Thursday, August 30, 2007


Apart from those well spent 2-3 hours, one of the best things about watching movies is that one discovers interesting connections between the characters in the movie philosophers.

Then, do good films like these and philosophy go eye in brain? Just like romantic movies and Mills and Boon books go hand in hand? Or probably something else in something else? Wouldn't want to get into the innards of this now!

Monday, August 27, 2007

The Curious Incident Of The Quote In The Night Time

The problem begins when you do not know what to do with it. The problem only gets worse when you don't know what to do without it.

Looks like immense profoundity flows when one is reading Mark Haddon. It's A Spot Of Bother right now.

PS. The quote indeed came in the night time. At 5 a.m. Quite the right night time.

PPS. Only he can come up with quotes like these - I am atheist in a very religious mould.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Movies - Towards Achieving My Aim In Life

Not that I'm going to become another Madhur Bhandarkar, but watching as many movies as one can has never made anyone a bad film-maker, has it? So much ado for a movie update. But seriously, if I had only seventeen more days to live, I'd make start working on a short film Right Angle. I might as well start working on it right away, but why not? I need the space and the time for it, the luxury of which I do not have right now. Here's the list of movies I watched recently-

  • Not a 17% contented child as mentioned here , I can probably die a 23% contented child now. Have finished watching all movies made by Vishal Bharadwaj - Makdee, Maqbool, Omkara and now, The Blue Umbrella. Each of them is brilliant, with Vishal's earnestness and honest approach standing out. Watch The Blue Umbrella in a theater, otherwise one wouldn't be doing justice to the wonderful cinematography by Sachin K Krishn. I'll be following Abhishek Chaubey very closely now on. His work till now -
    • Screenplay, dialogue, Associate Director - Omkara
    • Associate Director-Maqbool, Makdee
    • Associate Director & Screenplay-The Blue Umbrella
  • Chakde! India - decent good movie. Couldn't have come a better time for it to do well. Independence Day, prosperity(?) all around, things looking more hopeful than ever for our country(yes) and for the youth(?). Pop-corn patriotism is very convenient for today's generation who do not have much time. Convenient for the producers too, pop-corn patriotism sells. On a related note, this is Celebrating Freedom from CircusMouse, our new blog. We don't have a description for it yet, please visit it and helps us find one. Warning : Very chaotic there.

  • Naagarahaavu - the first of Puttanna Kanagal's movies I've watched. Ramachari's character is perhaps a better representation of the angry young man of those days. Even better than Amitabh's roles then? Not sure, need to watch more movies of the 70's to be qualified to answer this. But I liked the character played by Loknath the best. Ade namma speciality!

  • Ananathana Avaanthara by Kashinath. Kannada industry needs more people like him. People like him, Upendra, Jaggesh whose work maverick, unconventional approaches add a new dimension to Kannada film-making. But what has happened to Sunil Kumar Desai to make a sub-standard movie like Kshana Kshana? Forget the review, Shri Desai has set certain standards with his earlier movies. At least live up to them, Sir?

  • Movies I caught up with now, as they released during the time of my shift to Bangalore -
    • Guru - huh, they shoot it in Karnataka and pass it off as Gujarat! The movie fails to capture the magnitude of Dhirubhai's empire. Perhaps his story is such that one can't put it together in a 3 hour movie. Maybe one can, if they do away with needless songs and not give extra time to characters just because they are played by Aishwarya Rais and Vidya Balans. Ratnam Sir, is Mahabharat still on? Forget Lajjo, make Mahabharat. Please!

    • Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd - Minissha Lamba, Minissha Lamba, Minissha Lamba, Minissha Lamba, Minissha Lamba, Minissha Lamba. Well made movie.

    • Ek Chalis Ki Last Local - This movie would be more tight and crisp if unnecessary songs and sequences could have been done away with. Nonetheless, it was about Mumbai Meri Jaan and that more than makes up for all the shortcomings in the movie. Laree Choote. At the last count, it was 2643 - number of times I've played it.

  • Movies I slept half-way through -
    • Choker Bali - will someone please explain why it is such an acclaimed movie? Maybe I do not know the meaning of the italicized word. Finding its meaning should be a rewording exercise.
    • Yatra - my yatra to bed only got faster while watching this. Again, will someone please explain everything about this movie. Art movies, more often than not, are definitely enjoyable. But this one wasn't.

PS. Why Madhur Bhadarkar? I used to study and run a video cassette shop at the same time. I developed a liking for movies. I would watch all the movies in the theatre, first day first show! More in this interview - here.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

My Aim In My Life

When I grow up...Yes. When I grow up, I want to be an academician like Dr. Ramachandra Guha or and a film-maker like Vishal Bharwadwaj and a social entrepreneur like Dr. Brij Kothari. Seriously, I do. If I'm able to achieve even a bit of what they have, and what they will in the coming years, I will die a happy man. When I look back now, I've already worked with one of them and worked with someone closely related to another one. So, I can at least die a 17% contented child now.

PS. Not entirely unjustified this aim in life of mine. My previous posts on the desire to make a film and to become a social scientist.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The North Karnataka Trip - II

The earlier part of the series here.

Snapshots of a typical village and village life in North Karnataka

This is Korwar, a village in Bijapur district in North Karnataka, well-known for its Hanuman Temple.

The temple tower in the background. And the dish antenna in front! Scott would find this very interesting, I'm sure.

The priest's home.

Grains and flowers.

The family tree row.

The Tulasi shrine.

Priest helping the villagers find auspicious dates.

Kids, who wouldn't let me leave till I took their photo.

On the road -

The temple at Basavakalyana, named after Basaveshwara, the 12th century philospher.

Stall at the temple

Chicks for sale. Colourful chicks.

Some more shots -

PS. A sapping, but fun trip it was. A trip to Bheemeshwari followed right after this one. And another trip to happen some time soon. More power to you, God of Travel.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The North Karnataka Trip - I

I'm brain-dead right now. A combination of a lot things, not so much because of traveling close to 1600 km in three days. Sin for a traveler this, counting the number of kilometers one has traveled. Pardon me, oh God of Travel. Photos from my recent trip to North Karnataka.

Nuggikeri , Dharwad.

Nuggikeri Hanuman Temple is situated on the banks of the lake Nuggikeri. Nearly all of Dharwad town visits the temple every Saturday. Strange, Nuggikeri doesn't have a Wikipedia entry. Time to get back to Wiki.

Dharwad to Bagalkot

Most of this is usually dry, arid land. Because of the good rains this season, the landscape is green, and driving through these roads, which have seen marked improvement, was really pleasant.

Cow Boys?

Buffaloes. I know.

This sheep line was nearly half a kilometer long. The sheep boy had a tough time running up and down trying to clear the road for us.

Old Man In Deep Thought

Bagalkot hasn't changed much since the last time I visited it, which of course was a long time back. Even if it has changed, it hasn't changed much for the good, notwithstanding the new city - Navnagar which is designed by Charles Correa. Backwaters from Almatti Dam have submerged most part of the old town and there are concerns about proper relief and rehabilitation for those affected. Glimpse, literally of the new town Navnagar -

Navnagar in the background, in the mountains!

This perhaps is the best photo I have shot till now. Just about everything is perfect - a perfect snapshot of the life in a North Karntaka town, the clouds, the light, everything. I can die a happy photographer now!

Time for a Pan break

The General Purpose Vehicle

Bijapur - those three eventful years! Bijapur is a city with a rich historical heritage. The Adil Shahis ruled from here for close to 200 years, conquering nearby areas, fighting battles which brought down a great empire, and building majestic structures like this one -


Gol Gumbaz has the second largest dome in the world, after St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. Like every Taj Mahal has its Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal, Gol Gumbaz has its Mohammed Adil Shah and Rambha. Legend has it that while Gol Gumbaz was being built, Mohammed Adil Shah asked Rambha, the courtesan his Hindu wife, if she would jump from top of the structure if she really loved him. Jump she did. Today, both of them lie buried in Gol Gumbaz.

Gol Gumbaz History - ASI ki Zubaani

Some more shots from Gol Gumbaz

To be continued..

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Root Cause Of All Evil

To read the Kannada text, please download the Kannada font from here and install it.

Had this moment of realization while traveling through the dry green (now, because of the rain) fields of North Karnataka, that the root cause of all evil is the tongue. Like all of Shri Purandaradasa's padas (¥ÀzÀUÀ¼ÀÄ), the greatness of this particular pada lies in its simplicity and the earthly appeal.

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Source: This amazing blog. Was truly overwhelmed by the interest in Kannada literature.

PS. Details of the trip coming soon. Bangalore->Dharwad->Bagalkot->Bijapur->Basavkalyan->Bagalkot->Dharwad.
That was close to 1600 km in three days!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Too Much Is Too Bad

Sometimes it rings so true, what our grandmothers used to tell us and we never used to listen. Too much is too bad, isn't this what they used to tell us?

Once upon a time, there was social network utility named Facebook which was known for its simpicity, ease of use and uncluttered look. And then the big young man announced the FaceBook Developer Programme, which let developers create different applications for Facebook's users. They said Facebook would be a social OS, some said it could even be the next Microsoft. Wait, some even called it what? A data black hole. Then came applications which let users let their friends know of their moods to applications which let throw sheep at their friends. Great, they said. Initially, driven by the hype and interest, they lapped it up. And then, they started removing these application one by one.

What happened after this? We'll know soon.

PS. How many of you are on Facebook? More importantly, do you visit it regularly? If yes, what is it that makes you visit it regularly?

PPS. Too much isn't too bad when it comes to blogging. Here's announcing the launch of CircusMouse, a blog which I'm not able to come up with a description for. Promises to be lot of chaos, fun and entertainment. Check it out and let us know!

PPPS. Have you checked eye5 lately? Regular posting has resumed there as well. Planning to revive 10+3i. Hopefully, some good news on that front soon.

Friday, August 03, 2007

What's This Stupid Internet Thing? Shut It Down

Sir Elton John wants the internet to be shut down. And pray, why is he singing this tune? In his own words -

"The internet has stopped people from going out and being with each other, creating stuff.

Instead they sit at home and make their own records, which is sometimes OK but it doesn’t bode well for long-term artistic vision."
The next gem is truly humbling. Because I was under the under the impression that my blogging was to change the world and according to Sir John, it isn't quite so. Thank You Sir for enlightening us.

“We’re talking about things that are going to change the world and change the way people listen to music and that’s not going to happen with people blogging on the internet."

"Let’s get out in the streets and march and protest instead of sitting at home and blogging."

I say dump your key-boards and get on the street, we're going to protest against the internet now. Imagine everyone using the internet out on the street shouting Internet Hai Hai. Or, Mera broadband connection waapis le lo. . Blogging, Wogging nahin chalegi, nahin chalegi.

More gems from Sir John in this Sun article. That's not music to our ears, Sir. The Sun reporter is better at puns. Joining the chorus with Sir John to give us more gems, she ends the article with -
I guess that’s what Sir Elt would call a net loss . .

Net loss, indeed it is. A Rolling Stone article on the decline of the record industry has some real eye-openers. Some interesting points from the article -

  • Overall CD sales have plummeted sixteen percent for the year so far -- and that's after seven years of near-constant erosion.
  • In 2000, the ten top-selling albums in the U.S. sold a combined 60 million copies; in 2006, the top ten sold just 25 million.
  • More than 5,000 record-company employees have been laid off since 2000.
  • About 2,700 record stores have closed across the country since 2003
And wonder when will the industry executives start looking at technology as an ally and use it effectively, like EMI offering its entire music collection DRM-free on iTunes. While physical album sales have declined, digital sales are growing as the numbers from the article indicate.
  • Digital sales are growing -- fans bought 582 million digital singles last year, up sixty-five percent from 2005, and purchased $600 million worth of ringtones -- but the new revenue sources aren't making up for the shortfall.
More such DRM-free offerings, more labels entering into license agreements with YouTube, innovative models like Amiestreet is the way ahead. And people talk about shutting down the internet.

The record labels just seem to be in a hurry to squeeze as much as possible from all possible revenue sources. No wonder then that all internet radio stations in the US went silent on June 26 to observe the National Day of Silence protesting against new royalty rates.

While music on the internet in India is still in its early stages, the situation isn't very different with the odds highly stacked against those who use branded content and wanting to do it legally. Hefty license fees, very hazy regulatory body structure, use of every possible opportunity to extract that little more money, rampant piracy and the inability of the powers that be to effectively control it. is threatening to kill internet radio in its infancy in India. Remember that story in which the greedy owner kills the goose laying golden eggs? Looks like another case of the same.
Hoping to come up with a more detailed piece on the scene here in India. In the meanwhile, Naa Bajega Baans, Naa Bajegi Baansuri! Isn't this what they say?