A Good Telugu Movie? Is there such a thing?

The other day, S wanted to know if there were any ‘good’ telugu movies online we could watch. I laughed and told him there’s no such thing as a ‘good telugu movie’ these days. My brother left a very funny status message today on FB “Breaking news to all movie goers parama veera chakra washed out in moosi river. Balayya babu ajnaatamlo ki velladanta.. Daasari daasanna ayyadu” 😀 hehee This is the state of almost all the telugu movies these days…especially the ones which have star kids and their kids in them.

In the year 2010, around 149 movies released in the telugu film industry out of which, I watched only 7 and out of them…I liked only 5 and they did not have anything to do with ‘big’ actors!!

  1. Maryada Ramanna
  2. Vedam
  3. Raktha Charitha 1
  4. Prasthanam
  5. Andari Bandhuvaya and
  6. Bhimli Kabadi Jettu

These days, I logon to a telugu movie website and just browse through it. There’s Ravi Teja pulling Richa Gangopadhyay lip while she smugly looks at him….. and Balakrishna wearing an army officer’s uniform pretending to lead a country to revolution….or there is Nagarjuna dancing around with girls half his age and there’s Mahesh Babu who is potrayed as ‘God’ who’s come to save a bunch of villagers. These are just a few movies that’ve come out this year…I can keep going on and on about the Ram Charans, Allu Arjuns, Jr NTRs and Pavan Kalyans and their ‘bheja fry’, utter non-sensical movies.

In spite of big budget movies like Komaram Puli, Orange, Khaleja, Ragada, Nagavalli and most recently Param Veera Chakra declared as being biggest flops of the year, our producers, directors and actors continue to churn out senseless movies…..where almost in all of them, the female lead can be equated to a skimpily dressed plastic doll. Anushka, who was brilliant in Arundathi and Vedam…..gave a string of flops like Panchakshari and Billa and now she is back playing a bimbo beside biggies like Nag and Venky. Female actors in the Telugu film industry are not given ample opportunity to prove their acting skills and what annoys me the most is how they are potrayed in most telugu movies.

The word ‘osey’ has become synonymous with addressing the female leads in Telugu movies. There’s this need to show the hero as the ‘man who saves the day for everyone’ and how does he do it….by disrespecting women around him…expect the mother of course. The heroine is the desperate one…the one ready to jump in the bed with the hero where as the hero is under control…though in real life…most of know this to be false. The heroine always needs a man to save her….if she is kidnapped, if she being raped…if there’s a bunch of guys teasing her on the road. She is incapable of protecting herself even in the simplest of situations. Most female characters are dumb and simply listen to the hero…..and a female character, if by the grace of God, is portrayed as being independent….she is a *bitch*……who eventually comes running back to the hero….because she realises it is the man in her life that matters…….and not her career! This is the recipe for most Telugu movies these days with a minor changes here and there of course.

How long will our narrow-minded, egotistical and self-righteous fraternity keep making such movies? Will this trend ever change?? Even though the number of people watching their movies is thinning out year by year, they still declare their movies as being the biggest hits of the year and organise bogus press meets….trying to fool us. But, are we fooled? I don’t think so!

Leader and Ye Maya Chesave (YMC)

I had this pending…so thought I’ll go ahead and finish it!

Watched Leader and YMC couple of weeks ago. Frankly, both the movies did not impress me much. I had much expectations from Leader since the director’s Shekhar Kammular and the film starred Rana…..but I did not understand why Rana’s character had to be so serious all the time. He was more like a machine than a human being. I know he’s supposed to be this young politician and all but I am sure politicos also manage a smile now and then. I liked the whole concept of buying politicians to become the CM and all…but the rest was not worthy of giving a thought. The whole female(s) angle was unnecessary. Shekhar Kammula always had meaty roles for his heroines…but I was very disappointed with the choice of story line for the female characters in this one…they did not have to be part of the movie atall! The best part of the movie was the ending…with a very decent remix version of Maa Telugu Talliki. It was good to watch Andhra Pradesh again…as ONE!

Ye Maya Chesave (YMC) seems to have created ‘some’ hysteria in the urban centres of AP. Call me a cynic, but I wasn’t totally impressed. I loved the songs 😀 and that’s it. Again, Naga Chaitanya disappoints. He’s definitely improved from his first movie…but I did not understand why he always had this irritated expression on his face and a lazy tone to his voice. Samantha was good…but I did not like her character. For someone who comes across as a ‘know it all’…she took an awful long time to make up her mind about a guy she loves very much…fickle minded she was! The two characteristics don’t go together 😛 I loved the Alleppey setting…brought back memories of my trip there with S couple of years ago. Absolutely beautiful!

One of my favourtie songs from the movie 🙂

Religion and its Aftermath

Picture Courtesy: http://www.crystalxp.net/galerie/en.id.3470-religion-wallpaper-gruzz-wallpapers.htm

When I was at school, probably in the 7th standard, applying for public examination hall tickets was a big deal! Applicants’ information had to be precise….’cuz if we screwed it up…the repercussions were endless visits to the board of secondary school offices. Most of my teachers always made sure that I got my name right, every year a new teacher… weird isn’t it? Now, why would I get my name wrong? But my teachers were a little skeptical basically because I had a Hindu first name and a Muslim surname…since my mother is a Hindu and my father a Muslim. Most teachers did not even know if such a name existed…what it meant.  But, never before in my life did I feel like I was different to others…like I was not normal…probably a little ashamed as well…especially when it came to filling the section which asked which religion I belonged to…do I tick Hinduism or Islam? I used to hate that part and still do. My friends never had any such problems and I did not want to ask my teachers for advise or suggestions since it meant telling them my life story which in turn gave me unduly attention.

My parents never brought me up a ‘certain way’. They are not religious people and I grew up speaking Telugu (my mother tongue), applied bindi and went to Temples occasionally with friends. My mother remained a Hindu; she wore her Mangalsutra and bindis too. So my brother and I basically were ‘non-religious’. My father rarely goes to the mosque and most people get a shock of their lives when they come to know he is a Muslim. He is a Hyderabadi but speaks fluent Telugu and that confuses people a lot.

If once I was a little embarrassed that I did not have a sense of belonging towards any religion, I have grown up to be a person proud of my heritage. My aversion with religion started with the demolition of Babri Masjid and the riots that followed. We were living in Hyderabad then and I cannot forget the sense of fear in me. Scared to go out and buy food, wondering if anyone would come home and hurt my family…wondering if my mom could be hurt if Muslims came home or if my dad could get hurt if Hindus came home. There was curfew in the city and the tension was high. A local cable TV network continuously broadcasted images of the demolition of the masjid along with Shri Ram’s Devotional songs. The tension was high. My father rushed to the cable TV network’s office and asked him not to show scenes that could easily instigate people. But the operator was adamant and continued to show the pictures. My father did not have any other option but to confiscate his equipment and bring it home. That night remains one of my scariest nights’ till date. I was sure that some religious fanatics would come home and definitely hurt my dad….but it went without any incident. My father’s relatives who live in the ‘Old City’ of Hyderabad had some horrific tales of violence to share with us…which only scared me even more.

The riots ended gradually and life came back to normal. Since then, I never found it important to associate myself with any religion.  But for some it is very important and I never really understood why. Why would someone want to associate themselves to something that is so violent, something that is only used to kill and increase distance between people.

I believe that my parents symbolize what India is all about. We are ‘supposed’ to be a secular country so when there are inter-religious marriages, it is an institution to look up to and not to be sneered at.

Some tell me that religion is a way of life, a discipline….but these words do not have any value for me now. I have only seen people fighting, killing in the name of religion. Religion has only been used to hurt others and not unite people in love and peace. Probably, once upon a time, religion meant discipline, obedience but now it’s been diluted and used when and where possible to satisfy humans selfish needs. It is used only to divide and destroy people’s lives. I believe in God, but I am not ready to believe that different religions have different Gods and that if I pray to one God, the other God(s) will get angry. My God is Universal and I pray for peace everyday.

And the Most Farcical Awards are…

Couple of days ago, I was browsing through the NDTV website when I came across something called the ‘GR8 Women’s Achievers  Awards’. These were new to me but apparently Kelvinator has given them for the last 2 years. I was browsing through the photos of the event to see who got the awards….some inspirational stories maybe?…stories of women who achieved something against all odds…who contributed positively to our society…?NO! But who do I end up seeing…Aishwarya Rai, Sushmita Sen, Bhagyashree (yup..the one from Maine Pyar Kiya), Diya Mirza (she’s every where these days), Yuktha Mookhey, Aarti Chabria, Zarine Khan etc in their beautiful sarees showing off their blouses and some in their skimpy clothes showing off their well-toned abs and yea..how can I forget….Shabana Azmi..she’s all things feminist isn’t she?

I was so disappointed…there was no one who I could admire, who actually contributed something to our society. Did Kelvinator conviniently ignore people like Dr. Sunitha Krishnan, the founder of Prajwala and many other women who are aplenty in our country? Do GR8 Women Achievers all have to be bollywood starlets? Dr Sunitha Krishnan, the founder of an NGO called Prajwala, who was gang raped at a young age fought back her horrors to become a psychiatrist and help children who are severely abused and sometimes sold and trafficked. Isn’t she inspirational to other women? Isn’t she deserving of this award?

What exactly have the bollywood startlets achieved may I ask? Most of them were models before they became actors or progeny of stars. They get paid crap load of money for their work…live in posh homes, drive extremely comfortable cars and dress in designer labels. For me, a GR8 Achiever is someone like Dr. Sunitha Krishnan…who is ACTUALLY doing something good for our society against all odds.

She is the only one I can think of now but this doesn’t mean there is no other woman in our country who is helping another. I am sure you will find one in every street corner. Such awards should carry some value…give it to people who really deserve them, to encourage them, to motivate them, to recognise their efforts and to show to the world what they do so that their organisations/NGO’s get the much-needed support. It doesn’t matter if you don’t give these awards to actors, they will still be fine…they won’t be missing out on anything. Who will it be next yr? Katrina, Kareena, Deepika etc?

Shame On You Kelvinator and the GR8 Women’s Achievers Awards panel!

The Fuss about Telangana

OK…first I was angry…very angry…. but today…I am indifferent. I guess after a while you just get used to all the politicians bickering, acting like they really care about what people want etc etc. I just want everybody to live together…we are telugus right? We are all Andhrites. If we keep dividing out country like this..where will this end? I understand that India will still remain India but then this incident shows the current social psyche of the people of India. For every problem..we think division is the only solution. We differentiate people in the name of religion, caste, region, social status etc etc and forget the fact that we are all INDIANS first. We just need reasons to fight with each other.

Will division of the state solve all the problems that the people of telangana face today? Magar problems kahaan nehi hai…everyone has problems…you go to any district, any town, any city…people face probelms everyday. Is it only the people of Telanaga who face problems everyday?

One thing is clear, the fight is for Hyderabad and Hyderabad only. Nobody cares what happens to the rest of us. Most of us do not want the state to divide because our property prices might go up or go down (depending on which region they were bought). Nobody is bothered about the farmers, the daily wage workers of the region….everybody is fighting for their own selfish reasons. It pains me!

Anyways, it been quite a while since KCR withdrew his fast and ‘Soni amma’ announced the start of the process for the formation of Telangana state….and then there were more fasts, more dharnas, much more damage to property and now congress is in a fix…doesn’t know what to do…which is pathetic! First you make a hasty statement….in the middle of the night…and the very next day scores of MLA’s resign…from the Congress, TDP and PRP. It is just a big pile of shit right now. Our state is one of the largest in the country…please do not divide it 😦 Kalisi Unte Kaladu Sukhamu 🙂 Plzz!

Anyhoo, on a different note, I am eagerly awaiting the release of Avatar. I’ve read some pretty good reviews…apparently the graphics are awesome!! Can’t wait!!!

Review coming up soon!

Later Peeps 🙂

Why I am ANGRY!

Over the last 48 hours, I have been glued to my television set. I have never watched so much news before. When you are living abroad, everything is much more painful.

When I first heard of the news of indiscriminate firing at the Taj, I did not bother to keep track of the sequence of events since I though it could be a crazy gunman. I only realised how serious the issue was once S was home and checked the news again. What started off as random firing soon turned out to be a full-fledged terrorist attack on the city of Mumbai.

After the blasts in Delhi and Assam a few months ago, I knew such news could not affect me anymore. I think Indians are tragically used to listening such news and have unfortunately made them part of their everyday lives. But what unwrapped in Mumbai was phenomenal. You saw terrorists who were not scared to show their faces, who came well prepared, who had the ammunition and food to survive for days and the most scariest part was how old the terrorists looked…they seemed so young but yet so fearless…hell-bent on bringing terror to the city.

I was deeply saddened when I learnt that the top cops of Mumbai, Mr. Hemanth Karkare, Mr Salaskar and Mr Kamte had tragically succumbed to terrorist bullets. It is such a loss! The BJP and it’s allies like who stated that Mr. Karkare was anti-national for his revelations on the Malegaon blasts paid the ultimate price trying to save people like you and me.

There were some heroic tales of hotel staff both at the Taj and the Trident and also of the Army Men, Commandos, RAF and the Police who tried to help the guests whilst stuck at the hotel. Some of them sadly lost their lives and I hope their sacrifice won’t go in vain.

There are so many things I’d like to mention in this post…I feel like pouring my heart out…but it is just so difficult…hard to find the words. Mr. Krishna Kumar, VC of Taj group of hotels told us of how the GM of Taj Palace hotel helped rescue the guests only to find out later that his wife and two sons who were situated in one of the suites of the Taj were burnt alive. How can anyone come to terms with such loss. His grief is unimaginable. This is just one of the horrific tales that has come out of the crisis..there are many more.

I do not trust our politicians to resolve the crisis. Infact, I’ve never trusted them in anything. It is only the will power of the common man of India that has brought us to where we are economically but it is he/she that suffers the most.

But how do we move forward from here? What can we do as the citizens of India. There is alot of anger. There could be anger towards a certain community or towards our neighbour. Personally, the only way I could see a better future for India is by introducing out-reach programmes for certain communities who feel alienated. There are few questions our politicos and Intelligence bureau need to answer. How did so many terrorists enter India? Why are our borders so porous? How did the terrorists know where to attack? How did they know every inch of the Taj Palace Hotel? If 9 terrorists have so far been killed and one has been held alive….where are the remaining? Are they still freely going around the city?

There are so many questions…but no answers from the authorities. Obviously, the ‘Mumbaiker’ (and also the ‘Indian’) is tired of listening to cliched terms like ‘the spirit of mumbai’ and the ‘resilience of the city’. Please don’t take us for granted. We don’t deserve this.

And if the MNS chief Mr. Raj Thackeray does happen to read my blog…Can I just clarify, that I am not a Mumbaiker…I am a Hyderabadi…but I feel the pain of the city…and pray for the affected. So please do not try to regionalise us. Mother India is already bleeding…Mother India deserves respect. If you can contribute positively…please do…otherwise keep out!