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

December 26, 2014

Watched PK: A promising movie thats gone wrong.

I usually express my views in a conservative outlook towards movies and I compile it as my review usually immediately after watching it, but for the new movie "PK", it took a lot more time(more than 3 days after I watched it on Monday, 22Dec2014)! to put my thoughts into words.
With the expectations that zoomed higher than mount everest(including my own expectations and imaginations about the plot), it is going to be a tough job for Raju Hirani when he sets out to work again with Aamir after the fantastic 3 idiots.
The problems with this movie are many:
1. The reason why the alien PK gets into a complicated issues and beliefs related to different faiths is unconvincing and looks like a repeat of OMG.
No matter how carefully Raju might have handled the story, the movie eventually falls into a poor cousin of OMG. The only saving grace of the movie are its dialogues and a good performance by Aamir.
It may surely get almost all the awards in and outside India, but it is certainly not the type that will be remembered for a long time nor is it going to be a classic like the earlier movies by
Raju, like Munnabhai 1 and 2, and 3 idiots. Mixing sci-fi into a controversial movie makes things even worse.
2. There are so many questions: Do we need to get an alien to tell us how to worship?
3. What is wrong in going to a mandir located far away in himalayas?
4. Why is the director hell bent on potraying God in a funny way without minimum concern to the beliefs of hundreds of millions of people? For example the lead actor using God's stickers to save himself from slaps or making a stage actor playing shiva run around in fear? There is also a dialogue that really gets on the nerves of people: "jo darte hain wo mandir jaate hain"(Those who are frightened go to temple).
Will someone tell the director that bashing someone is going to set the cash registers ringing and bring him laurels?He surely may get awards from people purely based on comic entertainment, but for someone who sees a soul in a movie, PK falls flat.
If the makers think that making a stage actor dressed up as Lord Shiva run around is funny, they are mistaken. They cannot take everything in Hinduism for granted. There are certain aspects that are more sacred and as valuable as our parents. Will we laugh if someone playing the role of our parents on screen is made to look like a buffoon? There have been unnecessary tweets from Raju Hirani that expose his total disregard for beliefs of a certain community. Let me tell you, many of them are scientific. Karva chauth is meant for health, turmeric is a well known for keeping bugs away from the entrance, circumambulation of a temple is known to be beneficial to us with generation of positive energy. We can go on and on and prove that religious customs that seem silly to some film makers are actually based on authentic science. When the so called "wild wild west" proves the same, thats when all these people will wake up.
There are many problems in the society like exploding population,  environment pollution, etc and the makers have problems with people going to temples, idol worship, multiple religions and helping cows. Some are spreading news that this has a strong message. Yes, it does send out a strong message in a way, but it is a bad one.
The positives are of course the performance of Aamir and some of the scenes which touches your heart like PK praying to different statues of Gods pleading them to help him, and trying different ways of pleasing them, to no avail. If the filmmaker had concentrated on such nice moments instead of making fun of them, it could have been a better movie, but in its present form, PK, at least for me is a movie that is a propaganda by the makers and promoters, that I completely disagree with.

With love.. Anil

November 28, 2014

The name called "Harivanshrai Bachhan"

Having gone through the blog posts of Big B Amitab Bachhan at: http://srbachchan.tumblr.com/, it is hard to believe that someone who is so busy with his films' schedule could squeeze out enough time to publish articles on a daily basis for his online fans/followers(whom he calls "extended family")!
The post on his father Harivansh Rai Bachchan on the eve of his birth anniversary(born on 27Nov1907) was particularly touching!
I read a few poems of him during my school days and though I didnt remember the poems, I still remember an incident where I thought Harivanshrai Bachhan and Amitabh Bachhan are not related(just like how Anil Kapoor and Raj Kapoor are not related). It is only after I joined college and watching on TV that I realized that they are in fact father-son duo!

I just now recalled one of the poems that I read as a kid in our CBSE school. Those days we never had an idea as to who he is, his contribution to literature or other facets of his life! All we knew are some names like Munshi Premchand, Mahadevi Varma, Bharatendu Harishchandra, etc. Below is the text of the poem that I remember: 

जो बीत गई सो बात गई (Jo Beet gayi so baat gayi):
जीवन में एक सितारा था
माना वह बेहद प्यारा था
वह डूब गया तो डूब गया
अंबर के आंगन को देखो
कितने इसके तारे टूटे
कितने इसके प्यारे छूटे
जो छूट गए फ़िर कहाँ मिले
पर बोलो टूटे तारों पर
कब अंबर शोक मनाता है
जो बीत गई सो बात गई
जीवन में वह था एक कुसुम
थे उस पर नित्य निछावर तुम
वह सूख गया तो सूख गया
मधुबन की छाती को देखो
सूखी कितनी इसकी कलियाँ
मुरझाईं कितनी वल्लरियाँ
जो मुरझाईं फ़िर कहाँ खिलीं
पर बोलो सूखे फूलों पर
कब मधुबन शोर मचाता है
जो बीत गई सो बात गई
जीवन में मधु का प्याला था
तुमने तन मन दे डाला था
वह टूट गया तो टूट गया
मदिरालय का आंगन देखो
कितने प्याले हिल जाते हैं
गिर मिट्टी में मिल जाते हैं
जो गिरते हैं कब उठते हैं
पर बोलो टूटे प्यालों पर
कब मदिरालय पछताता है
जो बीत गई सो बात गई
मृदु मिट्टी के बने हुए हैं
मधु घट फूटा ही करते हैं
लघु जीवन ले कर आए हैं
प्याले टूटा ही करते हैं
फ़िर भी मदिरालय के अन्दर
मधु के घट हैं,मधु प्याले हैं
जो मादकता के मारे हैं
वे मधु लूटा ही करते हैं
वह कच्चा पीने वाला है
जिसकी ममता घट प्यालों पर
जो सच्चे मधु से जला हुआ
कब रोता है चिल्लाता है
जो बीत गई सो बात गई
                                                  —   हरिवंशराय बच्चन

With love.. Anil

September 24, 2014

Vaagudu(My take on Aagadu)..

After watching Aagadu yesterday, it seems the dialogue writers went crazy and over-creative and packed 100s of dialogues that would have made it into at least 2-3 movies. If there ever was a movie made only with dialogues, its this one. Vaagudu(talking non-stop) would have been the perfect title for this movie. The villains were shown to be so stupid that they fall for any cooked-up-story that the hero says repeatedly. Is it so easy to fool someone? This is where the hero loses some of his strength because for the hero to be shown strong, the villain needs to be made seriously strong and not some buffoon.

The performances of all the actors seem to be eclipsed by the hundreds of lines of dialogues that they have, so much so that the story writers seem to have written dialogues before the story and somehow wove a story around them!
Many of the characters seemed to be a misfit, including the lead actress Tamanna who is used only for songs and fill up an empty space and nothing else.
Aagadu could have been a movie made as a hobby and for rohit shetty's fans, but not everyone. We can easily close our eyes and just listen to the dialogues since there is nothing much visual or intelligent in this movie. Even for a hard-core fan like me, it is only above average(closer to a disaster than average).

With love.. Anil

August 08, 2014

Internal battles in sports..

There seems to be lots of internal fighting going on in various sports in India, be it tennis(Paes-Bhupathi unhealthy rivalry that hurt India's morale and chances at major events including olympics), or more recently badminton.
I just saw the comments made by one of the ace shuttlers of India Jwala Gutta against India's best badminton coach Gopichand yesterday on times now and it made me think:
Why is there so much negativity in Jwala Gutta's comments during these comparatively good times of badminton? Are these words of her coach Mohd Arif? Before commenting against other coaches, they need to prove themselves point by point and medal by medal that they won in any major event. Comments like these will only hurt the game and nothing else. Discipline is of paramount importance in sports, and in its absence it becomes a war. India needs medal machines which can bring us golds in mega events, not egoistic meat.
Looking back 2 weeks or so, Sania and Jwala seem to be competing to stay in the news in someway or the other. I just hope they just stop all the nonsense, do their job(after all they are being payed for their game) and bring the nation medals instead of harping on others.
And as far as the commonwealth 2014 scandals involving officials is concerned, it is an insult to the whole nation and it can never be pardoned and should be dealt with all seriousness.

With love.. Anil

July 16, 2014

Movies vs the reality

Recently, there was a show as part of a Telugu Quiz show which should be an eye opener for many people who get drawn too much by the movies and believe them to be true, especially the ones based upon history.
One such movie is "Chanakya Chandragupta". The movie is in itself  a fantastic one depicting the relation between the great political genius Chanakya(played by Akkineni Nageshwara Rao), the king Chandragupta(Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao) and Alexander(played by Shivaji Ganeshan). It showed Alexander fighting Chandragupta and a fictitious story was built to just add spice to the movie.
In the Telugu quiz show "Meelo Evaru Koteeshwarudu"(Telugu version of the famous show "Who wants to be a millionaire"), it was asked:
Which of the following Indian rulers fought against Alexander the great in battle? And the options were:

  1. Ashoka, 
  2. Chandragupta Maurya, 
  3. Porus
  4. Chatrapathi Shivaji

And the contestant, owing to the movie, immediately answered Chandragupta and locked the answer. She was wrong.
The answer was Porus(the Greek version of the original name of Purushottam(or Puru for short)), whom Alexander defeated. The movie just added a bit more drama to its story by including Alexander, but the fact is that Chandragupta and Alexander never faced each other. In fact Chandragupta Maurya established the Mauryan Empire(in 321 BC) 2 years after the death of Alexander(323 BC).
So the impact of movies on the general public cannot be underestimated and sometimes can be misleading.
And the contestant paid the price for believing the cinematic story by losing a big amount of her earnings. Sad, but thats the harsh reality that people have to face for not seeing the movie as an entertainment and assuming it to be a historical fact.

With love.. Anil

June 24, 2014

The whole noise about hindi vs others!

Ever since the rise of humanity in its present form, there has been a necessity to communicate with each other using some method or other. First it was gestures and later the spoken word came about and later the written word. And groups of these words were collectively named as languages and today we have thousands of languages the world over and many hundreds of them in India itself, with most of the speakers worshiping their native language. So when it comes to one language dominating the other, it is bound to become a critical issue and gets more personal and emotional for those who have a strong bond with their mother tongue.

The recent hungama over the hindi language promotion has been one of them. Some claim that hindi is being unfairly imposed upon some states of India, and it was even termed as unconstitutional and against the spirit of the constitution!
Whoever has read the actual circular will know the reality: It was just an attempt to increase the usage of hindi in hindi spoken areas, specifically in the social media.

"...all officers and employees who operate official accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, Google, Youtube should use Hindi and English languages. Prominence should be given to Hindi.."

First things first: In a country like India where there are hundreds of languages, there is bound to be increased level of communication and exchange of ideas between the various regional languages and dialects. And due to this there will be evolution of languages and several dialects emerge due to the influence of one language over another. Now this doesnt mean that one language is superior to another or that there is a conspiracy to eliminate other languages based upon the numbers they have.

With love.. Anil

June 09, 2014

सपने हैं

उभरती हुई सूरज की किरणों में
आशा भरी हर एक लड़की की आँखों में
ओस की बूंदों की चमक में
हर नदी की ऊर्जा भरी लहर में
दौड़ते हुए बच्चों की खेल में
अन्नदाता किसानो की पसीना में
सपने हैं सपने हैं..
गैर लोगों से क्या लेना,
स्वशक्ति से है दिखाना
हर एक भारतीय की निष्ठा से
कर्म योगी महानेता की प्रेरणा से
हम सब लायेंगे अछे दिन,
निभाएंगे अखंड भारत की सच्चे वादे

सपने हैं सपने हैं..
सपने हैं सपने हैं..

-अनिल कुमार रेड्डी

June 04, 2014

Expanding power capacity through solar panels

An idea of increasing power generation and feeding to the national grid: why can't we make the public a partner in power generation by encouraging them to rent out or lease their rooftops for solar panels that generate power and feed to the grid? Let the public invest in setting up the panels and let the govt pay them back by discounts in bills.
This policy is already encouraged in some states like TN and karnataka and it would be good if it is promoted on a national scale.


The advantages of the above policy would be many:
1. Zero pollution: It is completely noiseless, without any exhaust gases.
2. The public will take ownership of the solar panels since it will be their investment of their space and thus a culture of partnership can be promoted. They become partners in nation building since they provide any extra power to the national grid.
3. Consistent and wide spread potential for power output unlike the wind mills which work only in certain windy areas.
4. Virtually infinite source of energy: the sun.

One of the detailed articles is here.

With love.. Anil