Monday, March 31, 2008

Tata makes its presence felt...

Tata motors that is about to launch on the global scene as the new owner of Jaguar and Land rover and a long term partner of Ford, is the other face of globalisation. At a time when the percetion is that Indian companies pay low wages and steal good paying jobs from the US, the new contract hs been given to a Incat in Michigan where they will employ lots of people.
Tata motors and Incat are the arms of the Tata group, a conglomerate that employs 289,500 people worldwide, does business in more that 80 countries and also accounts for 3.2 percent of India's GDP. The group also has 19, 500 North American workers.
Tata sold 580,280 vehicles in its most recent fiscal year. But its global ranking is likely to change.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Back Again (I hope!!!)

I do hope that I am back again for good... Right after I decided to make a habit of putting in regular posts, I seemed to have stopped totally. Well the past few weeks have been so hectic with work and home and things that seems to drive me crazy and I have got minimum rest...
It was indeed refreshing to be able to read some blogs today, speciallly "just a mother of two's"...there were some intersting posts and through that i did indeed get introduced to many new blogs.
There have been so many things that I wanted to write about, and right when I sit down to do it, something or the other comes up and I forget about it totally and then that mood of writing is gone completely....
Well i do hope that i will get the chance to write regularly soon.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Manuel Focus…

‘Praveen Emmanuel’ (a very good friend of mine) recently launched his website and it’s called ‘Manuel Focus’. He is a freelance photographer, documentary filmmaker and graphic designer with many years of experience. Apart from all these, he also serves as the ‘Director of Communications’ for Kids for the Kingdom (an international Christian organization).

I really have got to say that his works are absolutely fabulous and that he does know how to create magic with his lens. He is one of the lucky ones whose work enables him to travel all over the globe, meet lots of people, see lots of amazing sites and capture those images through the lens. He knows how to capture the complete essence of nature, people or anything that’s passes through his lens and present it to us in the form of absolutely stunning visuals.

Now to explain a little more about this multi-talented person and make him feel a little shy and embarrassed :P – he is an absolute darling, a perfect gentleman with an infectious smile who has captured many hearts…hehehe …ohh ya he did have lots of girls drooling after him and still has I guess… (Hey it’s the truth people since I have seen it with my own eyes when we were in college together.) Another thing that I have got to say is that he is also a wonderful friend who is there besides you through thick and thin.

Now you people have a chance to see some of his wonderful photographs and works which tell wonderful tales of his travels with just those stunning visuals. Please visit his website which features some of his works through the link that I have given here and give feed backs about it.

All those who do check the link, please do leave him comments about his work.(Leave a msg online either in the contact page or at the photo-story "F7" page)

Note: Included in this post are some of Praveens's works and also a picture of him. :)

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Calcutta News

After a very long and anticipated wait, I finally got a chance to see the Malayalam movie called "Calcutta News". It just came to the theaters here in Kuwait only last week, but I have got to say that the wait was worth it and I certainly enjoyed the movie a lot.

I know that I am telling this amidst mixed reviews which I certainly did not bother to read or check in detail until I saw the movie. This is mainly because I have learnt that we have to see the movie for ourselves and decide whether it’s good or bad and not just listen or believe any or every comment that comes along the way as peoples taste in a movie and its subject differs from person to person. There has been many experiences where I was told a movie was bad, and when I watched it, I found it to be very good and similarly when I was told it was too good, I didn’t feel it’s good enough or rather it didn’t rise up to my expectations.

Blessy, the path breaking director in modern Malayalam cinema who shot to popularity after making critically acclaimed films like Kazhcha, Tanmathra and Palunku - is now back with 'Kolkata News'. Moreover, he is for the first time moving out of his favorite south Travancore locations to the East of India, to shoot a different mystery filled romantic story in Calcutta, much different from his earlier ones which dealt with family stories which revolved around the life of a middle class men and families in Kerala.

This is the first Malayalam film to be fully shot in Kolkata, even though a few scenes of G. Aravindan’s - Vasthuhara, Shyamaprasad's - Akale, Kamal's - Mazhayathum Munpe and T.V. Chandran's - Kadhavasheshan were also shot here. The veteran Cinematographer S.Kumar has done a great job in capturing the grimness of Songachi, its myriad alleys, the majesty of old Kolkatta, its trams, Howrah Bridge, Kalighat, Oberoi Grand and its elegance amazingly. Hence the camera tells its own story and the efforts to paint some captivating visuals on screen have been absolutely successful.

Blessy the writer and director, this time holds a mirror to metropolitan India's ugly underbelly of trafficking in women, sex rackets and how a middle class girl from Kerala gets caught in it. It certainly is a riveting cinema which exhibits emotional depth, visual richness aided by lovely music and above all the knock-out performances from the lead of Dileep and Meera. But I did feel that there was some missing element to the whole movie and can’t seem to explain or put my finger on what exactly is the problem.

Meera Jasmine as usual portrayed her character convincingly and did full justice to her part by portraying Krishnapriya's strength and vulnerability beautifully and ya so is the case with Dileep as he also portrayed his part really well. (Well I don’t care if some of you can’t agree with that fact, but they have certainly portrayed their part well.) In the film Dileep is portrayed as a very lovable guy and Meera's character is crucial for the development of the plot and is portrayed as an innocent music-loving girl who is central to the theme of the film.

Ajith Thomas (Dileep) is an investigative television reporter with a leading channel 'Calcutta News'. He grew up in Kolkata and lives with his mom and sister and is an active member of the Malayalee Samajam led by a president (Innocent) and his wife (Bindu Panickkar).His team at the channel includes news assistant Smita (Vimala Raman), and anchors Aruna (Manasa) and Sheela (Brinda).

One day Ajith bumps into a newly married Malayalee couple in a tram, but the guy is hostile when he sees that Ajith is a Mallu. However, while editing news one or two days later, he is shocked to find that an unidentified body found near Kalighat resembles the guy he met in the tram. Ajith's investigative nature comes into the fore as he goes about finding the mystery behind the brutal murder of the guy.

The guy was Hari (Indrajith), who had married an orphan Krishnapriya from Pattambi and brought her to Kolkata, before his brutal murder. Krishnapriya is unaware of her husband's job or what he does for a living and is shattered to know about his death. However hope floats into her life after Ajith becomes her protector and also gets attracted to her for her innocence and their mutual love for music. The story then moves back and forth, delving into her past and revealing the blooming romance between them.

During the course of his investigation he falls in love with the innocence of Krishnapriya and her love for Hindustani classical songs. He also finds that Hari was one of the henchmen in a sex racket that traps innocent girls and sells them. Ajit along with his friends try to unravel the sex racket which operates from Sonagachi, the largest red-light area in eastern India using their television channel after Krishnapriya gets kidnapped by the sex racket gang. The film makes a strong statement against the trafficking of women and sex trade in big cities which are dependent on the gullible girls from villages across India including Kerala who are lured into it by middle men who con them into marriage. The dark and depressing side of the city, where women get sold, bought and used in the hundreds, houses of pleasure etc have been shown in such a way that it pulls at your heart. Blessy has a solid plot with an emotional core that pulls your heart strings like his previous films.

A significant aspect about the film is its music, composed by Debjyothi Mishra, an associate of the legendary Salil Chowdhary. He has provided music for films like Chokker Bali, Raincoat etc. There is an evident Malayali flavour in the compositions and there is Bengali and Hindustani music as well. The lyrics have been penned by Vayalar Sharath Chandra Varma. The melodious song - ‘Engu ninno vanna panchavarnakili…’ and the peppy number – ‘Kannadi kootile kowmara thumbikal….’are very capturing.

Calcutta News is a vital, sardonic and disturbingly brave attempt within the commercial film format at good meaningful cinema that also entertains. In fact it has strengthened my decision to help unfortunate girls caught up in sex rackets.
Producer: Thampy Antony
Director: Blessy
Cast: Dileep, Meera Jasmine, Indrajith, Vimala Raman, Innocent, Bindu Panicker, Maanasa, Unni Shivapal, etc
Music: Deb Jyothi Misra

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

I have been tagged!!!

I have been tagged by pointblank (Neetu) about these particular topics and hence here goes:

  • Eight things I am passionate about:

Well I have absolutely no clue what I am passionate about. I guess there was a time when I was passionate about many things but now it's like I have resigned to the fact that many of the passions or love of my life doesn’t seem to work out here. Anyway these are some of the things I am still crazy about:

  1. Books and reading: well I am still crazy about books and reading and I mean reading anything. I just love to read all kinds of books and relax and go into another world. I just love thrillers, crime novels, romance novels and ya even Archie comicsJ. (For almost one and half years I didn’t get much books to read here and I went totally crazy and became moody and what not. The worst part was that I did not find even one English library in Kuwait until recently when a friend told me about this gr8 store where I could reserve books I wanted online and go pick it up and could sell it back for a small amount if I didn't want it after reading and get other books. Wow… for me it was like finding heaven… hehe… that's how crazy I was about books and reading…)
  2. Movies: I just love watching movies a lot or rather used to be so crazy about it. Well I still am to a certain point and that’s only because I don’t get to watch movies as much as I want to and don’t have any company to go to the movies with. Any day I love to see good movies and enjoy watching it too…But I swear that I can't stand some of the stupid movies which make no sense at all.
  3. Friends: My life is all about having good friends around me. I just love most of my friends, even the ones who have hurt me badly and everyone at home says I am too forgiving and such. Well the fact is I just love most of my friends as many of them support me through tough times, lend a shoulder to cry on, listen to my bitching and fuming about anything and everything, make me laugh a lot (that is something I rarely do) and give me good company and so on.
  4. Family: I am crazy about my family and love them a lot. (ya like Neetu said even I take them for granted most of the time and have hurt them a lot.) But still I love them a lot and miss them when I am away and am very possessive about them.
  5. My freedom and space: Well I do love and freedom and space and hate it when restrictions are put. I need my freedom to do the things that I want and want to be left alone when I want to be alone. I just hate it when people come and disturb me unnecessarily and irritate me when all I want is to be left alone. That’s when I turn mean and irritating. hehe…
  6. Sleeping: Ohh boy!!! This is something I am deeply crazy about. It's mainly coz I never get enough sleep and that also a sleep which is not disturbed. I take a lot of time to fall asleep and finally after the hard work of falling asleep I get disturbed by someone or something and then I lose all sleep. This makes me crazy to sleep peacefully and believe me I bite if get disturbed or woken up in a rude manner from my sleep…
  7. Good food: I love to try out different kinds of cuisines and various varieties of food. And yes I just love chocolates.
  8. Long drives: I just love to take long drives in a four wheel drive along the highway and such in good speed. It's so exhilarating and gives me a sense of calm and all that.
  • Eight things I want to do before I die (In no particular order):

Humm well there r many things that I want to do before I die like:
« Travel around the world; see as many places as possible; Enjoy the beauty and culture and all that.
« Send my parents on an all paid vacation or go together with them. Well Neets, this is something I have always been planning to do and hope that it will happen soon.
« Live in the way I want
« Get completely drunk at least once as I seem to have an amazing capacity for handling alcohol and never get drunk, only more sober.
« Try and learn the stupid Arabic as I need to survive in this Arab place. Oh I seem to be hopeless at learning new languages or infact any language.
« Spend some time in some gr8 place, completely alone and relax and have a good sleep.
« Try and help as many needy people as I can in my own way. (Well I guess I am happy about this one as I have started doing that.)
« Try and do something or make some kind of difference or awareness about the violence happening against women. Mainly help women from falling into the traps of getting caught in the sex rackets and such. Or at least try and help the ones who do and help in getting them a new life and so on. (This one I will do somehow or the other.)

  • Eight things I say often:

Now what would that be:
1.Whaat the hell…
2.F**k off
3.What the F**k
4.Bloody hell
8. Ohh Puleeessseee...

  • Eight books I’ve read recently:

Humm don’t think I have read much recently. The ones I remember are:
· Absolute power
· Foreign Affairs
· Scandal
· Fire on the mountain
· Hello Darkness
· High Tide
· Saving Faith
· The Alchemist

  • Eight things that attracts me to my best friends:

    · Shoulder to cry on.
    · Inspiration
    · Moral support
    · To listen to their problems patiently.
    · Movies
    · Shopping
    · Gossips
    · Laughter

The rest I am leaving out neets. Sorry… That’s all I think that I can write about for now. And about tagging, well I have no idea who exactly I should tag, but anyone who feels up to it can write about it.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

After effects of the foamy fun

Well the celebrations are over but the after-effects are bad...
Some of the kids don't seem to understand the hazards and some are too bratty and spoilt to even bother. The worst part is most of the parents drive the kids around when they do all this nonsense. This is a common complaint now after each national day celebrations here in Kuwait and most people prefer to stay indoors rather than going out, specially anywhere near the Gulf road. More than 6 people have lost eye sight due to the harmful things sprayed into their eyes.
I really cannot understand why people do such nasty things like spraying people with urine, hair removing solutions, foams, white paint and other such harmful stuff. They are not at all bothered that many people's life become hell after this, after all what have they got to lose right?