Saturday, September 26, 2015

Setting up your God's Own Office!

Writer Sudha Murthy explains how guys in a metro like Bengaluru wants a stress free life but don’t want to leave the city fearing loss of pay and the amenities big cities provide. What if you can achieve both i.e get stress free life as well as get paid like the ones who work in metros?

I believe most of us dream of such a well balanced life. We are in the big cities only because there are not enough job opportunities in small towns in India. We want a simple yet fulfilling life – enjoy marvels of nature, get soaked in festive spirit of religious gatherings, attend family functions or see our small town transform. Now, you would have many guys talking at length about this. Have you come across anybody who actually tried working from his hometown relishing every bit of his stay without compromising on the earnings from a big city?

What is it about? James Joseph is a small town guy who like many other middle class Indians has followed the well tread path of earning a foreign degree and finding his place in the corporate world as a global executive. Now, he wants to come back to India. But not to India of big cities but to Bharath of small towns! How he accomplishes this dream without compromising on his earning potential and work life resonance is what the book is all about.

Planning: James has carefully planned his move back to India. First he lands up in Bangalore to make his next move to Aluva, a small town near Kochi, Kerala. One may have the motivation to come back but if the conviction is not strong, it will affect both work and life in the long run. So, with a strong conviction and constant focus, James starts working towards his goal. Another pertinent factor here is the company willfully allowing you to work from your hometown. This privilege needs to be earned. This can only happen after convincing your higher ups and colleagues – which the author explains bit by bit.
God's Own Office by James Joseph - Cover Page
Candid Narration: It is not all-goes-well story after the return back to India. Author is very candid about his experiences working from a small town. That’s what keeps the reader glued to the book. James discusses even the minute aspects – choosing the right location, having connectivity backups, effective use of collaborative technologies, being disciplined or being in constant touch with colleagues. 

Cost Factor: James also discusses the costs involved in working far from your company office, which get reduced. Also, the quality of services availed in small towns tend to be far better than those in the cities. As per his estimate, one can reduce about 30% in the cost of living every year.

Local Roots, Global Wings! People in cities most of the times fear about the lack of exposure to modern life, which is detrimental to the future of their children. For this, James has devised a way out which is sure to have an impact on the readers. Also, with one living in the small town, there are numerous opportunities to get involved in helping people around you – which can be both satisfying and beneficial.

Adapting to circumstances: Living in a small town brings its own set of troubles. How one can manage those obstacles forms another important aspect of the book which is a delicious read! Being humble and patient, being mindful of the bureaucracy or how to deal with money requests from people are just some of the points of the book, which seems like a comprehensive guide to anyone who wants to come back home and live happily.

How does it apply to people working as software developers? With James Joseph being an executive, a typical day at his God’s own office looks delightful even with the massive collaborative efforts needed. But for a software developer, this should be less tiring as most of the time you should get your broadband connection working like a charm. As the meetings (though there are exceptions nowadays) tend to be short and less frequent for software developers, it should be an ideal setting. With tips from James who has mastered the art, working from home town looks promising as well as rewarding!

Following video will add realistic visuals to the mental picture of the place where James set up his God's own office! I suggest you see this after you read the book :) Also, you can visit the website for the book - - where you will find more of what is depticted in the book!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Uppi says Hakuna Matata

Movies directed by Upendra are loud, on the face and well known for their insensitive portrayal of the society. Well, these qualities of his films have earned him fans and haters in equal measure. But in Uppi 2, director seems to have toned down. At times, you feel several scenes are screen adaptations of Zen stories – short but full of wisdom. First half of the movie is entertaining with dialogues filled with ‘Uppism’. This is well received by the audience by laughter and applause. But this cannot be said whole heartedly about the other half.

It is quite easy to find shades of Upendra in Uppi 2. Sometimes, scenes from the 1999 movie are shown. Sometimes sequences are enacted in contrast to the original. Why – because now naanu (I or Me) has turned neenu (You)! Pinnacle of selfishness turned into zenith of selflessness. Well, that’s something to watch out for!
Picture Courtesy :
No need to tell about the plot as you would know that Upendra’s movies are less about story and more about his philosophy. Neither you should worry about the past nor should you get anxious about the future. Live in the present and be happy – this is what director seems to say in the movie. But to tell that he uses the phrase – yochne maadbeda (don’t think). I feel it should have been chinte maadbeda (don’t worry) to get the right connotation. Talking about the story by the maverick director, it is very much comprehensible till there are two characters – neenu (You) and naanu (I). Things get weird when the third character – unknown (let’s call avanu(other)) gets introduced! Cops and goons add to the confusion to make it a mess in the end. 

Talking of songs, they are typical of Upendra – manifestation Uppism in music – loud, unclear and always different! In the most controversial composition – ellradu kaal elitade kaala (Time pulls everybody’s leg) dialogues are narrated in a peppy tone. Though it was not required, I did not find any explicit mention of any actor’s leg being pulled. Even then, the song looks like a narcissist tantrum. But to doze off the fire, Upendra is quick to add nandu kaal elitade kaala (Even my leg will be pulled by time). Similar composition was seen earlier in the movie he acted - Omkara - saying he is the pioneer in portraying the Bangalore underworld in films! 

Euphoria around Uppi 2 is justified, as you would hardly find a director like Upendra at least in India looking at the kind of movies he makes. Though Uppi 2 tries to be different like other movies by him, it begins well but fails to connect the dots for the audience in the end. ‘Upendra’ was screened in Japan, after a Japanese guy found the message in the movie similar to teachings of Buddha. Will it happen to Uppi 2, now it has more to do with Buddha’s messages?

Friday, July 17, 2015

Get Caught In The Wave of Rangitaranga

Intriguing, captivating and to top it all, visually enthralling - Rangitaranga with its new team brings in fresh perspective to Kannada cinema. Taking cue from Guddada Bhoota - a popular television serial in the 90s, debutant director does a wonderful job in exploring its modern possibilities. Dennana Dennana - the title song of the serial haunts even after 25 years. So is Rangitaranga, even after you have left the movie hall.

A thriller in its true sense, Rangitaranga casts a spell with its exquisite scenes depicting the vivid picture of the fictional village of KamarottuEnriching this setting is the backdrop of vibrant culture of coastal Karnataka. Yes, it is the same name of the village in Guddada Bhoota. Of course, the plot is not the same. An elusive writer with his wife comes to his spouse's ancestral village. As soon as they arrive, they encounter unusual incidents. This begins the search for the root cause and in turn, their own past.
Rangitaranga Kannada Film Poster
One pertinent observation in the film is its usage of pristine Kannada both in songs and dialogues - very refreshing to hear those immaculate words. Particularly the song - Akka Pakka - so contemporary in its style, yet so frugal in its use of non-Kannada words makes an impression and it has already made it to the chartbusters. Kele Cheluve - based on traditional Yakshagana(folk art of coastal Karnataka) tune is a melody and how can I forget Kareyole Kareva Ole - a brilliant composition.

Rangitaranga is one of those edge-of-the-seat thrillers, with its tight plot and equally good execution. Web of sub-plots creates the necessary confusion to give that awe factor, when the mystery is finally revealed. On the other hand, movie could have done away with stereotyped dialogues in few scenes. Also, I certainly felt that climax could have been better and trimmed. Few unnecessary twists and songs could have been dropped too. But these points do not take away the essence of the colorful wave in which the audience get caught in. Surely, don’t miss this one.

Not sure if many of us aware of the website for this film. Ok, here is the RangiTaranga film website in English and Kannada. Here, you will find the lyrics of all those melodious songs, promotional videos and posters to download!

Below is the trailer of the movie and the video of Akka pakka song

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Vaastu Prakaara Is Disappointing

Vaastu Prakaara is definitely not about Vaastu or its misinterpretations. But then what is it about is also unclear. Senseless talk of people who are in love, philosophical takes on love and life, if life is boring you ought to talk with a friend over a drink  and everything ends well in the climax - Yogaraj Bhat's formula for his brand of movies lately continues here too.  Only difference this time being all the dialogues are spoken in far off Switzerland and not in Karnataka. It isn't surprising if you find shades of Deepa Sannidhi from Paramaatma, Nidhi Subbaiah from Pancharangi or Aindrita Ray from Mansaare. It just goes to show that you have seen enough of Yogaraj Bhat's movies. The talk of invention of a new language for this movie, during the promotion of the film in the TV channels is a farce. It is speaking gibberish, which is neither new in Indian movies nor it requires an extraordinary talent. Convenient usage of English wherever required is enough to say that new language thing is just a gimmick. 
Vaastu Prakaara Kannada Movie Poster
Picture Courtesy :
To make a film around the popularity of the word 'Vaastu' is a commendable job. In the first scene, when a Vaastu consultant in a TV program gives suggestions on Vaastu and at the end of the movie, on the same TV program, when words are spoken against Vaastu are the only two instances where Vaastu discussion comes into picture. But all the while, it is said that there is nothing called Vaastu. Also, when Jaggesh and Rakshit Shetty posing as Vaastu consultants talk about Vaastu compliances and what needs to be changed in the house of the client, they do not look convincing. A hurried script is evident from the dialogues. I would have expected some funny situations arising out of misinterpretations of Vaastu or some serious debate over it. More so, because director's earlier movies had dialogues or lines in songs which mocked Vaastu. But you would find none, which is very disappointing.

Only bright aspect I could find in the movie is the melodious song - besara, kaatara, gadda, hale haadu - which you would have already heard on FM radio or seen in a TV channel. So, the movie can be avoided at best.  

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Mythri reaches out well!

You can read the review of Mythri in Kannada here.

Mythri, the Kannada movie, presents a serious issue through humor as well as touches the cinematic sensibilities of the audience on the way. That apart, catchy punchlines set the tempo in the movie! It is not that movie is without stereotyped characters or predictable twists in the story. But the film manages to go beyond that and raises the voice of that social segment which is downtrodden and considered to be antisocial. We have seen the crew in other films boasting their film to be different during promotions, which more often than not prove to be false. But Mythri truly differs in treatment of the subject handled by very few. It is also heartening to see Giriraj utilizing second half and climax in the movie to full effect, which is a rare phenomenon in Kannada cinema nowadays. There is no hesitation in calling this movie, a bridge film as it finely blends elements of parallel and mainstream cinema. But some scenes which show too much violence and some which seem explicit could have been avoided. In that sense, movie could have been subtle in some aspects. Having said that I would say movie is a fine effort in a time when Kannada movie industry is stuggling to come up with original scripts.

Juvenile crime and harsh realities around it form the crux of the movie. Depiction of antisocial elements who take advantage of the loopholes in juvenile law in India and prejudices against juvenile criminals come out well in the film. Though at times one feels the shadow of the Slumdog millionaire on the movie, Mythri retains its distinctness.
Picture Courtesy :
It is good to see many hands join for a movie made with a good intention. Many big names in the industry - Malayalam movie legend Mohanlal, Kannada superstar Puneeth Rajkumar, director Shashank, Atul Kulkarni and Ravi Kale, who are known for their fine performances play their part in acting. Music maestro Ilayaraj has rendered the music for the film. Yogaraj Bhat and Jayanth Kaykini well known for their lyrics for popular Kannada numbers and poet H S Venkateshamurthy have penned the songs. Bhavana Menon, Satyajith, Sadhu Kokila play guest roles. Interestingly, director Giriraj himself has lent his voice for Ravi Kale’s role of Guli Prathap. Success of Mythri is a tribute to this combined effort as film continues to run for the second week in many theatres of Bangalore. Already the buzz in Gandhinagar is about this movie being made in Telugu with Nagarjuna playing the of role which Puneeth played. If that materializes, it would be a feather in cap for the team.

Earlier, B M Giriraj had directed a short film ‘Navilaadavaru’, much before ‘Jatta’, which won Karnataka state award for being the second best film. You can find review of ‘Navilaadavaru’ here. Also, have a look at the trailer of the movie Mythri in the youtube link below.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Forum Mall, Mangalore

Forum Mall is the latest addition to the list of malls in Mangalore. It is the largest mall in the city and is located in Pandeshwar. It houses the popular cinema chain PVR. Here are the latest photos of the mall when it was soaking in the festive spirit of Onam.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

PAGDI Explores Our Life And Times

Dhalwinder Singh is a typical happy go lucky guy who has followed the regular path of an I T professional and now he is about to land in the world of opportunities – The United States. Dhalwinder, brought up in a middle class conservative family in Amritsar, always dreamt of life in live and happening Delhi. So, when he gets a chance to pursue his engineering degree in the capital, he grabs it. Life in Delhi and an IT job in Bangalore – Dhalwinder’s dreams of a materialistic life come true. In the process, he would have soured ties with his family, his father in particular who was not in favor of him leaving his hometown.

In the US, when he receives a message of his father’s death, he comes to know of a fact which disturbs him. He then recollects his past years to know what went wrong. Presented in first person, life of Dhalwinder is portrayed brilliantly by Samta Shikhar and Vivek Vijayakumaran.
What do we lose in our endless pursuit of world of opportunities and wealth? How much we give up in this chase or rather how much should we give up? The English play PAGDI tries to answer these questions in a subtle way.

Dhalwinder is proud of being a software professional unlike Bunty his cousin, who runs a travel agency in Amritsar. He is proud to be in the US. He had seen his father showering praises on foreigners for them being polite and courteous and terming his own countrymen as barbarians. Dhalwinder was puzzled at his remarks then. Also, it made no sense to him why his father was so religious. He always wanted to come out of all the mediocrity surrounding him. But at what price? He was soon going to find out as he starts pondering over the end result of the race for a better life. One interesting part of the play is the climax. Though seems unconnected many times in the play the sequences, they converge in the climax which is sure to thrill the first time audience. Kudos to the playwright Swetanshu Bora for keeping the viewer puzzled till the end.

Dialogues of the play are hard hitting. On landing in US, Dhalwinder quickly proclaims ‘A job in the US cut shorts the years of slog in India’. After introducing him to the employer he sheepishly says ‘I will not leave your country’. In these competitive times, he asserts ‘Nobody has the time to look at and analyze the past’. Looking at profession Bunty is in, he questions ‘Do you think you are more successful than me?’ When Dhalwinder's sister Pummy messages him about her marriage in English mentioning 'Marriage Next Month' with venue and timings without any pleasantries either in English or Punjabi, for which Dhalwinder exclaims 'We have gone so far that language between us had changed' indicating the missing hospitality of mother tongue and sweetness of inviting lines.

Though PAGDI does not explores many facets of what we lose in our materialistic desires, it uncovers a face and it is worth watch.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Lucia is brilliant

Lucia made news right from its funding. Every move team Lucia made was exciting for the audience which is predominantly Facebook generation which was getting regular Facebook updates from Pawan Kumar. Many of us became integral part of the movie in various ways - by becoming producers, by being part of the film shoot, by competing to become a contributor to the movie or simply by observing the developments. Now after seeing the movie, its brilliant execution makes us proud for a movie which we call our own.

Lucia is a ground breaking movie with a story line which is unusual for a Kannada flick. Awesome camera work captures the essence of the engaging movie. Nikki is an usher in a talkies who suffers from insomnia. He starts getting wild dreams of becoming a film star after a fateful encounter. Real and imaginary halves of Nikki which are intertwined form the crux of the story line.But to find when the fine lines between reality and illusion blur you need to watch movie.
Lucia Kannada Movie Poster
Though a thought provoking film, Pawan Kumar has not shied away from adding commercial elements to the movie like an item song and action sequences which fit perfectly. Witty dialogues add to glamour of the movie. As in his previous movie, he presses for the cause of Kannada without being rhetoric. One can also see the dig at the way Kannada film industry is run today without being explicit. You can also find Pawan paying tribute to other equally good directors in the industry today in some scenes which is an encouraging sign. I believe Lucia should herald a new era in the Kannada film industry and Pawan Kumar has found the audience he was targeting at for these kind of movies.

Following is the video where one of finest actors of Indian cinema, Irrfan Khan shares his thoughts about the movie.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Renovated Putturu Shri Mahalingeshwara Temple and Annual Chariot Festival

800 year old Putturu Shri Mahalingeshwara Temple was renovated recently. With the help of devotees and volunteers temple was restored to its glory in a year's time. Punarpratishta and Brihmakalashotsava ceremony was held from 5th May to 16th May 2013. Due to renovation, annual chariot festival of the temple had been postponed and was held between 16th to 26th May 2013. Here are some photos of the temple after renovation. Also, included are the pictures of chariot festival held this year.
Mahatobhara Shri Mahalingeshwara Temple, Putturu, D.K
Mahatobhara Shri Mahalingeshwara Temple, Putturu, D.K
Shivalinga in front of the Temple
Shivalinga in front of the Temple
Temple Chariot of Putturu Shri Mahalingeshwara Temple
Temple Chariot of Putturu Shri Mahalingeshwara Temple
Entertainment stalls at the Festival
Entertainment stalls at the Festival
Toy store at the Festival
Toy store at the Festival
Bird's View of Puttur Mahalingeshwara Temple Festival Ground
Bird's View of Puttur Mahalingeshwara Temple Festival Ground
Temple Chariot (Brahma Ratha) electrified
Temple Chariot (Brahma Ratha) electrified

Shiva Statue has been shifted to new place
Dragon Train at the festival
Dragon Train at the festival
New cartoon characters on display at a traditional setting
New cartoon characters on display at a traditional setting

Friday, April 26, 2013

Koormavatara Kannada Film Review

Lord Vishnu takes the form of tortoise(kurma) in his second avatar according to Hindu puranas. Girish Kasavalli's film Koormavatara which is based on a story written by one of the finest writers in Kannada, Kum Veerabhardappa, takes this pretext in its plot. 
Dr Shikaripura Krishnamurthy as Mahatma Gandhi in Koormavatara Kannada Film
Dr Shikaripura Krishnamurthy as Mahatma Gandhi in Koormavatara
Rao, a government employee cares less for his family but more for his work resembles Mahatma Gandhi in appearance. On being asked to play the role of Gandhi in a TV serial, though he initially refuses finally he yields to familial pressure. But Rao, an emotionally withdrawn person, finds it difficult to act. Also, he does not know much about the Mahatma. Gradually Rao improves his acting skills as well as his knowledge about father of the nation. In the process, he also imbibes Gandhi's ideals. How does this change his life and lives around him forms the crux of the movie.

For most past, feature film draws parallel between life of Mahatma Gandhi and that of protagonist. It also represents different perceptions prevalent about the man. But Rao's transformation to a man of emotions does not look convincing. I also found lack of clarity in some sequences. For instance, there is a sequence where Rao helps a guy in renewing his license to operate a shop which sells tobacco products (which is located near a school) when officials did not renew it even after accepting bribe. But here, there is a rule which says one should not be allowed to sell tobacco products within one hundred meters from the school premises. Gandhi's ideals do not come into play here, which is surprising. Next example is of share trading compared with gambling.

In the end, abrupt climax leaves the viewer in bitter taste. Definitely, not one of Kasaravalli's best.


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