Thursday, April 28, 2011

Puttaparthi - A visit

Tuesday, 26th April, 2011.

My mother and I left for Puttaparthi to seek darshan of Bhagwan Sathya Sai Baba. Having heard the news on TV channels, it was a very courageous move on our part. I had mixed feeling about the trip, although having visited the town before, i knew the scenario was very different. Devotees who had arrived from abroad had apparently given up hope of seeking darshan and had to go back. The media had many stories to tell and many brains to wash. Our relatives stay in puttaparthi so my mother knew a DCP in Puttaparthi through my Uncle's contact. Although reaching Puttaparthi was not very strenuous, getting inside the city was. Every entry to the city had been blocked by the police, they just wouldn't let us go inside. After hours of convincing and waiting we finally got through. Every check point was a task, but we managed it.

We were still very uncertain of reaching inside the temple, we saw massive crowds, tents had been built to save the devotees from the harsh heat. Huge Screens had been put up showing a video coverage of the temple from the inside. We reached the house, had our lunch and soon left praying we'd get darshan. Our driver and me left together to join the men's line.

Upon entering the line I noticed marvellous things and I was taken aback. The que moved at a very fast pace, No one was beeing pushed around. The Seva Dal (Ashram's Helpers and Volunteers) had made excellent arrangements to manage the crowd. They were also distributing free water, buttermilk, food etc for the visiting devotees on the way for FREE. Many local citizens were also helping navigate the crowd, they had infact laid out stall giving out water to the thirsty, many small children ran about offering water and buttermilk to everyone. Many restaurant owners had laid out stall giving free food to the visitors. The Police had never been calmer in such a situation and tended to everyone with care and affection. The attitude of the people was just a treat to one's heart.

The que reached the Kulwant hall, where the Sai's body was kept in a matter on 20 minutes. I couldn't believe that in a span of half an hour i had already finished my darshan. I would have time to do it at least 10 more times before they shut for the day. The media had definitely hyped the situation to a large extent. The school students and all the staff of the ashram, the super speciality hospital and everyone connected to baba were all in such grief. But, the media not only pressured them to come in front of the camera but also blocked paths in the town with their vans and cameras being a great inconvenience to everyone. Sonia Gandhi and the Prime Minister's visit also blocked the lines and roads for a while. The next day, the burial with State honours and the Samadhi were to take place with only the close devotees and relatives being present.

The day ended in after i had a tour of the place after my darshan, i slept early as the day had been very tiring.
Wednesday, 27th April, 2011.

We got up early, My brother told me that the darshan was for everyone. He took me with him, having lived there for years he knew the Seva dal members and easily got the two of us inside. Sitting with everyone was a little hard at first. There were continuous tears rolling down and that was all could see in every direction. Although my reactions were not the same,I could connect to their grief accurately somehow. It was like i could feel their pain although i didn't feel any at that moment. The state honours, followed by the Samadhi took place. Soon after the Mangala Aarti, the devotees were allowed to go near the Samadhi. I left after the Aarti and went home. That was the end of my Darshan.

I learnt a lot of things from this trip:
  • The media hyped the Sai baba situation a lot. Something (TV News channels) i believed in as Gospel truth was far from what it seems. Very very far.
  • The world is not blind, they don't follow things blindly anymore. The contribution of this ONE man to this world has been remarkable. Free education, Free Treatment including open heart surgeries, Free water to so many villages, and a lot of devotion and faith. That has what really made him what he is today. That is why he is missed by so many people across the world.
  • One must always leave his signature behind, he created such a powerful trust that has an approx value of almost 40,000 Cr which in the future is going to do many great things for this world over.
Media vans blocking roads
Huge Display screens for onlookers and visitors
Media personell reporting 
High security at one of the gates we passed through. 
Stacked cars and buses on the circumference of the town
Another police checkpoint
Police stops us near the Puttaparthi Airport.
Inside Prashanthi Nilayam
Que of people waiting to take Darshan
One of the lanes in Puttaparthi
Free water and medicines for the devotees/visitors by the Seva Dal
Seva Dal help out
Two devotees sharing a meal
Free food being distributed
27th April - Samadhi Function
Birds hovers above the temple
Police force after the Samadhi function
Tents that had been put up to prepare free food for the devotees

Monday, April 25, 2011

Fellow Cottonian Series - Introduction

Bishop Cotton Boys'/Girls' School has been a key factor in the development of many young minds and a source of many great men in this world. I plan on introducing a series of articles based on experiences, lives, works of the school and its students.These articles will be published on my blog
I realised how much our childhood bloomed in a school like ours. Many of us long to share our old moments and new ones. I'm sure the present cottonians have enough news about the school and a lot of appreciation/criticism/complaints to offer and speak their mind out.
So in this series any cottonian (Past/Present) can write their experience, share photos, post comments.
So write in to me :
I'll post your articles/photos with your name and year. It would be great to share between us and remember some old memories and taste a few laughs.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Rio - A Film Review

They say,"Watch a film with a blank mind." That is exactly what i did today when i went to watch Rio in 3D. The screenplay structure was rather common and applied in most of the children's films i've seen. It followed a very familiar pattern. Apart from that,Rio is a brilliantly directed film by Carlos Saldanha. After his Ice Age series, the humour and content has just not died down. I struggled to keep myself bored through the film, it kept me enthralled throughout. The characters where beautifully portrayed, even the minor characters of the bull dog(Luiz) and the small birds(Pedro and Nico) had a lot of depth in them. Nigel's character was something that proved that animation is as much, if not more expressive than reel films. Powerful acting and voice. The main character's of Blu and Angel stood out, and the supporting roles made a great contribution to their presence.
The script had some beautifully written dialogues, very well timed and extremely funny.

The shots used in the film, with brilliant animation rendering is a joy to watch, especially for a film maker. The camera goes wild in the film with a lot of conceptual match cuts in the film. Although the 3D technology was not justified in the film. the characters appeared out of the screen at wrong and random times. I doubt it would make any difference if i saw the same film in 2D.
The music and choreography was another marvelous feature of the film. Will.I.Am did a great job voicing pedro and with the music. Also Black eyed peas' 'Magalenha' and 'Mas Que Nada' made an appearance in the film.
Over all the film is a great watch. I would definitely recommend a theatre watch. Also, i will be looking forward to Carlos' ice Age 4 soon. The trailer looks promising.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I Didn’t Knew It.

If you’re laughing over my title already, I think my job here is done. Yes, that’s exactly the phrase I’ve been hearing since I joined college. No consideration for the English language whatsoever. Either you talk in Hindi or they’ll pin you down. Can you imagine this?
It’s completely preposterous. Let me tell you how we get ragged. This guy walks up to you asks you to sing and dance, most of us do it, those who cant don’t. But if you can translate you course in Hindi, you’ll be the talk of the town, and don’t forget your introduction has to be given in Hindi only. Now I am not pinning down the language, Hindi happens to be my most favourite subject in school. But I completely disagree to the fact that it should be forced down on others and someone who speaks English fluently be looked down and thought to have an extreme attitude problem.
Not only do they stress on speaking in Hindi, but also make a complete mockery of English. Here are a few good examples of our new improvised and edited grammar:
"I didn’t knew it."
"I didn’t made it."
"I’ll ate it tomorrow."
Will you came to my house tomorrow?"
Even my Microsoft word editor points out these mistakes to me. Sigh
Who? Seriously tell me, Who gave these people a 10th standard pass certificate. Us few having attained good convent education weep and sadden ourselves over the pathetic state of our language.
Now, about respect in college. A junior would only dare call a senior by his name or address him personally. I’m, serious how much freaking attention do you guys wants from us? If you think you deserve the respect then command it, and the fact that you joined college a year or two before me doesn’t prove the fact that you’re better than me at everything you do. Does not mean you get first preference for all that happens.
Now comparing this to school, I remember my juniors loosing their heads on me if I made mistakes, I never uttered a word, and I don’t even remember referring to anyone as my junior or senior. I never expected them to respect me at all, you command it. You don’t take offense for silly jokes pointed at you. You eat from the same plate in the canteen. Most of all you’re a true friend in college and no one puts on a mask in front of you.
Anyway, this is what I need to deal with for another four years; all of you enjoy school till you have it, and if you’re already in college then god save your soul.
Continue reading for more stories from my newly found love.
I’m off to go do grammar exercises now, else my next article will … umm… you know what …

*This article is Copywrite *

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


This city definitely deserves a mention. A few days ago before i came back from Pune again. I wasn't looking forward to the trip at all. I was beaten down with work, frustrated, nervous about my internship, but bangalore has its way of getting you back on your feet. THE WEATHER, yes the weather drives you mad, it does not scorch your brain when its sunny, it doesn't soak you into a fever when it rains. It just remains pleasant letting you go about your business and have a happy day.

Yesterday, while i ran errands for brother and had to repair my mac. The mac is still in a bad condition, but i got a guy to fix his iphone and his shoes. So its quiet sorted. While on this tour around the city, it started to drizzle and rain. Having brought my mac along i was frustrated and looked up to the sky and asked god, "why? what do you have against me? My mac doesn't work to begin with and now you bring in rain to spoil it further". No sooner did i finish my conversation with god than my phone rang. It was Aditya from bombay, who had called to confirm my internship. This also meant that i owed god an apology and had to rephrase my comments on him. The drizzle died out too. I also met abhin along the way which made last evening quiet fruitful.
Another thing I die for in this city is the biryani, which reminds me that I'm invited to Abhin's place for dinner.
The Royal Challengers are much spoken about. Must start following cricket before its too late. the only thing me and dad loved.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Spiced Up Rythm

Introducing Taal Tadka - Atlanta's Premiere South Asian/World Fusion A Capella Group. Est. Spring '07 Georgia Tech.
These few students started something and had no idea where they would reach, in only a span on 2 years they've started receiving invites from premiere universities in America to perform in their colleges and concerts. Driven with passion, built with hope and stuffed with creativity. This unique recipe is sure to be treat to your ears. They perform music covers of world artists and indian films. Keep yourself updated to their music and their performances.

Youtube Channel -
Facebook -

The Godfather 1 - A review

Rarely does a film tell as many diverse-yet-interconnected stories. Strong performances, solid directing, and a tightly plotted script all contribute to The Godfather 's success. This motion picture was not slapped together to satiate the appetite of the masses; it was carefully and painstakingly crafted.

Kudos to Francis Ford Coppola for a brilliant translation of Mario Puzo’s novel. The characteristic that sets this film apart from so many of its predecessors and successors is its ability to weave the often-disparate layers of story into a cohesive whole. Any of the individual issues explored by The Godfather are strong enough to form the foundation of a movie. Here, however, bolstered by so many complimentary themes, each is given added resonance. The picture is a series of mini-climaxes, all building to the devastating, definitive conclusion.

The style of this film is to develop the thematic environment in great detail. Many of the scenes and sub stories, such as the opening wedding sequence, are to establish the methods, motives, means of evaluation, and purposes of these Objective Characters. These are not scenes, which are necessary according to the Story form, but they establish rules of behavior, which remain consistent for the rest of the film.

Had the casting for the lead roles of Don Vito or Michael differed The Godfather would be rather different in its approach. The extremely long reaction shots and crisp dialogues raise bumps on a viewer’s arm as these powerful actors take screen. Every major character - and more than a few minor ones - is molded into a distinct, complex individual.

The cinematography, which casts the early parts of the film in slight sepia tones and covers many scenes in a deep veil of shadow, is beautifully controlled. The cinematographer has also used contrasting lighting with the Don’s scenes clearly differentiating between the relationship of the don with his family and his business, which plays a role in showing the character of the don, which is portrayed to be of man who keeps his business and family apart.

Most of the don’s shots are taken below eye level symbolizing his law and authority; also the characters that are degraded or beaten down are shot with a top angle intensifying hierarchy in the film. The post-war era is splendidly recreated. On the aural side, the score by Nino Rota is immensely memorable and startlingly evocative of certain key moments.

Coppola’s Direction fails to intrigue the audience towards the middle of the film as the pace of the film and its suspense tremendously decreases from the first half. Also during Mike’s stay in Sicily the shots are over done and very long and is a sheer bore and disappointment from the first half, he gradually again picks up and maintain interest. Also using the head of a horse in the film producer’s bed was an establishing factor of the Don’s power, which I felt was strongly played.

"The Godfather," shows a tremendous amount of family values throughout the film. I think the best line in the film is when Don says to Mike " A man who does not spend time with his family is not a man."

The film can be viewed on many levels, with equal satisfaction awaiting those who just want a good story, and those who demand much more. The Godfather is long, yes - but it is one-hundred seventy minutes well-spent. When the closing credits roll, only a portion of the story has been told. Yet that last haunting image (Kay's shock of recognition), coupled with Nino Rota's mournful score, leaves a crater-like impression.

Meghe Dhaka Tara - A film Review

Melodrama as a legitimate dramatic form has continued to play a vital role in rural Indian theatre and folk dramatic forms. Ghatak goes back to these roots in his presentation of a familiar struggle for survival, which has lost its dramatic force and pathos through repetition in real life.

In Meghe Dhaka Tara, day-to-day events transform into high drama: Nita's tormented romance is intensified with the harsh sweep of the whiplash on the soundtrack; Shankar's song of faith in a moment of despair reaches the height of emotional surrender with Nita's voice joining his and Nita's urge to live becomes a universal sound of affirmation reverberating in Nature, amidst the distant peaks of the Himalayas.

These very attempts of Ghatak to show loud expressions were a lot more humorous than their actual function. The exaggerated expressions carried on for a long time in the film and in a way made the viewer disbelieve the character the actors were trying to play. The humour in the film when actually attempted fails miserably too.

In many sequences the drama build up was sudden and gave neither the characters nor the viewers time to sink the seriousness of the situation.

The three principal women characters in this film embody the traditional aspects of feminine power. The heroine, Nita, has the preserving and nurturing quality; her sister, Gita, is the sensual woman; their mother represents the cruel aspect. The incapacity of Nita to combine and contain all these qualities is the imminent source of her tragedy. The other male characters are deeply influenced by the above female characters and their lives in a way revolve and dance to the tunes of their female counterparts. The father who plays an open minded man with his love for literature; Shankar, an aspiring musician who is scorned upon by many for his idleness and Sanat, who promises to marry Nita but ends up marrying her sister.

The film has layers upon layers…take for example the mythological use of ‘Uma’ and the songs dedicated to her, twisted to cruel irony or Tagore’s beautiful poems, politicized through visual subversion.

The beautifully written screenplay with exuberant characters is failed by the cinematography of the film with continuous jerks in the continuity of the film, many breaks in the line of actions, which disturbs the audience’s mind. Many point of view shots looked odd and after a point in the film got very tiring and rather irritating. Composition is another evil in this film, which the makers probably never understood, and always had the viewer’s eyes exhausted in search of the character. Told that these were deliberate attempts by the makers it never came across at all.

Although the film contained some beautiful scores, the actor (Shankar) lost the dub and hence the high-pitched songs lost their effect, as he couldn’t fortify the passion and rhythm the songs contained. The songs were as good as nothing when losing their effect in the movie. The sound design added to the viewer’s plea to let him leave this film. Many loud and unnecessary sounds in the middle of nondramatic scenes lead to nothing but a headache. One song that I honestly appreciated was the baul track in the middle of the film, which was sung by an actor playing a baul and was beautifully composed and shot.

Although a great story of Nita told by the end of the film, I wish they had avoided these little technical glitches in order for this film to showcase some great cinema and talent. Ghatak although directed this film rather well lost out in a few sequences and scenes but still had the emotions of the story felt by the viewer’s. Worth the watch for its screenplay and overall feel, but I would suggest carrying patience with you if you do intend on watching it again.

RANGOLI - Typographical Poster

This was a typography assignment, to represent an indian theme with typography. The entire Rangoli art on the poster is text about rangoli if you look closely. Hope you guys like it

Is Design School work worthy of Blogposts?

I was wondering? Over the past 2 years, i've done loads of design work and written reviews and shit like that. All this work is just piling up in my cupboard and my hard disk. I guess i should put them up considering it would at least have some audience than none. I'm going to search out my work and display it soon. In 10 Minutes or so. Wait up!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Promise Land

Can I go to the Promise Land?
Or must I follow the devil's plan?
Where mushrooms speak of sea and sand;
Hearts flow free, without a ban.

Will the dragons blow fire?
Will they put me on their back?
Will they dive into the ocean?
And bring me back?

The walls will break on my command,
The sea will part, to turn to land.
I know this happens in the Promise Land.
Must I still follow the devil's plan?

I write this poem on the devil's desk,
Could I write better from an Ogre's chest?
With chocolate in a Phoenix quill;
The promise is going to lure me in.

I'll come someday, I know I will;
The devil chain's me to the ground
My roots are strong, but not the soil,
I'll swim with the dragons, safe and sound.

Angry Birds #frustration

Seriously! How hard is it to kill these pigs. I got the Angry birds game on my mac a few days ago and have been playing it every idle moment. I doubt its addictive, its a lot more frustrating when you cant kill those green assholes. I stayed up till 5 last night finishing this level. I just couldn't put myself to sleep regardless of how tired i was. My neck hurts, My back is throbbing, but till i kill those pigs i wont rest. Why have i become this way? I was never a gamer. Aren't these stupid games made for fun on mobile phones? Why cant i just let go?
Oh! Also there is a film coming out on the angry birds, can you imagine that? A mobile game being turned into a full movie. I guess film makers really need to evolve. But, honestly I'd be a Hippocratic if i said its stupid and must be shown its place. After all who is the one staying up all night playing this shit.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Ronjoy's Standing Ovation

Today was the 4th year's pre jury for their degree project. I went along to see ronjoy's jury, cause i'd worked as a DOP in his films.
He started his presentation and couldn't read his own ppt. I was practically helping him open his pen drive. Poor fellow forgot his glasses. He luckily knew the course of his slides. He introduced me as his head Director of Photography(felt really nice). Just as the 5 music videos finished, one of the jury members got up form his chair and stared clapping, he said that Ronjoy's work deserved a standing ovation. Poor ronjoy didn't know how to react, seeing this me and Kreena soon got up too and started clapping.
I think he deserved this after all the hardships he's faced and after 4 months of planning this entire project. Kudos to Ronjoy Chatterjee.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


I'm shooting these two AVs for the degree show in college. One is about this girl in an evening dress running around palaces and mirrors and stuff. Its sort of inspired from this video here. The other is a greek collection, so we're trying to portray this greek goddess in the middle of a busy Indian market.
Yesterday's recce was completely pointless. I waited for this gentleman in his office cause i needed permission to shoot at the aga khan palace. Aga Khan Palace happens to be the ideal shoot for my AV. he went off for lunch and never came back. I searched for atleast half an hour to find an ATM and then finally ate food in a cheap chinese joint. Anurag, who came along to click a few snaps had to leave by then, so we didnt end up doing the recce at all.
Today however was beautiful. I got this colorful market, not very far from where i stay, beautiful to shoot at, I've put some pictures below. Plus Vigya came along today, she's a lot of fun. She even bought me ice cream.
I think I'll shoot the greek video tomorrow. I'll keep posting on twitter about the shoots, be sure to follow.

Sunday, April 3, 2011


It's not really news that India won the cricket world cup. The tension, the enthusiasm, the cheer, the excitement, the victory and the celebration is what comprises of a World cup final for every indian.
Jam packed in Burger Times yesterday for the match, it was an experience of a lifetime. Not a single dull moment. Everyone cheered till their lungs got sore. We damaged 2 steel plates till they looked liked they were owned by a beggar. Sachin finally had a world cup medal in his career.
The streets filled with people hugging everyone, dancing, throwing beer, and most of all screaming VICTORY!
I cant begin to fathom the pressure on the indian cricket team, when each and every single one of us have so much hope and belief in them. Imagine 1.2 billion counting on you.
I had a great night. Danced till my toes got sore. here are a few pictures from what happened where i stay. I doubt they're any clear. But there was madness on the streets. SHEER MADNESS !!