Friday, December 18, 2009

An experience called Paa

I watched Paa last week with Arjuun and Lasya. After having watched it, I booked 2 more tickets and asked my parents to see the movie. They came back and told me that after a long time, they enjoyed a neat and clean movie.

1) Its a true Balki’s golden touch straight from his heart.

2) The special thing about this film, is its simplicity. You can see this approach being adopted in many key areas like screenplay, dialogues (simple & pleasing), casting, expressions and the costumes.

3) Hats off to Balki for deviating from the main stream and adopting simplicity in his thoughts, vision, story, characters and the final end product. This simplicity was the greatest asset of Paa and that’s the reason why it was able to achieve such a high penetration rate into the market in such a short span of time.

4) An outstanding performance by Abhishek may be his best so far. Nobody could have played the character of Amol, so well. He lived and breathed as Amol throughout the film. Abhishek ensured that, the audiences see only Amol on screen and not himself. My kudos to him, so getting into the skin of the character so well and he carried himself so well with his simple costumes (white kurta) and powerful expressions.

5) What can you say about Vidya? All credit to her, for playing such a wonderful mother and for projecting her motherly instinct spontaneously. It would not have been easy for her to come through with such feelings & emotions, especially when you know that you are playing the mother of such a 67 year old legend, and not a small boy. But she did it with great ease. Balki also ensured that her costumes also added a lot of colour to Vidya’s character. There we times, when she loses her cool to her mother (Auro’s Granny) and to Amol, she was simply brilliant in those packed performances.

6) Raja Sir’s music is just unparalleled; such is the effect. Re-recording is a special skill and only a genius like Raja sir can create such an impact.

7) With Paa, Raja Sir has proved to himself and his critics that he is NOT a music director; but a TRUE CREATOR of quality music. His tunes just keep ringing and ringing. Raja sir has created such an impact in a lot of films in Tamil(e.g. Many films of Mani Ratnam like Nayagan, Mouna Ragam, Agni Natchathiram, Anjali, Thalapathi, Punnagai Mannan, Aboorva Sagodharargal etc) and I was very happy that he renewed his magic with Paa.

8) All the songs just jelled with the theme of the movie and did not stand out at all. You can never feel that the songs in this film are for commercial reasons. You will be so glued to the movie that you will feel; that the song is part of the movie and never an add on.

9) Picturization of the songs was done in a very lively way and you can see the richness in each song. Great team work by Balki and PC sir, for giving a visual treat.

10) Especially I was disappointed when the songs “Gumm Summ” and “Meri Paa” did not feature in the main film. These were some excellent numbers, but we could hear only a few lines of “ Gumm Summ” in the background(during the hospital scene) and the “ Meri Paa” song by Amitji, came only at the last after the film had finished(when the credits where given after the film).

I really want to know from Balki or Amitji, why these 2 value adding songs were chopped from the main picture!

11) The work of 3 genius Balki, Raja sir and PC sir is very much evident when you see this film. It’s an experience by itself, short, sweet and value adding.

12) Finally the energy and passion with which Amtiji has carried off Auro is simply phenomenal !

4 hrs of make up, waking up at 2:30am, 2hrs to remove the make up, all at the age of 67, can somebody do this! Yes, only Amitji….His energy and passion for this film has created further positive energy into the entire chain and this has given the film such a divine blessing; that it cannot fall back.

With this film Amitji has proved to the entire world that you can still given simple, intelligent and value based films to this society and the people will support it; if you give the message it in the right way. There was absolutely not even 1% of masala element in this film. I sincerely hope that our south Indian leading actors should take a leaf out of this experience and provide such quality films.

To sum it up :

Paa is NOT a movie, but an experience that Balki has shared to this world and has proved that you do not need long lead time, high budget, tech-funda graphics, sexy numbers by the heroines, masala scenes to make it a success. All you need is simplicity in story and thinking; with a belief that the script is the real hero of the film and not vice versa.

It’s a real tribute to a simple human being (with a lot of energy, positive attitude, passion and commitment) named Amitabh Bachchan! It’s a one of those rare film, which will make you feel at the end – why did Balki restrict this movie to 2hr and 10mins! That’s the real success of how well audience has embraced Paa.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

2 States

Last week, I read ' 2 States' by Chetan Bhagat. I would say it's typical Chetan's expression & he didn't dissapoint. Guess, it's inspired from certain facets of his marriage life. In that way, hats off to Chetan to bring them into this book. I have read all his books(Five Point Someone, 3 Mistakes of My Life & 2 States) except One Night At Call Centre. But Five Point Someone is definitely my pick.

2 States is definitely a very good read. I was especially moved by the father & son relationship that was potrayed in the book. Though Krish & his father never had a good relationship, finally it was his father who played the major role to help him come out of his discomfort & marry Ananya. Especially in the final chapter, when his father expresses his love to Krish and his confession that " Though I am imperfect father, still your father". It was very good of Chetan , to bring out this aspect of father son relationship in this book. This is something, that needs to be nurtured properly by every father & son, to make it beautiful.

Yes, we definitely need to acknowledge the actual importance of Father's Day. It need more awareness & priority,since it plays a vital part in every individual's life.

Love you my Dad! Thanks for being there for me.
You are great and I am so small infront of your greatness!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Finally the audio cd of 'paa' is out and I liked it very much. As usual, what can you say about Amitji and Balki combination. An out of box concept, real life role reversals(Amitji plays Abhishek's son), refreshing music, the natural beauty of Vidya Balan and offcourse PC Sriram and Abhishek to add colour to the silver lining. Last but never the least - produced by AB Corp(Abhishek leading it), AA is out to give the world one of the best films that has ever come. This will be one in a century film, it will atleast take another 100 years for such a film to appear again.

I wake up to Amitji's blog on a daily basis; it's been a great source of inspiration for me. Not a single day, passes without reading his view & expressions. It looks as though, he talks to you directly - what a connect !. Even at this age, he wakes up at 2:30am to sit for a 4hr prosthetic session, 2hrs to remove it and do the acting in between. PAA is really a tribute to the dedication,commitment,persistence of this wonderful human being called Amitji.

Hearing the music of PAA it's so refreshing, and it goes again and again to prove why 'Rajaa' sir is such a genius and can never be replaced by the modern music. It takes a genius to keep things simple and that's what 'Rajaa' sir has done to PAA.The tunes will keep hitting you and it will talk to you, especially ' Gumm Summ' and the theme music. In the theme music, 'Rajaa'sir has used a stream of voilins to bring out some break taking score, like he did for Maniratnam in Thalapathy(remember the start of Rakamma song). PAA's music is very soothing and was an experience by itself. The song in which Amitji, renders his voice as a AURO(13 year old boy) has come out very good and the sentences that he read in between looks so natural(e.g Full light on,Just take your head know). Amitji is just breathing as AURO.

So there is no doubt that Amitji & his team hard work had already paid very rich dividends and for sure PAA will rock the world on Dec 4.Waiting to see cute little AURO, also know an Amitji.

· Dr. Kalam: "Waves are my inspiration, not because they rise and fall, but each time they fall, they RISE AGAIN.
· The most beautiful thing is to see a person smiling & even more beautiful is to know that you are the person behind it
· The plus symbols were made with a pair of minus symbols. All negative things can be shaped as positive. So let's be positive in life.
· Life never leaves you empty. It always replaces everything that you have lost. If it asks you to put something down it is because it wants you to pickup something greater.
· Having GOD in our boat doesn't mean that we will not face any storm but it means that no storm can sink our boat.
· Confidence comes naturally with success but success can comes only to those who are confident. So begin every day with great confidence.
· Old friends are gold and new friends are diamonds. If we get diamonds we shouldn't forget the gold because to hold a diamond we always need a base of gold
· Never design your character like a garden where no one walk, But try to design it like the sky where everyone aspire to reach
· What is the basic difference between God and Human? GOD Gives and Forgives but HUMAN Get's and Forgets
· Great people talk about ideas, average people talk about things and small people talk about others. LEGENDS never talk
· Giving up is the easiest thing in the world to do but holding everything together when everything seems to be falling apart is true strength

Sunday, July 12, 2009

If Better Is Possible?

This weekend, I got the book " If Better Is Possible" from Odyssey. It's written by John Buchanan, the former coach of the Australian Team. Gives immense insight into the leadership, qualities of a leader, what a leader should do, how he should create a vision for his team, motivate his members to take them to a place where they have not been before.

Just started with the 1st chapter and it was very simple to understand. The book is designed in such a way that, you can pick up any chapter, spend some 20mins and take back a lot of learning. It's not that you need to read chapter by chapter to understand this book. In that way, it's a real value add.

In addition to this, spent lots of time with Arjuun and didn't even move an inch away from him. Went out to a couple of good places, that he enjoys and it's good to see him happy,smiling and cheerful. What else do we need in life, other than enjoying a child's happiness!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

What's up?

It's been very construcitve and productive week, both professionally and personally.Lot of funfilled activities with Arjuun and learning from Arjuun during the weekend. It went on quite well and satisfing.

Today after a loooooong time, went against my diet protocols and had 2 ice creams at Freez Zone. So need to be up early tomorrow to workout more!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Never Give Up !

I got this wonderful lesson from Amitji's Blog. It's a must read and share.




“God”, I said. ”Can you give me one good reason not to quit?”

His answer surprised me.

“Look around”, He said. “Do you see the fern and the bamboo?”

“Yes”, I replied.

“When I planted the fern and the bamboo seeds, I took very good care of
them. I gave them light. I gave them water. The fern quickly grew from the earth. Its brilliant green covered the floor.

Yet nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did NOT quit on the bamboo.

“In the second year the fern grew more vibrant and plentiful. And again,
nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did NOT quit on the bamboo.

“In year three there was still nothing from the bamboo seed. But I would NOT quit. The same in year four.

“Then in the fifth year, a tiny sprout emerged from the earth.

Compared to the fern, it was seemingly small and insignificant.

“But just six months later, the bamboo rose to over 100 feet tall.

“It had spent the five years growing roots. Those roots made it strong and gave it what it needed to survive.

I would not give any of my creations a challenge it could not handle.

Did you know, my child, that all this time you have been struggling, you

have actually been growing roots? I would NOT quit on the bamboo.. I will NEVER quit on you.

“Don’t compare yourself to others.” He said. “The bamboo had a different
purpose than the fern. Yet they both make the forest beautiful.

“Your time will come”, God said to me.. ”You will rise high”

“How high should I rise?” I asked.
“How high will the bamboo rise?” He asked in return.

“As high as it can?” I questioned

“Yes.” He said,

“Give me glory by rising as high as you can.”

I left the forest, realizing that God will NEVER give up on me.

And He will NEVER give up on you.





Monday, March 9, 2009

Being a Good Father !

Every day I strive to be a good father. I am not perfect, but at the same time I keeping learning from Arjuun and try to improve. In this sense, Arjuun has been a great source of confidence to me. At times, when he throws tantrums, I have lost my cool - which was a very WRONG attitude of mine. But Arjuun helps me to get over that. I make a very careful attempt to ensure that my reactions should not impact him. At times, I try to be too perfect - which is totally meaningless.

I always keep the communication channels with Arjuun very candid and honest. Whenever I make a mistake, I sincerely get down and apologize to him and tell him that what I did was wrong. In that way, Arjuun accepts me as I am and we both embrace each other's mistake. But we create a colloborative learning space and move forward.

Some lessons that I learnt:

a) Break that " One answer is correct " attitude. There is no ONE correct answer to anything. So allow childern to expand and explore their thinking. If they call a circle as a square, they are 100% correct. They have their own logical ways of interpreting a circle as a square. Listen to them and accept their thinking patterns.

b) Do not enforce conformance at all times. Let them try,experiment different things.Allow them to fail and embrace their failures. This gives them a lot of confidence. Let them know that rules that are held sacred by conventional wisdom needs to broken and you will be there to support and nurture them.

c) Books,Books and Lot of books for them. This helps in the developing the creative and imaginative process within the child.

d) Allow them to draw,paint and scribble anything. Don't restrict them by saying- Please colour inside the square,circle etc. Let them go outside those boundaries.

e) Help them to take risks and allow free play. If they want to play in rain,sand,mud etc - allow them to do so. Just monitor them, so that they don't get hurt. Even if they get hurt, don't tell them - " See I told you, that you will get hurt". Never ever interrogate them.

f) Encourage role plays and be a part of them. Play the role that they ask you to play. This could be their teacher,classmate etc. Play them to the fullest.

g) Allow them to find solutions to the problems, by giving clues. e.g This could be as simple as, hiding some pictures and providing them clues to find it.

h) Explore them to different kinds of music - especially instrumental music and music of their choice and not yours.

i) Take them daily for a walk or a short cycling round near your house.

h) Sit down and listen to what they have to say. This means active listening and not just hearing. Look them straight into their eyes and actively get involved in their speech. Repeat what they told you and validate with them, if you have understood it in the right way. Repeating and validating - gives the children the assurance, that you have been listening them seriously and you value their thoughts,words and emotions.

Do not hear to them, by reading a book or concentrating on other topics.

j) When they throw tantrums, first do not lose your cool. Keep your cool and 1st calm them by stroking their chest,arm,head or back depending on their comfort zone.

k) Listening to the child and giving them eye contact will ease out a lot of problems.Make time to spend time with them. It helps to learn a lot from them.

Finally,understand that they are small children who do not know what they are doing.They are unable to express themselves properly. So keep that in mind and always stay calm and don't shout back when they throw tantrums.

Finally, My dear Arjuun :

I am sorry, if I had hurt your feelings in one way or the other.
It is purely un-intentional and you can be rest assured that everyday,I learn and improve in my journey to be a good father.

Thanks for being such a wonderful son and I love you so much!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Slumdog Millionare - Sucks!

Does SlumDog Millionare(SDM) - needs so much celebration? It has shown India in a very poor light and people seems to celebrate the awards that we get for that. Oh my god !

Bollywood has produced far better films than this - Films like Black,Swades,Lagaan...

When we did not celebrate the experience that these films created, I feel that the awards,rewards for SDM is just overrated and blown out of propotion. Are we celebrating for mocking India, showing us in poor light.

Black - What an extradinary performance by Amtiji and Rani. It will touch your heart.

In Swades - you can never see SRK there, only Mohan Bhargav.It creates a long lasting impact on me, every time I see that film.

Lagaan- What a film that engulfs Teamwork,Motivation,Inspiration,Facing the challenge,Perseverance,Leadership etc.

Compared to all these films, SDM just sucks and only sucks! Nothing more and nothing less.