Tuesday, August 26, 2008


I MISS YOU!! Seriously I felt it very few times; I still remember how I missed my parents in 6th standard when I was in hostel; Next to it I should say it’s ISM..

Funny; when I entered my college; I absolutely hated it; for my dream college was different. ( Comparing it to the IIT’s; complaining that there weren’t big playgrounds; no girls; no swimming pool; power cuts; all that crap); well ragging and seniors added some more for it; I even wrote IIT again to leave the college;

But my lessons started there, in no time I am spending all my time in senior’s rooms watching movies!!!

My college never pampered me; it just taught me how to get the best out of everything;
I never had any attendance problems; but I made sure I didn’t attend more classes than necessary; I never worked hard to learn any subject from any professor, but made sure I didn’t irk them for any reason.

They say, ‘with freedom comes lots of responsibilities’, but in ISM we got freedom with absolutely no responsibilities ( well of course you need to take some precautions )
Make sure your parents don’t know anything that happens here;
Make sure no professor recognizes you!!
That’s it you are the King dude!!

Ask me the best of ISM:

I will pick my walk in those ‘Tar’ roads ( Distinctly colourful milieu with green grass and red buildings. Really majestic!!!) Especially at nights. And if it rains it’s a double bonus. I can still feel it; walking in the main entrance road with neon lighting… absolutely deserted (you might occasionally find some more insomniac’s like me there) or sitting on the small cement bench before main building (thinking of stories !! I owe my best ideas to that place) or with friends ( Koti and me singing songs or listening to Rahuljis thesis on mankind. Anil (my roommate) occasionally joined the walk) and of course cycling all the campus and sitting near the Bon-fire along with guards were also awesome!!!
Damn, I miss them a lot;

Exams were very special. They teach you the art of survival. Mugging up a 6 month course in a day isn’t that easy; Well of course friends are always there to help you. I simply owe my degree to them. And these are the only days you see me drinking Chai.
I did lots of experiments on my exams too;
( Bunked my computer exam and did lots of running around the DEAN and arranged a Medical certificate to escape year back. There were days when I expect a Suppli (Arrear) in MOS instead I will get a Suppli in Maths!! But I oew that particular Suppli to Rahul Dravid; He played an awesome knock that day; We can never miss an artist at work.
One more case; I forgot everything I read the previous day; so couldn’t write much !! And I went to the professor and personally asked him to give me a Suppli and not to pass me for I needed a 7 in order to increase my OGPA to 6.5 and qualify for the IBM requirements.

And there are people who believed I would end up with an NFT (not fit for technical education; which I definitely deserve); pity though with a track record of 6 drops I did complete my B.Tech. And I also learnt the greatest thing - ‘To Pass’ the exams with the minimum effort!!! I was a seven pointer in the 6th and 7th semesters!!

Kudos to ISM, It taught me everything I needed to learn, and to survive!! Rules are same everywhere!! Its not that I never got into any trouble but I found easy solutions;

Cricket in Upper Ground!! And not to forget those inter college football and cricket matches played under floodlights; Dew settles on that green grass and the lights intensify its effect !! and we sit on that dew and shout along supporting the Home Team!!

Reading novels in last bench; writing stories and acting as if writing notes; satires on professors; and Playing cricket before hostel and getting drenched in rain;
Movies !! (though I was very choosy and I watched very few); dance shows; songs;
Spic -Macay ( I saw some awesome performances there;)

One performance in Basant 2005 was spell binding; for the next year I was here one hour before the show; got a front seat; and the new band sucked!!

Holi , janmashtami celebrations!!

Srijan was always special; I met Nishesh (my future producer for Anecdote here) worked with him for three years !!

I loved the Strikes and mass bunk’s.. they rock!!

Being in a college we deal with all kinds of people; and that’s the best part of it; I felt my college life would be the absolute pilot work for my future!! Indeed it is.

I still remember Rana sir and me planning to make anecdote; and ofcourse abandoning it in between; All the same I understood things can’t be done if I handle everything; and I taught myself to make the things happen.To distribute the work properly and to select the right person for each work.

Kartavya (my Doc on street children) and Odyssey (a 10 min short film) taught me this thing. And when I got a chance to make Anecdote; I grabbed it. Thanks to all, that was a great learning experience; though we didn’t get the expected output.

Wait wait! One more issue; ISM taught me survival but didn’t teach me socializing; I am weird by nature; I laugh loud for small jokes and sometimes I don’t talk for a long time!! My friends understood it, but when talking with girls this makes a hell of a problem. I stammer and repeat the same sentence again and again; I think ‘Anecdote’ solved this problem. But if I try to flirt the worst things happen, remember THE MASK, Jim carrey and his love; even I cant stop laughing at myself, forget about the others, but at least I did learn to talk.

And I got an awesome Adieu from ISM; it rained before I was about to leave; can I say they were tears !! God knows what but that one hell of an unforgettable romantic farewell.

As I said rain added more beauty to it; and the smell of the air and the earth were lovely..
I took a leisurely walk around the campus saying bye—bye to all.

All ends well though they don’t start well..

What more can I expect from it; It taught me to love my life, induced some aesthetic sense and made me an artist. The place I will always love and will be missed all my life!! My ISM!! I MISS you.

Yours Srikanth.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Mr. ‘ RAY ‘ and Making of Pather Panchali .

Courtesy: www.satyajitray.org ; ‘The Inner Eye‘ - Book on Satyajit Ray ; and Youtube.

1950’s.. these are days where Film directors are busy making card board ‘Moon’s’ and making actors and actresses sing below it; Then there came a man; who thought of shooting outdoors and tried hard to get that real Indian culture milieu in the movies.

Satyajit Ray, maker of the ‘Apu ‘ triology and Charulatha, came from a family of writers. From childhood he had a great love for movies and western music. He thought of becoming a commercial artist at the age of 19. But his Mom insisted on his education; With initial reluctance he joined in Shantiniketan.

He discovered Oriental art - Indian sculpture and miniature painting, Japanese woodcuts and Chinese landscapes is Shantiniketan... Till then, his exposure to art had been limited to only the western masters. He used to travel with three of his peers.

But he quit Shantiniketan in two years; for he was unable to watch movies and he was also in love with his cousin Bijoya (his future wife).

He joined a British run advertising agency and spent the next ten years there and produced many innovative campaigns. Ray started writing screenplays for his own pleasure. He would take a story or a novel for which a film had been announced, and would write the screenplay. He would then compare his screenplay with the finished film. Some times, he would even write a second version after seeing the film.

And then he got the idea of making a movie from a novel written by Bibhuti Bhushan Banerjee.

In 1950 at the age of 30 with absolutely no experience in movie-making; He started collecting a group of young men as technicians.He said " I felt It was now or it will never happen in my life "

To explain his concept for the film to the potential producers, Ray had a small note-book, filled with sketches, dialogue and the treatment. This script along with another sketchbook that illustrated the key dramatic moments of the film was greeted with curiosity by producers. While many of them were impressed, none came forward to produce the film.

Many advised against shooting in outdoor locations as most films were shot in studios at that time. He was told that rain sequences could not be shot in the actual rains but required a well equipped studio. At the earliest opportunity, Ray rushed out with a 16 mm camera to test-shoot monsoon rains.

About two years were spent in vain to find a producer. Meanwhile, undeterred Ray had begun assembling the cast and looking for locations.

He thought of making some sequences in the film and by using them he thought of getting some financial back-up. So he borrowed some money against his insurance policy and from his friends and started shooting in 1952.

On 27 October 1952, he set out to take the first shot. The scene was the famous discovery of train by Apu and his sister Durga in the field of Kaash flowers.

He said "One day's work with camera and actors taught me more than all the dozen books" after his first day work.

The following Sunday when they returned to shoot, to their horror they discovered that the Kaash flowers had been feasted upon by a herd of cattle. He had to wait for the next season of flowers to complete the scene.

( check http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGaIAWn2PJo for this scene; one of the best scenes ever made in film history.. and he shot it in his first movie!!! Watch the video and continue with blog)


The cast was a mix of professional actors and a few with no prior experience in acting. And he dared to cast an 80 year old to play Indir Thakrun.

( Indir Thakrun )

He had to discover for himself, "how to catch the hushed stillness of dusk in a Bengali village when the wind drops and turns the ponds into sheets of glass, dappled by the leaves of Saluki and Shale, and the smoke from the ovens settles in wispy trails over the landscape and the plaintive blows on conch shells from homes far and near are joined by the chorus of crickets which rises as the light falls, until all one sees are the stars in the sky, and the stars that blink and swirl in the thickets."

Finally in 1953; he found a producer and they started shooting in the village. Ray took one month's leave without pay to shoot a few more sequences. Ray say's “that was a great learning experience and the film was shaping up well”. Pather Panchali was to be shot in sequence, but the funds soon ran out. The producer's latest film had been a box-office disaster so he was unable to provide any more finances. But they continued shooting for some more days. (Mr. Ray pawned his wife’s jewelry)

And there was a break for almost a year. I can understand what a torture it is; to stop the shooting especially when you believe that it is doing good.

Finally West Bengal produced the remaining movie; we can all understand how difficult it is to clear bills when we are dealing with government. But finally he completed the shooting.

They did non stop post production work; most of the music work was done by a sitar maestro and they recorded music in full stretch of eleven hours. "It was a marathon session and left us exhausted but happy, because most of the music sounded wonderful", says Ray. Ray and his editor worked ten days and nights continuously in the final stage of post-production.

Pather Panchali was finally released in Calcutta. The film did only moderately well in the first two weeks. By third week however, the word spread and it was running packed at three theaters.

Ray described that it is a miracle that while making the film, "One, Apu's voice did not break. Two, Durga did not grow up. Three, Indir Thakrun did not die".
The Then Prime Minister of India Jawarlal Nehru saw the movie and ensured it to enter the Cannes Film Festival. And the rest is history.

He says “What Indian cinema needs today is not more gloss (unlike Hollywood films), but more imagination, more integrity, and more intelligent appreciation of the limitations of the medium...The raw material of cinema is life itself. It is incredible that a country which has inspired so much painting and music and poetry should fail to move the film maker. He has only to keep his eyes open, and his ears. Let him do so.”

It requires great courage to take a path unknown; you absolutely did it and you did it with grace. Your making of Pather panchali is itself a great story , Sir. This is what I say is a heroic act.

Thank you Sir, and if everything goes fine I am planning to make this ‘ Making ‘ as a movie… HOPE SO..!!!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Story Of This Old Lady

Story of this old lady.

Thanks to Sakshi news paper (1st aug 2008 ) for this good piece of work.

I saw many people working hard to reach a comfort zone. That never inspired me. But leaving our comfort to do something we really believe just out of love ; this is awesome!! Isn’t it.

When I first read this story; I felt like starting this blog forum and collect stories like this.

Her name is Nagamma; she makes maize roti’s in a small room in Hyderabad.

Go and ask her “ I need roti’s for 10 rupees ?”. She accepts the money and she asks you how many do you want? Students , poor people who came from villages come to her ; and she feeds them well and accepts what ever they offer her. Most of them say they cant even get a tea in the city for the money they pay her.They say she is goddess 'Annapurna'.

Ask her, how she survives? . She says “ I believe in being good and doing good; that protects me”. Firm belief !!

When she was asked to tell her story ; she told there is nothing much to say about her; but when she started speaking of her life; that turned out to be a great story.

She was a good ‘kabaddi’ player in her childhood . Used to gamble with her friends for 10paise and 25 paise.

She gave birth to 8 children after her marriage; and her husband never cared for any of them; ‘Drinking’ is the curse many families face till now. Her father used to help her regularly. But then nothing is permanent in this world. She started farming her land and and started stitching clothes.

Three of her sons died of typhoid because she couldn’t afford for treatment.
She shifted to Bombay with three of her kids and left the remaining children in her hometown.
She worked as a coolie out there. Her three kids learnt stitching.
One of her daughters died of chicken pox in her home town and all the family shifted to Hyderabad.

She is a widow now; she married all her children; and is staying with her son.
And her son keeps repeating that she need not work anymore.

She is 60 now, she she still keeps working; She says that keeps her healthy; she never watches TV; and spends her spare time with her grand children.

She says her greatest adventure was when swam the nearby lake when its in full flow; and bought some firewood to cook. Most of the men in the village would hesitate to do that she adds with a smile.

She refuses to go into that comfort zone; she wants to help people in her own way.

Who wouldn’t be glad to meet her personally.

Hats off.