HOME (English with subtitles)

>

It’s time to understand and appreciate the bounties of nature, the resources that we thrive on. It’s time to develop a vision not for tomorrow or day after but for the next century. What we do today will leave a lasting impact for generations to come. This movie is all about that message..

Advertisements

A R Rahman Live in Concert

>The juggernaut rolls on…

Friends, I had the privilege of attending a LIVE musical concert by arguably the best music director in the world on 18th April at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. Accompanying the maestro were a number of artists including Hariharan, Chitra, Sadhana Sargam, Blaaze, Javed Ali. It was an absolutely amazing night!!!

I came to know about the concert quite luckily through a friend during the weekend party in office on Thursday (17th April). I spent about one hour in office trying to search for sources for getting the ticket and finally, I did get one. Lunch break was spent having pizza and driving away to Spinneys to buy the ticket. I wanted to watch the show from the gallery as it provided the best view. The event also gave me a good reason to fulfill a long-standing wish of mine to get a pair of binoculars – a NIKON Action Extreme series!!!

The excitement ran through the local cricket game on friday morning until later by afternoon, my friend got his car and we were all set to rock the party!! Driving along, my friend remembered that Sivamani was known to one of his friends and he made a few calls to get Siva’s cell no. Siva duly asked him to come after the concert to meet him. In the meanwhile, through one of my friends, Amith Chandran,I got hold of a few ARR fan club members who were attending the show. We all were hopeful that we could get to meet the great man himself though the odds in our favour were 1 in a billion!!!

The entry to the stadium was tough with thousands of people standing outside the gates well in advance of the concert. Somehow, I managed to squeeze my way in and secured a pretty nice seat for myself – 4th row from the top, right in front of the stage and around 50 yards from the spot where Sachin smashed Kasper for a huge six in that memorable cricket match at the Sharjah stadium!!!

The atmosphere at the concert was equally electrifying with giant screens put up – one at the centre and one by the side. There were designated areas for standees on the ground followed by seats for the VIP & VVIP sections. However, the best view was undoubtedly from the stands from where I scourged the stadium with my pair of binocs. In the meanwhile, my friend came along with his sister just in time for the show to begin and for an experience which will truly be cherished by me for years to come.

The anxious wait for Rahman continued a little longer till he came out singing Jaage Hain from Guru, a truly remarkable song for its music and sheer impact!!! He followed it up with Khalbali from RDB which had the crowds tapping their feet, just waiting to burst into a maddening dance. It was only a matter of time before the entire stadium got to its feet and sang at the top of their voices. Rahman & co gave a splendid performance with songs from Guru, RDB, Jodhaa Akbar, Roja, Dil Se, Bombay, Mangal Pandey, Lagaan and some Tamil songs. One of the highlights of the evening was watching Rahman sing Khwaja Mere Khwaja from JA and Pray for me Brother from his album Pray for me Brother.

The show ended with a scintillating rendition of Ma Tujhe Salaam, which can make your hair stand on end especially when Rahman sings it. I feel this song creates the same kind of impact on today’s youth which Vande Mataram or Jana Gana Mana created on the youth during India’s freedom struggle!!!

After the concert ended at 12 in the night, we tried hard to meet the artists but they all left before we could reach them. I sent an SMS to Sivamani thanking him and conveyed from regards to Rahman through him. I returned back to Abu Dhabi with the ARR fan club members and on the way, we spoke about Rahman, Rahman and only Rahman!!!

A truly memorable day had come to an end – one that I will cherish throughout my life. Hope you enjoy the pics!!

http://picasaweb.google.com/arvindshastry

Videos will be uploaded soon. So keep watching this space for more 🙂

Here goes one –

This is simply awesome –

Taare Zameen Par…

>There are some movies which you go to watch with a lot of expectation and anticipation. And when the movie delivers more than what you expect, you know that it has surpassed everything. Five minutes into this film, I felt that this movie is something completely out of this world!!!

It is indeed pitiful that you need a movie about children to sensitize people towards them. All talks about economic development, alleviation of poverty, decreasing unemployment seem worthless if we are unable to give children their childhood. The days seem long lost when children used to go out, play, draw, keep jumping up and down and running around with lots of excitement. What our society has set out to produce is a bunch of straight-jacketed robots who are armed with the ability to survive the pulls and pressures in this world. It’s even sadder that the adults justify what is happening by saying that it is an essential quality needed to succeed in this world. This movie is virtually a slap on the face of the adults in this society – parents, teachers, politicians, policy-makers, businessmen, academicians – everyone. It will shown them their true nature as if they were looking at their own reflections in the mirror.

I am sure that each one of you would identify with atleast portions of Ishaan’s character as we all have been through similar experiences in life. The days when we enjoyed jumping in puddles of water without any worry about dirtying our clothes, when we used to play with the dogs in our building compound treating them as our best pals, when we enjoyed playing in the rains, when we simply refused to sit down to do our homework!!! If someone has not experienced some of the above or has forgotten that this is how we used to be, he or she should walk out of the cinema hall as it is a futile attempt to explain to such people. It is Aamir’s honest attempt to coax parents and educationists to think about their methods of parenting, teaching and educating children. It’s essentially not a movie about a dyslexic child. It’s about every child who is born into this beautiful world with its own talents, skills, capabilities, dreams and ambitions.

I really hope that some of the parents and potential parents take something out of this movie. Also there are points to ponder for the educationists regarding the pattern that is currently followed in schools and colleges. The system of elimination is worse than the system of inclusion. What is the point if one day we only have engineers, doctors and managers? India, well and truly, will be destroyed that day and it’s time we take some rearguard action to avoid that.

The question still remains as to who would employ such students who love doing those activities which will never find any recognition in this cruel society. Maybe everyone is not born to work as analysts, engineers, scientists or accountants. There are some who need and deserve much more than organizational roles and positions which are assigned all too easily by this world based on your qualifications and work experience. If only those who were capable of cracking interviews and competitive exams were genuinely great people, we would have progressed much ahead than where we are now.

It’s unfortunate to see the society not allowing kids to live the life of a child any more. Even the cartoons shown now-a-days on TV are bull-shit as compared to what we were fed in our childhood. Greater number of tests in the form of mid-terms, surprise quizzes, end-terms, orals etc. mean little to the overall development of any individual. What is the point if after cracking all these tests, basic human qualities of honesty, selflessness, true love and altruism cease to exist in individuals?

Taare Zameen Par is a mind-blowing movie and no matter how much I write, it will end up falling short of the true worth of this movie. I just wish that this movie does not remain a must-watch movie alone. It needs to be a must-act movie like Swades. A great effort by Aamir and Amol. I must thank them for putting a story on celluloid, something which was long over-due!!

Kasturi

>I could not find a better title to put but now-a-days surprisingly I have got hooked on to watching this TV serial on Star Plus. Am posting my favourite episode here – especially with the song “Mitwa” from KANK in the background. I really wondered if people could be crazy enough to post videos on youtube. This is just for the people who think they are crazy enough!!!!

Somewhere the innocent way in which the love story is brought out makes the serial worth watching. I have a craze for these innocent love stories which very few movies or serials ever portray. Shubangi Atre dazzles in her role as Kasturi not so much for her acting skills as much for that innocent smile and it’s really hard to imagine she’s actually a mother of an 18 month old daughter in real life!!! Hope you enjoy watching it.

http://xml.searchvideo.com/eb/i/2607335249/a/58ef677afb89fc040e3dec6de7dd6c26/p/1

Another b’ful scene..

http://xml.searchvideo.com/eb/i/1592113851/a/58ef677afb89fc040e3dec6de7dd6c26/p/1

News story by Star News –

http://xml.searchvideo.com/eb/i/2165530262/a/58ef677afb89fc040e3dec6de7dd6c26/p/1

http://content1.msn.co.in/Entertainment/TV/Stories/TVStarTV_250407_655.htm

http://www.india-forums.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=611125

Guru

>Shakti Parivar ko Gurubhai ka namaskar..For long, I have been thinking of writing something and atlast Guru provided me with the right script. Guru adds to the list of movies which definitely mark a shift in the way certain Hindi movies are made. The movies about which I think, write, sleep, dream and eat are Rang De Basanti, Swades, Yuva & Iqbal. Guru has become the latest entrant and I simply love to find out similarities and differences amongst all these movies. I shall find some other time to write my analysis on these movies. Let me start with Guru which is fresh on my mind 🙂

Guru is about a simple villager who dreams, dreams and dreams & believes he can achieve them. It’s the theme of the movie which is so likeable more than the movie itself. As usual, characters are portrayed by Mani with a grey shade as has become the trend in the latest Hindi movies where a Mohan Bharagava is too imaginary and often loathed at and a Daljit Singh has begun to represent the real Indian youth. Indeed, it must have been a special feeling for a simple villager to go abroad in early 1950s and understand the nuances of business. Yes, there are similarities between Dhirubhai and Gurubhai but setting aside these comparisions, I liked and disliked a few things about the movie.

The movie underlines once again how it important it is to dream big. Very akin to the concept in Iqbal, yes, one has to dream, dream and dream big, dream far and dream wide. It’s not morally incorrect to earn money and more money. Ofcourse, how one earns the money and how one plans to use it decides the real worth and value of the money. The movie sidesteps issues as to how much one is wrong and how much one is right. So what if only 2 allegations out of 29 could be proved against Gurubhai, does it justify what he has achieved and done? The story clearly draws its parallel to the Reliance success story.

I have not seen too many movies of Abhishek Bachchan but this is undoubtedly his best role and probably shall remain his best ever till he retires from Hindi cinema. All the actors reach a peak somewhere and it needs directors like Mani and Ashutosh to help them achieve that. Abhishek showed glimpses of the real Big B in his role as Gurubhai. Mani Ratnam has a brilliant flair for movie-making and to make scenes count. With this Gujju story, he has once again shattered the geographical boundaries of movie-making going as far as Kashmir (Roja), Bombay (Bombay), The North-east (Dil Se), Calcutta (Yuva) and now finally again to Gujarat/Bombay in Guru. It was also heartening to see Ash play the perfect wife and supporting Guru and believing in him all the time – almost like the typical Indian wife who has lot of faith in her husband.

The movie also showcases the strength of the press and the influence they have over the lives of people. The most striking aspect of the move however should be the quintessential short-lived memory of the general public of India. As the stocks of Shakti Corp. crashed, the same people who were praising and lauding Gurubhai started cursing him. This, for me, typifies the Indian public who really have a very short memory. That’s why I sometimes sympathise with the Indian cricketers. (However, looking at their recent performances, despite my long-term memory, I have started to despise them). The game of stocks, of business or of buying-selling does not have any place for the weak-hearted people and so people should think before investing in stocks before beginning to curse the company and it’s chief.

Guru, however, once again shows traces of Yuva where too many things happen too fast and the difference between the right and wrong seems to vanish all too easily. Guru is initially shown as fighting the trade union president in giving him permission to trade in Bombay. He wins the battle, goes on to reject a corrupt offer made by others to stop his growth and even exposes them in the newspapers. Surely, there is nothing wrong about it. So after all this, why is Gurubhai himself involved in giving bribes and buying people? Crimes are often forgiven out of nostalgia on witnessing the remarkable progress of a company or individual and the arguments given by Guru to the prosecution bench at the end (easily the best ever dialogue delivery by Abhishek) fail to justify the righteousness of his growth. However, at the same time, it underlines the number of formalities needed to be completed in India in order to become a big businessman. It isn’t as simple as merely buying and selling. There are so much rules, laws and regulations to a point that sometimes it begins to hamper our own progress!!!!

So does all this make Gurubhai right? I asked the wrong question since the movie is not about right and wrong. Just as there are profits and losses, there would be rights and wrongs. But to play with the lives of lakhs or millions of people who invest not just their money and time but also their faith in you is definitely a great responsibility and more often than not, great responsibilities are well-fulfilled only when there is a firm, just and truthful foundation to one’s actions.