Monday, August 11, 2008

How to lose a successful movie script?

Ask director Vasu and how he modifies a script to suit an actor rather than the script. Lously remake of a wonderful and simple script.....thooo

Monday, April 7, 2008

Juno - interesting taboo....

After quite some time, I got to watch a Academy Award (oh yes, popularly known as the Oscars) nominated film "Juno". I have always been a fan of movies that had smart dialogues and effective screen plays. Juno is definetely one among those films. Especially the lead character Ellen Page and the motions she goes through is neatly depicted. More than anything, the simplicity of the character stands out. The treatment of the movie simply moves you...Definetely, worth a watch.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Astrology – Spoilt for choice

I've often wondered how practitioners of an ancient science of Astrology can interpret in different ways. From what I've read, astrology will always be an indicatory science, for it neither predicts the past nor the future. So how far would one believe in it and how far would one take its findings in its entirety.

This puts us all in a delicate situation, neither can we completely believe in one astrologer nor can we restrain from seeking a second opinion. I do understand some of its intricacies, but can someone recommend against marriage from a stars that are compatible.

Personally, I feel the astrologers with the influx of channels and divine weekly magazines are having a golden period twisting and turning the minds of a large number of parents / guardians.
Especially when matching horoscopes, I find astrologers marking horoscopes based on the total no. of matches against each. But then will finally say that it will not work and recommend a better match.

As a layman who does not understand this, how would you react?

Thursday, February 28, 2008

In Memoriam

Though Tamil Nadu has a rich legacy of literary personalities, the name Sujatha brings memories of the man who explained the nuances of the language, the story and science to the common man. Today morning while sitting on my POT, I read the news that Sujatha passed away with multiple organ failure in a hospital. Indeed, a sad day for all his fans.

In an era when his contemporaries were tagging along the lines of classic literature, Sujatha perhaps looked beyond and started to express himself to the common man, a trait that served him well into his years reflected through his writing, screen plays and poems.

It was also a classic example for all writers on how to market themselves, keeping ahead of time, changing with the tunes and so on. Be it his works of science fiction or his short stories based on the urban life style, he brought his own charm and wit into his writing that will never go away.

As I go through my list of tamil blogs, I see it as the ultimate tribute to the man who not only helped amateurs like me enjoy the joy of writing, but also worked on the technology aspect of it ensuring we still enjoyed reading and writing in Tamil. Who can forget his writings in tamil weeklys on the improvement of technology and how it is useful for the common man.

While googling about Sujatha, a news article had started with the premise on how Sujatha would have written his own obituary. Well without thinking twice, I would have loved to see the simplicity and wit that were ever hallmarks of his writings.

Though not a fan of his film works, it did bring some sense to the illogical movies that he worked on lately. I am hoping Dasavatharam should be his crowning glory. This I think will be the ultimate obituary to the man from Srirangam, who taught us to write.

It is difficult to compress his body of work in a few thousand words. As a old proverb goes, an elephant is worth its price even after death. May his soul rest in peace

Friday, February 15, 2008

"Marathi Maanus" - who is responsible

A beautifully directed action thriller is creating ripples across Maharastra suddenly. The main cast (Hero and villain) are getting accolades for their phenomenal performance.

With elections round the corner, it is regular work for politicians to dole out false promises, freebies and also with hold their respective cultural ethos. Unfortunately one soul who was the bread winner for his family in a ultra-competitive world lost his life by a stone pelting that was instigated and later substantiated with facts.

I am neither a politician nor a keen observer. In an era where, even a sniff by a public personality gets prime time coverage with SMS poll, it is indeed important that our politicians learn the art of checking their emotions and their cadres too.

Let me come to the point of protecting the culture across the country. Do we have a law that states that we have to abide by our culture? Does our law state that the respective citizens of their state get preference for jobs, houses etc.? Does our law state that you can take law into your own hands and attack innocent civilians who are earning their bread the right way irrespective of their caste or creed?

Well it is an emphatic NO. I digged up the history to understand the unrest in Maharastra. I believe we (citizens) let this movement grow into what it is today? Had the government decided 44 years ago that one person cannot take the state under his control for his personal accomplishments?

Media to me is a god's gift to us to ensure we stay hooked on to the happenings around. But using it as a tool to create communal divide should have been punished long time back. But then I just go the song that plays in my MP3 player "Yeh hai mumbai meri jaan" what a co-incidence and relevance in today's scenario?

Now that Raj Thackery has raised this issue of Marathi Maanus, I am just visualizing the impact of various sectors across the state:

  1. Lets start with Money, the stock exchange and stock trading community is mainly led by the entrepreneurial Gujurati community. Their smart investment brains has ensured our stock market soar levels that we never dreamt of
  2. The Reliance group has a very large presence in Mumbai. What will happen to the thousands of crores of taxes that they pay
  3. Software majors including Infy, Wipro, Satyam have branches in Mumbai with employees across India
  4. The trading and business community is led by a lot of North Indians. Calculate the taxes that will be lost
  5. Finally what % of your entertainment industry belongs to Maharastra

This list can go on. So where do find equilibrium. For this we need to look at the beginning of the problem - Infrastructure and space constraints. Obviously it is a long-term issue that has been addressed by the municipality in bits and pieces. Look for innovative taxation regime for business houses to ensure you get the necessary funds for your infrastructure development

My objective is not to highlight our country's intellectual spread. I am just saying as a country we have moved into a collaborative environment where every one of us can thrive.

I have one final question for Mr. Raj Thackery. You have recently acquired the defunct Binny Mills land for a few hundred crores. I am sure you are looking at a commercial / residential development in that area. Why don't you see this as an opportunity to set a classic example to lead the way for your state. Give preference for Marathi Maanus in building, business development and if you are building a residential complex ensure first preference goes for your community.

I believe this is a good example than taking the lives of innocent victims who don't even know you by face.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Harbhajan-gate – What are we trying to achieve

Ever since the conclusion of the Adelaide test match, the Indians, Aussies and their respective Media personnel have been busy digging up history to prove each other's claims or view points. I am not supporting either teams since the behaviour of both the teams are wrong.

While the OZ media claim that the ICC and Cricket Australia is bending towards India because of our new found economic boom and emerging super power status, I researched a bit on this topic and found some interesting connotations.

  • Everyone needs to agree that on that particular day the concerned individuals and officials behaved in a un-sportive manner in Sydney
  • Cricket Australia (CA) supporting Andrew Symonds, saying he did and the ever reliable BCCI supporting Bhajji, saying he did not utter the word "Monkey"
  • Hayden puts it across to the media that they have a strong case against Bhajji and made Mike Procter believe in them and thus sentences Bhajji
  • India decides to pull out and ICC and Cricket Australia ensure that the tour goes on for financial considerations removing Steve Bucknor and Mark Benson placing the blame squarely on them and making Bhajji's charge a suspended sentence. The ICC also appoints a New Zealand based high-court judge to hear over the proceedings
  • OZ Media pulls out statistics and mentions that the Asian block (India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka) are amongst the worst behaved teams in the World. Since when did Asia get judgements in their favour? Cricket has always been a white game and it has remained since
  • The judge eventually points out the gaps in ICC presenting the facts and CA talking to Symonds and Bhajji once again losing his 75% of his match fee
  • The OZ media goes gung-ho about the sentence and Ricky Ponting comes open in the media saying that he expected a reduced sentence for Bhajji
  • Dhoni now the leader of the one day squad tells them that they cannot keep quiet and play while the opponents swear back at them. However he did mention that the limits are not to be crossed

Agreed, there were a lot of background wheelings and dealings with the respective boards to ensure two things 1) Australia do not end up fighting law suits by their broadcasting partners and 2) To save the future of the most eagerly contested series in recent history (in Australia) from danger

So how do you define Racism first to understand if the so-called word "Monkey" is indeed racist?

The definition of Racism from a layman's perspective is "it is a word used against a specific Race of people to down them because of skin colour or nationality" and does any one feel "Monkey" falls under this category – It is difficult to mention

Both the countries have had a considerable history of Racism. Australia have had problems with their "Aboriginal" tribes with the usual black and white divide. By the way, Symonds is an aboriginal and there is a huge history behind aboriginals being exploited and violated and infact taunted with racist remarks

At the same time we cannot discount India not being a Racist country. Under the British rule we were often treated to Racist Slurs, the most common being "Bloody Indian". And after Independence the Caste system really elevated the Racism to greater proportions that are being seen even today. For long the so called higher castes like the Yadavs, Brahmins, sharmas, etc have shown little respect to the Dalits, SC, ST and other lower castes. Infact even today we have the problem where they are served tea in plastic cups and not allowed to fetch water from a common well.

So by logic, there is little proof available for one to establish "Monkey" to be a racist taunt. To top all these, the members of the Indian Cricket teams are from every corner in India and every member in the team is multi-lingual. A swear word in one language need not be a swear word in another. So where do you draw the line. Does the ICC have a list of words that can be considered Racist?

I think the "Monkey Chants" in India or the general "Racist taunts" in Australia can be tackled the way the English Premier League addressed this issue. Do not allow alcohol consumption inside the ground or highly in-toxicated individuals enter the ground. One rotten apple definitely spoils the entire basket.

Finally is "Monkey" a racist taunt? Well, actually it is and used predominantly in the "UK" for swearing at black people and in Southeast Asia (includes India) to describe local people. Check out this wikipedia link -

Once again the Media from both the countries have made a meal out of a Mole. The time has come for ICC to seriously rethink the rules and restrict the so called Mental Disintegration, aggressive hard cricket and et all. But how do you contain players, it is the duty of the board to draw boundaries and if players cross such boundaries it is their responsibility to defend themselves and even the respective boards can ban the players for a period for such abuses.

I have one final advice for Bhajji for I don't care about what the Aussies are doing because it is insignificant and they are not going to change. It is difficult to follow, I don't see other options for now:

  • You need to be calm and adopt Gandhigiri tactics. Wait for your opponent to slap both sides of your face and then revert back. Because Gandhiji hasn't told what to do later (Refer: Lagheraho Munnabhai)
  • Keep complaining to the officials even if your opponent sneezes at you. We are being victimized because we don't complain much
  • Follow the rules, do not over-run and finally don't waste your hard-earned money on silly words like Monkey. You can obviously bulid a better vocabulary of words that are not identifiable

Disclaimer: This is my personal weblog. The opinions expressed here represent my own and are based on a few facts and instances. This is not meant to hurt anyone intentionally or by any means.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Business Introspection

Over the past few weeks, I was sucked into the India – Australia Test Match series and no interesting thoughts for blogging splashed across my mind until I read about the IPL and its franchisee business.

I for one agree that the Indian Premier League or IPL will usher in a new era in Cricket entertainment. However the fight amongst two rival leagues (read ICL) is something that the world body like the ICC needs to think about.

For any ardent cricket fan the lure of watching highly competitive 20-20 matches is always an interesting opinion and that too in a franchisee model that ensure big stars play for bigger teams / bigger business houses. We can also expect players like Sachin, Ponting, Symonds paid atrocious sums of money to play for their respective teams

While one appreciates the business concept of the ICL and the IPL, the authoritarian attitude shown by the IPL calls for the company law boards / legal boards to investigate on Monopolistic trade practices.

I do agree the BCCI would like to have the first mover advantage for IPL. But then should they do it at the cost of another business. I beg to differ. It would made a sensational news had the BCCI ensured both the IPL and ICL were offered the same wicket to display their organizational skills.

When Mr. Lalit Modi is happily replicating the model followed by the Football Association, he should also learn to have tournaments that can co exist. Though the Premier League has broken all telecast records, they also have other tournaments like the FA Cup (The oldest league competition in the world), the Carling Cup and the Community Shield

In addition to the packed domestic and international calendars, had the BCCI urged the ICC to ask its members to clear players for a period annually, then it would have ushered in a new league that would have been different and also entertaining. I had the opportunity to watch the ICL and I have to say inspite of the difficulties faced, they did provide a good telecast and had a good crowd also coming in.

Threatening players, boards and other agencies will only lead to more confusion. The BCCI should shed its alter EGO and invite ICL for a discussion on how tournaments can be shared and organized jointly.

We all in our relative area of studies have learnt that the "Product" is always the king. Let us not kill the game by politics.

Mr. Modi / Pawar / are you listening?