January 09, 2017

Expanding the world of Maahishmati!

Some movies make such a huge impact on you that you start getting into the world in which that movie was set. Baahubali is one of the best examples of how a complete world has been created just for the main kingdom Maahishmati and other smaller kingdoms like Kunthala.
The visual treat was nothing but the best, as is the background music.

Such is the impact of all the characters like Baahubali, Kattappa, Shivagami, Devasena, Bhallaladeva, Avanthika, etc. that I have created my own ebook which has the extension of the movie as imagined by me. Not a big book, but definitely took some time to weave origins story for each of the main characters of the movie. There are so many storylines that could possibly be weaved around Baahubali: The Beginning that my ebook becomes one of the multiverses of them!

For example, there are so many questions left open in the movie like why is Kattappa helpless and completely living like a slave to Bhallaladeva despite he getting an offer of joining hands with Aslam Khan.
The intensity with which Bhallaladeva converses with Devasena as well as her oath to fry him on the pyre set up by her means there is a very intense flashback that must have happened decades ago involving Kattappa, Baahubali, Bhallaladeva and Devasena.

So many questions have been raised(including the biggest puzzle of "why Kattappa killed Baahubali") and those have an answer in the complete Amazon Kindle ebook here:

Maahishmati Kindle ebook on Amazon


Some of the excerpts from the book are below:

"
The sun started to rise a little faster the next morning as the tension remained high. The enemy was baying for blood as their soldiers kept building floating boards to cross the huge river. All their efforts to swing across the river using ropes turned out to be futile as they were punctured by poison-edged thorns coming from people specialized at aiming them. Attacks by wild animals were not uncommon but the enemies warded them off using their shields and weapons.
With a singular aim of wiping off anyone who are not from their faith and establishing their caliphate, the thirst of their greed knew no bounds. With the job of breaking through the defenses getting tougher, they aimed for the offensive by using their weapons like thousands of arrows. In response, the people of Mahaashanthala went back to escape them.
As the attack neared the people, they prayed for the almighty to show them a way. Off the dusty atmosphere, the devils started appearing clearly. They neared them and shouted “Athuraaa! Complete your duty. Why are you hiding?”
The people were shocked to hear the name of Athura from them. In a split second, Athura emerged from behind them, took a special sword that seemed to have been made specially for him, and raced towards the defenceless people. Uttama saw all this from a distance and rushed forward to save the people from him.
But as he was getting close, Athura threw the sword backwards towards the devil army with such a skill and power that it cut the throats of the commanders, went around for the heads of the marching soldiers and returned to the hand of Athura.
“Now my duty is complete”he shouted.
The devil army stood there in shock. They hadn't seen such level of skill from anyone and came towards Athura, with the remaining generals shouting: ”You traitor. You cheat your own people? The prophet will never forgive you. You will die a horrible death for going against us.” as the foot soldiers charged ahead, baying for his blood.
“I have found my people.” shouted Athura, pointing to the people of Mahaashanthala.

"

The above is just a small sample of one of the chapters and this particular piece is about the origins of Kattappa, his ancestors and most importantly how his extreme loyalty towards Maahishmati came into being).

Looking forward to share more info and snippets in the coming days.

With love.. Anil

October 30, 2016

Bravehearts

When the enemy gives an evil eye,
When the terrorists were given a grand sendoff,
When the attacks cross all levels of tolerance,
The boiling blood gushes out after the surgical strike,
And the heart screams Bharat mata ki jai.

When millions of miles away the jawans wake up,
When the separation from near and dear ones pain the bravehearts,
The heart sends out the best wishes to our real heroes,
And feel like sending a tweet and sweet this Diwali.

When their toes pain with endless movement,
When their eyes burn out of sleepless nights of vigil,
When their stomachs experience hunger pangs,
When their limbs give cramps out of exhaustion,
I feel like touching their feet and just say,
"We are here for you.."

When the chilling environs take all their energy,
When the burning sun roasts your fluids,
When the ammunition flumes asphyxiate the bravehearts,
Thoughts flow out making me think:
"What level of wishes can make their lives a little comfort?"
And my Sandesh2Soldiers goes out.

-Anil Kumar Reddy.

January 18, 2016

iDonkey goes live!

After several months of delay, the book finally is live and not to mention the excitement that it gave me during the uploading and review process.
Not the first e-book, but yes, the first book to be created with long-term dedication. Of course it is open for review by anyone, but this is a first small step towards more books on varied topics or genres.

Feel free to check it out if you like it. Below is the link to the book:
iDonkey

With love.. Anil

October 04, 2015

Breaking the barriers of resistance..

Despite all your efforts, there will be something in life that keeps on stopping you, halting you, and also putting you down from achieving greater heights. And that is called "homeostatic balance" of the mind. We seem to compromise on everything, everywhere to just let the day pass away without looking at what that means for the future ahead. I remember the term being told at a training session by a great person, but the real life scenario came across recently and I had to make a choice.
And that choice is continuous dedication towards a long term goal. Never mind the smaller obstacles that come in the way, there is something that pulls me from the homeostatic balance.
Such are the vagaries of life that despite your best efforts, some things take longer to take shape compared to others.
Finding time to fix upon a strong story and build characters into it or rather onto it is not an easy task and it can take weeks, months or even years to get a solid foundation of writing books.
So the process is going on slowly but surely.
Off to a late night sleep!

With love.. Anil

September 16, 2015

16sep2015, wed: A day of immense challenges and a new outlook towards writing

Never mind the challenges in life, there will always be times when you ought to take that extra leap forward to go to the next level. And today is one such day for me in many ways.
First, the aim got clearer and there is a renewed energy that seems to put lots of emphasis on what it takes to achieve success:
Is it mere brownie points from the ones who sit above you?
Is it just the figures on the home page that you are presented with when you log in to your bank account?
Is it the unknown appreciation that you get from your real inner self when you start analyzing the day that went past?

I am sure that it is the thrid one by far and the best!
And what is that which I love inside the depest confines of the mind?
It is writing! Writing about anything that crosses my mind. Anything that strikes a moment of amazement. Anything that seems like poetry to me. Sometimes I feel what is life without poetry?
How would life look without poetic visuals, poetic sounds and poetic words? Damn boring!
So that is what I loved more about today: It is not that I took up some challenge in something that doesnt touch my heart, but that fact that there is a renewed vigour to complete something that I have been doing for the past few months: Writing a book.
Having already written a small, tiny book of poems, today I would like to update the book with new poem that goes by the title: "Blue is Wohoo!" at the below link for my #WorldOfPoems:

World of Poems

And I hope to complete the new book, which is in the genre of fantasy/fiction/satire soon and publish it online for the world!

With love.. Anil

June 04, 2015

Most probable story of #Baahubali based on its #bahubalitrailer and wallpapers

Most probable story of Baahubali based on the trailer can be written thus:
A young kid Shivudu grows up into a handsome youth in beautiful jungles in a fictitious land and one fine day he catches spots a gorgeous angel-like lady Avantika and attracted by her beauty runs behind her, only to be trapped by some unknown gang of a big, oppressive kingdom. There he witnesses slavery and tries to escape from them, fighting the guards and releasing few of his inmates in the process.
When he finally asks one of them who he is and what his identity is, he is told the story of his father "amarendra baahubali", who is a ferocious fighter and a king of a large empire. His wife Devasena(Anushka) is also a fighter and due to a conspiracy by the evil Bijjaladeva(played by Nasser in a role similar to shakuni) and Shivagami(played by Ramya Krishna, inspired by Kaikeyi or Gandhari) to capture the kingdom and make Bhallaladeva(Rana) the king, baahubali is eliminated(either alive somewhere due to being saved by his loyal minister Katappa or killed) and Devasena is put in prison as a prisoner of war. But before Devasena is captured, she gives birth to a son and she keeps the baby safe by secretly swimming across a river, keeping the baby afloat. This baby grows up into Shivudu.
Now, this could form the first part of baahubali, whereas the second part could explore more about Devasena, what happens to her and her son Shivudu and how they take revenge against Bhallala deva and co.
A bigger question is also about the mystery about Avantika and who exactly is she, which could be explored in the first half. There could also be a strong link of Shivudu and the story with the Shivalingam. It could be the Shiva lingam which might have saved the new-born Shivudu.

With love.. Anil

May 05, 2015

Baahubali: Analyzing the first look posters!




Nothing can be more amazing than an amazingly created picture which tells a deep story that is hidden behind its pixels! Since 1000 words, let me describe the above collection of 2 posters in one picture in 1000 words as below!:
The woman's hand has blood dripping down despite coming out of water. This signifies that the woman has gone through some trauma or attack while giving birth or after bringing the baby to this world, presumably the villains chasing her, as she falls into the sea. The background is either an open sea or a really wide, massive river under an overcast sky. One could even deduce that the event could have happened under rain either in the morning or in the evening, going by the direction from which the sun rays were originating!
Nevertheless, with a closer examination, we can notice that the cloth that wraps the baby has a simple, but royal-look to it. This could mean that he is meant to be the inheritor of a heritage/kingdom or a family's huge property. This poster also shows the baby coming in front of the sun, which means he is meant to bring light into lives of many, like a rising sun. When will any world need the light? It needs it the most when it is either plunging into darkness or is already reeling under a shadow(evil). Going forward, it would also be safe to assume that the baby may have something to do with one of the most important elements of this universe: the sun. Could he have born with the energy from the sun? In some ways, this could even be compared to the epic of Mahabharatam, where despite hundreds of Kauravas, pandavas eventually win by going against all the odds created by the enemy. In Mahabharatam, Karna is the Surya putra, so is Prabhas going to have similar characterization here too?If we go by another photo related to Baahubali, the pose of Prabhas aiming high with his bow and arrow bears uncanny resemblance to either Arjuna or Karna(both bitter rivals and arguably the best archers the world has ever known)!
Or is she giving birth to a baby who may be killed by her enemies who believe that the baby could bring them bad luck(like kamsa)? There can be so many theories that could be derived from this first poster of the movie. When we look at the logo, it looks like it is carved out of bronze and has a very tough, rough and sharp look to it, which means the movie could have lots of hard-core action sequences in it! Coming to the hand that is holding the baby: It is a little wierd that one can balance a baby, however small it may be, on a single palm, but in the cinematic universe, any well-shot scene is accepted!
Looking at the poster, one can even tell that the main aim of the director seems to be to tell the story of the beginning, which could be the most important part of any movie aiming to be a series or a franchise later on based upon the success. One look at the colour scheme used in the first poster, and one can see the level of detailing that has been done to maintain consistency across all the elements of the image and also keep the secrecy about the story by hiding extra information in the posters. One thing is for sure: It is going to be a visual wonder after what we have seen in Magadheera, which could now look tiny compared to the arriving Bahubali. The shadows are smooth, the lighting is well arranged and the focus of the poster has been on the baby, which obviously is going to grow up to be the main lead character leading us to the muscular character on the right: Prabhas as "Shivudu".
A man carrying such a huge Shiva lingam is obviously an exxaggeration but that is what a movie is ought to be! The character "Sivudu" has been captured so well that we can almost sense what Shivudu may be doing there or in which context is this image captured. One can see the determination in the eyes of Prabhas(as Shivudu in the poster on the right). This could either mean that he is lifting the huge Shiva lingam as a challenge to show his strength, or he could also be saving the beautiful monolithic structure from some evil hands. It could also be a frame from the introduction scene of Shivudu! As is for any movie, there have been some fringe elements hogging their own limelight by digging the internet for some look-alikes with regards to both the released posters, but they need to understand that the beauty of any movie poster or the movie itself doesnt depend on how original it is but how well it is captured and how well it communicates the different essences of the movie. With all due respects to similar posters of movies like "Simon Birch" and "Tiruvannamalai", the beauty of showcasing the best scenes of a movie is more important than unnecessary comparisions with older movies which were completely unrelated to the genre of #Baahubali. Despite all the accusations about both the first look posters, people need to remember one thing: ipod, iphone or the ipads were not the first original products in their categories but one of the top-class ones in the industries right now, or for that matter even the best android phones may not be original but certainly better than their rivals. Surely the previous products were big hits, but ipod, iphone and ipad reinvented the product categories to an extent that few would have imagined. So in short, it is not if your product is the first one or the original one, but how good is it, no matter how many might have made similar things before! So there may be millions of movie posters that may be similar to #Baahubali that were released till 5May2015, but these are the best in its genre for sure and raises many expectations as well as sets our mood nicely before we step into the theatre to watch the movie on 10th July 2015!
And that was exactly 1000 words!

With love.. Anil

March 05, 2015

Nirbhaya: Who is the real culprit and what is the solution?

For the recent controversy regarding a British documentary filmmaker's interview with Nirbhaya's convicted rapist, about whom lots of people are up in arms against the airing of the documentary, I have one thing to say:
"CHANGE THE MINDSET! Nothing else will work." 
You heard it right. This one of the biggest issues that churned many thoughts within me and started to ponder over what could possibly the solution to this problem and more than the problem itself, why do people react in a way that doesnt give any concrete solution.
The convict is just the tip of the iceberg. The bigger problem lies in the mindset of the people and the documentary is just an effort to explore that mindset and put it in-front of the public to analyze and give the society and chance to evolve from the medieval mindset. But the public and most of the media seems to be only interested in cure and not prevention. Showing anger is just a temporary event and just a step to please the mob, but the bigger problem needs to be solved by the public itself. Police cannot intrude into the minds of people and repair them. It is the public that needs to think and introspect why such extreme violence is happening and who is responsible for the same.
I keep reading news that goes with the hashtag: "#NirbhayaInsulted". Really? I have a few questions to those who support the above hashtag:
1. When was Nirbhaya actually insulted? When some honest documentary filmmaker tries to explore the mindset of the convict and tries to show it to the nation? Nirbhaya was insulted when she could not use her real name out of fear of being looked down in the society. The fact is that the society which is acting as if it has done some great work by protesting during the whole episode, is in itself guilty of creating such rapists with the various mindsets that kept seeping in from times unknown. Society has time and again looked up to people with a history of crimes that include rapes and corruption(both complement each other), and instead of alienating them from public life, given them votes in exchange of money/"free gifts" like free electricity, free tv, free sarees, free alcohol, etc. This proves that as far as creating proper examples is concerned, no one cares. They only care about how much money they get from the politicians/leaders during elections and forget their basic responsibility of choosing the right person for the job of ruling us!
2. Why are people getting offended with each and every event that seems to be exposing the reality of the society? The mindset of the convict is not just some stray example but a widespread mentality of many people, male and female who have similar views! Is the society afraid that their real image is getting exposed by some western documentary filmmaker?
3. When the parents themselves don't think there is anything objectionable in the content of the interview, why is the media hell bent on blocking the documentary? It looks to be a war between major media houses(namely NDTV vs Times Now,CNN IBN, etc) thats going on where each of them is trying to get as many points as possible and TRPs. The fact that the high court held on to the govt's view and asked the media to block the airing of documentary is another issue altogether.
4. If there is anything to be censored from the documentary, the power lies with the censor board or a body that regulates the broadcasting in India and this can only be done once the complete documentary is watched by the respective authorities.

So what is the main point? People seem to be running behind an imaginary cure(which does not cure at all in reality!) rather than prevention. It is time the society wakes up and tries to look at itself in the mirror and evolve itself into the ideal society that India deserves and not into something that becomes a curse to many Nirbhayas across the nation.



With love.. Anil

January 10, 2015

An ideal leader..

The other day, I was watching "Air Force One" on some HD english movie channel. What struck me was the way the lead actor(Harrison Ford) plays the President of USA. Though we wonder how would it all happen in reality, the fact is that his was a fictional character that is a dream of many Indians: The one who becomes a role model of millions or even billions across the world in these times of distress, violence and unending journey to find hope and that one spark that is needed to bring about a revolution in the society. When I say "revolution", it need not necessarily mean "change in the setup or a complete overhaul of the system" like how some people think of, or complete hopelessness in the institution of democracy that stood firm in several nations like India, USA, France, UK, etc. despite many attempts to bring it down.

Coming back to the movie, the role played by Harrison Ford was amazing to say the least. Despite watching the movie several times already on TV, the latest airing of this hugely successful movie is something that brings out admiration for the actor as well as disappointment somewhere in the corner of public conscience in my nation.

Do we have a leader who can lift the spirits of the people around them when everything looks down and over today? To some extent, yes, in the form of Narendra Modi, but a lot needs to be done still. This is not about the oratory skills of Modi or his ability to attract huge crowds with his charisma. It is about the consistently positive approach to be taken by a leader at all times: Never get too excited when things are going very well and never show disappointment when chips are down.
It is too early to judge the existing PM of the world's largest and probably the most stable democracy in the world, but if he can maintain the same level of energy, positive approach and inspire others by an example, I dont see any reason why we dont have a leader who not only can be an inspiration to the billions of Indians across the world, but also to other friendly nations who share the same values of India, most notably: "Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam"(వసుధైవ కుటుంబకం, "the whole world is a family").
Till then, it is on an optimistic note that I sign off, that better times are ahead for those are willing work and who serve the society!

With love.. Anil

January 02, 2015

Everything about PK thats good and bad.

Over the past few days, there has been a raging debate over the contents of the movie PK which kept the movie goers busy and therefore created extra free publicity to the film. While there is no denying the fact that PK is a very honest film and the makers have made it with lots of conviction and with a "devil may care" attitude and with dialogues which were penned in authentic Bhojpuri and Hindi, there are certain sequences in the movie which prove that atleast in India, bashing idol-worship and everything related to gods is the best way to get popular and then claim to cleanse the system.
The problem with PK is not that it exposes the godmen(which is a topic thats done-to-death by hundreds of movies in various movies in many languages and this movie doesnt tell anything new), but that it tries to portray even a simple, harmless, absolutely normal ritual as a superstition. I call it over-rationalization. Let me take a comprehensive look at PK with both its merits and demerits:

The good:
1. PK's depiction of innocence is funny to the hilt(makes one laugh genuinely) and heartwarming in some scenes. We just feel like helping him to get back to his planet whenever he tries to answer the question of where he came from. Aamir's performance is highly commendable and deserves all the awards for 2014!

2. The scene where he tries all the ways to impress the Gods by using all the methods, finally reaches a place with various idols and starts praying in all the ways he knows is heart touching. It shows his desperation to get back to his home-planet and shows the seriousness with which he is praying to God. I remember bhakta Kannappa who worshipped Lord Shiva in his own ways by offering Him meat out of ignorance. Similarly, PK too seems to pray to various Gods in a "trial and error" method, but his desire to get help from God is genuine.

3. The final scene where PK returns to his planet is well shot without going into too much of sci-fi. The spaceship lands, but the focus is on the conversation between PK and Jaggu and how PK tries to hide his feelings towards her! The dialogue "he came here to teach everyone to be truthful, but he learnt how to lie" is nice and is a paradox!

The bad:
1. Take for example rolling over your full body around a temple(called 'anga pradakshinam'). Whats wrong in this practice where there is no harm done to other living beings? Are they slaughtering some innocent animals? Are they doing indecent exposure? Is it a wastage of resources? Absolutely not. Then why are the makers hell bent on projecting it as a superstition? It would have been better if they had concentrated on slaughter of animals in some temples(yes) and during bakr-id(obvious) in the name of religion, apart from other rituals in other religions that leads to animal torture.

2. Another example of complete disregard to religious rituals is in a scene where PK proclaims that "those who are afraid go to temple(jo darte hain woh mandir jaate hain)"and his opposition to building a temple. Why the hell does the story need such episodes which are completely out of context and look like they are just patched up without any relevance to the story? Yes it is true that lots of people go to temple(as well as mosques, churches, etc) out of some emotion like fear, desire, return of favor, desperation, depression, etc, but highlighting only fear is an indirect statement against the people who attain peace by going to a temple. Is PK(the alien) trying to convert this planet(out of ignorance) to his home planet just because he finds everything funny here? Yes there are multiple religions on earth, but that is a beauty that might have existed in his home planet. If that is the case, then the movie's title should have been "mental".

3. By showing extreme sympathy and showing a media person shedding tears while talking to Sarfaroz, the movie again tried to use the emotional tricks to pull the audience into some kind of emotional state where they feel that lots of injustice has been done to the boyfriend of Jaggu.

4. By publicizing this as a movie with a strong message and showing many of the valid, scientific practices of religions(Hindus, Muslims, Christians, etc.), they are not just entertaining but more than that, they are trying to preach the public what to do and what not to do through the mouth of an alien, who doesnt know anything about earth(specifically India) and the people here. If they were to go to the neighboring nation that is just a few hundred kms from where it landed(Rajasthan), the alien would have had a tragic death due to its actions. The one-dimensional approach towards the God may be apt for an alien which doesnt have any language, clothing, no god or any tradition or identity(I wonder how boring or how monotonous their world might be), but doesnt fit for humans.

5. Trying to be a messiah to a complex nation like India: When PK says "My God doesnt ask people to do this or that unlike your God", it indicates that the alien is fed up of our Gods and is trying to impose his beliefs on us. Let the alien have their own God, but that should not be glorified just because PK doesnt believe in yatras or rituals or chanting of mantras.

6. PK asks for a refund of the money he deposited in a temple, unable to get it back and therefore steals it. If the same logic were to be applied to all activities in this world, does it also mean that just because I didnt like a movie, my ticket amount needs to be refunded back?

7. Cheap sentiments and artificial emotions in certain scenes: Why the hell does the colleague of Jaggu(name unknown) start weeping when Jaggu calls the pakistan embassy and is involved in a conversation to find the whereabouts of her boyfriend Sarfaroz? Why would anyone weep for such a pathetic reason and that too in a seemingly important climax? It seems like a forced crying, just like how Navjot Sidhu laughs in the multiple comedy circus shows on TV even for silly reasons! This is a very cheap trick being used by Rajkumar Hirani since Munnabhai MBBS. The genuineness keeps missing and all that remains is a feeling that this is a fake movie meant to mint money like any other movie, using the cheapest of tricks and repetition of the same formula. It is obviously not a crime to make films in this manner, but to use this "purely-comedy" film to decide who is "true god" and who is a "fake god" is just unacceptable. The concept of "wrong number" falls flat.

As a closing comment, I just want to ask the makers and promoters of this film: "You say all the babas or faiths have wrong numbers to reach out to God. Do you have the right number to contact your version of God? If yes, put it in public. Of no, then let the people maintain their beliefs instead of dismissing their Gods."




With love.. Anil