registers in your brain for a long time. The comic relief also comes through him in the movie. The guy who portrayed Munna was the same guy who played Genelia’s brother in ‘Jaane tu ya jaane naa’ in 2008. A level deeper into his character, you find him like any other guy of his age who has aspirations and is not willing to change the way he thinks. He has an infatuation/crush on Shai which is not reciprocated by Shai or maybe the intimacy is misunderstood by Munna that makes him the guy who is going to have a first love ending in a not-so-good state at the end of the movie. Though you never know how it ends 🙂

Munna is probably the sense of aspiration in the city. Easily enthused and doesn’t take a no for his priorities. He aspires to have a photo shoot in the studio but will take the outdoor shoot. He doesn’t run away from his mistakes, again, shown in the movie. His character shades are brilliant and they were equally matched by the histrionics of Prateik Babbar.

The most brilliant addition to this story is the character of Yasmin. She is the enthusiasm personified. She wants to communicate everything and anything about the city and her life and her mundane activities over a handy cam to her brother and family. She is unfortunately married to a guy who doesn’t share the same enthusiasm about her life. Later, you come to know that he has an extra-marital affair which will actually push her to killing herself. She resembles innocence. The dialogs given to her are actually very deep and mean a lot. Particularly, the one she tells about the sea somehow still lingers in my mind. “Sea is a great friend. She takes all the stuff we give to her and keeps calm about it and you can tell her any secret and you will know it is safe”. Bottomline, she defines the common Indian girl who is married to a person and tries to share her happiness to the world through her camera and with the intention that she is chatting to her brother through that medium. I mean, how often do you see women like that in the geographic region of  India. Subtle, wanting to be loved, stuck in a cruel world that is often ruled by flames of cheating, lies and misfortune. Arun’s character happens to see all the videos and finds the inspiration with all the happiness that is flown in the initial part of her home made videos and sinks into a melancholous mood when he realizes her misfortune and the way she ends her life. This character is another brilliant portrayal of the mood, the happiness and most interestingly the ‘innocence’ and the tenderness of a woman.

There is an underlying character which is a silent observer, much like the old nanny who resides in the apartment adjacent to Arun. That is Mumbai – the city! Probably, this is one city where many people thrive on the very fact that it has everything for every one. I have read about it and listened to many people who have lived in it or visited it. I am probably unfortunate to not travel to that part of the world to see and understand and probably correlate or even fall in love with it. But all these stories and talks about the city increase my curiosity and definitely making me look forward to the slightest of opportunities to bask in the sunshine of the city.  There is beauty, there is innocence, there is sorrow, there is hope and all in one city – definitely makes us feel that this character is probably the underlying current of the whole movie.

The ending of the movie, which I am not going to divulge – as I earnestly want each and every one of you to see for the simple reason that I want you to experience the same confusion I had at the end of the movie. Also, the same set of realization I had after contemplating over it. It is probably in a genre which is not a commercial or an artwork. It is reality and what astonishes me is the affect it is having over me. I mean, after Natalie portman in ‘Black Swan’, I am still able to rant about this movie and definitely makes me happy to do that.

 

Adios, people. Let me tell you – this is a very good movie, which doesn’t look like when you want to watch a comedy or pass time over the weekend. It is valuable more than the trivialities. It is ‘Real’ and hence ‘Superb!’.

Advertisements

Idle time


Aargh!

Why do we have idle time. I mean, it’s not like I am not having anything to do but still the feeling of idleness. Why god, why?

Why do I constantly see if my cell phone has signal to receive phone calls? Why I do check my messenger to see if someone has pinged me? Why do I check my mailbox to see if there are any unread mails? I hate my habit of clearing all the unread items in my mailbox? Why does spam also interest me? Why can’t I concentrate and work on my ‘work’ that is assigned? Why can’t I just go out of my way and have time for myself? Why can’t I just stop thinking about reasons to question? 😐

Bottomline, Why am I thinking of something that is not going to happen? 🙂

So, today in this rant of never ending non-stop nonsense of mundane life – the quest for clarity and complicated truth of what am I supposed to do has fallen upon me.

So again, it will end like a draft like innumerable drafts that are lying on my blog? or wait – I am going to post this to gain some attention and call up for people to bug me with their funda of idle time or their concept of life, as always. The concept of real life experiences and the details involved in it always amaze me and being the person I am – it is natural, quite obviously. Many of them who know me actually wouldn’t disagree on the factual part of any discussion they have had with me.

The whole feeling of being at a place and not thinking about what you have to do is perhaps the dangerous diversion of our daily living!
I think I want to learn German. This was added to just digress and hence allow me to stop randomly typing sentences and put an end to this post.
Tschüs, Bitte ignorieren Sie diesen Beitrag von mir, wenn Sie sich für Rajnikant Beitrag suchen auf meinem Blog … jemand hat meine Rajnikant post to reddit und oflate es zieht verrückt Menge an Verkehr, weiß ich nicht, aus welchem Grund aber …
Hahahaha…lol…jk… :-/
*Taking a gun and shooting myself*

Little drops of happiness


Rainy days often signify couple of things to me. This post is just to make a mental note about those things, so that, I won’t forget them when I feel like recollecting few things.

The first thing obviously is the calmness that precedes the storm of joy and happiness.

As much as the rain tries to splatter and spread the sense of joy, we cannot forget the immense happiness that comes when it is clubbed with the sunshine. This essentially is the backbone of life on our planet earth. There is not a iota of doubt in that.

Now, the metaphor that makes me wonder how beautiful this simple act of the man upstairs is actually a bit of revelation today.

The moment of truth, precisely, is lost if we can’t realize the peaceful calmness before the storm of happiness that entails. Like it happens during every rainy day of our lives.

Similarly, the joy of life can’t be realized if there is no sunshine. The sunshine being the beacon of light that some times is the flash light from someone that is needed to push you in the right direction. Again on a rainy day of our lives.

Of all the people, I am not the one who realized this truth by myself. I feel inspired from a force unknown to me or maybe, I am not sport enough to admit it. I would like to call this state – a mental bliss and a ‘miracle’ indeed.

I am glad to have had a chance to sit back and enjoy these moments. This is what home does to me.

Dedicated to all the beautiful miracles of life and all the beacons of light in my life.

This being my 50th post on this web space, makes me feel the this thing of writing is actually a joy forever.

It’s Christmas time…


I recently happened to see a funny forward from my senior colleague(not named intentionally) at work.

This is funny, as it involves geek humor and a remarkable sense of humor that too.

This is to share with you guys and also to make a note to myself.

It’s a Unix shell script to remind the kid in us of Santa Claus and make the most of it during Christmas time.

#!/bin/sh

better !pout !cry
better watchout
lpr why
santa claus town

cat /etc/passwd >list
ncheck list
ncheck list
cat list | grep naughty > nogiftlist
cat list | grep nice > giftlist
santa claus town

who | grep sleeping
who | grep awake
who | egrep 'bad|good'
for (goodness sake) {
     be good
}

How I wish there is a Santa Claus who is the System administrator and who gives out gifts at the end of the year 😉

Enjoy the rest of the year folks!

PS: For the uninitiated, here is the original

You better watch out
You better not cry
Better not pout
I’m telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town

He’s making a list, And checking it twice;
Gonna find out Who’s naughty and nice.
Santa Claus is coming to town

He sees you when you’re sleeping
He knows when you’re awake
He knows if you’ve been bad or good
So be good for goodness sake!

The Madness of a Religion


As long as we have a definitive guide of how to practice a religion, we always have a fundamental difference of opinion as to how different religions are.

Either we have to be cursing ourselves to live in a world that has a religion based/biased mankind, or live with the fact that we are following a religion and everybody else is against us. Both of which, according to me are not the solution to this carcinogenic thought of the ‘Religion’.

The dawn in India, will bring the verdict from the revered office of Judiciary, Government of India. As a citizen of it’s rich heritage and proud culture – I believe that it should leave a long lasting impression in the eyes of its own children, grand children and great grand children. This is the time, it needs to set an example for the future generations to believe in the words of Secularism, Sovereignity and Democracy.

I don’t want to see my country being torn in favors of a particular religion or an ideology that is not beneficial to the peace that is supposedly the ‘goal’ of this whole exercise. It’s not about the kind of color you wear — It’s about the country you are proud of.

Let the justice be a lesson for all of us, who are directly or indirectly the cause and the effect of this anomaly, obviously which is a black mark in the history of Modern Independent India.

Let the bygones be bygones and hope is the only word that can make me feel better rather than bitter at this point in time.

Good luck India, and I would deem it would be a great day if we stop reacting to this decision in a violent manner.

Peace!

Memorable….those days!


I was just browsing through one of my dear friend’s blog bidding farewell to the company which gave us the first taste of money + career + good times.

It was a myriad of memories that gently touched and flew past me. I just felt like writing about those as they pluck me and tend to give out a musical melody in me.

It all started all of a sudden, sometime in the middle of August. It was, August 13th 2005 if I remember the date well (maybe a 0.2735% buffer is allowed – lesser mortals can count it as 1 day out of 365 possible days in a year). Actually, saw none of the people whom I would work for the next close to 3 years i.e. until 17th of July, 2008.

Hurriedly, I rushed to the office at Begumpet with all my Engineering Marksheets and the paraphernalia resplendently visible for a Graduate student in search of a job. I laugh as I recollect myself now, since, those were the days where following a certain dress code and carrying certain pen and even the route you take to reach the destination used to matter. Not for any practical reasons, but those can be considered as emotional cries to the man upstairs to keep things in place and have it the same way as they used to happen in those lucky to escape unscathed situations(read as ‘Engineering Entrances/Exams/Interviews/etc’).

As soon as I arrived there, I found a fair number of faces like me, and a little more number of faces that were not so like me and huge number of people that were not at all like me 😛 After a bunch of questions that Geoffrey Boycott’s mom would have easily nailed, the whole screening for a Software job has ended.

Result – Cleared it and was invited for the next round.

I thought of seriously avoiding the second round on August 15th, but couldn’t manage to avoid. We were planning to go out on a trip on the same day, that plan got cancelled and I ended up giving the test according to the initial plan. I gave the test in C/C++ and English (actually couldn’t even comprehend the reason English was included at that point in time). Suri also gave the test on the same day, and it was heaven to see my close buddy at that place and I think, I had a strong feeling that I would be working at that company for some time along with my fellow mate.

Result of this test – Cleared and Suri also cleared(but the result was conveyed very late, don’t know the reasons though).

Next round was Group Discussion. I seriously never opened my mouth in the regular class environment, apart from passing on some stupid comments and ridiculing someone who is sitting ahead of us. It was never an ‘exercise’ which I enjoyed – participating in concocted scenarios and people monitoring you to see who ‘bitches’ best and who ‘ridicules’ the other best. It ends up as a plain drama which the recruiters safely tend to name it as a practice to pull out the leaders from the lot. For reasons only known to them and best explained by them, I can safely say that these practices might be useful if only they are recruiting someone for a role in the Management or at least a leadership role. But however, with these kinda thoughts I was groomed and was apprehensive about the role which I was planning to take in this part of the interview. All I did was spoke to Suri (my savior) and inspite of waiting anxiously for his turn in the next round, he told me what to do. All he said was to ‘Just speak’ and ‘Speak sense’ and ‘Conclude’. I didn’t realize it was that simple and to be frank just implemented as I was told.

Result – Found another friend Hemanth (took his email id that day) and somehow was confident of both of us to clear this round. Lucky for me, Suri also got a chance later and nailed this round later.

The final round, as we were told, was around 23rd August 2005 I suppose. I don’t even remember exactly as to how I went to the interview. I mean to say regarding the preparation. Found another good friend – Pabbu at the interview place. Hemanth was next to me in the order of the interview candidates. Pabbu was going to have it in the afternoon. The interview was a couple of puzzles involving probability and geometry and a bit of common sense (as always with Math), and a programming question – tough one I must say, since it was to write a program for finding if a string was a Palindrome or not. I didn’t even care to debug the code – I thought and wrote something which was I guess good enough for them to hire me. I remember my interview panel, it was Mr. Shivaji Biswas and Keshav Kumar Achanala. Sweet people they were, and when I had my chance to interview them, they were really funny. Suri on the other thread was also having equally good results and he too had a chance to meet them for the interview or maybe some other people as well.

Result: Found Pabbu one of the good friends at Sonata, shared my interview experience with Hemanth, and drove back to Uncle’s engagement in a hurry. Completely forgot about the interview and the job experience. I was just concentrating on my GRE and TOEFL that were due on 18th and 14th of Sept ’05 respectively.

August 28th, 2005 (or maybe inaccurate but the last week of August for sure). I get to hear a voice from M/s Sonata Software Ltd., by that time I could get their voices and pick them. That was irrelevant anyways, the point is I got the offer from that company I never applied for, I never knew it existed, I never even knew if I wanted to work for. I was invited to collect the offer letter and then proceed with the formalities.

Result: I gladly accepted the offer of working as a proud Graduate who turns out to be another Software Engineer in yet another software company, wearing a tag bearing his photograph and who writes/manages/verifies/validates code for his livelihood. I was paid 157,000 INR for my first year as an Engineering Trainee Graduate at Sonata Software Limited in their Hyderabad campus. Met Krishna, Mahita and my dear friend Suri (fever struck) and went back home to flaunt an offer letter from a company and with that screwed my plans of studying further and killed the Electrical Engineer in me through the process.

I don’t know how much BL Therejas, CL Wadhwas, Hayt and Kemmerleys  would have loved to have me in the field of the real Engineering, but I bid farewell to them – once for all.

September 8th, 2005 – A fresh batch of ETGs joined (and me and Suri were late to office :P, the first day itself) around 9.15am we stepped into the office and then started the wonderful journey with wonderful people all around.

Cannot forget the wonderful set of people in the order of my memory picking them from randomness 😛

Krishna Hemanth, Hemanth G, Kamal, Azhar bhai, Saraswathi, Tanuja, Joshi, Suri, Shiny, Archana, Vijay, Mythili, Deepak (logic gupta), Pabbu, Srinivas yadav, Seshu, Pradeep(absconder :P), Rajat, Vamsi, Mahita and Prasanna.

Result: Had a great time seeing these beautiful people on a daily basis, enjoying the coffee breaks, enjoying birthday parties, enjoying movie times and what not. We used to celebrate our anniversaries and have lunch together and many more great memories similar to those.

I learnt one thing though. Life has never given me results when I practiced and prepared hard for it. It was always like that. Yet, I tend to plan and prepare to find the path it offers me and enjoy the surprise it has in store for me. Especially the call for the interview came out of the blue – When I was least expecting it(I bet, I didn’t even apply for this job – Thanks to Freshersworld.com for randomly picking me from their profile list), and then as they say – it was fate. It was sweet. That’s all I can say as I recollect now.  Aaawwww….those days, they are memorable.

I can never forget Murty VVS and KK for their support through out my life at Sonata. They were really really helpful and encouraging.

More on topics like these as I get inspired…

Sept 05 ETG Batch

Sept 05 ETG Batch

Photo courtesy: Pabbu

Buhbyeee!! 🙂 🙂 (I know some one will claim a copyright here! but I can pay back anyways :P)

Aaromalae…


Don’t know if it is the beauty of AR Rahman or the sweetness of the lyrics that make this song feel special.

It’s really soothing to listen to this song again and again.

Especially after realizing the meaning of the song, it makes sense for me to post it on my blog.

Really Kerala is god’s own country, and blessed are the people who live in that place.

I don’t know Malayalam, and do not certify the meaning. Certainly, impresses me and I believe in believing what is written all over the internet 😛

Have pleasure in reading and listening to this song. It definetely needs some appreciation.

Especially these lines stumped me – flat

Chanju Nilkuma Chillayil Nee, Chila Chilambiyo Poonkuyilae
On the bough which is bent, O cuckoo bird, did you sing sweetly ?

Mamalayeri Varum Thennal
A breeze, which blows in through the mountains.
Puthu Manavalan Thennal, …
A breeze, which is decked up like a bridegroom
Palli Medayae Thottu Thalodi Kurushil Thozhuthu Varumbol,
When it arrives after worshipping the cross at the altar..
Varavelpinu MalayalaKara Manasammatham Choriyum,
This land of Kerala will grant permission for a warm welcome

Aaromalae, Aaromalae, Aaromalae, Aaromalae….
O Beloved….O Beloved…O Beloved…..O Beloved…

Swasthi Swasthi Su Muhurtham,
This is a very auspicious occasion
Sumungali Bhava, Manavatti
O Bride, may you be blessed with a long wedded life
Swasthi Swasthi Su Muhurtham,
This is a very auspicious occasion
Sumungali Bhava Manavatti
O Bride..,May you be blessed with a long wedded life

Shyama Rathri Than Aramanayil,
In the inner sanctum of the dark night
Mari Nilkayo Tharakame,
O Star..why are you keeping away ?
Pulari Manjillae Kathiroliyay,
Like a ray of light in the morning mist,
Akalae Nilkayo Penmaname,
Are you standing afar, my lady ?

Chanju Nilkuma Chillayil Nee, Chila Chilambiyo Poonkuyilae
On the bough which is bent, O cuckoo bird, did you sing sweetly ?
Manchiragile, Marayoliyae Thediyathiyo Poorangal
Did the festivities come in search of the everlasting flame in the earthern lamp ?

Swasthi Swasthi Su Muhurtham,
This is a very auspicious occasion
Sumungali Bhava Manavatti
O Bride..,May you be blessed with a long wedded life

Aaromalae… Aaromalae….
O Beloved….O Beloved….

Kadalinae, Karayodiniyum Padan Sneham Undo ?
Does the sea still possess the love to serenade the shore ?
Mezhukuthurikalayi Urukan Iniyum Pranayam Manasil Undo ?
Is there still love in the mind..to be melted like candle wax ?

Aaromalae.. Aaromalaeee.. Aaromalaee
O Beloved….O Beloved…O Beloved…..O Beloved…
Aaromalae.. Ohh.. Ho ! – O Beloved….

%d bloggers like this: