Dec 28th

Gardening Leadership

By Rajeev

The gardener knows

each of his flowers

knows how much water

sunlight,manure each requires,

some flowers wither away

if too much sunlight

while others cannot survive

without the sunlight....

 

As leader of a work team

do you know each team member?

what makes each one tick?

whether they work best in the morning

or in the late afternoon?

or do you insist that they work

by your time preferences instead?

 

Do you give them space

to work at their pace

to do things differently

if goals met effectively?

or do you insist they always work

the way you think is best?

 

Oh how boring team gardens can be

when they are mere clones

of the leader himself...

its only when there's variety in the garden

it is appealing to the eye, fragrant to the nose

such teams emit an energy, enthusiasm

that propels other teams in vicinity as well!

 

 

 

 

Nov 29th

"GENIUSNESS" IN ACTION (Charlie)

By AnuMadav

Tessa and Charlie. Another romantic love story. Of running and chasing. About falling in love. A love that is ordinary. A love that is extraordinarily attained. A love that springs without actual meeting: one that is devoid of physical sharing; one that is devoid of give and take; one that is devoid of looks and talks. Something that does not springs out of void. Something that does not spring out of any commitment or ideology. A space that is ethereal and at the same time disgusting. A space not everyone wishes to be in. A space filled with "geniusness". Something that is not just creativity or success or perseverance or satisfaction alone. Still, not something that is not all these put together. A space where predators and preys exist. Side by side. Without armours and shields. A raw real world. But how does "geniusness" exist here? With nothing to be covered or protect itself with in this real, harsh, mundane world that is filled with priorities and prejudices? Or is "geniusness" just another illusion for sustaining hope and magic in this world? Charlie clearly evades an explanation to all these questions yet addresses its core: that Art transcends life; that Art reflects Life; that Art reinforces Life; that Art is born out of Life. That Art and Life are partners in Action. But this is all what Art and Life are: Inseparable partners under tiring circumstances blossoming into one another. Yet they remain apart, away from "geniusness" until one takes a chance to risk. A risk to mingle their Art and Life with Danger. A conscious choice. Something that is born of vulnerability. Something that is ever- prepared to face adversity. With hope of success in its own endeavour. Something that is strong yet very soft and sensitive. Something that is visible yet invisible- a translucent flimsy material that keeps moving along. And "geniusness" is something that undertakes trials to preserve it: The Goodness. A responsibility. A burden. Willingly done. Whole heartedly. It is this that elevates it. Risks willingly taken to protect innocent smiles. Something that is neither an idea nor normal practicality. Something that is not an easy route. Something that remains in abundance; Something that is still difficult to attain. Something that does not conform; Something that creates its own boundaries; Something that expands its own space; Something that draws its own horizon. Something that inherently possesses a purpose for its life. A celebration of an ordinary cause. The common goodness. An extraordinary touch to ordinariness.

Nov 29th

LOVE AND LIFE: A DOUBLE-EDGED SWORD?! (Dil to Pagal Hai)

By AnuMadav

Love stories exist. They had. They do. And they will. They must. For a healthy living. Love stories exist here too- Four lives with three pairs of lovers. While A loves B; B loves C; C loves D. Nisha, Rahul, Pooja and Ajay. And, for each pair, 'love' has a different meaning: One borders on insanity: Nisha- Rahul. Another, on care, affection and thanksgiving: Pooja- Ajay. Both are strong bondages. Speakable; Expressable. Yet, they can never match up to excellence. There is something still leftover. Unfulfilled. And for the third pair, Pooja- Rahul, 'love' swings upon an invisible thread. Yet, it is exhaustive and consumable. One that is deeply felt. Yet, it is the one that is deeply marked by silence. A space where power and passion could culminate in excellence. Still, it is a space where public could render very easily into private and private could easily peep out into public. A space where the unexpressed seems real and spoken, illusionary. A space where quest for adventure overtakes the necessity for safety. A dangerous zone. But, is this all what Love and Life are about? Care and Danger handed down together in a platter in the disguise of Power and Passion? A double edged sword: A unique space where one has to learn to demarcate boundaries based on their own realities?

Nov 29th

THE STORY OF A TERRIBLE BEAUTY (Chandramukhi)

By AnuMadav

Children cry. At times. Wanting something. Unable to speak out. They keep crying. Finally fall asleep. They had succumbed to their own reality. They had to comply. But have they accepted what they have been provided with? An unjust act? Or does the cry eventually subside into nothingness? It does not. So says, Chandramukhi. They turn out to be sleeper cells. Awaiting their chance. To assert themselves. Exhibiting their fullest potential. Taking chances of things that come along it's way. With determination: To create Something. Something that is not normally tempting. Something that tumbles down the existing order. Something that is terrifying. Something that is terrible. Yet, Something that cannot be called 'Revenge'. It is the trance of the subconscious that is capable of overpowering the unbalanced conscious; sympathetic soul. The first dance of suppressed and repressed emotions exhibited in their fullest freedom. A place of unbalanced energies: A space where kinetic creative energies fail to move along within the confines of static potential structures. One that reiterates the world that everyone deserves to be given a fair chance: to choose; to live; to die. If Chandramukhi is an embodiment of something, she is this: A Terrible Beauty - a sweet girl who could be courteous and accommodative; yet someone who inherently possesses the violent power of assertion.

Sep 21st

Pink- Questioning Stereotypes

By Rajeev

It's nice to see

the few rare movies like Pink

that question stereotyping

of women in Indian society

Pink cuts at the very root

of Indian prejudices and hypocrisy

when it comes to girls vis-à-vis boys

 

The story is of 3 working girls

living together in the national capital

it's not denied in the flick

that the girls enjoy their freedom

work hard, have fun

live life on their terms

 

The question posed is

if a girl has had a couple of drinks

and is generally having fun

in a group at a party

does it also mean that

she has no choice

but to say 'Yes' to sex as well

even if feeling 'No’ inside ?

 

Yes, thinks the boy and

forces himself on her

only to be hit by a bottle in the eye

as protest, in self-defence...

 

All hell then breaks loose

for the girl and her friends

as she had hurt and injured

not just another boy at a party

but one from an elite, connected family

 

Watch saga unravel

in a gripping court drama

 

In a towering presence & performance

is the big B himself as lawyer

holding audience in spell

with his rich baritone voice...

 

The stereotype of bulldozing the victim

intimidating her by questioning her character

suggesting   that "a drinking girl asked for it"

are all questioned & challenged in this timely flick

sans crass commerce & misplaced song- dance routine

 

What comes out loud and clear

is that a woman's body is her own

that no one can trespass or outrage -

that even a prostitute has a right to say 'No'

as does a wife to hubby when not in the mood...

 

Apart from Amitabh and Taapsee Pannu

all cast and crew deserve special mention

the producers and director can be truly proud

of a thinking product that will be long cherished!

  

Note:

Pink is a 2016  Indian courtroom drama Hindi film directed by Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury, written by Ritesh Shah, and produced by Rashmi Sharma and Shoojit Sircar.

 Cast includes Amitabh Bachchan, Taapsee Pannu,Kirti Kulhari  Andrea Tariang,Angad Bedi, Raashul Tandon and others.

Jul 11th

Amar Prem.

By Anand kumar.

Amar Prem.

Film review:

This 1972 blockbuster produced by Shakthi Samantha is my all time favorite, because of its excellent story play, brilliant and versatile acting performances by Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Tagore. This film is a remake of a Bangali film, “Nishi Padma” directed by Arabinda Mukherjee.

Pushpa (Sharmila Tagore) is expelled from her house by her husband and his new wife. Her mother also disowns her. When she tries to commit suicide, she is being rescued by her uncle, who in turn sells her to a brothel in Kolkata.  Anand Babu, (Rajesh Khanna) is a business man who is unhappily married as his wife spends most of her time in Night clubs and parties, spending his money lavishly. One day he hears Pushpa singing and attracted by her sweet voice, meets her. He is allured by her beauty and becomes her exclusive customer visiting her frequently. Love blooms between them.

A family which resides besides Puspa`s place has a husband who is workaholic and his wife ill treats his first wife`s son, Nandu. Nandu does not get parental love and affection and often goes without even food and proper sleep. Pushpa meets this little boy and gets attracted by his charm treats him as her own son, knowing that he is being ill treated by is step mother. She starts to care for him and feeds him often, which is not liked by his step mother. Anand Babu also knows this and encourages Pushpa to take care of him as her son.

After some time Nandu`s family has to move to their village. Several years later Nandu grows up and becomes an Engineer in a big company and returns to the same place where Pushpa lives.  Once, while Anand Babu talking with his Doctor friend, comes to know about Nandu , whom doctor once treated. Anand Babu meets Nandu and informs that Pushpa is working as a maid servant in a house and is being ill treated by the house people. Nandu wants to meet her. Anand Babu makes arrangements to meet both of them. In the end Anand Babu asks Nandu to take Pushpa with him and Nandu does so. Both mother and son become happy to reunite, while Anand Babu looks on crying happily! In this scene Rajesh Khanna shines at his best with his superb acting and leaves the audience with wet eyes.

There are six enchanting and super hit songs beautifully composed by R D Burman and rendered by Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeshker. The thought provoking song, “Chingari koi bhadkai” is one of the highlights of the film enchantingly picturised with the Howrah Bridge of Kolkata on the background. One has to understand the lyrics to enjoy this song.

Anand who is deprived of love from his wife, gets fascinated by Pushpa`s charm and voice and finds solace in her arms.  He lives a painful life in spite of all the money he has. He keeps his tears to himself and always says, “I hate tears”. Pushpa undergoes all sorts of miseries in her life, her husband disowns her, in- laws ill treat her, and she has to sustain life by working as a maid in a house, where also she is abused. She finds comforts on Anand`s shoulders and has lots of love for him, but suppresses it owing to her misfortunate life. Her yearning for motherhood reveals when she meets Nandu. Nandu, who does not know what is mother`s love and affection finds them on Pushpa`s lap. Thus three people who were born in different places and live a different life, find the real meaning of love among themselves. The unique relationship and love that develops among them is stunningly captured by the director and the outstanding performances by Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Tagore add luster to their characters. Due to their inspiring acting performance this film has to be one of the outstanding films of all times.

I always recommend this film to all my friends to see this movie at least once in their life time.

V Anand Kumar.

 

 

 

May 14th

Swatikiranam - a film review

By Padma

picture for review

Gangadharam, a boy from a small village

was a loving son of a poor couple;

Singing in the lap of nature was his passion

He sang many songs with interest and emotion!

 

He became the student of Ananta Rama Sharma

who was known as the emperor of music;

His wife was glad to welcome him home

The young disciple enjoyed their teachings!

 

He contacted his schoolmates now and then

and narrated his growth and learned lessons!

Ganga’s parents and friends were on the cloud nine

to see him  growing as a conscientious student!

 

Gangadharam wanted to become a great singer

and luckily got a chance to sing in front of his guru!

His teacher was surprised to hear him melodiously

as an experienced singer that knows ragas well!

 

They took care of him as an adopted son

and taught him music lessons regularly!

The student sang in a lot of programmes

The audience applauded gladly with pride!

 

The teacher recognized him identifying ragas

and composing his own song in a suitable way;

He sang the same song fruitfully in an occasion

and became envious  with his talents and success!

 

Rama Sharma wished to imprison his talents

thus asked him to learn music to gain knowledge!

Intolerant teacher expressed his jealousy to him

then suffered a severe heart-attack on the spot!

 

Gangadharm realized his teacher’s mind

Thereafter consoled his wife with a big heart!

He ever wanted him to be a known singer  

So decided to end up his life in the end!

 

Swati Kiranam is a 1992 Telugu musical drama film, directed by K. Viswanath and produced by V. Madhusudhan Rao. The film has garnered Film Fare Award for Best Music Direction and the National Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 10th

Movie Review - 'Fan'

By Paddy

‘Fan’ the movie is an unusual combination
Of a star’s reality and his fan’s imagination;

Of a fan’s unabashed, obsessive adulation
For his idol that invokes the latter’s indignation.

'Fan’ is the story of this Delhi boy Gaurav Chandna,
Who lives and breathes this film hero Aryan Khanna.
It is also the story of this hero worship going awry,
And this scorned-by-his-idol fan unleashing his fury. 

Taking literally his star’s statement very filmy
That he owes his stardom to his fans solely;

Gaurav, sets off on a weird journey to Mumbai,
To hear Aryan repeat it to him and get a high. 

But all that Gaurav gets to see of his star Aryan,
Is him waving to multitudes in a balcony darshan.*

He does something foolish to win his hero’s attention,
Only to incur Aryan’s ire and beatings in jail detention. 

We see Gaurav’s transition from a movie-crazy youngster,
To a pulling-out-all-stops, psychologically unhinged stalker.

We also see Aryan taking on Gaurav in every possible way,
In dramatic and unbelievable stunts, hounding him like prey.

The movie offers us a generous double dose,
Of Shahrukh Khan in the dual role of the star,

And his scorned fan with a resemblance close,
That he uses and misuses in many ways bizarre. 

Director Maneesh Sharma has demonstrated his intent,
By ably focusing totally on this song-less film’s content.

However, extreme and avoidable action that seems wasteful,
Has diminished this otherwise engaging movie’s hold impactful. 

SRK’s fan Gaurav act as a star-struck, neurotic young boy,
Is the one that most movie goers are likely to greatly enjoy;

But to his human, fallible and feet-of-clay Aryan’s star act too
With shades of grey yet natural, all praise and accolades are due. 

My rating for this movie is a three star,
Sustained totally by SRK’s star power. 

*darshan is a Hindi word meaning view, meeting, audience, sight etc.

(Bollywood star Shahrukh Khan is routinely referred to as SRK by the Indian film industry and his fans)

 

‘Fan’ is a 2016 Indian thriller film directed by Maneesh Sharma and featuring Shah Rukh Khan in a double role. The film is produced by Aditya Chopra under the banner of Yash Raj Films, and tells the story of an obsessive fan of a star who looks just like the star. The soundtrack album and original score are composed by Vishal–Shekhar and Andrea Guerra respectively. The film was released on 15 April 2016.

 

Apr 18th

Jacob's Kingdom of Heaven (Jacobinte Swargarajyam- Malayalam) Film Review

By Rajeev

This is not a single movie
but two movies
a first half movie
and a second half one
it seems like it's directed by two people!

Yet had gone to watch it
as it boasted of the young director
successful director, Vineet Srinivasan
and new heart throb Nivin Pauly, in the lead

The first half is like a home video
a poor imitation of  Bollywood
a la KKKG of Karan Johar
perhaps wrong casting of Renji Panicker
as head of family added to the fiasco!

The second half is pretty good
ravelling the real plot of film
based on real life story of an NRI businessman
cheated by a 'friend'
ending up in humiliation
and financial mess!

How his wife and son
rebuild and reunite family
form the rest of the story
Nivin Pauly looks lost in the first half
comes into his own in the second
the character though that stands out
is that of his mother 'Shirly'
played by Lakshmy Ramakrishnan!

Two movies in one movie
even if one is pretty good
the yawns from the first
pulls down overall impact
of film to 'Average'!

Beware Vineet, do your homework
taking audience for granted
could prove costly
in the long run...

Feb 28th

Neerja - Movie Review

By Paddy

In today’s environment of shrill and aggressive nationalism,
‘Neerja, depicts the qualities of a rare and sincere humanism.
This inspiring, real-life story of Neerja’s sacrifice supreme,
Showcases her extra ordinary courage in a situation extreme.

Neerja, a former model and domestic violence survivor,
Later a divorcee and working as a diligent flight purser,
Is your normal, bubbly and chirpy 1980s youngster.
For this Rajesh Khanna fan, the world is her oyster.

When her hijacked aircraft is under trigger-happy terrorists’ sway,
This first-time head purser, just a few hours shy of her 23rd birthday,
Courageously shields passenger nationalities, going out of her way,
To save all aboard her flight, ignoring the price she might have to pay.

In this 122 minutes film, the story of which is already well known,
The audience is riveted to the seat as the plot unravels full blown.
All credit to writer Saiwyn Quadras for an engaging screenplay,
That has cleverly employed Rajesh Khanna dialogues’ interplay.

‘Neerja’ the real life story of a plucky and humane flight purser,
Could easily have slipped into the usual melodramatic tear jerker.
But Director Ram Madhvani’s  intelligent handling of the movie,
Presents an interesting, moving and genuinely heartwarming story.

Sonam Kapoor excels as Neerja, playful and gritty, yet vulnerable.
Yogendra Tiku and Shabana Azmi as her parents are commendable.
Shekhar Ravjiani as her silent, supportive lover is a surprise package.
Their excellent acting is an apt tribute to Neerja’s exemplary courage.

As the film ends with Shabana Azmi’s moving remembrance,
We feel a lump in the throat that’s not of an easy evanescence.
‘Neerja’ for long will be cherished as a woman of substance,
Who through her sacrifice, walked in life that extra distance.

For ‘Neerja’, whether a theatre or TV you choose,
A definite must-have is a packet or two of tissues.
My rating for this movie is a sure shot five star,
As such inspiring, real stories need to reach far.

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