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Showing posts from 2014

Ulidavaru Kandanthe

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Kannada movie industry is undergoing a transformation of sorts – it’s like watching a pupa change into a butterfly. Sure, we still have hackneyed plots and remakes, but even these show glimpses of technical brilliance, not to mention great attention to detail in terms of settings and costumes.
A major reason for this transformation is the surge of young talent – they are brash, bold and passionate about movie-making, unafraid to push the boundaries of commercial cinema. The movie that everyone is talking about this year has to be Ulidavaru Kandanthe – a literal translation given by the makers is ‘As seen by the rest’. Written and directed by Rakshit Shetty, the movie clearly is Shetty’s personal, devoted tribute to Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez. Here’s a guy who absolutely lives and breathes cinema – it’s not possible for a sane person to take a risk with this kind of script. Borrowing the stylistic elements of Kill Bill and Sin City, and putting it through a Rashomonisque nar…

Where Do You Go To My Lovely?

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In keeping with the tradition of retrospective analysis, yesterday’s rape case too was discussed on two favourite themes – what was the lady’s score on “rapeability” – and irrelevantly, who is better (or worse) – Modi or Kejriwal (this discussion takes place irrespective of the core topic in question).  In this case, the answer to the first question was easy for many ‘analysing’ the news – the lady was culpable. Returning late in the night – check. Dozed off in the taxi (ergo, she must be have been drunk, some surmised) – check. There was collective tongue clucking – women of this country will never learn. 
But, there was a ‘new’ theme. Some actually saw a silver-lining in the crime, and pointed out that the lady was lucky: this was “just” a “normal rape”. Unlike Nirbhaya, this lady did not have to deal with the iron rod, or the driver calling more of his friends. The lady is lucky to be alive. So, we have finally reached this stage of desensitization. But what would you expect? In th…

Decoding A Biker

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A wonderful advantage of being a writer is that you get to connect with some truly fascinating people. I mean, what would you plan for your 60th birthday? A special puja? A family reunion? Or perhaps an exotic holiday for a week? Well, Deepak turned sixty recently. In celebration, he donned his leather gear, hopped on to his Enfield and set off on a 13000-kilometre road trip with his friend, Aditya Raj Kapoor. If that’s not fascinating...what is?

I’ve never ‘met’ Deepak in the literal sense. Four years ago, when the first edition of my book came out, Deepak (then a stranger) was one of the first to buy it, read it and  review it. He reached out to me with very kind and encouraging words – the only thing a debut author needs.
Ever since, I’ve been a quiet follower of Deepak’s travels – both on his wheels as well as through his camera. Here’s a link to his photo-streams: I’m sure you’ll agree with me...his photos are very kinetic capturing life in all its vibrancy, urgency and colours. 

Birth - Movie Review

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I’m quite in awe of Nicole Kidman. It’s not easy to be as superbly glamorous as her, and yet, take on roles that deeply disturb us, challenging us to peek outside our safe moral frameworks...into that scary amoral vista that exists like peripheral vision. I mean I had to blow my brains out after watching her in Paper Boy. She brings out disgust and sympathy in equal measures. Or what of her exasperating fragility in Stoker?  Perhaps her gray roles hit hard because she’s able to process changes in the character in a very nuanced way. She can transition from a smile to a sulk to downright fury without raising her voice. Guess that’s why the directors like to zoom a close up on just that one dialog or scene of her’s. I tell you it’s fascinating to watch her chiselled face crumble, her pupils dilate, as her character literally comes undone. Check this out –


So when Birth was screened late one night on, I vaguely remembered Nicole was in the movie. I was in no mood to watch a drama but cur…

The Downward Spiral

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There’s often bewilderment when someone with a history of depression commits suicide. Same goes with someone with history of addiction. There is an erroneous judgement that depression – especially clinical depression – can be overcome by life-style changes, and by ‘being happy’ and ‘positive’. Similarly we think addiction – be it alcohol or substance abuse – can be overcome by willpower alone. What we need to understand is that in these cases, the biggest threat to life comes from within. Today’s Write Tribe's blog prompt is about answering a question. So I’ll try to answer the question about the biological basis of depression and addiction.
I’ll try to use very few technical terms...but even so, bear with me as we tour our brain. So, let’s start with the very basic neurotransmitters. These are chemicals that help ‘transfer’ signals from one neuron (brain cell) to the next. So...let’s say you see a slice of raw mango smeared with salt, chilli powder. Your body’s first ‘reaction’ to…

The Write List

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As a part of Write Tribe’s prompt, today’s is a ‘list blog’. I figured I’d give a list of practices I employ whilst working on a manuscript. Sharing it with all you writers – would love to hear your ‘rules’ too J
1)Plan to write a solid chunk – perhaps 1500-2000 words in one sitting. Depending on what you are writing, this chunk should more or less take a piece of the story to its logical conclusion – example, a chapter or a set of chapters describing an incident, introducing the conflict etc.
2)Select a time of the day/night when you can write relatively uninterrupted. This is especially difficult if you are working and have a family. But do find those quiet pockets of time.
3)Outside your writing time-slot, when you are finishing up your regular chores, keep writing mentally. In fact, this occurs quite naturally when you are chest-deep in your manuscript. You go over dialogues, characters, situations in your mind relentlessly. This ‘marinating’ time is very essential  - if this is don…

The Bull Run

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Can any of you interpret this dream?
It is afternoon or nearing noon. A friend (whose face I can’t see, but I ‘know’ she is my classmate from college) and I are walking down a road. It’s one of those narrow roads of Bengaluru – the one you find in any old area of the city that’s not been touched by builders. In my dream, I’m in one such older part of Koramangala. Anyway we are walking and from somewhere this huge black bull appears. It’s like one of those Spanish fighting bulls.
Next thing I know my friend and I have run inside a compound of sorts to get away from the bull. There is no house here – just a ledge...a porch actually....what we call as ‘jagli’ in Kannada. Seeing that the bull will be upon us, I communicate with my friend to clamber on to the ledge...sure that the bull can’t reach us there. We both are now on the ledge – but the bull begins to buck. I can sense that in a couple of attempts it can easily jump on to the ledge. I motion my friend to run to the far end as the b…

Sleazebook

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We all know there’s a dark side to any social networking site; much the same way there’s a dark side to the society we live in. Facebook is no different. It’s no secret that escort services and other sleazy rings have adopted FB to expand their scope of operation. For people like you and me – who probably use FB to post our blog links and the odd travel photos (without our mug shots) – this underbelly is always unseen. It is some kind of a netherworld that operates below the radar. Or so I thought.
I’ve always been a stickler for privacy settings – even if the photos I put up are of trees and benches in lonely places. So it came as a surprise when I realised how close the danger lurks. A blogger friend of mine posted in our group in a right state of panic.  She came to know that her profile photo was being used as the profile photo of another user...a woman with a very traditional south Indian name. A couple of us investigated further and sat back disturbed. The fake profile has mor…