Wednesday, September 15, 2004
Quite a few things
I have wanted to write about so many things but have not found the time, and rather than make you read 20 lengthy posts, here is the Readers Digest version.
On Sunday, I saw two remarkably rare things in a cinema hall. One was a newsreel documentary, and the other was a good Tamil movie. The first one was this absolutely-one-sided-not-even-mentioning-BlueStar-Bofors-Premadasa-among-others-things account of the NehruGandhi dynasty. And the other was Azhagiya Theeye. When one can absolve so many Tamil films of their errors, just because they had their one or two 'moments', Azhagiya Theeye is a movie that really deserves to be excused for its lack of slickness. That is because it is probably the most genuinely told Tamil movie of recent times that I have come across.
The past week has also been rather hectic with me doing a lot of pre-departure visits and meets. I have also lived the quintessentially Chennai experience: Walking along the Marina Beachroad at noon; getting caught in Triplicane during rush-hour; waiting for a bus at the Vadapalani bus terminus one sweltering afternoon; walking along Mount Road on a dusty evening; running from AshokNagar to Mambalam in search of water; 'sightseeing' at Spencers; spending an evening with friends watching a movie at the Satyam Cineplex. I�ll surely miss these things.
I also visited my Tamil cinema 'mentor' Mr Balu Mahendra. Contrary to what the press might want us to believe, he is in very good humour. He also gave me a parting gift, an autographed original 1984 hardbound print of Polanski�s autobiography Roman (The other thing he gave me was a rather personal piece of advice on youknowwhat). Also, this journey I am to undertake has more serious connotations than I ever imagined possible. It appears that I am to represent mainstream Tamil cinema in a foreign filmschool—an overwhelmingly scary thought.
I wanted to write about 21Grams—Inarittu�s lovely movie, in detail ever since I saw it about a week ago. But I guess Mito, who first told me about it, and also an avowed fan of the director, is better placed to do that; am I right? Since watching the movie, I don�t have such a great opinion of Aaytha Ezhutthu.
Yesterday was a day out with the buddies. I watched Shrek 2 with two guys who themselves are in the animation business, Chandru and Bharath. Among all the gasps let out over the texturing skills of the animators, we were also debating the essence of storytelling like all good nerds do. The highlight of the day was of course a little earlier when the chaps bought me a lovely (and a very costly) necktie as a parting gift. Thanks guys!
Chakra warned me ages ago that travelling to Europe on a European airline is very different from the bulky journeys to America my family is more used to packing for. As a result, there are constant wordy quarrels about what is sensible and what is absolutely ridiculous to pack in. There are also those wordless stare-filled times of maximum antagonism when one side thinks the others are plain daft. Personally, I�d like to travel light, while my parents project into my future, their current concerns about me not able to fully capitalise on (and just about push the limits of) the already meagre baggage allowance. My intransigence and lack of the very Indian 'smartness', that has come to light in this small instance seems to bother my folks who find implications for times to come. It is scary and disappointing to find that your son, after years of living under the protection of the extremely 'smart' Indian system has never taken to it. I appreciate my parents for just this: the stoicism they put up in the face of such a let-down; and the trust they place in me that I will somehow make it (despite the 'how' rather lacking in Indian 'smarts').
Comments to Quite a few things
Have a safe trip. Enjoy yourself, and rock them all. My Best wishes.
posted by மீனாக்ஸ் | Meenaks5:06 pm, September 15, 2004
Dear Anand....all the best to you. Aim high; shoot better! ;) Rgds, Ravi
posted by8:34 pm, September 15, 2004
Now this is getting too old!!!!!!!
Anand..whens ur exact date of departure??we ve been hearing abt this trip since the last month i guess :))U might need a storehouse built for all those keepsakes n gifts!!
Jus kidding..Bon Voyage!
posted by rajesh9:55 pm, September 15, 2004
Thanks Meenakshi & Ravi
Raapi: Athellam oru build-up'thaan!
posted by Anand11:26 pm, September 15, 2004
Travel Light!! Take it from me ... travel light. Indians are everywhere. Therefore Indian goodies ... MTR'able or otherwise, are also omnipresent! That is one argument that even seasoned Indian parents buy.
Make a list of movies that you have mentioned on your website. Especially Tamil ones. Whenever I step into Indian video stores in the US, I step right out ... empty-handed. Can't seem to find anything interesting. Attribute that largely to the quality of the films, and sometimes to my own ignorance. I am sure you can, and will solve both problems. All the very best!
posted by shyamal2:58 am, September 16, 2004
Hey Anand, All the very best and have a happy and a safe journey! :)
posted by Shobha7:34 am, September 16, 2004
Have a safe trip.
I remember you mentioning Polanski before. Do write about the book.
Am sure irish bars play some good This Thing That Thing music. ensoi ;-)
posted by lazy geek12:37 pm, September 16, 2004
Again mate.. welcome here!
If at all u couldn't carry something important, you could count on me if you can wait for 3 more months!
posted by Chakra Sampath1:35 pm, September 16, 2004
Hey.. have a blast! Set Europe on fire!! And do keep writing ;-)
Oh by the way, I liked Azhagiya Theeye too.. wrote about it awhile ago.. check it out! http://adrenalinrush.blogspot.com/2004/08/reflections.html
posted by chikuado1:57 pm, September 16, 2004
Anand, Best of Luck!
posted by Kumaraguru5:28 pm, September 16, 2004
Dei.. Have fun! btw..This might sound sacrilegious, but South American movie makers like Inarittu seem to be making movies that I would want Indian movie makers to ape and rip off rather than the masala crap that ppl like Mahesh Manjrekar churn out after a night of watching shit from Hollywood. For example, see this 'description' of "Rakht" here!
posted by anantha9:29 pm, September 16, 2004
by the way, hows ur mom...
maybe I would have been an artist ;)...just that she gave me a dose of reality too early...
posted by Nilu8:17 pm, September 17, 2004
Hi Anand - Hope you have a safe trip and a wonderful time ahead.
I also hope you will continue to communicate through this blog.
All the very best!
posted by swami1:42 am, September 18, 2004
I too had a similar round of roundings of Chennai, albeit at different places. And water problem being one less of a worry.
And where r u going to in Europe? the mainland?
posted by10:35 am, September 18, 2004
Hi Anand - you said you will be London on Tuesday 21st - where abouts will you be exactly? I will be in Central London all day that day - and would be happy to welcome you to the most happening place in the world! Even if it's just for a few minutes and a cup of chai or coffee! :-)
Best regards - Jag
posted by2:52 am, September 19, 2004
Well it has been a long time. this is Prerit here. Have a blast in UK buddy.
posted by PM8:40 pm, September 19, 2004
Have a nice trip - and keep in touch. Mail me and I'll give you some more unwanted advice ;)
posted by Kingsley11:24 am, September 20, 2004
well shameless publicity in ur blog. Check out some snaps that I have posted on my blog...and let me know..
COuld have just posted it in ur shout box if u had one..
Take care and Happy Travelling and Party on
posted by arvindiyer3:08 pm, September 20, 2004
I am in Delhi right now. I should be catching my flight in a few hours time. I'll write in detail once I settle down in Bristol. I'll also reply to all you guys who've left comments and to all who have emailed me.
Jag: I'm coming in by the 0705 hrs flight from Delhi to Heathrow. My plan right now is to catch a bus from terminal 4 straight to Bristol. Is there some way to contact you?... but what the heck, by the time you reply to this, I might be on the flight sans internet. Anyway, I'll be in the UK for 1 yr; I'll keep in touch! :)
posted by Anand8:37 pm, September 20, 2004
Hi Anand: Straight from Terminal 4 to Bristol eh? Well - I'm definitely going to miss you in that case!
We should organise a "UK-based Indian bloggers bogmeet" at some point I suppose. I'm sure we could get a small crowd together! :-)
Best regards - Jag
posted by3:37 am, September 21, 2004
Hi Anand: I forgot to say: you can get hold of me on firstname.lastname@example.org
Best regards - Jag
posted by3:42 am, September 21, 2004
When are you leaving for England's bright and sunny shores, Anand?
posted by Anita2:52 pm, September 22, 2004
Guess I am gate crashing this farewell party quite late. Anyways, enjoy your stay.. and stuff yourself with all the jackets you can find and listen to what mommy says :)
posted by7:00 am, September 27, 2004
References to Quite a few things
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