13 07 2008

Somehow I just loved this movie!

Its been indeed long time since I watched a Telugu Movie devoid of hyped up movie cast full of gusting hotheaded action. And how I loved it! The current Tollywood Industry doles out umpteen releases every week almost with reverence to quantity over quality, out of which I spot rare gems like this once in six months or an year.

Now, playing the spoilsport, let me unveil the plot a little. Abhiram (played by Sharwanand), a spoiled rich brat who saw the world through the glass doors, discovers a real life out of the window panes when he embarks a bike journey to get back his lady love Janaki (played by Kamlinee Mukherjee, my favorite :-)). Janaki, an orphan and a idealist who believes in playing the good samaritan dumps Abhiram, when she realizes that he couldn’t support or share her idealism or values. Abhiram takes off on his bike in pursuit of Janaki, who went on a doctor’s camp to remote areas, and thus comes in close contact with humanity. In pursuit of his ladylove, he discovers himself. By standing for friends and by fighting for what he believes, Abhiram discovers the essence of life, as the self realization dawns on him over the end of the long winding journey.

Now, the story is not just about breaking and making it up by the lead couple. This movie is a celebration of life, realization, introspection and humanity. Words would sure flat to elaborate the performance of Allari Naresh as Gaali Sreenu. Gaali Sreenu, a petty thief, teams up with Abhiram in his pursuit of love and shows him the real world in the hinterlands. With a serious theme that explores the divide between the ‘Haves’ and ‘Have-nots’, this movie packs an ample punch of comic relief that cheers one up while engaging the audience in serious reflection. Abhiram discovers life, death, friendship, honor, values, humanity, and loss over the journey and finds himself as a socially responsible citizen when he meets his destination of love.

I would recommend this to anyone who wants to catch a meaningful Telugu Movie that does a great job of being an entertainer. Kudos to the new director Rama Krishna for this marvelous movie.

P.S. I read that this movie is inspired by ‘The Motorcycle Diaries’. I haven’t watched the original, and hence am clueless on whether this movie is a copy or an inspiration of the original. Yet, its a great movie with some natural performances to save it for keeps.

Close To the Wind..

5 05 2008

There is an advantage when one subscribes to a library. One buys a chance to discover new authors and antiquated books that tell myriad stories. I was so glad that I chanced upon this book titled “Close To The Wind” written by John Harris, which I picked up as an afterthought, lured by the title. Must say I am really enticed by this beautifully penned tome.

Its a story about a debt ridden Italian Couple Joe and Rosa who prefer the capricious Pacific to surrendering their mortgaged houseboat. Aided by their daughter Frankie, a school atlas, a nonfunctional ship engine, penniless condition and derelict instruments they sail to the unknown, hoping to discover an island where they can hide their only means of livelihood, the boat Tina S to safety. Pressed by the need for money, they take an unknown stranger Willie with questionable past for passenger on this sea adventure.

What follows then, is a story of grit, emotion, belief, and love as the passengers discover themselves over the challenging voyage. Little did the older couple know that their antique old boat is no match for the journey that they set themselves ahead. To reach America and have a chance at creating life for Frankie and Willie who fall in love with each other over the wild voyage.

To make the issues worse, the old couple is haunted by the media who thought that their impossible sea adventure makes good headline story, and the police for Willie who committed a murder and is postponing the inevitable capture by discovering himself over the Pacific. Life over the sea becomes a roller coaster ride for these four members who discover love, bonding, temptation, struggle, hurricane, and loss while they struggle for survival with little food and meager money, from the vagaries of the Pacific.

The characters feel so natural that you may wonder if they are conjured from your daily life experiences. Captain Mama is a tower of strength in handling the crisis and her devil may care attitude, positivity and enthusiasm tugs a chord at heart while the evolution of Willie from a wayward ruffian to a responsible person does manage to cheer up your spirits. The ways of God are ironic they say, for Willie sacrifices himself on the face of death to save the family, just a few days after he discovers contentment, lady love and purpose of life.

Krazzy 4 Movie Review..

20 04 2008

A really crazy entertainer. I had such fun watching this situational comedy that paints this mad mad world in such a crazy splendor, that I couldn’t resist writing about it. Sans a glittery cast, this movie does manage to bring a smiling curve on your face.
Krazzy 4
The Krazzy 4 are the four patients of a mental hospital, who unite in their cause to find Dr. Sonali (Juhi Chawla) who is kidnapped by her husband for his selfish pursuit of power and glory. Arshad Warsi as Raja plays the angry young man to perfection. Rajpal Yadav as Gangadhar is amusing in his fight for Swaraj, Suresh Menon as Dabbo is cute and induces your protective instinct without any dialogues and Irfann Khan as Dr.Mukherjee is endearing in his maddening insistance for cleanliness. While these krazzy 4 are busy discovering their place in this maddening world, we are assured of a rollicking fun ride of life. Do watch it for some frothy entertainment and some foot tapping music. It made my sunday evening! 🙂

Up And Down In The Dales..

16 04 2008

A cheerful book always comes like a pleasant sunrise. Must say, I am extremely delighted at this chance discovery of this beautiful tome that breezily narrates the life of a school inspector and those amusing anecdotes of school kids in a joyful manner. I read this book, just before the crack of dawn today, and it did make my morning more inviting. 🙂

Gervase Phinn takes us through a roller coaster ride of humor, happiness, joy and concerns that’s filled in the regular life of a school inspector Mr. Phinn, which is peppered by ample dose of engaging teachers with their weirdo beliefs, inquisitive kids with their endearing innocence, and interesting colleagues armed with their share of rants. He is an expert raconteur when it comes to popping us back to our school days through the happenings in the novel, for I must say, this little work of fiction strangely seems so close to reality. In an easy going breezy fashion, Gervase Phinn transports us to the simplistic life in Yorkshire Dales, and I must admit that I enjoyed this delightful travel.

Jodhaa Akbar

18 02 2008

Another in this year’s mega let downs! After Saawaria and Om Shanti Om, this is another movie that left me with mixed feelings.

Ashutosh Gowariker’s ‘Jodhaa Akbar’ is a historical drama of epic proportions that tries to depict a delicate romance between a Mughal Emperor and a Rajput Princess . That being said, watch this for costumes, performances of lead pair, settings and background score. The music in fact has risen my expectations which couldn’t be fulfilled by watching the movie. I would have loved this movie, had I had a remote control in the theater. How I longed for it! Sadly I lived with this reality that I had to wade through mediocrity and Bollywood masala for a few moments of brilliance. Brilliance of execution in some of the scenes, like Hrithik’s taming of the wild elephant, Aish and Hrithik’s sensuous sword play, the huge crowd filling battle field scenes, court room sceneries, and the dance number when the people honor the Emperor with the Akbar tag.

Yes, this movie is Hrithik and Aishwarya written all over. Aish and Hrithik look every bit regal in their attire, mastering grace, elegance and royal countenance in a sweeping flourish with ease. I just loved the way they lived up to the role in an amazing restraint. Indeed Aish and Hrithik did justice to this untold love story championed by Ashutosh Gowariker.

For me, it is just another Romantic Story, a rather slow moving one at that, topped off with some real grandiose costumes, soulful numbers and the pristine old times usage of Urdu and Hindi language (I was really wondering about the meaning of some of the words 🙂 ). And Yes, the USP of this movie is that its based on the Historical facts. Let’ not get into the veracity of those claims, for that reminds me of this starting line in Mel Gibson’s ‘Brave Heart’ which says “History is written by those who have hanged heroes”. What’s often projected in those glorious history books is what those in power and control want to project. And even that is mingled with a great deal of controversy.

Yet, I hoped this movie had a more gripping narrative, some intense characterization and a convincing plot. This movie proves that sometimes, attention to detail is just not enough. As the movie battles between the fact and fiction, the audience is taken a ride through boredom and thrills. The soothing music, though divine has only added to the length. Its easy to engross ourselves in ‘Aseem O Shaan Shahenshah’, ‘Man Mohana’, ‘Khwaja Mere Khwaja’, and ‘In Lamhon Ke Daaman Mein’. Yet, Apart from ‘Jashn-E-Bahaara’, you won’t remember any of them after you walk out of the theater. Sample the lyrics of ‘Jashn-E-Bahaara’, which made me an accomplished kitchen singer for sometime. 🙂

“Kehne ko Jashn-e-bahara hai
Ishq yeh dekhke hairaan hai
Phool se khusboo khafa khafa hai gulshan mein
Chupa hai koi ranj fiza ki chilman mein

Sare sehmein nazare hain
Soye soye vaqt ke dhare hain
Aur dil mein koi khoye si baatein hain

Kaise kahen kya hai sitam
Sochte hai ab yeh hum
Koi kaise kahen woh hai ya nahi humare

Karte to hai saath safar
Faasle hain phir bhi magar
Jaise milte nahi kisi dariya ke do kinare”..

Jodhaa Akbar

I kept a track of every passing hour in the movie giving in to the yawn and the complaining of the inner voice, and sadly that’s not what I expected out of this. Now you may ask, why is this review full of pictures and very little words? That’s what this movie is about and that’s what I really loved, the richly detailed presence which was marred by the narrative. I would understand if people rate this a four starer based on cinematography, costumes, sheer magnitude, attention to detail for this historical romance, or visual experience. In the end, what matters to me is the sheer experience or joy of being a part of the movie, that era and that journey. Yet, Jodhaa Akbar didn’t manage to create a tug at my heart.

Nurturing Inner Talent..

7 10 2007

This is the first completed book of mine after coming to Bangalore. And I realized that the credit goes to the author duo than to my wish when I gaze over the five other books that I am struggling to complete.

Marcus Buckingham and Donald Clifton who are associated with Gallup International Research and Education Centre came up with this Strengthfinder model which helps one to identify and appreciate their natural talents and nurture them to their strengths. Most often than not, organizations focus on Area of Improvement zones for enhancing productivity of the employees instead of goading them to capitalize on their strengths. I am sold on the concept of capturing the natural talent of a person and building upon it rather than straightening out the weakness areas.

In this book, Don and Marcus talk about 34 themes which kind of capture the universe of talent in some level. After interviewing about two million people , they have devised a Strengthfinder test which throws up related statements and counts on the intuitiveness of the individual to select the choices to grade him under the top five related themes. The beauty of these themes is that they are quite diverse. They include quality of individuals (e.g. analytical) , behavior parameters (e.g. Discipline, Empathy) and personality traits (e.g. Achiever, Arranger). Though some themes are a little different from the common language usage (e.g. Input, Relator, Woo) they are bang on in identifying resonant patterns of behavior of the individual. I found it quite insightful to wade through the different themes as I could connect different people to the related talents. And the beauty of this work lies in presenting scientific analysis in simple and sensible language so that many can identify with it. I read this while waiting in queue at a seamstress place. 🙂 I would definitely recommend to take a look.

Chak De India

14 09 2007

The first thing that strikes about this movie is SRK and Yash Raj Films.. Honestly I expected a super romantic story with loads of good music. Must say I am delightfully surprised. King Khan delivers complete justice to this off beat de-glam role as he creates magic with his magnificent aura and charming presence. It is a special movie for many reasons and after watching the movie at the edge of my seat for a couple of times, I must admire the courage of Director Shimit Amin for coming up with a novel theme of women hockey game in this cricket frenzy India. Many fail to appreciate that Hockey is our national game and somehow it went into oblivion when the most glamorous cricket took over. I am most impressed by the fact that hockey stick sales went up by about 300% after the release of Chak De!

This movie brings out beautifully that ultimately when everyone is on field, its more than just a game. Its about getting ten odd players with diverse backgrounds to unite and stand as one. Its about a team playing its heart out for the love of the game, with a hope to win against all odds and for a chance to hold on to a dream created by belief.

Many times it so happens that we take for granted a lot of issues that are inherent in our country. Sorry Mr. Shaw, but I don’t believe that Patriotism is all about thinking my country is great as I am born in it, though I love the way of expression. 🙂

Its about appreciating the beauty and the values that I inherent from my motherland and taking a charge to preserve, or protect its identity. It also involves how much am I taking responsibility to introspect, or change for the betterment. Shimit has done a great job of highlighting a lot of issues that come in the way of the development of sports in India, like the unethical side of media in branding Kabir Khan as a traitor, the politics, corruption and the bias with in the selection board in dealing with coach and player selection, regional fanaticism within the players and the crowd, gender discrimination in India, selfish motives of the players, lack of mental training and encouragement. We always talk about Unity in Diversity, yet we seldom acknowledge the discrimination that we show to the minority classes or the south eastern states.

Whats sets this movie apart is that unique touch of Indian flavor, and well grounded realism. I loved Komal Chautala and Balbir Kaur in their well groomed roles. And it stands out as it creates hope and makes us believe that nothing is impossible when we set our hearts on it.

Namumkin? Wahi To Karna Hai!

The Diary Of A Young Girl By Anne Frank

16 07 2007

I picked this up as I fell in love with the innocent smile that graced the cover. As I leafed through those pages, I could feel the musings of a little girl tucked in a small attic, struggling her best to be an adult in those nerve wracking times of holocaust. This book is a touching commentary on eight lives entangled in enforced intimacy apart from being a sensitive documentary of a young woman on her struggles of growing up.

In her own words: “Who would ever think that so much can go on in the soul of a young girl?”. I am amazed by the amazing clarity and the brutal frankness with which Anne brings out her personal feelings, misunderstandings and frustrations, her longing for love, tensions of girlhood, complexities of relationships, battle with loneliness and her need for companionship. As Anne shares her little wishes and zest for life while living in confined quarters for about two years, her unusal insight into human nature at the young age of fourteen made me spellbound.

As she embarks on building her relationship with Kitty (the name she has given to her diary), you could feel her emotions pulsating through those pages as she chooses to discuss anything under the sun. Be it about her hatred towards Adolf Hitler or descriptions of Mouschie, her love for dad or her longing for mumsie, her frustrations with Mrs Van Daan or her generosity with Peter, her uncharacteristic optimism for freedom and her fear for fellow Jews going through concentration camps. As you live though her diary, what shines bright is her genuine belief in human goodness, and her yearning for love, unconditional acceptance and freedom.

I marveled the wisdom behind these verses of hers. Enjoy them as I did!

“Would anyone, either Jew or non-Jew, understand this about me, that I am simply a young girl badly in need of some rollicking fun?”

“Everyone has inside of him a piece of good news. The good news is that you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is!”

“We all live with the objective of being happy; our lives are all different and yet the same.”

“Anyhow, I’ve learned one thing now. You only really get to know people when you’ve had a jolly good row with them. Then and only then can you judge their true characters!”

“I want to go on living even after my death! And therefore I am grateful to God for giving me this gift, this possibility of developing myself and of writing, of expressing all that is in me. I can shake off everything if I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.”

“When I looked outside right into the depth of Nature and God, then I was happy, really happy. And Peter, so long as I have that happiness here, the joy in nature, health and a lot more besides, all the while one has that, one can always recapture happiness.”

“The war goes on just the same, whether or not we choose to quarrel, or long for freedom and fresh air, and so we should try to make the best of our stay here. Now I’m preaching, but I also believe that if I stay here for very long I shall grow into a dried-up old beanstalk. And I did so want to grow into a real young woman!”

“If I just think of how we live here, I usually come to the conclusion that it is a paradise compared with how other Jews who are not in hiding must be living”

“This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

Apocalypto Movie Review

3 07 2007

I couldn’t believe that I could watch a violent movie, that too one with unknown actors and English subtitles as the main language of the movie is an archaic dialect of Yucatec Maya.. Yet, I did and loved every moment of it! This movie is truly gripping, absorbing and hypnotic. Never have I ever watched a movie that’s set in another time, and place with so much of painstakingly elaborate detail that kind of transports one to the historic Mayan civilization.

To cut the two hour movie into one sentence, this rousing movie details Jaguar Paw’s struggle for survival and revenge, as he fights those warriors who ravaged and slaughtered his tribe and took survivors as captives for human sacrifice. Meanwhile, Jaguar Paw’s wife is pregnant and is awaiting his arrival along with a four year old son in a huge pit where her husband hid her from the eyes of the attackers. The whole movie runs likes a riveting action tale with lumps of suspense, intrigue and history throwed in for good measure. You feel sorry for his family, empathy for the slaves, hatred for those grisly sacrificial scenes, yet you can’t take your eyes off this flick.

This movie looks, and feels authentically primitive and keeps you engrossed and enraged as it takes you through a ‘survival of the fittest’ theme set in the animalistic times of ‘its better to kill than be killed’. This movie runs like a visual poetry and you can’t help but surrender your senses in this fiercely beautiful flick as the characters portray feral intensity to survive. It makes one own the ancient violence, believe in the mighty human spirit and while leaving you spellbound with a sensual experience.

Cheeni Kum Review

27 06 2007

To the horror of all prudish folks, I loved this movie absolutely! Tabu and Amitabh’s chemistry is just right and together they present a very convincing romantic love story with oodles of tongue in the cheek humor!

The movie projects itself as a romantic comedy as the 64 year old Amitabh is all set to woo the 34 year old Tabu. Now dont imagine it as a typical old man after a young girl story. The movie is dealt in quite a mature and realistic fashion. Zora Sehgal played a terrific role in supporting the movie with her exuberant presence.

I must say that this movie has set a new definition in the typical romantic movie genre of Bollywood. I really love the way Amitabh is experimenting with himself in the recent movies with fresh roles, looks and challenging scripts. I know that everyone loves a superhero. Most of the times we worship them in stereocasted moulds that it would be a taboo if they try to break free of it. Well, I can never imagine Amitabh’s role being played by Rajani Kanth in a tamil remake of cheeni kam without loads of bandhs and suicide attempts! 🙂 Hope you got my meaning! Tabu is my all time favorite. She has a touch of elegance and I love the way she lives in her roles. So imagine how delighted I was when I saw both of them coming together in this sugar fare! I just hoped that the second half could have been better with a little less of sentimental gandhian drama.

Watch it for a light hearted fun ride, for the satirical comedy in the movie, and for the sheer brilliance of Amitabh and Tabu. Even if you can’t stomach a couple of dialogues, even if you thing Paresh Rawal is wasted in a stereotypical father role, even if you think that the cute little darling ‘Sexy’ mouths a lot of gyan, watch it for the sheer light headed banter that runs through the movie.

Guess I don’t have to play the spoiler to reveal the plot. It has been already talked over thousands of times. Yet, like everyone I still believe that I have my own two cents to talk about. And My Advice is Go For It!

Sivaji Movie Review

17 06 2007

Well, there is NDTV Coverage, all the media is frenzied over this movie, almost all the theatres in Chennai are screening Sivaji, Tickets in black are going at 1000 bucks and the only topic at coffee tables seems to be related to the superstar.. All this made me go for this movie on the first day first show. Somehow I wonder whether all this hype is essential?

For starters, Sivaji is an out and out commercial entertainer. It got all the masala like a rags to riches story, glamor, humor, technology, action, and songs. The movie deals with the story of an NRI who comes with to India with a vision to create Sivaji Foundations which would offer free education only to find his dreams crashed by an industrialist with political clout. How Shivaji fights the Indian System, the corruption and black economy while paving way to realize his ambitions forms the rest of the story.

One should park logic and commonsense in the alleyway of the theater to savor this movie. For example, the CBI arrests Sivaji without any monumental evidence when all they got is a voice locked laptop. Or sample this, the hero who wasn’t reluctant to bribe every official in every means possible confesses lamely in the court scene. The only reason I could give to watch this movie is that it got Rajani’s Superhero presence and fabulous dance sets which speak of opulence, and grandeur. Hey Rajani got style in the way he tosses the coin or reaches to his mint. His action and the ease with which he carries himself is a treat to watch. Are these reasons good enough for you to head for movie? Yet, I guess this movie may still make century days, by the sheer support of his fans. I will wait and watch.

Sreya’s role is limited to being a glass doll and look glamorous in dance numbers and play the role of a traditional tamil ponnu in the acting sequences. The story drags in the first half as Rajani tries his best to woo Sreya and the middlemen and it gains tempo only in the second half. Rajani’s overpowering presence fills the screen in every sequence and guess the story is underplayed alot to adjust to that. The story theme isn’t well integrated with the picturization and the movie drags in an attempt to include the cool and style element of Rajani in the story line. Suman’s action stands out as a soft spoken and menacing villain. Music is sure peppy, yet I wonder how much of those numbers remain after the hype cools down.

I felt that the story could be dealt better and with greater depth for this marks the return of Rajani after I guess almost two years. With a mix of formidable talent like Shankar, Rehman and Rajani, I expected better.

The Great Indian Family!

1 06 2007

Today I chanced to see Om Jai Jagdish, a hindi movie that’s centered on the love and affection among three brothers (Om, Jai and Jagdish) in a highly romantic Indian setting. It’s a beautifully crafted Indian movie, which brings out the positive and the idealistic side of a principled family whose love and affection for one another is second to none. Waheeda Rahman is a widow who brings up her three sons in her family estate with lots of love and affection. Anil plays the role of a non-imposing, ever-loving and self-sacrificing big brother character pretty well and Abhishek Bachchan practically lives the role of a carefree young brother. Well, one could always say that it’s just another feel good sort of movie with a clichéd ending that love alone will be triumphant. Yet, the fact that I have watched it a couple of times and yet I stuck glued to the television shows how much I loved that movie.

It made me ponder on the values that Indian family setting imbibes in an Individual. Also, this movie highlights the attachment that a family has for the family home. It rings quite true for me, as when you grow up or live in a house which we call home, its not just brick and mortar anymore. It houses our fond memories and is a living reminder of the beautiful joys in life.

Its true that there is subtle politics that comes into play in a joint family kind of environment, where one has to be socially correct and politically appropriate to those relations involving authority or power.. It could be your grand dad with a cane in his hand or it could be your mother in law with an indirect nag. Pretenses to be maintained, respect to be kept. Yet, all these people carry a weight of responsibility which may be big for their shoulders. Being figureheads or the actual Dons of the family, they may have to keep their family’s interest above theirs at most of those times. And they play it with so much ease, as if they are honored to live the responsibility at any cost! It all comes for a price!

I don’t know whether people in Indian family settle for one another. Yet, I know that love and trust comes so easily to us. We accept people in all totality with such gullible warmth, mother them with over flowing concern and ensconce them with love and affection. The fiercely passionate way in which each family stands for one and one for all is worth paying a tribute for. Long live family culture!

Shantaram By David Gregory Roberts

28 05 2007

“I was a revolutionary who lost his ideals in heroin, a philosopher who lost his integrity in crime, and a poet who lost his soul in a maximum security prison.”

When a book starts like that, you can’t help being intrigued. Shantaram of David Gregory Roberts piqued my interest the moment I held it between my hands and kept me engrossed till I turned the last page. This is one book that I never wanted to end.. To me, Shantaram serves as a deeply enriching and engaging testament to the indestructible nature of human spirit.

It describes the experiences of an Australian prisoner, who makes his lucky escape to India, and has his share of queer experiences like living in Slums, in Arthur Road Prison, Afghanisthan. Shantaram brings out the humane side of the Lin who couldn’t help but fall in love with innocence of people and led his life in abandon savoring each and every tide of life in his own stride. As his life entwined with engaging characters like Prabhakar, Karla, Didler, Abdullah, Khaderbhai, Qasim Ali, his journey delectably brings out the perseverance of human character against all odds, and his pathological optimism in humanity.

“That’s how we keep this crazy place together – with the heart…. India is the heart. It’s the heart that keeps us together. There’s no place with people, like my people, Lin. There’s no heart like the INDIAN HEART.”

Lin’s insight into the culture of India is quite perceptive and close to home. It made me reflect on Indian Values and how much essence we place on instinct, trust and the judgment of heart.

Here I don’t want to start a discussion on what part of that book is fiction and what part is autobiography, because even our life is a mixture of the experiences that we have and our perceptions of how they can be. This is one book that makes you cheerful and reflective at the same time. This racy, scintillating and engaging story is worth reading even if it’s a figment of fiction as those touching insights can’t be written if they are not felt in heart. How I wished Karla is real! Throughout the book, I was captivated by her meaningful and poignant observations on life.

Savor some of her quotes here…

“Loves are like that. You heart starts to feel like an overcrowded lifeboat. You throw your pride out to keep it afloat, and your self-respect and independence. After a while, you started throwing people out – your friends and everyone you used to know. And it’s still not enough. The lifeboat is still sinking, and you know it’s going to take down with it. I’ve seen that happen to a lot of girls. That’s why I’m sick of Love.”

“The world and I are not on the speaking terms. The world tries to win me back, but it doesn’t work. I guess I’m just not the forgiving type.”

“Men reveal what they think when they look away, and what they feel when they hesitate. With women, it’s the other way round.”

“You said it’s important to have freedom to say no, but I think it’s more important to have freedom to say yes.”

“Sometimes I think that’s what heaven is- a place where everybody’s happy because nobody loves anybody else, ever.”

“People always hurt us with their trust. The surest way to hurt someone you like, is to put all your trust in him.”

“I don’t know what frightens me more, the power that crushes us or our endless ability to endure it.”

“Mistakes are like bad loves, the more you learn from them, the more you wish they’d never happened.”

“The truth is a bully we all pretend to like.”

“I could never respect a man who didn’t have the good sense to be at least a little afraid of me.”

“Sometimes you have to surrender before you win.”

“Wisdom is just cleverness, with all the guts kicked out of it.”

I’d only give you advice if I didn’t care what happens to you.”

“If fate doesn’t make you laugh, then you just don’t get the joke.”

“I take everything personally- that’s what being a person is all about.”

“It isn’t a secret, unless keeping it hurts.”

“Depression only happens to people who don’t know how to be sad.”

“Luck is what happens to you when fate gets tired of waiting”

Shantaram emerges as a shimmering tribute to the indomitable human character entangled in all its glories, and fallacies. Though his life takes him through nefarious lanes, he comes out decent, vital, enduring and oddly human!

There are so many insightful excerpts that I wish to share, yet I could collect only some of them. Do Enjoy!

Some Of My Favorite Quotes from Shantaram By David Gregory Roberts…

“Fate gives all of us three teachers, three friends, three enemies, and three great loves in our lives. But these twelve are always disguised, and we can never know which one is which until we’ve loved them, left them, or fought them.”

“Sometimes we love with nothing more than hope. Sometimes we cry with everything except tears. In the end that’s all there is: love and its duty, sorrow and its truth. In the end that’s all we have – to hold on tight until the dawn”

“Some feelings sink so deep into the heart that only loneliness can help you find them again. Some truths are so painful that only shame can help you live with them. Some things are so sad that only your soul can do the crying for them.”

“A dream is a place where a wish and a fear meet. When the wish and fear are exactly the same, we call the dream a nightmare.”

“Fear dries a man’s mouth, and hate strangles him. That’s why hate has no great literature: real fear and real hate have no words.”

“You are not a man until you give your love, truly and freely to a child. And you are not a good man until you earn the love, truly and freely, of a child in return.”

“Be true to love where ever you find it, and be true to yourself and everything that you really are.”

Hope you are sold! 🙂 Rush to pick it up and be assured of an enticing and unusual insight into the adventure called life!


21 05 2007

“Wondrous indeed was my life, so he thought, wondrous detours it has taken. As I boy, I had only to do with gods and offerings. As a youth, I had only to do with asceticism, with thinking and meditation, was searching for Brahman, worshiped the eternal in the Atman. But as a young man, I followed the penitents, lived in the forest, suffered of heat and frost, learned to hunger, taught my body to become dead. Wonderfully, soon afterwards, insight came towards me in the form of the great Buddha’s teachings, I felt the knowledge of the oneness of the world circling in me like my own blood. I went and learned the art of love with Kamala, learned trading with Kamaswami, piled up money, wasted money, learned to love my stomach, learned to please my senses. I had to spend many years losing my spirit, to unlearn thinking again, to forget the oneness. Isn’t it just as if I had turned slowly and on a long detour from a man into a child, from a thinker into a childlike person? But what a path has this been! But it was right so, my heart says “Yes” to it, my eyes smile to it. I’ve had to experience despair, I’ve had to sink down to the most foolish one of all thoughts, to the thought of suicide, in order to be able to experience divine grace, to hear Om again, to be able to sleep properly and awake properly again. I had to become a fool, to find Atman in me again. I had to sin, to be able to live again. Where else might my path lead me to? It is foolish, this path, it moves in loops, perhaps it is going around in a circle. Let it go as it likes, I want to to take it.”

Siddhartha is an philosophical novel written by Hermann Hesse. Set in ancient India in times of Buddha, this novel delineates with the spiritual quest of the Siddhartha, a handsome Brahmin boy. This novel explores the journey of Siddhartha, his search for enlightenment, desire for self-knowledge, experiences of materialistic conquests, practice of self denial, understanding of the timeless unity and finally the discovery of enlightenment with a Buddhist perspective.

With a strong narrative and a compelling evolution of thought, Hermann Hesse explores the life’s journey of Siddhartha in all totality to offer some food for soul. One may wonder the relevance of the ‘state of being’ for the current day fast track generation, yet this book gives a joyous ride to the old age values of contemplation, wisdom of indirection, introspection, learnings from life, role play of love and the concept of Om.

Mozhi Movie Review

10 05 2007


This post is long due! I have always wanted to write a review about Mozhi since the moment I have seen it. Guess I am waiting for the right time and right mood! This movie comes as a fresh breather to the usual Tamil movies and it sure revived my hopes in Indian Cinema. And guess this movie qualifies for high praise as my understanding of Tamil is very meager!

The movie storyline can be described as a simple love story where the hero falls in love with a deaf and dumb girl and how they end up living happily ever after. I would be doing a gross injustice to the movie if I give such impression as simple themes can be very profound if they are handled in a sensitive fashion. For me, Mozhi is a movie that oozes our attitude towards life. It has a bunch of characters who deal with their ups and downs, joys and sorrows, which such bright, cheerful attitude and elegance that impressed me most!

Archana (played by Jyothika) is a deaf and dumb girl with a strength of character and an independent nature. She finds rapport with Swarnamala, who is her colleague as well. Karthik (Prithviraj) and Viji (Prakash) are good friends who are trying to make a career in music industry. The story revolves around these four key characters and how they deal with life in all its magnificence. This movie is beautifully complemented with timely sense of humor, situational songs, and scintillating music.

This movie is amply packed with expressions of silence, moments of rapture, sensitive emotions and strong characters. There are some great scenes as well. Guess the beauty of this movie is conveyed in this dialogue of Archana, when Prakash Raj queries her about what does music mean to her, she replies, “Music is another language like Tamil and English to me. I don’t know any of the languages that you speak. But I can speak one language that none of you speak, it is Mounam (silence)”

I don’t long to reveal the storyline or the plot.. 🙂 I just wanted to say that sensible and sensitive movies are a rare find. Do Grab them when you have a chance!

A Small Patting!

14 04 2006

“Telecom as a Horizontal”, a whitepaper I have written is finally hosted on the TCS Website. It is accessible at

Here is the abstract of the Whitepaper:

Telecom is no longer a vertical market with a one-pony show called voice services. As we move into the Internet-everywhere age, we are moving onto mobile applications that reach into Enterprise private networks and extract data, applications and services from these networks. As Telecom offers the basic communication backbone, integrating next generation Telecom offerings within other domains in order to enable a converged world by creating New Revenue Channels and Cross Selling Models becomes the order of the day. Going forth, industries such as Retail, Financial Services and Insurance will utilize the services of the telecom market for communication as their core strategy to connect with their customers, thus ushering in the era of Telecom as a Horizontal.

To sum up the experience of writing a whitepaper, it was quite a work and rework with innumerable reviews until it took this shape. Thanks a ton for the different teams in TCS for putting this together. Special mention goes to my boss, without whom this whitepaper couldn’t have taken this shape. Well, it was quite fun!!

Maverick by Ricardo Semler

30 08 2005

I came across this book in a library and am tempted enough to pick it up. I got strong recommendations from my friends who have read this book. As I read it, I am absolutely fascinated by the industrial transformation that has took place in Semco.Semco is a Brazil based traditional pump manufacturing company under the leadership of Ricardo Semler. And, what a leader! Ricardo Semler fired 60% of the top management the day he took charge of the organization in 1980. He like to call himself as a Catalyst and I could see how he has done that effectively. He treated his company workers as adults, instilled in them a sense of pride and let them lead their life and in fact the company too. Moreover, he installed a culture that inspires freedom and let it evolve on its own. He is not one of those types who lead from front but then he is always there when the organization has steered away from the path by being a guiding hand.

By letting the workers decide on the things which influence their life, he paved a way for loyalty, experimentation and innovation. Free from the rules and dogma, workers were encouraged to experiment. At Semco, everyone became an entrepreneur on their own merit. There are flexible work hours, satellite programs, circular organizational structure, factory committees and so on. It paves way for self-regulation and self-responsibility and all that springs from trust. Its truly an inspiring book which talks about a new ideology and brings out a radical perspective about the industrial production.