Monday, 26 October 2020

Nine Years as Locomente!!!

As my alarm rhythmically ushered me to the wakefulness, I snoozed it keeping my eyes closed. Almost immediately, I opened my eyes with an excited alarm and quickly typed “L” in the Google Chrome app. The predictive typing led me to “Locomente.com/?m=1” which incidentally is my blog URL and an error message popped up – The IP server cannot be reached and something-something. Despite my slumber, I remembered that I didn’t pay for the domain renewal and I told myself that I do not need that domain anymore. I have earned not a penny in the last two years out of the blog. I barely have visitors and most importantly, I hardly write. I clearly don’t need a paid domain. This ran in the back on my mind as we celebrated Vijaya Dashami. Around noon, I sat with my office laptop. The first thing I did was to sign out of Skype and MS Teams, of course. Then I started to work towards fixing the error message. After an hour, I decided that time is money and renewed the domain. To cut the long story short, my baby blog is reborn – after all, my baby blog is 9 years old!!!! 

Birthdays are all about celebrations, isn’t it? So, lets take a stock of the journey so far…1,730 posts covering poems, haiku, stories including micro fictions and blog series, books and movie reviews, random musings/thoughts, art, photobook, kolam and what not! Last 9 years has been a great learning and I am sure that years to follow would be equally enriching.

Birthdays are also an avenue to reflect… So here are some thoughts…

  • I started this blog back in 2011 when I had completed my primary education (for those who don’t know, I am a Chartered account by qualification and auditor by profession). Over the years as I wished for professional growth, I also longed for more readership for my blog. I wanted to be famous but then I know for a fact that I am nowhere close to that. That worries me and demotivates at times. Rewards are recognition is integral for not only profession, but for passion also. I should say that’s the most epic epiphanies ever.
  • With Instagram, Twitter, Vlogs and all that, I am not sure if we really care to read long articles. Even the breaking news have become super concise and often precise. We are in a constant hurry with an attention span that’s ever diminishing. I am not sure how long such mediums where we can write hundreds and thousands of words altogether would stay relevant.
  • Fame and success are addictive. Unless we taste both, consistency in the long run could be very difficult. Although 9 years ago on a sunny Diwali afternoon, I didn’t think of having any readership or fame. Today I do. Change is the only constant, further proved

Anyways… This Locomente has not been as driven as it used be in the past. But, the constant urge to experience and evolve has not changed. The rigor to be agile is the only prerequisite for survival. Hopefully Locomente shall survive too – through blogs, art or at least with the sheer desire to express. After all, Locomente never gets bored of romancing words. And mind you, Locomente always creates and never copies. As Malcolm Gladwell elaborated in The Outlier, ten years of constant practice is the only means towards perfection; or at least reach anywhere close to it. So here we are hitting the 9 years mark… Let’s hope for all the perfect imperfections in the next 365 days…

With that note, let me thank my readers…

You have been a constant support. I don’t visit any blogs anymore. But you still come and drop comments. That means the world and beyond to me. Thanks to my friends for patiently reading the blog links that I share… Your critical comments are the only source of improvement, trust me…

Happy Birthday dearest Locomente…

You are my alter-ego… My source of inspiration, expression and gratitude… Blessed to have this Locomente blog in my life and simply be Locomente at times (Well, mostly always).

Afterall… Miles to go before I sleep…

Until next year, cheers!

Saturday, 10 October 2020

Nishabdam/Silence

 

Cast

:

Anushka Shetty, R Madhavan, Anjali, Shalini Pandey, Michael Madson

Director

:

Hemant Madhukar

Cinematographer

:

Shaneil Deo

Music

:

Score: Girishh G.

Soundtrack: Gopi Sundar and Vishwajeet Jaykar

Editor

:

Prawin Pudi

Producer

:

Kona Film Corporation

People Media Factory

Release Date

:

October 02, 2020 (On Amazon Prime)

Length

:

2 hours and 5 minutes

Language

:

Tamil/Telugu

 

My Thoughts

Anthony (R Madhavan) is murdered in a haunted villa. Was he killed by the ghost as people believe or is there something more? This is the storyline. This means there is an element of horror, mystery and suspense that could be expected. There is also a deaf and muted Anthony’s fiancé - Shakshi (Anushka Shetty) which opens a gateway for lots of love and emotions. However, what we get in return is a sloppy screenplay and bored looking zombie-like actors. There is lot of emotional plotlines, but we simply don’t get the emotions. There is supposed to be a ghost angle and there are no jump scare moments, not even eerie or scary moments. The background score takes us to a trance caused by general boredom and doesn’t exactly keep us at the edge of the seat. R Madhavan and Anushka Shetty gets a song which is shot as montage with beautiful backdrop. That’s the only few minutes that looks refreshing. Other than that, everything seems staged. This is supposed to be bilingual. But people don’t even lip-sync properly. Even muted Anushka’s robotic voice app had more emotions than the people who had dubbed for human beings.

In short, this movie opens with a problem of solving a murder and ends up being a problem altogether!

Having said that, if you already have Amazon Prime subscription and are generally bored with the current Lockdown situation, why not watch it? After all, boredom is something we have common with everyone who had made this movie – we certainly have something to relate to at a personal level!

Rating

2.5/5

Wednesday, 7 October 2020

A Note to My Shadow

If not for my own shadow,

I’d have been alone –

Abandoned; isolated.


Thursday, 1 October 2020

One Arranged Murder


Details of the Book

No. of Pages    : 312 pages

ISBN               : 978-1542094139

Language         : English

 

From the book blurb

‘Ever since you found Prerna, I lost my best friend’ is what I told Saurabh.

Hi, this is Keshav, and Saurabh, my best friend, flat mate, colleague and business partner, won’t talk to me. Because I made fun of him and his fiancée.

Saurabh and Prerna will be getting married soon. It is an arranged marriage. However, there is more cheesy romance between them than any love-marriage couple.

On Karva Chauth, she fasted for him. She didn’t eat all day. In the evening, she called him and waited on the terrace for the moon and for Saurabh to break her fast. Excited, Saurabh ran up the steps of her three-storey house. But when he reached …

Welcome to One Arranged Murder, an unputdownable thriller from India’s highest-selling author. A story about love, friendship, family and crime, it will keep you entertained and hooked right till the end.


Author

Chetan Bhagat is the author of eight blockbuster books. These include six novels—Five Point Someone (2004), One Night @ the Call Center (2005), The 3 Mistakes of My Life (2008), 2 States (2009), Revolution 2020 (2011), Half Girlfriend (2014), One Indian Girl (2016), The Girl in Room 105 (2018) —and the non-fiction titles, What Young India Wants (2012) and Making India Awesome (2015). Chetan’s books have remained bestsellers since their release. Several of his novels have been adapted into successful Bollywood films.

  

What I think

Saurabh’s only love, Prerna, whom he met through an arranged marriage is dead. Is it an accident, suicide or murder, nobody knows! He is such a foodie that he is obese, obsessed with food and lives to eat food. He shares his flat with Keshav is a fitness freak; a flirt who sleeps with random women he meets in Tinder and judges Saurabh big-time for both his actions and reactions. And yes, they are best friends who share a love-hate relationship.

 

As I read through the 300 odd pages, I had serious issues with the way Keshav judges Saurabh and how there is too much description about food that it almost starts getting redundant, distracting and irritating. Something good happened - Eat. Something bad happened - Eat. Nothing happened - Eat. And I had problems with the body shaming part too. I understand that’s Keshav’s perspective and all that; that perspective simply reduced the pace.

 

Having said that, the narrative maintains the suspense and therefore the book becomes quite gripping. There are plot twists and interesting unexpected revelations. I really enjoyed this rendition from Mr. Bhagat. Definitely a breezy read and a good alternative to OTTs - Go for it!

 

Rating

3.5/5


Tuesday, 1 September 2020

Vaaranam Aayiram - Movie Trivia

My mother told me that she has not watched Vaaranam Aayiram yet – a movie that was released in November 2008; a good 12 years before. With a run time of 169 minutes, it was almost evening when it got over. And I realised that the movie has aged quite well. The songs still bring a smile and the drama continues to be relatable.

 

While a lot is already said about the movie, I don’t think it would be a good idea to write a review. For those who have not yet watched, it’s a memoir of a son about his daddy, as he addresses him. Major Surya (actor Suriya) who is in a rescue mission gets to know that his daddy has just passed away. So, he sits with his crew who are in a helicopter to rescue a journalist whose surname is, no brownies for guessing, Ms. Dutta. His eyes are teary as the memories stream in his mind like a perfect phantasmagoria.

 

Vaaranam Aayiram is nostalgic, relatable and realistic – a perfect ode to all the fathers who did nothing but just stood by their children’s choices. And when they failed, they just threw some ideas and gave a simple nudge encouraging them to make the right choice!

 

And here are a few hidden details or rather facts which many of us would have missed when we watched for the first time:

 

·       The voice of Surya when he sings general movie songs is rendered by director Gautham Vasudev Menon himself. When the title card rolls, we could hear him singing with his family and friends. He continues to sing many songs in the movie including the unforgettable (well, more so because of this movie), en iniya pon nilave.

 

·       It’s a love at first sight with Malini (Simran) for Krishnan (father of Surya and actor Suriya himself). He gets to know her name from college library records. Guess who is the librarian? VTV Ganesh. He is the first person to let Malini know that Krishnan loves her, in his trademark voice!

 

·       Sitting in the living room, Surya strums a random song in his guitar and hums with gibberish words. His sister tells that the tune is cool and from which movie it is. He says that tune is fresh indeed and would take at least 10-15 years before it comes in any movie. I guess this event in their life would have happened in late 90s. And that tune is the famous nilave velli-velli nilave in Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu.

 

Random trivia - Did you know that Gautham Vasudev Menon was one of the background dancers in the song?

 

·       Surya goes to San Francisco to woe his lady love, Meghna (Sameera Reddy). She is quite surprised and later remarks that it is okay to go to a nearby city, state or even Kerala to pursue love. But to go all the way to USA is just unbelievable. Considering Chinmayi has dubbed for Sameera Reddy, I couldn’t stop myself from wondering if Gautham Vasudev Menon already had the script of Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya ready.

 

·       When Surya introduces the character of Priya (Divya Spandana), we see that he is standing by the gate, in the typical Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya way. Priya is his sister’s best friend just like what we get to see in Achcham yenbadhu madamaiyada.

 

·       In the climax, the man covering his face who lets Major Surya know about the whereabouts of the journalist and the terrorists is none other than the director, Gautham Vasudev Menon, himself.

 

Did I miss any further hidden details? Do let me know 😊