Saturday, December 22, 2007

Taare Zameen Par

Many of you might have already seen the movie of the season “Happy Days”. It was a refreshingly good movie that reminds everyone of their college life. That movie was a noble attempt by the director Sekhar Kammula in this age of commercial mass masala movies in Tollywood.

But yesterday, I saw one movie that reminded me of my school life (at least to some extent). It was “Taare Zameen Par”(TZP), a movie about a gifted child. It’s hard to believe that this movie is the first one for the director, who was none other than the well-known perfectionist, Aamir Khan. He acted and produced the movie too. I thought that this movie is one of those art films about children. But I was proven wrong in the first 15 minutes of the movie. The film opens with the camera focussed at the dirty water of drainage. The camera work of that shot was great, in fact excellent. We were shown some footage and then the titles come. Even the titles were interesting with a series of cartoons on the screen. The film drags a little bit in the second half but the protagonist played by Darsheel Safary and Aamir cover it up well.

The story is simple and to-the-point. It was about a 8 year old boy, Ishaan who suffers with a disease (is it?) called dyslexia. He can’t differentiate between various alphabets and he finds difficulties with certain objects too. But he’s a gifted artist. He’s the second child of his parents. His father is one of those filmi fathers who loves his son but feels that strictness is the only way with which we can keep children at bay. Ishaan’s mother and brother love him a lot. As he can’t differentiate between alphabets, he finds it hard to focus on spellings and always fails in exams. We were shown that our protagonist is studying third standard for the second time as he failed in the previous year. His father had to shift him to a boarding school in the middle of the academic year as the dean of the previous school feels that this boy is mentally retarded.

In his new school, Ishaan feels that his family completely deserted him and there was no one in this world for him. He doesn’t talk to his family or even with his classmates. Some scenes during this part of the movie made my heart very very heavy. Everything seems to be dull until the entry of a new art teacher, Ram(played well by Aamir Khan – but how can we ever expect a worst performance by him?). He brings new lease of life into the students but fails to make on impact on Ishaan. Ram is bothered about this boy and tries to focus on his problems and finds that Ishaan is suffering with dyslexia. The rest of the film is about whether Ram succeeded in curing Ishaan and how the world recognized Ishaan.

The positives of the movie are the performances of the lead actors, music and screenplay. The protagonist Darsheel Safary is a gem. He acted so naturally that his acting might cause some of the so-called seniors blush. My favorite scene of the entire film is the climax scene in which Ishaan slowly shows his painting to Ram and the way he peeks to see Ram's painting. However, there are some negative aspects too. We were told that Ishaan is in third standard because he failed the previous year. But if Ishaan can’t spell out a single word, how did he get through the previous classes? And we were shown that Ishaan wanders through the campus every now-and-then and he even goes to some dangerous cliffs(in the campus). Does any boarding school allow its students to live dangerously?

But overall, the movie is a refreshing one as compared to the present movies. As told before, it brings out some of the memories of our school life. And it brings in front of us, an excellent child artist and a visionary film maker who doesn’t compromise in anything except the perfect. He took such good care about the movie that even his name comes after the child’s name in the title. Kudos to the team of TZP.

Bathi Bandh

One of the catastrophes that threaten the existence of mankind is Global Warming. Scientists have been warning us about this for quite sometime but no one seems to take notice of this. But there was one particular awareness event in Mumbai last week(I think the date was 14th December, 2007), which is worth an applause. This event is called “Bathi Bandh”. Bathi, in Hindi, means light while bandh means stop. So the phrase “Bathi Bandh” means stopping of electric lights. The whole idea of the event is something like this: All the Mumbaikars were to switch of their lights on that particular night. This might help reduce the global warming by at least a minor margin. We were shown on TV’s how the city was engulfed in darkness and how the people were sitting beside earthen lamps: all for a noble cause. But there was something which really made me sit up. The organizers did not forget the people who live in slums without any electricity and running water. Lampposts were kept in some regions with a switch to shut them off and a board written “For those who don’t have a bathi to bandh”. What a noble thought!!!!!!!!!

Ad world

As we all know, promotion is the key to success for any product. You see lots of hoardings on your way to office, you see a lot of advertisements on TV, you see a lot of catchy lines on the newspaper. The sole purpose of all these is to catch your attention. But on seeing a couple of recent ads on TV, I was awestruck. Interestingly, both are for rival cellular service providers, Airtel and Vodafone (formerly known as Hutch). If you recall the history of Hutch, they relied only on a pug and its master to conquer the market. They were innovative right from their day one.
Coming back to our present scenarios, let me first present Airtel’s ad. One small boy waits for his mother to give him his supper. Suddenly he hears some noise outside and runs out. We were shown that his house is fenced (from which we understand that he’s living in sort of border). Another boy, probably from the neighbouring country, asks our boy in some alien language (at least it was alien to me), to give him his football that came to our first boy’s backyard. The first boy hesitates and then kicks the ball to the second boy. Then the second boy asks the first boy to join him for football and they both sneak beneath their respective fences and start playing together in the no man’s land. Then a voice sounds from nowhere, “Deewaren mit jaayen”, which means something like we remove all boundaries. Then the theme music of Airtel comes and the ad’s finished.
Then the second one, Vodafone. One guy was shown waiting in the elevator and looking suspiciously(or with interest) at all the girls who board the elevator. Even the lift-boy is annoyed by his behavior. Then we were shown that its night and our guy is still waiting in the elevator alone. He looks dull and exhausted. Then another girl boards the elevator and smiles at our guy, after which he sneaks next to her with a smile. Then the camera focuses on the guy’s mobile which displays the text – “Daily Astrology tip: You’ll meet your soul-mate in elevator today”. Then the theme music of Vodafone comes in an orange background and we were shown the text “Daily astrological alerts. Call XXX(I don’t remember the number)”.
I hope now you understood why these ads caught my attention. The innovativeness of these ad-makers is truly a big round of applause.

Money Matters?

We have heard the phrase “Money Matters” quite a few times. It simply means “matters involving money”. But sometimes I feel the question hitting me hard – “Does money matter?”. I’m very uncertain about the answer for this question. Sometimes, I feel that it matters and sometimes, it does not.
Let us come this way. Being an earner, I know the importance of money. Money helps you gain a particular status in the society. If it’s not for the money that you earn, many people do not even care about you. Money helps you buy importance among others. It helps you satisfy some of your dreams and wishes. Right now, I’m writing this article sitting leisurely in front of my laptop and hearing my favourite music in my home theatre. All these were not even in my distant dreams a couple of years back(when I was a non-earner). This way, money MATTERS.
Now the other way round. I want to enjoy my evenings in a peaceful rural area. I want to stay with my parents and take good care of them. I want to hang around with my childhood buddies forgetting about the rest of the world. But all these are not possible for me(at least for now), even though I’m earning more than what I need. Sometimes, I feel that it’s the money that plays spoil-sport with our dreams. I can’t buy the freshness of an evening, I can’t buy peacefulness for my soul, I can’t buy the happiness that I see in my parents eyes when I was with them, I can’t buy the freedom I’ve in the company of friends…….. This way, money DOES NOT MATTER.
Can anyone answer this question for me?

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Leg Power

Being a lazy guy, I was postponing a certification exam in Lotus Notes for quite sometime. Last week, I got the mood(at last) and started preparing. Once satisfied, I took a day off and started revising and then went to a nearby test center to enroll for the exam. To my surprise, I was told that they are no longer offering service for Prometric exams and gave me the phone number of another institute who's offering the exam.
I went to that center and found that there are no slots for that day and hence registered for the next day. On the exam day, I got a call from them that the Prometric website was down for the entire day and I can't take the test that day. Having no other option, I asked them to re-register me for today.
And when I called them today for confirmation, I was told that the website is still down and they don't know when it'll be up and running again. All I can say is - "Hail my leg!!!!!!"

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Self Help

Some people think that you are good and some people think that you’re bad. But what do you think of yourself? Did you ever try to recall your entire past and rate yourself accordingly? Did you ever think of all the misdeeds and the good things you did and come to a conclusion about yourself? I was trying to do this for quite sometime but was not able to reach a proper conclusion.
Let me note down some points which may help me reaching a proper conclusion about myself:
1. I just can’t tolerate the sight of an aged person begging. I end up giving them whatever I can give maximum as alms. I think that I’m helping them but sometimes, I feel that I’m spoiling them instead of helping. Same is the case of child beggars, I’ll be moved but in most of the cases, I end up shouting at them.
2. I can’t tolerate people’s negligence and scold them until they give their proper attention to the neglected things/work. But I, myself, neglect most of the things. Am I rude to others?
3. I drink and smoke occasionally.
4. I’m very very lazy.
5. I love to be poetic.
6. I’m addicted to the idiot box and love to get lost in the dream world of movies.
7. Sometimes, I give importance to negligible things but tend to neglect the more important issues.
8. I love to break the rules and neglect the orders.
9. I want to grab others’ attention all the time.
10. I love to share others’ sorrows but I expect them to share their joys too with me.
11. I love to sleep late hours but hate to get up early.
I know that all the above points are irrelevant and don’t mean anything to others around me but these are only some of the things I can recollect. And even after spending a lot of time trying to recollect and write them here, I’m back to square one. I just can’t come to a decision about myself. But I believe that spending some time think about your pro’s and con’s every now-n-then, you can end up learning more about yourself and try to mend up your ways. For example, I just read this article completely and found that I’m wasting too much time writing silly things. So this is what I call ”Self-Help”!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

13 Keys to a Perfect First Date

I read this article somewhere on the Internet just now and thought of sharing this with you all as some look funny and some seems to be worthy enough to try. This was written by some David Wygant who’s said to be a Dating Coach, Blogger and Author who has been featured on more than 2,000 radio and television shows including Dateline, CBS Good Morning, and MTV. Don’t blame me if you get a vague glimpse of Will Smith a.k.a Hitch. And one more thing, this is purely a copy-paste article. I don’t mean to offend anyone.

1. It's OK to suggest a drink instead of dinner for a first date. She dreads a potentially boring, four-course ordeal, too!
2. Always call her by early evening on Tuesday to confirm a Wednesday get-together -- it's the polite thing to do and it lets her know you're already thinking about her.
3. Be sure to leave both your home and work phone numbers. If you don't leave your home number, she might assume you have a wife or girlfriend. If you don't leave any number, she'll wonder what game you're playing.
4. If you want to keep the plans a surprise, at least clue her in as to what to wear. You do not want an overdressed, overstressed woman navigating in high heels on a sunset beach walk.
5. Always listen to what she has to say, and make sure you wait until she's done talking before responding.
6. Don't assume that just because you're out with a beautiful woman, she knows how pretty she looks -- she wants to hear it from you. Don't go overboard, though, or she might think you're insincere.
7. Men judge women according to whether they can picture having sex with them; women judge men by whether they can imagine kissing them. White teeth, fresh breath, great shoes, cell phone turned off, and unchapped lips make her more apt to lock lips with you that night.
8. Do not ask her, "So, what kind of music do you like?" The last 10 guys asked that. Be original and instead fill your iPod with a great mix of music that expresses your style.
9. Tip well. Believe me, she'll be watching.
10. Reading body language is simple: If she touches your arm, she's interested. If she touches your leg, she's interested tonight. If she leans away from you the whole night, she is not interested at all.
11. Very small gestures go a long way and show her you're a gentleman. When you drop her off at her house, be sure to wait the extra 30 seconds while she gets inside (and next time you might be going in with her!).
12. Women need momentum. Without it, they lose interest or wonder if you have lost it, too. Follow up with a phone call the next night. Even more important, ask her out at the end of the date. Don't play games or wait.
13. Never look at another woman when you are on a date. If she catches your wandering eye, you are done.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A Dream Vacation

అది ఒక అందమైన పల్లెటూరు. మనం చూస్తున్న పాశ్చ్యాత్త ధోరణికి దూరంగా నిర్మలంగా ఉన్న ఊరు అది. ఒక అందమైన సాయంత్రాన ఎర్ర బస్సులో అక్కడ దిగాను. దిగిన వెంటనే ఏదో తిన్నాను అనిపించి ప్రయాణ బడలికతో నడుం వాల్చాను. అదీ ఆరుబయట. ప్రొద్దుటే సూర్యుణి లేలేత కిరణాలు మొహం మీద పడుతుండగా నిద్ర లేచి కొట్టుడు పంపులో నీళ్ళు కొట్టుకుని స్నానం గట్రా కానిచ్చి అలా పక్కనే ఉన్న హోటల్లో పుల్లట్లు తిన్నాను. తరువాత పల్లె అందాలు చూడటానికి బయలుదేరా. పచ్చని పంటలు, చేలల్లో దుక్కి దున్నుతున్న మగవారు, వారిని ఉత్సాహపరుస్తూ పాటలు పాడుతూ పని చేస్తున్న పడుచులు.... ఇలా ఊరిని చూస్తూ మెల్లగా గోదారి ఒడ్డుని చేరుకున్నా. అప్పటికి సమయం ఉదయం పది గంటలు ఐనా గోదారమ్మ చల్లని గాలి వల్ల అసలు ఎండే తెలియటం లేదు. కొంతసేపు అక్కడే గడిపి అటుగా వెళ్తున్న ఐసుబండి వాడి దగ్గర పుల్ల ఐసు కొనుక్కుని మెల్లగా తింటూ తిరిగి ఊరు చేరుకున్నా.
మధ్యాహ్నం భోజనం ఎక్కడ చేద్దామా అనుకుంటుండగా నాకు ఆతిధ్యం ఇచ్చిన ఇంటి వాళ్ళు నన్ను అక్కడే భోజనం చెయ్యమని మనం మర్చిపోయిన ఉలవచారు మొదలైన వాటితో అద్భుతమైన విందు పెట్టారు. తిన్నాక కొంతసేపు నడుం వాల్చి మెల్లగా ఊరి సెంటర్లోకి బయల్దేరా. పల్లెటూర్లో సెంటర్ అంటే ఏమిటో మీకు అందరికీ తెలిసే ఉంటుందిగా? అక్కడ మర్రి చెట్టు కింద పిచ్చా పాటి మాట్లాడుకునే ఊరి పెద్దలని చూస్తే ఎందుకో పాత సినిమాలు గుర్తొచ్చాయి. కొంత వాళ్ళ మధ్యలో కూర్చుని తరువాత పక్కనే ఉన్న బండినుండి కమ్మని వాసనలు వస్తుంటే అటువైపు వెళ్ళా. ఆ బండివాడు వేస్తున్న మిరపకాయ బజ్జీలు, చల్ల పుణుకులు చూస్తుంటే నోట్లో నీళ్ళు ఊరాయి. వెంటనే వాటి మీద ఎగబడ్డా.
తరువాత కొంచెం సేపు అక్కడి జనాలతో సుత్తి కొట్టి రాత్రి భోజనం మాంచి నాటు కోడి పలావు లాగించా. దాని రుచి తల్చుకుంటేనే నోరూరుతుంది. ఇంక ఈ రోజుకి ఈ సాహసాలు చాలు అనుకుని ఇంక పక్కేసా. పొద్దుటే అలారం మోగగానే మెలుకువ వచ్చి కళ్ళు నులుముకుని చూస్తే ఇంకేముంది....... ఇదంతా ఒక కల మాత్రమే. మనసుని ఆహ్లాదపరిచే తీయని కల.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Om Shanti Om

The frequent visitors to my blog might have already known that my habit is to watch a horror movie every Friday night. But last night, I watched a different ghost movie. No no, don’t think that it’s a usual horror flick. This has a ghost in just a cameo appearance. It’s our Bollywood ka Bhadshah Shahrukh Khan’s latest flick, Om Shanti Om(OSO).
There have been many high expectations, as usual, on this movie. First of all, it’s because SRK has not only starred in the movie but also produced it. And it’s directed by SRK’s best buddy, Farah Khan. It has Deepika Padukone, a supermodel, as the female lead. There were guest appearances by, almost, whole Bollywood stars.
Coming to the movie, it’s an out-n-out entertainer packed with a lot of filmish masala It’s the story of Om(a junior artiste), Shanti(a leading actress) and Om(again, but this time a super-star). The movie starts in the 70’s with the shooting of the title song of the 70’s blockbuster, Karz. Our Om Prakash is a junior artist who waits for his lucky break with his junior artiste mother, Kiron Kher and his best buddy, Pappu(Shreyas Thalpade). He’s a great fan of the leading actress of the time, Shantipriya, played convincingly by the lovely Deepika. He gets introduced to her when he saves her from a fire accident in one of her shoots. They become friends soon and just when he waits for a chance to express his love for her, he comes to know of the bitter truth that she’s already married to a foxy producer Mukesh Mehra(played well by Arjun Rampal). Then there was a betrayal( just as you would expect it) and our lead pair dies.
Fast forward the time by 30 years and viola, you are outside the house of a superstar, Om Kapoor or OK, as he fondly calls himself. He’s adamant, he’s stupid who goes by his own terms. The rest of the story is how he finds out about his previous birth, how he meets the people of that birth and how he takes his revenge.
The first-half is pretty good with many lighter moments while the second half drags a little bit. The scene in which SRK plays the Quickgun Murugan is one of the best moments of the movie. He plays the role so convincingly and his “Mind it” surely brings laughs on everyone’s faces. Coming to the performances, SRK has given one of his best performances while Deepika did justice to her role. The others also played well, particularly Arjun Rampal even though he was not given his dutiful share of the pie.
The cameos of the who’s-who of Bollywood was extremely well done. Particularly, Akshay Kumar’s cameo is outstanding in the movie. Even though he stars for a little more than a minute, he steals the show so convincingly. If you don’t think about the logic, you’ll enjoy the movie thoroughly. But if you think about it, as I did, you might find some loop holes like:
1. We were told that Arjun Rampal is a big producer in Hollywood who’s been there for over 25 years. And the scene when SRK threatens him that if he backs off from his movie, he’ll become bankrupt isn’t so convincing. How can a big Hollywood producer go bankrupt if his Bollywood movie fails to kick off?
2. We were shown SRK being brought to hospital with a lot of gashes and cuts. And when we are shown his dead body, he’s as clean as a male model in a shaving cream ad!!!!!!!!!
But movies are meant to be like this. So I advice you to go to the theatre, buy your pop-corn and coke and leave 2 hours and 40 minutes of your time to SRK.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Aanand Bazaar

Even though I’m in Bahrain for quite sometime, I was never away from the Telugu flavor thanks to Telugu Kala Samithi(TKS), a social club found by some Telugu people in Bahrain about 8 years back. Various programs and workshops are conducted by this club for both members and non-members.
Last weekend, there was one such event called Anand Bazaar. This event is conducted by Shakti, the ladies wing of TKS. Women cook various dishes at home and sell them at the TKS premises for reasonable prices. The good thing about this event is the dishes that we get in this are very rare to find in this part of the world. So it seems like we are in our native place enjoying our favorite dishes. This years’ menu included the following items:
1. Pesarattu – Upma
2. Punukulu
3. Pulihora
4. Bobbatlu
5. Perugu Vada
6. Bhel Puri
7. Paani Puri
8. Lassi etc.
And there were some games to entice kids too. But the bad thing is, I was entrusted the tickets sale for this event at the venue. By the time I finished my job, there were very items left for me to taste.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Sonu Nigam

Being an avid listener of music, I’ve heard a lot of tracks in Telugu, Hindi and English. I’ve some favorite tunes, some favorite singers, and some favorite musicians. But I hope you agree with me that the musician who gives your favorite tunes becomes your favorite musician and the singer who sings them becomes the favorite singer, at least in most of the cases. My vote for my favorite tunes goes unanimously for the melodious ones. And one singer who baffles me all the time with his melodious singing is none other than Sonu Nigam.
I still remember the day when I noticed the spark in his singing. It was way back in 1998 or so. One fine day, I was alone in my house. I was watching TV when suddenly all the cable channels went off air and only DD1 was coming (this was frequent in those days). I had no option other than to watch whatever comes in DD1. Then there was this great song which I noticed many times but never heard with interest. It was “Ab mujhe raat din” from the album “Deewana”. I was mesmerized by the lyrics and the singer of that song. It was then that I noticed that the singer was Sonu Nigam whom I had heard of but never bothered to take notice. I started following his songs and got interested more and more with every song I heard.
He just brings life into every song that he sings, be it the perky “Ye dil” from Pardes(if I’m right), the moving “Sandesein aate hain” from Border etc. But the songs which I liked the most are from his private albums: Deewana, Yaad, Jaan etc. However, I feel that his ultimate song was “Tanhaayein” from “Dil Chahta Hai”(this song is sung by my favorite singer for my favorite actor ). This song is like a benchmark for singing capability in every singing competition. Even in the recently concluded “Indian Idol 3” final, the final contestants were asked to sing this song as the ultimate test.
Sonu, as he’s fondly called by fans, is also very choosy about the songs that he sings. I once read that he rejected a song in a Govinda movie as the lyrics were a little bit obscene. I cannot compare him with the all time greats, Mukesh Kumar, Kishore Kumar and Mohammed Rafi but still I feel that Sonu Nigam can claim his place among them. Long live his singing(if not him).

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Lost Heritage

I hope you all agree with me that the Indian economy is booming. We have plenty of money at our disposal, which was a distant dream just 5 or 6 years back. Pay-scales are increasing year-by-year. Opportunities are opening up for the young and talented. The world is just like “You dream, you work, you achieve”. Innovative ideas are being appreciated and paid all over the world.
But beneath all these green pastures is the danger of forgetting our culture! You have everything now but still you are missing the simple joys that come by doing your favourite things (you might have even forgotten about your interests by now). Just try to answer the following questions:
1. When did you last go to a temple alone?
2. When did you last see a teenage girl wearing a half-saree?
3. When did you last visit your native village/town?
4. When did you last eat our traditional snacks like kaarappoosa, gorumiti, kajjikai, mysorepak etc?
5. When did you last read any book that’s written in your regional language with interest (not for time pass)?
6. When did you prostrate before your elders?
I don’t mean that you should do all these so as to follow our culture. These are just some of the huge list of the examples of our lost heritage. Just close your eyes for a few moments and try to imagine your childhood. Imagine the days you spent at your grand-parents’ house. Imagine the days when you used to play with a bunch of friends. Imagine the games you used to play with them. Imagine being scolded by neighbours for trying to steal guavas and mangoes from their backyards. Imagine the happiness in your face when you see all the family members gathered at your grand-parents’ house for festivals. Imagine the feel of cool evening breeze blowing mildly on your face while playing in the fields. Some of these things are done even better now. But is there the purity of the past in these things now?
Holidays, for elders, are being spent lying around in bed or working extra hours for extra bucks while holidays, for children, are being spent in special coaching centres for personality development etc. Are your parents not happy with what they used to get in their days? Did you ever need summer camps in your childhood? Is this because of the lack of outdoor activities for children? Do the play-stations and X-boxes help your kids to build team morale and the physical exercise that we used to get in the games we played in our childhood?
An average person is thinking twice to eat rice with pure ghee (the reason stated at this juncture is mostly the fat content) while he/she eats a burger with a whole slice of cheese without a second thought. This is just a small example to show that the mindsets of the people are changing.
My sincere advice is to try to follow any of the following things by taking a small break from your routine works:
1. Visit a village-side in your free time and enjoy the simplicity
2. Go to a peaceful place that’s untouched by the sounds of the motors and try to listen the sounds of nature.
3. Pluck and eat a fresh fruit from a tree in the neighbouring field on the road-side without anyone noticing.
4. Sit in the cool shade of a tree and enjoy your favourite book or music.
5. Sit on the riverside and enjoy the feel of the breeze tickling your face.
6. If it’s not possible to go to a village, just go to the city outskirts and visit a movie theatre where some old movie’s playing.
These, all, are possible for us and are in our reach except for the fact that we make ourselves busy and think that doing something to please your heart is purely a wastage of time. In this busy world, buying yourself your dream bike is very simple but sparing a few minutes for your inner joys is very tough. All I say is:

“It is your destiny. Only you have the right and potential to change it”.

నీ తలపులు

పాలుగారే పాపాయిలు
గుర్తుచేస్తారు నువ్వింకా నాతోనే ఉన్నావని
నిర్మలమైన నీలాకాశం
గుర్తుకుతెస్తుంది మన పరిచయం మచ్చలేనిదని
చల్లని పండు వెన్నెల
గుర్తుచేస్తుంది నీ తలపులు నను వీడిపోలెదని
గలగల పారే సెలయేరు
గుర్తుచెస్తుంది నీ అందెల సవ్వడి నా గుండెలోనే పొదిగి ఉన్నదని
దూరాన కూసే కోయిల
గుర్తుచేస్తుంది నీ మధురభాషణలు నా మదిలో మారుమోగుతున్నాయని
ప్రియా, ఎందుకు నను వీడిపొవు?
లేక కలలోనైనా ఓసారి కనిపించవూ?

Sunday, October 28, 2007


As stated in my previous posts, horror movies have become a must in my weekend schedules. This weekend, I decided to buy something old and effective instead of all those new and boring flicks. So I bought the ever green “Evil Dead” series. I’ve already seen all the parts but it’s been long back and when I saw it, I was too young to understand it completely. So, last night, I watched the first part quite eagerly. Even though the ghosts looked a bit comic, it has its very own thrills and chills. The makeup seemed to be one of the worst(this movie’s pretty old), but maybe its the best of its times. The camera work and sound effects are fairly good enough to compete with the modern day techniques.
Coming to the story of this movie, it’s about five youngsters, two males and three females, who plan for a holiday in a deserted farmhouse in the woods. They reach their destination after a near-miss accident. They find a hidden cellar which contains a book bound with human flesh, a tape player, a gun and some other random items. The tape contains the voice of a man who claims to be investigating the evil forces. The voice recites some chants which can bring the evil forces into life. And the rest is history……. You can watch the movie, if you give value to the sound effects rather than the ghost visuals, on a lazy evening with a couple of friends.
By-the-way, does any of you know that the writer and director of this movie is the acclaimed Sam Raimi(the Spiderman fame)??????

Sunday, October 21, 2007


Can you remember your childhood? I can remember a lot about it but I seldom think about it. Then, there was this little thing which made me recollect most of my childhood days and feel light at heart. This thing or this book, to be precise, can seen at almost every bookshop in India but we rarely notice it. This is the “Chandamama” book. It’s a monthly magazine that was every child’s (at least in my generation and before) dream book. In my childhood, I used to look forward for the day it reaches the local library so that I can read it before my friends. As days passed by, TV and comics took its place and also with the increase of study burden (hahahahaha), I lost track of it.
It was only after I came to Bahrain that I restarted my relation with it. Each book shop selling Indian magazines and books get some of these but the Telugu edition comes in a very less number. I made a pact with one the shop owner to keep one aside for me as they get sold out like hot cakes. Now, the book is more like a childhood friend for me rather than just a book. It helps me to be in pursuit of being a true Indian. The best part of my relation with this book is I don’t keep it with me once I finish reading it but I circulate this as much as I can among the children I knew so that it helps them build their morale and remind them of their roots.
People who don’t know about this book might be wondering at this juncture about this book. It’s nothing but a compilation of short stories for children paired with a couple of serials and some interesting facts along with a little dose of general knowledge. The best part of this book, according to me, is the “Vikram-Bethaal” stories. This series is running from the day one I started reading Chandamama. I don’t know when this series started but this the first story I read in every Chandamama. This series is a compilation of short stories with a moral question at the end and a wonderful answer to this question.
And finally, do you know that this book completed 60 years in July, this year????? This is definitely a genuine landmark for the great book. I hope this book celebrates many more occasions like this. Long live, Chandamama.

కుళ్ళు జోకులు

మొన్న ఒక సారి నా ఫ్రెండు ఒకమ్మాయికి ఫొన్ చేసినప్పుడు ఏవో మాటల మధ్య “నా మెయిల్ ఆఫీస్ లో ఎవరూ లేనప్పుడు చదువ్. లేక పొతే కంపు వచ్చి చస్తారు” అన్నా. దానికి తను విరగ బడి నవ్వేసి “మీరు ఇంక ఆ కుళ్ళు జోకులు ఆపరా?” అంది(ఏదో నవ్వు రానట్టు). ఆవతలి వాళ్ళు అలా నవ్వుతుంటే మనమెలా ఆపుతాం? అప్పుడే సరదాగా ఈ బ్లాగులో కుళ్ళు జోకుల గురించి రాద్దాం అనుకున్నా.

నవ్వు నాలుగు విధాల చేటు అన్నారు కొందరు. కాని అదే నవ్వు నలభయ్ విధాల మంచిది అంటున్నారు శాస్త్రవేత్తలు. మనం నవ్వామా లేదా అన్నాది ముఖ్యం గాని ఎలా నవ్వు వచ్చింది అన్నాది ముఖ్యం కాదు. నవ్వటం ఒక కళ ఏమో గాని నవ్వించడం అంత కంటే పెద్ద కళ. ఏ మధ్య కాలంలో బాగా ప్రాచుర్యం లోకి వచ్చింది “కుళ్ళు జోకులు”. నన్నడిగితే ఇవి వెయ్యడానికి ఎంత టాలెంట్ కావాలో ఒక్కో సారి ఇవి మనసారా ఆస్వాదించడానికి కూడా అంతే టాలెంట్ కావాలి.

ఆసలు ఈ కుళ్ళు జోకులంటే ఏమిటి? కొంచెం హాస్యం, కొంచెం వ్యంగ్యం కలిపి వేసే జోకులు కొన్ని ఉంటాయి. ఇవి వేసినప్పుడు కొంచెం కంపు వస్తాయి గనక వీటిని కుళ్ళు జోకులని అంటారు. అవతలి వాళ్ళు ఇందులో ఉన్న సున్నితమైన హాస్యాన్ని గుర్తిస్తే పర్లేదు. కాని వ్యంగ్యాన్ని పట్టించుకుంటే మాత్రం గొడవలు ఐపొతాయి. అందుకే వీటికి సమయం, సందర్భం(టైమింగ్) చాలా ముఖ్యం. ఇవి వెయ్యటానికి కావల్సిన లక్షణాలు
1. కొంచెం చతురత
2. కొంచెం వ్యంగ్యం
3. కొంచెం టైమింగ్
4. కొంచెం లోకజ్ఞ్యానం ….. మొదలైనవి
ఇప్పుడు మచ్చుకి కొంచెం కుళ్ళు కంపుని ఆస్వాదిద్దాం….. అదేనండి, కొన్ని కుళ్ళు జోకులు వేసుకుందాం.
1. మొన్నో రోజు జిం లో ఏవో మాటల మధ్య మా కోచ్ “Enjoy sir. Today is your day” అన్నాడు. దానికి నేను అదోల మొహం పెట్టి “what is this, sir? I thought today’s Thursday, right?” అన్నా. పాపం, అప్పుడు చూడాలి అతని మొహం…..
2. మా ఆఫీస్ లో ఒకాయన పచ్చి శాఖాహారి. ఏవో మాటల మధ్య నన్ను కూడా మాంసాహారం మానెయ్యమన్నాడు. కొన్ని రోజుల తరువాత మానేసావా అని అడిగాడు. దానికి నేను “మానేసాను సార్. నిన్న రాత్ర్రి నుండి తినలేదు” అన్నా. గురూగారు మళ్ళీ నాకు ఏమన్నా సలహా ఇస్తే ఒట్టు.
3. క్రితం వారం తెలుగు కళా సమితి లో ఏదో ప్రొగ్రాం ఉందని వెళ్ళాం. వచ్చేటప్పుడు ఇంకొకతన్ని మాతో రమ్మన్నాం. తను నడిచి వెల్లిపొతాను అన్నడు. అప్పుడు మావాడొకడు “పర్లేదు సార్, వచ్చెయ్యండి. డిక్కీ ఖాళీయే” అన్నాడు.

పైన చెప్పినవి ఏవీ పెద్ద సూపర్ జోకులేమీ కాదు. అయినా అవి వేసే టైమింగ్ ని బట్టి అద్బుతం గా పేలతాయి. అందుకే కుళ్ళు జోకులు అమర్ రహే!!!!!!!

Friday, October 12, 2007


Watching horror and thriller flicks has almost become an obsession for me in the recent past. One horror movie every weekend is a ritual for me. Over the past few weeks, I’ve seen quite a big list of these but nothing could really satisfy my thirst for a good horror movie – something which scares me and entertains me at the same time.

Two nights back, I brought SAW on rental. I’ve heard quite a few praises for the movie but somehow I’ve no interest in this movie. So as usual, around 10 PM, I started watching it. Immediately, I forgot all the surroundings and switched off my mobile. Something told me that this is the one. You can’t call it a complete horror movie but it’s a horrific thriller. I never heard of the director or any of the cast of the movie (except Danny Glover) but still I was awestruck by the creative mind of the makers of the movie. The sadism they showed in the movie made me close my eyes a couple of times. It was clearly a movie for the grownups (but not for weak hearts) and there’s no scope for sex in the movie even though it was clearly marked 18+.

It has some of the best twists and turns I’ve seen in the recent times. I bet no one can guess the climax of the movie unless they hear it from someone before watching the movie. It has all the ingredients of a true pot-boiler. And the fact that it was a very small budget film compared to all other stupid horror flicks that I’ve been watching for quite some weeks made it more interesting for me. You won’t believe me if I say that once the movie’s finished, I was looking at my legs before getting up to switch of the idiot box(you’ll know about this once you see the movie).

It was of no surprise that I was back in the DVD shop yesterday looking for SAW 2 which I watched last night. It was also equally good as the first one. Equally good twists and equally good sadism and equally good entertainment and equally new star cast and equally good sound effects. I’m looking forward to watch the third edition of this movie tonight unless I go out.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

My toys

As you all know, children like toys and they like to have as much toys as they can. But, now-a-days, elders too have toys and that too, some which they can never miss. They never treat these as toys but in fact, as accessories. The only difference is these toys are a bit sophisticated and they come with a price tag. Yes, I’m talking about the things that we use in our daily life, like mobiles, mp3 players etc.
Even I own quite a few of them and the days have changed so much that I cannot imagine life without them. Let me list a few of them:
1. My watch : It’s the age old CASIO calculator watch. It’s gifted to me way back in 1998 by my uncle. In those days, watch like that is a distant dream. I used to flaunt my watch too much before my friends in those days. Now, the watch became old but believe me, I never changed the battery in that. I sometimes think of buying a new one but I can’t imagine my hand decorated by some other watch.
2. My mobile : It’s a Sony Ericsson K750i. It was the latest mobile in market when I bought it. And that the first big thing I bought for myself with my own earnings. Maybe that was why I like it very much. It got an excellent 2 mega pixel camera, a wonderful mp3 player etc. My friends and colleagues change their mobiles often but I’m more than satisfied with mine. It fell once from a colleague’s hand and bounced back such that he caught it on the bounce. Still nothing happened to it. Wow, it was like having a faithful dog never leaving your side. I listen to songs, play java games, watch videos……… still, it never let me down. I’m a proud owner of this gadget for more than 15 months.
3. My laptop : Hmmm, this was the biggest deal I’ve ever done. I never thought I’ll own one till the day I bought it. It’s a HP Pavilion dv2000 series one. A wonderful machine running on Windows Vista. I can’t write much on this as I’m using this for a period of 4 months and there’s a lot that I need to know about this. All I can say is, it’s a wonderful machine and it gave me the ultimate gaming experience.
4. My mp3 player : This was gifted to me by my close buddy about 2 and half years back. I never heard about the brand, Macvision but I cherish every song that I hear in that. There were many pleasant nights when I used to plug the earphones to it and enjoy the music along with some book. I love to hear songs sung by my favourite Sonu Nigam and Hariharan in this gadget.
5. My home theater : It’s branded GEEPAS which I very rarely hear about. And it’s the cheapest of the lot when I went to buy a home theater. But still, it gave me the best experience of watching a movie in room. My best experiences with it are watching horror movies and hearing rock music.

These are some of my favorite toys and I hope this list increases soon.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Johnny Gaddaar

Last night, I felt bored in my flat and thought of watching some movie. I checked out the listings and found that “Johnny Gaddaar” was playing near my flat. As the reviews are good, I thought of taking a chance. So I went to the 8 30PM show with my roommate after eating sambar-idli. I always tend to eat light before watching a movie as I’m a lover of pop-corn and hence I can gobble some while watching the movie.
Now, coming back to the movie, I found that it was interesting right from scene one. The movie started with a tribute to the master of suspense, James Hadley Chase. And the director’s devotion to him was visible throughout the movie, right from titles to the climax(which will definitely ignite some memories if you’ve read any novels of James). And even the novels of James Hadley Chase were shown at least half a dozen times in the movie. The movie opens on a rainy night in a police van (a group of policemen discussing about the first night of a colleague) and then the murder of a stranger by another stranger (none of their faces are shown to maintain the suspense). Then the titles start, which will remind you of Sin City or some Quentin Tarantino’s flicks.
Johnny Gaddaar is the story of 5 conmen; Seshadri, Shiva, Prakash, Vikram and Shardul. They hit a deal which will make each of them richer by 5 million rupees in about a week. Vikram, who’s the youngest of all, has an illicit relationship with Minni, Shardul’s wife. He plans to escape with the entire booty so that he can move to Canada with Minni and start a fresh life there. He kills Shiva accidentally in this process which leads to a lot of twists and turns. He has to eliminate each of his friends as a result of this. This is roughly the main plot of the story but the way it’s executed makes the movie-goer sit on the edge of his seat and watch the proceedings.
This film is no-doubt a thriller, but of a different kind. You know who the killer is, but what happens in the next frame and the frame after is the real nail-biter. After watching the movie, if you feel like you just saw some Hollywood flick then you are not-at-all mistaken. The screenplay of the film is outstanding and the plot is never boring. How each of the conmen comes to know the truth(but each in a different own way) is very convincing and novel. The taking is excellent and there are some scenes that made an impact on me like:
1. The police interrogation scene in which “Bangalore” spills out the victim’s mouth.
2. The way Shiva accidentally falls and bangs his head to the wash-basin of the train.
3. The scene showing the way Prakash’s car was pushed into a trench and how it slowly immerses in water(the best shot scene of the movie).
4. The dream sequence of Shiva coming to kill Vikram.
Performance-wise, Dharmendra is limited to a few scenes, but he does well. The main protagonist, Neil Mukesh, had the best debut of recent times. Rimmi Sen does justice to her role even though she doesn’t have much scope. The other actors too played their part well. The director had cleverly revolved the story between some 8 people and everyone got their own importance. Overall, “Johnny Gaddaar” might not be the best of thrillers but definitely, it tries to induce fresh life into the boring list of Bollywood thrillers. It’s definitely worth a watch and you wouldn’t regret watching this.
Dialogue of the movie: “It’s not the age, my friend. It’s the mileage”

Thursday, October 04, 2007

నాకెలాంటి అమ్మాయి కావాలంటే.............

1. ఐశ్వర్యారాయ్ లాంటి వాళ్ళు అస్సలు వద్దు(కాపలా కాసుకోలేక చావాలి)
2. తనకి నాకంటే తిక్క ఉండాలి(ఎంతో చెప్పలేను. ఎందుకంటే తిక్కొమీటర్ ఇంకా ఎవరూ కనిపెట్టలేదుగా)
3. వర్షం మొదలైన వెంటనే బయటికి వెళ్ళటానికి సిద్ధంగా ఉండాలి(ఐస్ క్రీం తినాలిగా)
4. నేను పాత పాటలు వింటున్నప్పుడు టీవి పెట్టకూడదు(మరి అప్పుడు వినలేనుగా)
5. నేను ఆఫీస్ నుండి రాగానే టీ పెట్టి ఇవ్వక్కరలేదు గాని నన్ను పెట్టివ్వమనకుండా ఉంటే చాలు(మరి మనకి వంటంటే భయంగా)
6. వంట మాత్రం అద్భుతంగా చెయ్యాలి
7. పార్టీలకి, పండుగలకి చీర కట్టుకోవాలి(నేను కూడా పంచె కట్టుకోడానికి ట్రై చేస్తాలే)
8. తనకి మంచి సంగీతాభిమానం ఉండాలి
9. వెన్నెలలో కూర్చున్నప్పుడు చలి గిలి అనకూడదు
10. నేను తప్పు చేస్తే కొట్టినా పర్లేదు కాని నేను తప్పు ఎందుకు చేసానో కూడ కొంచెం ఆలోచిస్తే మంచిది

ఇవన్నీ రాసాక ఒక సారి మళ్ళీ చదివా. అప్పుడు ఒక బుల్లి సందేహం కలిగింది - "నాకు ఇప్పుడప్పుడే పెళ్ళి అవుతుందా??"

P.S. ఇవన్నీ నాకు తనలో కావల్సిన లక్షణాలు. అలాగే తనకంటూ ఏమి ఇష్టాలు ఉన్నా వాటిని నేను కూడా ఖచ్చితంగా గౌరవిస్తాను.

New Vocab

I’ve heard about new languages like what they say Hinglish(a mixture of Hindi n English). Thanks to the Bollywood, this language is growing like anything. And people from Hyderabad are very much aware of the mixture of Telugu and Hindi there. But a new vocabulary for an old language!!!!!! I never heard of this until I got a job. I’m talking about the English used by our bosses.

Scene 1 : Boss says “You are working hard”. Don’t take it as it is. Beware of the storm come. It actually means that he’s going to whack your bottom about some work you recently finished.
Scene 2 : Boss says “The weather is pleasant”. Don’t fall into this soup. It means you are going to work overtime until the weather in your brain changes.
Scene 3 : Boss says “We are a team”. Don’t feel proud of your colleagues. It means boss’s going to assign most of his work to you.

All are cleverly concealed phrases which seem to be harmless but they have the potential to grab all your free time. I believe these are not just the words used by my manager but they are, in fact, used by most of the management people. I don’t know from where they learn these things. Seems that whoever gets the managerial position inherits these phrases just like that!!!!!!!!! Now, even I’m wishing “when’ll I learn this language????????”

Thursday, September 27, 2007

My Likes

Just like the finger prints of two persons are different, the mentalities of two persons also differ. Every individual has his/her own likes and dislikes. I would like to write a small article on my likes. I’ll not just list them but try to elaborate them a little. So, the list is:
1. Music. Wow, this is one of the most beautiful things of the world, even though you cannot see it. When I’m in a bad mood or stressed out because of work, I just take out my MP3 player and start listening to my favourite numbers. My favourite singers are Sonu Nigam, Hariharan, Kishore Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar and Enrique Iglesias.
2. Books. I can never keep track of time once I start some book. The authors whom make me lose track of everything are Sydney Sheldon, Jeffrey Archer, Salman Rushdie and ever tantalizing Vamsi.
3. Movies. I get lost in the dream world of movies every time I watch a pleasant movie. Some of my favourite movies are many old classics(I can’t list them out as they maybe not less than 25 at any given time), Tholi Prema, Prema Desam, Rang De Basanti, Sarfarosh, Armageddon, Titanic, The Matrix etc.
4. Chocolates. May god bless the persons who made this wonderful discovery. You’ll find some in my office table and many in my fridge at any given time.
5. Ice-cream. Right from childhood, I enjoyed every moment of the titillating cold recipe drifting down my throat. Recently, a doctor warned me not to eat too much of these but how can I stop?
6. Rain. Who doesn’t like this? There might be slight differences like some people like to drench themselves in rain, some people like to smell the aroma of the soil when it starts to rain, some people like to enjoy the coldness with a cup of hot coffee. I, personally, like to sit on a roadside bench when it’s raining and watch the world move beside me at a breath-taking pace.
7. Country sides. The unadulterated places of the world where you’ll find lot of warmth in the people who inhabit them, the green fields, sweet chirpings of birds………….
8. Last but not least, friends. These are the people on whom I rely for almost everything. I can never imagine my world without them. My biggest expenditure in Bahrain other than my flat rent is for the calls I make to my friends in India……….

T20 World Cup

As we all know, the young tigers of India have won the inaugural T20 World Cup held in South Africa. Truly, it was a remarkable victory for the Generation X of India. The fact that this win was without the likes of Sachin, Dravid, Ganguly and Zaheer, made it more memorable as we can’t imagine an Indian side without them in the present scenario. Kudos to the youth of India. But it was the post-match happenings that discharged some of my spirit.
I’m an ardent fan of cricket. I remember the days when I used to get up around 4AM to catch up the Ashes. I never got up so early even for my engineering exams. But, I’m one of those people who mourn the demise of other sports and who believe that their extinction is because of cricket. As soon as India reached finals of the T20 World Cup, BCCI announced $ 1 million award to the team. And our team won so unconvincingly at the end. The fact that we threw away the match in the final overs will be agreed by everyone. But a win is definitely a win. And promptly BCCI increased the award to $ 3 million. Accolades started to pore over from the entire nation and so are the cash awards. Each state announced cash awards for their respective members of the cricket team. By the time I’m writing this article each cricketer got around Rs 80 lakhs(something around $ 200,000), not to forget Yuvraj Singh who alone got more than Rs 1.5 crores(around $ 375,000).
All this might be to encourage the team but what about the other sports? Are the people who are playing those sports not representing our country? Where are all these accolades when the Indian Hockey team won the Asia cup for the first time not less than 2 months back? And they won the trophy quite convincingly breaking many world records on the way. The news that our hockey team won 20-0 against Sri Lanka was aired on every TV channel for a day. This was a record in recent times but quickly forgotten both by the people and the government. But where are the accolades and rewards for them?????? Which parent is encouraging his child to play kabaddi or kho-kho? People might have thronged to see the matinee of “Chak De, India” but how many people are going to watch a hockey match in reality? Why does a country like India, which stands second in population, not able to win even a single Olympic medal? Is it because there’s no cricket in Olympics? If the behaviour of the rulers and the people remains the same, then many of the great old sports will extinct in a matter of a few years.
And I would like to end this article with a funny news. There’s a regional party in my state, Andhra Pradesh, called TRS for which the leader is K Chandrasekhar Rao otherwise known as KCR. He always shouts on the government saying that his region, Telangana, is ignored by the government and that they need a separate state which they’ll develop themselves. He says almost every day that his people are in bitter poverty. I heard that even he gave cash rewards of Rs 1.16 lakhs each to 3 of the players of the Indian Cricket Team. Now the billion dollar question is “What happened to the poverty of the people in his region?” Has it gone with the win(d)????????????????????????

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Airports of India

Don’t be surprised by the title of this article. And don’t take this as a positive article on the airports. I used to be surprised whenever I hear that the culprits of various bombings in India were some foreign terrorist outfits and their members. I used to wonder how can they enter India so easily and carry on their missions. I got the answer around 2 months back.

You might have read many mails about the notorious Hyderabad airport, some about how some passengers found out after reaching their destinations that some papers have been tore out from their passports, some about the bribes we’ve to shell out from our pockets. We don’t know whether these are really true or not. But after I’ve experienced a weird incident, I’m clear of my doubts. I was travelling to Bahrain from Hyderabad after a short vacation in July, 2007. I was a bit late to reach the airport but not too late to miss my flight. It was a good 90 minutes before my flight lifts off the ground. As I was checking-in, the Qatar airways official told me that they will not allow me in, as the lamination on the last page of my passport tore off and they treat this as a case of damaged or manipulated passport. I told them that they can check out the authenticity as I got down at the same airport about 3 weeks back without any issue, with the same passport. They told me to check out the issue with the immigration officials and if they allow me, then the immigration officials will book some sort of report against them. I left my luggage there and headed towards the immigration counter. The official there checked out the passport and told that they can’t allow me in and I’ve to go to the passport office where I was issued this and get it checked for authenticity and correction. I pleaded with him saying that I’ve come on a short vacation and it’ll be a big mess at my office if I don’t reach there by next day. He seemed to be in deep thought (he’ll definitely make a good actor) and then told me that he’ll allow me in if I paid a Rs 1000. I was shell-shocked to hear this from him in-front of everyone in broad daylight. The other passengers were also shocked but they can do nothing about it. I just stood there waiting for his next words. He told me after a few minutes that there’s no way they are letting me in, if I don’t pay the money.

I checked out the time and found that my flight takes off in just under 25 minutes. There’s no other option for me other than to pay the money. I was not carrying any Indian currency, so the “deal” was set for 20 USD. I was just wondering whether I was duped as they won’t allow me in so easily, in normal conditions. All these suspicions were rubbed off once I reached Bahrain. There, I was stopped at the immigration counter again and it was only after a series of check were done on my passport that they allowed me inside Bahrain. It them around a good 45 minutes to check the authenticity of my passport. And their Indian counterpart asked me the bribe after looking at my passport for just under 5 minutes. God, save India.

Lucky Escape

I’m going to recall one incident that happened just 3 days back. I never expected that I’ll be in such a situation and I can never imagine how I got away with this. I am not a regular smoker but I smoke sometimes. Last Thursday, after coming back from office, I thought buying some DVD’s. It was around 4 45PM then. So I went to the DVD shop with a cigarette in my hand. It was about 5 minutes walk from my flat. So I was walking in a lazy stride to the shop. En-route, I noticed that some of the passer-by’s were looking at me quite strangely. I thought that it was just my misconception and rubbed off the suspicion. As I neared my destination, I saw that the roads were deserted. It was then that the truth struck me like a bolt. It’s the holy month of Ramadan and I’m in one of the Arab countries, Bahrain. We are not supposed to be noticed walking around doing any sort of things that might hurt the feelings of Muslims till about 5 30 pm during the entire month. We should not even drink water in front of them till they break their fast. And here I’m, with a cigarette in my hand………. I just threw it away and walked away silently taking a different route to my flat. You might be thinking what will happen if someone stops me. Nothing would have happened except that I might languish in the jail for a day or two, with some fine too. As this happened on Thursday evening, I would’ve served more than 2 days (the courts have off on weekends, Fridays and Saturdays).......

Monday, September 17, 2007

Weekend Movies

One of my favorite weekend pastimes is to stay tight in my room and watch movies on DVD’s. My average number of movies over a weekend is never less than two. My last weekend has been a pure Bollywood one. I saw many Bollywood movies out of which I want to discuss about two similar movies among them. They are not similar in their story lines or their cast but they are similar in the theme that underlines the storyline of these two movies. It’s the spirit of sportsmanship and self-confidence. The two movies are “Chak De India” and “Apne”. Both are the stories of underdogs, but the former is about a underdog team while the latter is about a underdog “family”. Both are about tough coaches, the coach in the former wants his team to win while in the latter, he seems to want his family members to win. Sounds weird, right?
“Chak De, India” is about the dream of a former Indian hockey team captain who takes up the challenging job of the highly neglected Indian Women’s hockey team and how he made his dream true. “Apne” is about a former Olympic silver medal winning boxer, who’s branded a dope, and his dreams about making someone the world champion in boxing. Even though both the themes are same, their way of execution is entirely different. “Chak De, India” is about a team whose members are culturally and mentally different and the story is about bringing them together as a team and inspiring them to take over the world. “Apne” is more like a typical Bollywood movie with the story revolving around a family with 5 or 6 songs thrown in-between the plot. While “Chak De, India” is a brave attempt to show the discrimination of the sporting boards on certain players and teams, “Apne” banks heavily on the typical Indian Drama. My vote is definitely to “Chak De” while I strongly assure you to give a miss to “Apne” (you definitely would not like the heavy weight boxers to have a lot of fat at the abdominal area that shows up whenever the player moves!!!!!)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


In my childhood, that was the music for which housewives leave their chores behind. That was the music for which children used to finish their dinner without any fuss. That was the music for which employees wanted to reach home from office in time. That music used to come once a week on Fridays at 7 30PM. I hope everyone remembers it. It’s none other than the title music of our own “Chithralahari” which is a collection of melodious songs. It’s just a 30 minute program but people used to talk about the songs aired on that week till the next Friday. It’s been years since I heard that music. Now life has become fast-paced and we don’t have time for each other also. So the question of sitting back and hearing melodious songs is a distant dream. And the little free time we get is spent watching some stupid soaps or news channels.
We used to get 3 Telugu channels here in Bahrain. But because of some technical glitch, we are getting only ETV for the past 5 days. I was surfing through all the 62 channels that we get here (this is my favourite pastime – not watching TV but surfing through the channels). Then out of no-where, I heard the music that used to be my favorite in childhood. I realized that the cablewala started giving DD8 Saptagiri as he’s not getting any free-to-air Telugu channels. Wow, how good it was!!!!! It has same spirit in it that excites us even after all these years. I was watching all the songs aired in it for the whole 30 minutes. I don’t remember switching channels. It’s ages since I watched tv without any interruption for half-an-hour. That’s the power of the good old CHITRALAHARI. Long live DD8.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Indian Idol 3

Being an ardent fan of music, I was watching various singing contests on the idiot box. One show that kept on topping the charts in my list is Indian Idol. Can’t say the reason why it remains on the top of my list every year but maybe just because it’s not just a run-of-the-mill kind of singing contest. It’s more like a reality show. It looks into the personal life of the contestants and keeps on building up their moral whenever they are in need of it. The best thing I like in it is even the persons who fail to reach it over to the final step are also treated as winners and incorporates the never-say-die spirit in them.
I don’t think I missed even a single episode of Indian Idol 1st and 2nd editions. But I was not able to follow much of the episodes of 3rd and current edition. Wait, wait – thanks to Internet, I was able to follow most of the episodes which I missed, in my leisure time. Now coming back to Indian Idol 3, all the 10 people who made it to the final 10 are all competitive and talented. I personally feel that this is the best 10 among all the Indian Idol editions. I was a fan of each and every one of them. Right now, I was watching the result of the final 3 of the current edition. All of the 3 people who are on the top of my list reached this stage. They are Emon, Prashanth and Amit. The organizers took them to their native places before this episode and they aired the footage that was taken during these visits on this episode. Wow, it was great to see their popularity among their own people. They’ve turned heroes from the boy-next-doors. But you should remember the hard work they did to reach this stage.
It was tough to chose the finalists from the above 3 contestants. But this is life. Someone or the other should lose so that there’ll be winner in any contest. As feared, Emon lost out to the other two people. No wonder, he’s a good singer but the other two are definitely challenging. The farewell message from him was one of the best I’ve heard in any contest. The confidence he had shown in stating that he’ll definitely make it big in the singing industry is definitely worth a big applause. Some of his final words are “I may not be Sony Entertainment Television’s Indian Idol. But someday, I’ll definitely become India's Idol and show the world”. I was not sure about his exact wordings but this is the message that he wanted to convey. Imagine how much confidence one should’ve to say these words in front of the whole nation!!!! Kudos, Emon. All the best for the great heights that you are about to scale in the future. And all the best Prashanth and Amit.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The Demigod

I, being an Indian, grew up watching the unofficial sport of the nation. No prizes to guess – it’s the cricket. Being an asthma patient in childhood, I wasn’t able to concentrate much on playing it and by the time I was able to play, it’s too late to start learning. To quench my thirst, I play now-n-then as a middle order batsman but no significant knocks till date. Coming back to the current topic, as I couldn’t play, I grew up watching it instead. I used to watch match-by-match and ball-by-ball. There were days when I used to get up early in the morning to catch up with England touring Australia. But all these days, I was mesmerized and astounded by a single player (there are others too. But most of them pass by like a little breeze). It was none other than the greatest of the players, even in other great players’ books(to quote Sir Don Bradman and Shane Warne). The one and only Sachin Tendulkar.

No wonder, I was writing this article over my favourite snack, popcorn, and watching my favourite cricketer play. I’m watching the 6th ODI between India and England in the 2007 Natwest series. England piled up 316 runs in the 50 overs that they were allotted. So India’s facing the daunting task of making 317 runs in their 50 overs. Our innings started with a blistering Sachin and breezy Saurav. Wow, it was great to watch these modern greats play so good for their team. Sachin, in particular was at his best making a brisk 94 runs in 81 balls before he was out. He was out not because of the bowler but for his cramps. He helped the team to kick start their innings. But it was Robin Uthappa who helped the team secure a comfortable win with a whirlwind knock of 47 runs in 33 balls.
Enough of this match. But I was mesmerized by the ability of Sachin to pile up all those runs and achieving every batting record in his career spanning over 18 years. He was a kind of player who learns from every mistake he makes and tries hard not to repeat it again. He was gentleman outside the pavilion too. There wasn’t even a single stroke in the cricket book that he missed to play. In fact, he has his own trademark shots too. Every budding cricketer tries to emulate him and most of the children in our country grew up idolizing him. Just take the scores he made in this series and you’ll know the reason why – 8, 17, 55, 71, 94 and 99 at a whopping average of 57.33 runs per innings. I strongly agree that he was not at his best but it’s bad to expect much from this ageing warrior. Many people say that he had enough of his career and he should retire and every time he silences his critics with his bat but not with words.
There can be no words to describe his star-studded career except the figures. Let’s have a look at them too.

Cricinfo website

It was fittingly written by some fan during the 2003 world cup or so(still you can see these placards every now-n-then. “IF CRICKET’S A RELIGION, THEN SACHIN’S THE GOD AND WE ARE ALL HIS DEVOTEES”. All I can say before finishing this article is “Go Sachin, go. We are all behind you”. Fittingly, just before I finished this, Sachin was awarded the “Man of the Match” for this match.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Childhood Dreams

One of my childhood dreams got fulfilled last weekend. I remember one funny incident when I was around 12 years old. We used to stay on the first floor of a building that time. I watched “Purana Mandir” in one of the portions in the ground floor of the same building at around 9 in the night. I was very afraid to go to my house. The uncle in whose house I watched the movie tried to console me saying that he’ll accompany me to my house. Still I was afraid saying that “the demons are very powerful. They’ll kill you too”. How I managed to go to my house is history!!!! From then on, I used to think of how it’ll be to watch a horror flick midnight. Till now, it was not possible because sometimes when I watch at nights, I have to keep the sound very low as someone else might getup and some other silly reasons. So I never enjoyed the experience. Now, I’m in Bahrain on job and I’ve almost a full apartment at my disposal, and more important, I’ve a terrific home theater. Just waiting for the right time.

Last Thursday, I bought a horror flick called “BOO”. I could not watch it on that night, but I made up my mind that I’m going to watch it on Friday night for sure. So as decided, around 11PM on that day, I switched off all lights, drew all curtains so that no light can sneak through from outside. Then I started watching the movie with full blast on my home theater. Wow, it’s terrific. Just imagine the situation. You are sitting in the middle of night, all alone and watching a sleek horror movie with full sound on your 5.1 channel digital home theater!!!!! Sounds fun, right? The movie’s also good with a few jittery moments and very good sound effects. But the climax sucked a li’l bit. The last 15 minutes are like a kiddie horror flick. But overall, it was fun. One dream fulfilled. Rest have to wait for………………

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Bomb Blasts in Hyderabad

On this lazy Saturday evening, I was sitting over in my couch brooding over some magazine with the television on in the background. Suddenly something flashing on the screen caught my attention and made me focus at that. It was this news about bomb blasts in Hyderabad which killed around 34 innocent people(at the time I’m writing this) in two different places. I was shell shocked as I’ve visited or I used to visit one of the places of these horrendous bomb blasts, whenever possible. It was a fast food joint called Gokul chat in Koti area. And the other was in Lumbini park where a laser show’s(which was almost like a must for visitors to Hyderabad) going on at the time of blast.

Both the above places are swarmed with innocent people every day. People who visit them are not police officers or politicians but normal people like every one of us. They never think about terrorists or bombs, never in their dreams. They are all those persons who think about the well-being of their family and who dream about tomorrow. But still they have to pay the price for the ideals of some non-idealists. The price they paid was with their priceless lives. What sin did they do, that they have to sacrifice their lives for the sake of some bastards who are out there living in the world of shit? The people who are responsible for this heinous act should just think for a moment about the people who died because of them rather than thinking about the uproar caused by these blasts (which was the ultimate outcome that they wanted). Think what happens if your father/mother/brother/sister/friend gets killed by this act? Can you reclaim their lives after your purpose is fulfilled? Can you fulfil their dreams? Can you make their dependants smile again??????

I know that this blog will definitely go unnoticed by those bastards who are responsible for these blasts but at least the people, who read this, please pray for the souls of those unlucky people who died and also pray for the change in the hearts of the people who are responsible for this.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

My Annavaram trip (height of commercialization of GOD)

When I was on vacation to India, my mom told me one fine Saturday that we are going to Annavaram tomorrow. I was a bit taken-back for three reasons.
1. I don’t want to lose my Sunday(you might wonder what’s the meaning of losing a Sunday when you are on vacation already). But Sunday is a Sunday.
2. I don’t want to stand in the long, never ending queues of devotees.
3. I don’t want to wake up early in the morning around 5 AM as I’m fed up of getting up early in the morning in Bahrain so that I can make it to the office in-time.

But my parents are adamant. What else can I do except heeding to their request. So, as planned, we caught up an early train and reached Annavaram around 9 30AM. We went to the temple on a bus, which seemed as if it’ll dismantle into pieces anytime, from the railway station. Then my mom told me to take a ticket to some special pooja which is priced around Rs 200/-. So far, everything’s fine. As we didn’t bring any coconuts and it’s compulsory to offer coconuts to God as per Hindu rituals, we thought of buying some and started looking around. Then we are routed to some stall maintained by the temple and were told that as we hold the ticket to Rs 200/- pooja, we have to buy some package of offerings at Rs 90/-, which is a very high price as per local standards. But as there’s no other option, we’ve to take it. That stall-guy took Rs 100/- and started saying that they hiked the price recently to Rs 100/- and yet to prepare new receipts and gave us a receipt for Rs 90/-.

Then we are directed to some hall where the pooja is to take place along with several other devotees. There I noticed that on every wall, it was written that “there is no need to offer anything to the priests or others and if you want to offer anything to God, please drop in the hundis”. This was written in every nook and corner of the temple. I was impressed with these writings and continued with my journey towards the pooja hall. This was a mass pooja and hence, many people perform the riots at the same time. I felt proud of being an Indian where people show this much reverence in God Almighty.

The pooja took around 90 minutes to complete after which the head priest took the mike and started telling some stories about the greatness of Sri Satyanarayana Swamy. He then concluded the pooja saying that “Your pooja is almost completed now. We’ve done so n so things in the pooja. Now in order for the pooja to finish completely, you need to go some donation(daanam) to the priests. You’ve to give certain amount for AnnaDanam or certain amount for VastraDaanam or certain amount for both of these daanam’s together. Unless you give this, your pooja is waste”. I was shell-shocked to hear this moral blackmailing. Surely, I never expected this type of things from that priest. It’s written everywhere that there’s no need to give anything to anyone inside the temple. So, those people have resorted to this type of things. What can devotees do in this case except heeding to the priests demand?

Next came the main event of “Daiva darshanam”. We were told that all the devotees who performed the pooja will be forwarded to a direct line from where they can go to the main temple in a jiffy. But this line took us forever to reach the main temple. In the way, at every nook-n-corner, I can see people who are telling the pilgrims that if they were given certain amount of money, they’ll take them directly to the main temple without the problem of having to stand in the queue for long. These people are everywhere in the temple. I, myself, had seen atleast 20 of them that day. Somehow, we finished our darshan without any hassle from these people. So far, so good. Then came the problem of lunch. We were told at the anna daanam counter that the tokens will be issued for just an hour and will finish even before the prescribed time due to heavy rush. So there’s no choice for us except to eat food somewhere outside.

So we went to the one and only restaurant just outside the temple and I was awestruck at the prices. One meals is around Rs 50/- and one Dosa/Idli is around Rs 15/-. My parents took meals while I decided to take Dosa. That Dosa was one of the worst I’ve ever eaten and roadside food seemed to be better than that. I felt that the God is definitely smiling on the hotel guy for keeping it just beside the temple as there’s no other alternative for the devotees to take food.

This is my brief experience at one of the famous temples of Andhra Pradesh. But there are some positive sides in this trip too. Like, this girl who came to the temple with her family. She mesmerized me a lot. She wore a half saree and some simple jewellery. But I felt as if she walked straight from heaven. I was looking at her for a long time till my dad called me for something. By the time I returned, she’s no where visible. This is one moment to cherish in the trip.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

This is called UNITY

See the unity of the buffaloes in this video and please stop abusing people as buffaloes. People should learn a lot from them and unite against evil.

ఎటు పోతుంది మన దేశం?

Courtesy : ఈనాడు

Sunday, August 05, 2007


సృష్టిలో దాదాపు ప్రతి బంధానికీ ఒక అర్ధం ఉంది. తల్లీ బిడ్డల మధ్య పేగు బంధం. దంపతుల మధ్య దాంపత్య బంధం. ఇలా దాదాపు అన్నిటికీ అర్ధముంది. ఒక్క స్నేహానికి తప్ప! ఏదీ ఆశించనిదే స్నేహం. మన ప్రేమని కొంత మందికే పంచగలం. కాని స్నేహం వీటన్నిటికీ అతీతం. "ఒక మనిషి గుణాన్ని అతని స్నేహితులని బట్టి అంచనా వెయ్యొచ్చు" - ఈ మాట ఏ మహానుభావుడన్నాడో గుర్తులేదుకాని ఇది అక్షరసత్యం.
మన గురించి మన తల్లిదండ్రుల కంటే ఎక్కువ తెలిసింది కేవలం మన స్నేహితులకే. మనకి సంతోషం కలిగితే దానిని అందరితోనూ పంచుకుంటాం. కాని బాధ కలిగితే మాత్రం మనం అశ్రయించేది స్నేహితులనే. మన తల్లిదండ్రులతో చెప్పుకోలేని ఎన్నో విషయాలు మనం స్నేహితులతో పంచుకుంటాం. చిన్నప్పుడు దొంగతనంగా జామ చెట్టు ఎక్కినా, పెద్దయ్యాక ఎవరికీ తెలీకుండా సిగరెట్లు కాల్చినా.... మనం ఆధారపడేది స్నేహితులపైనే.
అందుకే ఒక సినీకవి అన్నట్టు "స్నేహానికన్న మిన్న లోకాన లేదురా"..........

Happy Friendship Day

Monday, May 21, 2007


తొలకరి జల్లు కురవగానే పరిమళిస్తుంది పుడమి గర్భం
నా చెలి తలపు రాగానే పులకరిస్తుంది నా చిన్ని హ్రుదయం

భానుడు ఉదయిస్తాడు నింగిలో
తన రూపు వికసిస్తుంది నా మదిలో

పక్షులు విహరిస్తాయి గగనంలో
నా మనసు విహరిస్తుంది తన ఊహల్లో

మీనాల్లాంటి ఆ కనులు
నా హ్రుదయాన్ని కొల్లగొట్టు పూల బాణాలు
సంపంగిలాంటి తన నాసిక
నా హ్రుదయసామ్రాజ్ఞ దీపిక
తన అధరాలు
వికసించే రుధిరవర్ణపు గులాబీలు
ఆ వదనం
పౌర్ణమి చంద్రబింభం
సృష్ఠి అంతా తానే ఐనప్పుడు
తను తప్ప మిగతా ప్రపంచమంతా నాకు వట్టి భ్రమ
అందుకే ఎప్పటికీ తనే నా ప్రియతమ

Sunday, March 11, 2007


మనసేమో మరపురాని మగువ కోసం మూగబోతే
తనువేమో తిరిగిరాని తన కోసం తపనపడితే
గుండెలో గూడు కట్టుకున్న గోడు నరనరాన్ని తొలిచివేస్తుంటే
నా జగమంతా కారుచీకట్లు కమ్ముకుంటే
ఆ చీకట్లొ ఒక చిన్ని కాంతికిరణం
"ఇంతింతై వటుడింతై" అన్నట్టు దాని ప్రకాశం
పెరిగి నా లోకమంతా వెలుగుతో నింపగా
ఆ కిరణానికి కారణం నేను వెతుకుతుండగా
ఆ వెలుగులో కనిపించావు నువ్వు నవ్వుతూ
"భయపడకు మిత్రమా, నేనున్నాను" అంటూ
నూరిపోసావు ధైర్యాన్ని
చూపించావు నా గమ్యాన్ని
అందుకే మిత్రమా, నువ్వుండేది దూరదేశమైనా
నీ చిరునామా మాత్రం నా గుండెలోన

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

కాని ఇప్పుడు(ఇది కధ కాదు, కవిత అంత కన్నా కాదు)......

నా చిన్నప్పుడు స్కూల్ అంటే పగలంతా చదువులు, మధ్యాన్నం ఆటలు
కాని ఇప్పుడు స్కూల్ అంటే బుర్రకే చదువులు కాని శరీరానికి కాదు
నా చిన్నప్పుడు పండుగంటే బందువులందరూ కలుసుకునే రోజు
కాని ఇప్పుడు పండుగంటే హొటల్ భోజనాలు, మొబైల్ పలకరింపులు
నా చిన్నప్పుడు సెలవలంటే కొతి-కొమ్మచ్చిలు, దొంగ-పొలీసులు
కాని ఇప్పుడు సెలవలంటే ప్లే-స్టేషన్లు,కార్టూన్ నెట్వర్క్లు
నా చిన్నప్పుడు ఆకలి వెస్తే ఇంటిలొ పెట్టేవి జంతికలు, చగోడీలు
కాని ఇప్పుడు ఆకలి వెస్తే ఫొన్ చేసి తెప్పించేవి పిజ్జాలు, బర్గర్లు
నా చిన్నప్పుడు నిద్ర రావటానికి మందు తాతయ్య కథలు
కాని ఇప్పుడు నిద్ర రావటానికి మందు ఒక గంట టీవి

ఇలా చెప్పుకుంటూ పోతే ఎన్నో తేడాలు.........
మళ్ళి తిరిగివస్తాయా ఆ రొజులు.......

వీడేమిటి, ముసలాడిలా ఉన్నాడు అనుకుంటున్నారా? నా వయసు 24 మాత్రమే. ఇప్పుడు చెప్పండి, ఇంత తక్కువ కాలంలొనే జనంలో ఇంత మార్పు ఎలా వచ్చింది?