Music as a metaphor in the Morning Raga

Reading this In Conversation, this morning in Hindu, with Mahesh Dattani, the director of Morning Raga, I started to expect the film. For it promised a intact movie on a carnatic musician, played by Shabana Azmi. Most important, it had Nasser, the cinematographer was our own Rajeev Menon and edited by Shreekar Prasad. A dream team. You and me think. Here’s a little from the talk with Mahesh Dattani.

How does a convent educated Gujarati, writing and directing English plays, choose a Carnatic musician as protagonist in an English film he calls “Morning Raga”?

I’ve grown up in Bangalore. I’m more comfortable in the south Indian Kannadiga milieu. I got acquainted with Carnatic music when I learnt Bharatanatyam. These classical arts had a deep impact on me. Not that my gurus or I had any illusions about my becoming a great dancer! But I understood in some inexplicable way that when you work not just with your body and mind, but also with your spiritual self, art becomes a transformational experience.

Then eventually when I went off to rediff, I did read the Morning Raga review. I’m throughly disappointed after that. I’m still planning to take a spin to see atleast what went wrong in this dream team knowing the dream is becoming a nightmare.


Footprints 2004 – A Runaway Success

With over 250 young aspiring film makers, television achors, news readers and all other available professions in media, the chennai version of Footprints 2004 was a roaring success, yesterday. Usually in such day-long seminars, either just one session would be the highlight or every other program is as boring as the other. But the dudes at Symbiosis Institute of Mass Communication did bring in the variety at the seminar which made the whole day whiz past us in minutes.

K Balachander, who inaugrated the seminar said, did come with a written speech something our present day film makers lack. Though it was a short speech and he had to leave, he did give a good start by defining creativity and it’s spread. It would been a pleasure to listen to him, more.

Krishnan Menon from the advertising giant Ogilvy and Mather, started off the first session named Does creativity in advertising kill or build brands ? He started off with the Simon says game and did get to the crux of the issue soon. He was probably the one who stuck to the topic thoroughly. Attribute it to the industry he comes from, Krishnan, was able to get the attention of the crowds so easily. His presentation had more ads than slides which probably made it seem so lively. Who doesn’t love ads. It was with groups of such ads he distinguished between the good idea and bad idea, the strong idea and the weaker ones. Using the Hutch [Dog and The Kid] campaign, that O & M handled, he explained how a strong idea helps boost the brands. And finally, he did play a audio clip of clients abuse them in advertising through which he communicated, think before you jump. But jokes apart it was a session so gripping just like the ads.

Continue reading “Footprints 2004 – A Runaway Success”


Vikatan Deepavali Malar 2004

vikatan deepavali malar 2004

Vikatan Deepavali Malar 2004 is already out. Unlike the declining standards of Ananda Vikatan, this special diwali issue rocks. It has some of the best writers writing short stories and articles for it. From Sujatha to Karunanidhi, Ashokamithran, Balakumaran, S. Ramakrishnan, Pa. Raghavan, Thamarai and whole lot of celebrity writers. The last year’s Vikatan special issue was also a big hit.

Vikatan stopped publishing Deepavali special issues 25 years back and it was last year they got it back to existence. I’ve heard stories of people saying that those days, Vikatan Deepavali special issue was a part of Diwali itself. It would rest among the new dress and the cracker lot and once they are done with the customs on diwali morning, there would be a huge fight to get hold of the special Vikatan issue and read it thoroughly. I don’t see that race today. However Vikatan, with the kind of neat publishing, nice laminated pages does bring in the look and feel of a special issue. And we know it’s worth the 100 bucks you pay for it.

Coming back to the recent standards of Vikatan, it isn’t just my view. Many other who are vikatan fanatics have been completely annoyed with Vikatan’s quality over the last few months/years. Just because the other contemporary magazines are hanging onto the kollywood girls and their gossips, Vikatan doesn’t have to barge into those segments. One of Vikatan’s latest column Hollywood/Bollywood is nothing but a space given to show off the glamorous peek into the film industries. Also their story on how Chandramukhi evolved from Rajini’s fort was completely speculation and didn’t seem to impress someone who loved Vikatan for years. Vikatan has a set of readers who love it’s style and so I think it has no neccesity to ‘adjust’ to other contemporary magazines and their fickle reporting styles.

Will write more on this special issue once I complete reading it.


Footprints 2004 – Unleashing Creativity

Last night, when I was at the Shakes & Creams, Adayar, noticied a poster called Footprints 2004. It said a day-long seminar named Creativity and Redundancy: The Two Sides of a Coin, would be held on October 30[tomorrow] at the GRT Grand Days Hotel. Conducted by Symbiosis Institute of Mass Communication (SIMC) Pune, it is a series of lectures on creative trends in films/TV and advertising.

Interestingly, the guest speakers were media personalities. Most of them my favorites including, Gautam Menon [Kakkha Kakkha], Writer Sivasankari, Madan, Janaki Vishwanath [award winning movie Kutty] and our own K Balachander. Adding up the list was Krishnan Menon from Ogilvy & Mather and Anuradha Ananth. This article on Chennai Online adds more details.

I planning to check-in tomorrow and listen to these guys. BTW, here’s the number you should get in touch with for more details – 9841657841.


To Madurai and back, yet again !!

Was on impromptu trip to Madurai alongwith the rain and the winds. It’s raining cats and dogs in Madurai. You could see only a sample of that here in Chennai. The deepavali hungama in Madurai is already hot. From 50% discounts to Silk Sarees to 75% off on hankies, Madurai is on a high. However, they could improve the standards of the Madurai FM Radio. The afternoons are nothing but mere how-to-make-thakkali-briyani. Too bragging at times.

Actor Rajesh [remember his classic, Antha 7 Naatkal] has a hotel down the Ulunthurpet highway. All KPN buses do lodge there for a refreshment. And so both ways, I did have a chance to smack the food there. Other than the delicious tiffin they supply, the hotel has a nice decor. With wall hangings of the tamil cinema greats, they also feature potraits of hollywod greats like Marlon Brando, Roger Moore and many others. Probably they are some of Rajesh’s personal inspirations. In the middle of that lonely highway, it was a feel good to have dinner with a cinema taste.

During my return from Madurai, on A/C bus of KPN, we were just 6 people on the bus. Surprisingly they operated the bus and landed us on time. More Surprisingly, the A/C was working. I couldn’t have dreamt of such professionalism some years back.

On the way back via Trichy, the best thing happened. Know what, Cauvery has water. On the banks of Srirangam, Cauvery which was earlier a dry barren land, has atleast water that is moving, if not gushing. The sight of Cauvery running around made my day and the glimpse of Srirangam gopuram made it better.

After all this, I personally think, if you plan a impromptu trip(is that an oxymoron?), you are going to enjoy it. Sure.

Looks like Rajini has started shooting Chandramukhi. Interestingly, not a single poster or even an adv has appeared on the dailies. Except for this Chandramukhi official website which has links to exclusive pooja pictures. If only it was Mani Ratnam film, I could comprehend why. This one makes me inquisitive.

Here’s a another bonker bonks for you. Dhanush and Rajinikanth’s daughter Aishwarya are getting married on November 18th. So whats has been a rumour for sometime now, has come true[Thanks, Dhina Thanthi]. The Kadhal Konden guy is the mapillai of Super Star. Super Star a mapillai by himself. Aren’t you getting it ?