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vedam

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By anuroopa · June 22, 2010

"Something that happens once can never happen again, but something that happens twice will surely happen a third time" said Paulo Coelho and I'm sure 'Krish', erstwhile known as Jagarlamudi Radhakrishna couldn't agree more. Vedam, his second directorial endeavour, had been running in housefulls for almost three weeks when me and my friend G.T. decided to watch it yesterday. The movie stars Allu Arjun, Manoj Manchu, Anushka Shetty, Manoj Bajpai and a certain Mr. Nagaiah as the leads. It is set in present day Hyderabad and belongs to the drama genre.

The film is about five different people living five very different lives and how one fateful encounter at a hospital changes their lives forever ... very Tollywoodsy, no?

There's Vivek Chakravarthy, played by Manoj Manchu.The proverbial rich kid. The guitar-playing, emo hair-ed, kohl-eyed, bandana-wearing, dimpled (awww ... ) wanna-be rockstar who finally gets his big break. He comes with heavy genealogy too. His father and grand father were army heroes who died in war. All the more reason for his mum to nag him about him about being responsible, choosing a respectable career ... *yawn* and the works. She goes ballistics when she hears that he's off to Hyderabad the next morning.

Then, there's Ramulu, played by Nagaiah, the old weaver from Sirisilla. Poor and illiterate, he lives with his widowed daughter-in-law, and his math-wiz of a grandson Srinu. He is heavy in debt and needs to pay off Patel, the money-lender who has his men abduct little Srinu and refuses to return him until he gets his money back. Desperately in need of money, Ramulu agrees to sell his daughter-in-law's kidney for Rs. 40,000 and to make this 'donation' they got to Hyderabad.

Then we are introduced to Saroja, played by Anushka Shettey, the ... er ... courtesan, from Amalapuram. She is unhappy about her present 'working' conditions and strikes a deal to start a new 'biginess' in Hyderabad. She escapes to Hyderabad along with another courtesan she fondly calls 'akka'. She reaches Hyderabad, only to realize that she had been tricked and sold to another 'dealer'.

Anand Raju, played by Allu Arjun, is an educated, unemployed youth residing in the slums of Jubilee Hills. He is reduced to collecting 'fee' for electricity supply in the slums and is known as 'Cable Raju' among the slum-dwellers. He immediately needs Rs. 40,000 to take his rich girlfriend to a new years' party. She is unaware that he is poor and he plans to trick her into marrying him. He tries various approaches to get the money, including chain snatching. He finally does get the money and almost pays for the passes, only to be stopped by his conscience.

Raheemuddin Qureshi, played by Manoj Bajpai, is a Muslim, living in Hyderabad. He is leaving for Sharjah shortly, along with his wife. It is revealed that Raheem's family had been the victim of communal violence during a Ganesh Utsav celebration in the Old City. They are yet again subjected to communal discrimination on the last day of his stay in Hyderabad. He and certain members of his family are accused of terrorist activities. He pleads innocent but is taken into custody.

What is really admirable in this film is that it touches various relevant social issues prelevant in the state. Like how the story of Ramulu is about the suicide of weavers in Sirisilla village. It is depicted how organ trade goes about, though it is illegal. How brazenly and mercilessly illiterates are cheated.  Cable Raju's story touches upon the issue of unemployment. It also illustrates how materialistic society has become, or rather, how it always has been.

Saroja's story highlights the problem of prostitution which is widely prevalent in the Godavari districts of Andhra Pradesh. Why and how it goes unchecked is also outlined in the film. Illustrating the rarely touched subject of communal discrimination was, in my opinion, a bold step taken by the director. And the film is given a very Rang-de-Basanti-ish element by Manoj Manchu's character Vivek. He really gets the spoilt-rich-kid-saves-country thing going there.

Sterling performances have been given by all the actors in the film. The film's forte lies in it's brilliant story line which appeals to almost every type of audience, though the music could have been better. Me and G.T. were to be found positively howling in grief during the last half hour of the film, to the amusement and slight dismay of others in the hall. It has to be said that 'Vedam' is one of the best Telugu movies I have watched in a long long time.

Filed in: films

houston ...

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By anuroopa · October 14, 2009

Filed in: etc

p.s. i love you

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By anuroopa · October 4, 2009

Though I had to get up early today, which I didn't by the way, I stayed up to watch P.S. I Love You yesterday night. And boy, I gotta tell ya, not since Kabhie Khushi Kabhie Gham, have I cried this much over a movie, really. Hillary Swank would but blink and I would turn into a human hosepipe. Such was the effect it had on me.

Anyway, enough of that. This story is about Holly and Gerry. They make the perfect couple. Meant for each other. Soul mates! They argue sometimes, but they're absolutely crazy about each other. They met in Ireland and married young. Things are pretty much perfect, until Gerry dies of brain tumour. But before he dies, he writes Holly a series of letters to guide her through her grief and help her get back on her feet.

The most heartbreaking scene is when after Gerry's funeral, Holly puts on his clothes and calls the answering machine just so that she could hear his voice again. Had me howling in grief, that one. Although, in it's defence, the movie did have some slightly less-heartbreaking scenes. My favourite was the one where Holly and Gerry meet for the first time. How she's dressed in a million colours and hopelessly lost. And how Gerry just happens to stroll by and gives Holly directions. And how they walk together and he just knows then and there that they're meant to be! I've always been a sucker for love stories.

( Ignore the caption. Neener-neener-neener! )

And you know, I really thought the movie had a Bollywood-esque feel to it. What, with all the melodrama, true love and stuff. Especially the writing-letters-before-he-dies bit. Didn't Rani Mukherjee do that already in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai? Though, admittedly for completely different reasons.

Too bad there wasn't any dancing-in-Switzerland in it. Would have so completed the effect.

When I heard Gerard Butler was in the movie, I thought who the heck cast him in a movie like this? I thought he'd do his 300 thing again. You know, all the killing and screaming and stuff.

And I didn't think he was much of a looker either. Never thought he was much the romantic-comedy-type actor. Anyone who's seen 300 would have presumed as much. You've seen the men in chick-flicks, all of them more or less resemble Hugh Grant. But was I wrong or was I wrong! Gerard Butler is adorable!

I never noticed in 300 that he's got blue eyes and is tall and is really cute! I think that's enough drooling over him, no?

But, seriously, just look at the contrast. He is so the romantic-comedy-type actor. How could I have even imagined otherwise?

The film has a lot of lovey-dovey bordering on cheesy lines, but I think the best one is this -

Gerry writes to Holly : Dear Holly, I don't have much time. I don't mean literally, I mean you're out buying ice cream and you'll be home soon. But I have a feeling this is the last letter, because there is only one thing left to tell you. It isn't to go down memory lane or make you buy a lamp, you can take care of yourself without any help from me. It's to tell you how much you move me, how you changed me. You made me a man, by loving me Holly. And for that, I am eternally grateful ... literally. If you can promise me anything, promise me that whenever you're sad or unsure or you lose complete faith, that you'll try to see yourself through my eyes. Thank you for the honor of being my wife. I'm a man with no regrets. How lucky am I. You made my life, Holly. But I'm just one chapter in yours. There'll be more. I promise. So here it comes, the big one. Don't be afraid to fall in love again. Watch out for that signal, when life as you know it ends. P.S. I will always love you.

Me too! The movie, that is!

Filed in: films

how many engineers does it take ...

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By anuroopa · September 27, 2009

Finally, after months of mind numbing tedium, something to break the monotony. Engineering! That phase in every geek's life that begins after she's passed out of school (junior college, in my case), and lasts for around four years wherein she's ragged, shagged, fagged, nagged ... and then graduates with a bachelor's degree in computer science and engineering. It's this nerd's turn now. Though she's not too sure about the graduation bit, being the chronic pessimist that she is.

Screw the referring-to-oneself-in-third-person crap.

It was exactly thirteen days ago, on a fine sunny afternoon that a man in his late 40's dressed in black trousers and a demurely striped shirt walked into the administrative office of an establishment by the name of C.M.R. Institute of Technology. Half an hour later, he was seen walking out of the office with a slip of paper and a brochure in his hands and a silent prayer of thanks to The Almighty in his eyes. His days of worrying about his idiot daughter's future had finally come to an end. She was granted admission in the college. She would attend classes from the next day on and hopefully, graduate in a few years.

The man in concern is my dad and needless to say, I'm the idiot daughter. Yes, I've been attending college for the past about twelve days. New place, new people, new clothes ... old me.

The first day went well, actually. I didn't even get ragged. Ragging, by the way is a cultural phenomenon in which respect the seniors of any given educational institution take it upon themselves to bully the new students and generally intimidate them in any and every way possible. Though, of late, it has become a trend among engineering colleges in particular, to ban ragging. But it takes place nevertheless.

The second day was much more interesting in comparison. I got blacklisted by our engineering drawing lecturer for 'smiling too much' and sitting in the last bench. Talk about Nazism. Just as I was contemplating how lucky I was to have made it this far without getting ragged, a senior came up to me. And hilarity ensued.

senior - B.D. kottu. ( state your B.D.) ( B.D. is an acronym for bio-data. It also serves the purpose of a pun as, in Telugu, the word beedee refers to a certain type of cigar and anyone unfamiliar with Engineering Student Slang would be tricked into believing that the senior is asking the junior for a cigar. Damn clever, eh? )

me - I'm Anuroopa. I studied in D.A.V., Secunderabad ...

senior - Eh, sir ani pilavali ani telida? ( Eh, don't you know that you have to use the word 'Sir' when you talk to me?)

me - Sorry, sir!

senior - Sare, B.D. cheppu. ( okay, tell me your B.D. )

me - I'm Anuroopa sir. And I studied in D.A.V., sir. I ...

senior - What's your native tongue?

me - Telugu, sir.

senior - Aite English lo cheptunnavu enti? Telugu lo cheppu. ( Why do you speak in English, then. Speak in Telugu )

me - Na peru Anuroopa sir. Nenu D.A.V. lo ...

senior - Enni sarlu D.A.V. ... D.A.V. ani antavu? Inkedanna cheppu. ( Why do you keep telling me that you studied in D.A.V.? Tell me something else. )

After engaging me in this annoying fashion for about 20 minutes, he finally let me go. Just when I thought the worst was over, I got ragged again. This time by girls who demanded that I sing for them. And again, by others who wanted me to bring them chocolates the next day. And in this manner, the first few days at my new college went by.

[image source]

Though engineering life is highly romanticized in such Telugu films as Happy Days, and I was stupid enough to believe such things, I've come to realize now that engineering is not all what it's made out to be. It's not all bunking classes, going to movies, hanging at the canteen and stuff. One has to be prepared for a long hard slog if one even dreams of graduation. Still, I'm not complaining.

I'm an engineering student now. And that means that I'm one step closer. In less than four years, I'm going to get the heck outa' here.

"Someday I'm finally gonna let go

Cause I know there's a better way

I wanna know what's over that rainbow

I'm gonna get outa' here someday''

- Says Steve Earle. ''My sentiments exactly'' says me.

I'm an engineering student now. And that also means that all those jokes such as -

"Q: How many engineers does it take to change a light bulb?

A: Three. One to hold the ladder, one to hold the light bulb and the third to interpret the Japanese text. "

- are about me!

Filed in: life

tagged!

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By anuroopa · September 14, 2009

I've been tagged to mention my top five favourite songs that are fast, furious and danceable. So, here are five songs that make me want to get jiggy wid it, even though I am in possession of not one, but  two left feet. Thank God for the rest of the world I only jiggy inside the confines of my room.

  • Honey Honey - ABBA

Just gotta love a song like this, honey.

 

  • Summer Nights - From Grease, The Film

    I almost forgot John Travolta used to look so nice.

 

  • Ain't No Mountain High Enouh - Marvin Gaye & Tami Terrel

How could anyone not love this song?

 

  • Sway - Dean Martin

Other dancers may be on the floor dear, but my eyes will see only you.

 

Build A Dream On - Louis Armstrong

Kaisi Paheli Zindegani from the film Parineeta is a direct lift from this song. Honestly, music producers, do you think we're stupid?

 

I know these songs aren't fast and they're most certainly not furious, but they are danceable. So, at least they fulfil one of the criteria. Please don't write me off as an oldies junkie, I enjoy all sorts of music. Honest. I didn't intend for all of them to be oldies, they're the ones that came to my mind just then, that's all.

It's your turn now! Tell everyone what your top five fast, furious and danceable songs are!

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