Sunday, November 04, 2018

Sikkim Trip : Lachung, Yumthang Valley and Zero Point

Just like the famous Machu Picchu peak in South America, I thought! Though it was 5 am, it was already bright outside. From the balcony of my room, I was staring at three giant peaks! In comparison, the village below seemed tiny! After a moment, I could also hear the sound of a water fall from a far distance. I could spot a stream on the mountain. But wait, not one but many such streams. As I turned to my left, I saw a sparkling spectacle! Peaks of snow capped mountains glowing like gold in the sunlight!  Wow, I felt like I was being welcomed to Lachung in North Sikkim.

Three Giant Peaks, Lachung, North Sikkim
Three Giant Peaks, Lachung, North Sikkim (Can you spot the deer in the clouds?)
Streams in the Peaks, Lachung, North Sikkim
Streams in the Peaks, Lachung, North Sikkim
Moonlit Morning, Snow capped mountains, Lachung, North Sikkim
Moonlit Morning, Snow capped mountains, Lachung, North Sikkim
Golden Peaks, Lachung, North Sikkim
Golden Peaks, Lachung, North Sikkim

As I was contemplating, I remembered what my guide said,  "It was just the beginning!". But what could be a greater sight than this? Well, after an hour, we were on our way to find out. We felt blessed as we crossed a bridge decorated with Tibetan prayer flags of blue, white, red, green and yellow.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Sarkari Hiriya Prathamika Shaale - Humorously Nostalgic and Magically Realistic

How does closing of a Kannada medium school in Kasaragodu in Kerala bordering Karnataka, matter to mainstream Kannadiga audience? Well, it does matter, if you go by the cheerful full house crowd on a weekday, clapping and blowing whistles at every opportunity! When at the end, the stars of the movie appeared in the movie hall – it was an ecstatic atmosphere.

The film opens with children back in the Sarkari Hiriya Prathamika Shaale (Govt Higher Primary School), Kasaragodu, after spending leisure time during holidays. Mischievous Mahendra, Dadda Praveen who has a crush on Pallavi, Innocent Mammootty with his miserly father portray beautiful childhood. With green and scenic coastal background and a potpourri of Kannada, Tulu and Malayalee cultures bring out rich visuals. In addition, it is delightful to hear different dialects of Kannada along with the Kannada dialect of Kasaragodu. Vasuki Vaibhav’s music strikes the right chord both in peppy Dadda song and in classical rendition of Hey Sharade. Moreover, touch of humor in every scene makes the movie thoroughly enjoyable and is more than enough to make us nostalgic.
sarakari hiriya prathamika shaale kasaragodu movie poster

In the meantime, when the funds are not get allocated for school repairs, teachers are not paid on time and when the linguistic minority school is overlooked for government schemes troubles begin in the paradisaical setting.  It reaches a point, when the school has to be closed, citing poor student strength. How the school is reopened form rest of the story.

Telling a serious issue in a humorous way is a challenge. Director Rishab Shetty has succeeded very well in that throughout the movie. Even when the story takes predictable twists towards the climax with themes of corruption and self-interests, humor keeps it going. Rishab has also touched a sensitive linguistic issue without verbal bashing. Kudos on that.

Coming back to the question, I asked in the beginning – how closing of Kannada medium schools outside Karnataka matter to Kannadigas? It matters because it is the state of affairs in Karnataka as well, where Kannada medium schools are closed, due to poor student strength. This film does not delve deep into the reasons but it does create awareness. Looking for reasons - is it because of the mushrooming English medium schools, which is because we don’t have jobs for people who studied in Kannada medium, which is because we with our policies, have created a feudal and corrupt system as such.

Here's the hugely popular trailer of the movie

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Lost Pages of History

Is History really that boring? OR Does it have elements as gripping as a thriller? I have found out the latter. If you want to know what hidden pearls history reveals, watch this speech of mine. Here is the untold story of Alexander the Great of Macedonia, whose empire was spread in Europe, Africa and Asia. What happened to the huge wealth he and his army acquired during their conquests. Watch my speech/presentation 'Lost Pages of History' to find out!

Buy Chitadanta Here

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Dissecting Munna Bhai MBBS

We are fascinated by great movies. Do you wonder what makes a great movie? Is there a pattern in the great movies, which makes us irresistible to watch them? Surely, there is a formula - ABDCE. Confused? Watch my speech at my Toastmasters Club, ORA*TORS, to find out! It is part of Competent Communicator certification offered by Toastmasters International.

Friday, August 04, 2017

Operation Alamelamma : Thrills, Tickles and Brings Back Memories

Operation Alamelamma had created waves with its captivating trailer and the movie does not disappoint. There is freshness in depicting the love blooming between Purmy, who is doing odd jobs to make a living and Ananya, a school teacher. Purmy's love for branded items makes him fall in love as well as fall into the hands of police on charges of kidnapping. As you might have guessed, it is a suspense thriller, which Suni has handled well. I kept guessing who the culprit was till the end of the movie and was wondering why the name Operation Alamelamma?

Apart from the suspense, which keeps the audience glued, it is Bengaluru's flavor which instills the spirit of our beautiful city. Visit to buttefly park and museum and trek to avalabetta bring back happy memories. Film takes a dig at popular Kannada serials with references such as Vayusaakshi and Amruthadarshini, which is hilarious! Candid market scenes is another way to depict the way of life in Bengaluru.
The song Alaga alaga is melodious. I particularly liked the line comparing heroine to Brihma Kamala (Epiphyllum oxypetalum), pristine white flower which blooms in the night. Another song Tili Sanje depicts the comical way of life of the characters, which is too good. Cinematography is excellent too, with aerial shots of Bengaluru coming out very well. Manish Rishi, the hero, who is making a debut does well to balance the innocent, comical and witty acts. Shraddha Srinath, as a bold and talkative girl impresses too.

Finally, how can a Suni movie be without punchy and witty dialogues? They are seamlessly integrated in this suspense thriller unlike his Simple Love Stories, where they stood out sidelining the plot. On the other hand, authentic Kannada dialect from Mangaluru has been used for comedy, which is been blended nicely. Seems like authentic Mangaluru Kannada dialect is the flavor of the season. Though at some places in the movie, dull moments are felt, it is the pace of the story which keeps the audience moving. Overall, a good movie to watch!

Following is the trailer of the movie - Operation Alamelamma

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Ondu Motteya Kathe - Subtle, Humorous and Full of Life!

If I tell Ondu Motteya Kathe is about candid confessions of a bald guy, I would be understating. Because it is a movie with subtle humor throughout and full of life. With characters so genuine, dialogues so candid, it is an experience of living the movie rather than watching it!

Janardhan, a Kannada lecturer, is unable to find a suitable match because of his bald head – a prevalent problem these days! His search for an ideal match reveals his own inner self. He discovers that not only there are societal prejudices against him but also he has been harboring preconceived notions. That part delights and the viewer lives the character! Humor keeps the viewer glued as Janardhan narrates his kathe or story and evoking humor is done effortlessly! Dialogues from every day life manage to tickle the funny bone hard. A guy exaggerating the deeds of an astrologer, Janardhan’s relentless efforts to look good, be good and find a companion, his parallel efforts to be away from the clutches of moha or delusion and bits of Dr.Raj’s songs at right junctures have come out very well. Though the movie echoes the universal theme - beauty lies in the heart, it is in its sensitive presentation, Ondu Motteya Kathe scores.
Subtlety is found not only in humor but also in how the characters interact. For example, the hero’s brother though exists in frame from the beginning but their interaction happens only in the second half. But they do communicate non-verbally or using monologues.

In some scenes, I could also find different dimensions. For example, a character says Janardhan is not married - because in addition to he being bald, he is an Indian language lecturer too! Also, in the age of social media, how excitement and anxiety follow each other!

Probably this is the only movie in Kannada, which has used the Kannada dialect from Mangaluru throughout and in its authentic form. Not only the dialogues but the life of coastal Karnataka comes alive in the form of ritual vows to deities, reference to jobs in gulf nations and more importantly, through congenial courtesies! Such a sensitive portrayal is a reason to cherish and is a sure sign of arrival of great movies in Kannada.

Following is the trailer of the movie - Ondu Motteya Kathe

Buy DVD of Ondu Motteya Kathe here


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