Thursday, November 21, 2013

Happy Hartal Day!

A few moments of the Hartal day (18 Nov) were spent in a Park not very close to my house thanks to my friends Raju and Sendhil. The trip included visiting their homes (for the first time) through the bylanes of West Kochi refreshing some fond memories.



Sendhil engrossed in the narration of Life is Beautiful by Raju
Raju trying his best to evade the camera

Sunday, September 08, 2013

A Golden Gandhi, A Gau (Cow) and A Nook in this World I can call My Own!

A man who spent his life preaching frugal and self-sustained living is painted in a gaudy Golden hue. What else can be called ironical?


Another stereotypical image of India; cattle strolling in the middle of the road, the only difference here being that the one here refused to budge even as dad tried to manoeuvre my wheelchair around it in a tiny by-lane.



This one doesn't need an explanation:




Thursday, August 08, 2013

The Curse of being perceived as Gifted

There is a general myth that a disabled person may have a gift that would make him/her an extraordinary being. Yes there will always be a few gifted types among the disabled as you would find in any other sphere of life; racial, economic, social etc. Sometimes, you may find a genius who is a mixture of different spheres, so, it'll be difficult to pinpoint where the spark comes from. But, when disability is one of the sphere, it is normally considered a blessing for the gifted person and even a normal person carrying a disability is easily termed Gifted.

I write ordinarily, it is an acquired skill, that too very late in life as I thought it would be the easiest thing to do with my limited mobility (and very soon realised how wrong I was). I have no romantic notions about it as such. I will trade this skill if I am given physical independence in exchange.

These thoughts came to me after watching Bereft of Colours, a short film about a blind artist who loses her vision to paint after her eyesight is restored and in the end she dramatically destroys her eyes to regain her vision.

I felt very disturbed as I mentioned earlier that I can trade anything for physical independence even though I am not really unhappy in current situation.

For his part the director can put up a defence mentioning the constraints in exploring the subject in depth for a Diploma Film. But still...


I came to know about this film from here. And, yes I have seen Ship of Theseus and feel like giving the benefit of doubt to the SOT team in the 'inspiration/copy' case.

Friday, August 02, 2013

Trust Deficit – The Kalyan Jewellers Way

It was the most anticipated event in the Malayalam Entertainment World in the recent times, that of Manju Warrier facing the movie camera after fourteen long years and that too paired with the Big B himself for a jewellers' TV Commercial (it being just an ad film was a non-issue). The TV Channels and the media in general was flooded with the 'behind the scenes' stories of the shoot.

Kalyan Jewellers, the brand they were promoting may have got enough mileage for their budget with this pre-release publicity itself. But, the final result to put it simply is a damper, it stretches its  "VISWASAM ATHALLE ELLAM"  (Isn't Trust Everything) tagline a little further. In the past, we had a young woman dropping the idea of eloping with her boyfriend and returning home so as to not to breach the trust of her father. And, here we have a daughter (Manju) playing a trick of sorts to win her dad (Amitabh Bachchan) back after marrying the man of her choice.

This storyline would have worked wonders a decade or two back. Or, it would have been plausible with lesser known actors. But, in this day and age imagining Bachchan as a dad who severs ties with his daughter just because she has selected her own life partner is difficult if not impossible. Similarly, Manju, who has played a few firebrand roles in short but memorable career, risking her own life as well as her unborn child win back her father borders on being regressive.

If you don't believe me, see for yourself:


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Being Alive


No weight of heavy dreams

Or any wish to fulfil

The only proof of Being Alive

Is the wind that passes through the nostrils.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Tanishq Mia – Nithya Menen and the paradigm shift

Last Sunday (14 July), while watching the final day of the first test match of Ashes 2013 and expecting Ashton Agar to do an encore of his first innings performance. Eventually, that did not happen. But, something else caught my attention; it was Nithya Menen, she appeared in a commercial in between the overs (I'm not an avid channel-surfer and do not really get annoyed by the 'commercial breaks'). The first time I just rubbed my eyes (figuratively) and confirmed that it was her and she was appearing in an ad for Tanishq.

The most striking thing about this campaign is the fact that it takes the notion that women should dress and look sober in the workplace to the point of being unattractive head on, it underscores the fact that if you are confident about your work it does not really matter if your glamour quotient is a notch higher. This attitudinal shift may be the result of the anger, furore and debate that ensued after the unfortunate Nirbhaya Case last year.

Here we have a young girl Megha (Nithya) immersed in her work, her boss comes to check on her and says a few appreciative words before Megha's (maybe the first) big presentation. But, as a parting shot she advises Megha to remove her hanging earrings as they would distract the clients. The boss herself has dressed simply in plain blue saree and white blouse without any adornment to speak of leave any makeup. She may have thought her protege needed some understanding in workday dress code.

The masterstroke comes when Megha utters  ‘Don’t worry. The presentation looks even better than me’ as a reply to her boss' questioning look as to why her advise went unheeded.


There is a marked improvement in the approach if we compare this ad with the series of ads that came initially targeting the working women:


This spot also does away with the usual format of man buying/gifting jewellery, as shown here:



and here:

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Stories


Stories do come to me

Not in words, but in visions

Sometimes in vibrant colours

Sometimes in black and white

Filling me with the urge to share them with you

In the common projection room in our souls.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Grey Skies


Grey Skies
Dark and gloomy
Filled with pregnant clouds
Making knots in the heart
Robbing the rains of all romantic notions
Pulling you down
Telling you to start all over again
After they pass.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Ultimately

Ultimately you realise you are all alone, and,
Ultimately you learn not to be scared about it.

These words are echoing in my head for the last few days. I waited for them to form something long or elaborate. But, nothing happened, maybe I didn't nurture them enough or give attention that they deserved. I started feeling guilty, so, ultimately I put them here before they fade away into the oblivion.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

What the future holds...

The trend of posting inspirational pictures and quotes on Facebook (it was email forwards and text messages before that, it still continues in a small way) and other social networking sites help most of the times, but, sometimes they give a ticklish feeling when we see how frivolously the term 'positive attitude' and the word 'hope' are used. These terms are powerful in their own right.

I feel most of the times the attitude to change things or hope for better times is already there in the mind. And, most of the times in our mind we are already working on the things want or how our future takes shape, however negative or depressed we maybe feeling or look to the world. The intrinsic value such positive terms is already in the psyche.

I had thought of writing this post after coming across one really mushy message of how things will turnaround once you have hope or positive attitude. But, we all have it somewhere inside us, whatever the world may make out of us. What the future holds depends how you think or work (being cheery or gung-ho outwardly is of little or no consequence).

PS: I'm not against reading such messages talking about hope and positive attitude, I even share most of them. It is just sometimes that you get ticklish when the writing goes overboard.

Monday, May 06, 2013

I too am a filmmaker now

Steven Spielberg made his first film in his early teens and I touched a real camera only in my very late thirties and shot my first video just last week as I’d mentioned here. But, as they say age no bar when it is the question of passion.


Discussing the process of editing this video and adding background music with Adithya, who helped me with it was equally or more exciting than the actual shooting.

PS: The title and the first paragraph is written the tongue-in-cheek manner. I don't think I'd be any good in the next ten years.

Friday, May 03, 2013

Labour Day

We Keralites may have made a habit of filling up the coffers the Beverages Corporation on every holiday. But, some out station workers toil on such days to earn their bread, then let it be the Labour Day, a day paying homage to their struggle.



Clicked a few pictures on the holiday (May 1) of a construction site in the vicinity.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Fruit Stalls in the Gujarati Street

Last evening my sis Smita took me for a round on my wheelchair to the vegetable/fruit market reviving the memories of our younger days when it was a  routine. Initially, I was very shy and conscious of people watching or staring at me, and, her only argument would be "if I'm not bothered why should you be?" Slowly I started enjoying such outings.

As I look back I feel that I've changed a lot since those days, now I'm least bothered about the stares and would even smile at someone who persistently looks at me. Yesterday was fun as hardly anybody realised that I'd a camera with me and that I was taking pictures or video (the video has a steadicam feel to it).






I've got a video recording of around four minutes, will try to upload it after some editing adding background score.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Water Wars

With the summer blazing in its full glory water has become an important commodity for me (no I'm not a compulsive water drinking person for obvious reasons), apart from the 'killing' thirst, the fear of the return of Renal Colic, which I fought nearly eight years to get rid of, makes me think and drink more water these days.

Water as such is the flavour of the season with politicians asking the common man if they should be peeing in the dams in order to fill them up...

Then there is this blog, which quotes Nestle's top honcho saying that water is not a human right that I read during the last week.

The other article that I read is by Shekhar Kapur, it talks about the consequences of privatisation of water resources. We may argue that he is just publicising his long awaited film 'Pani', yet it strikes a chord somewhere.

The most striking thing that has appeared about water recently is the series of TV spots done by Bisleri that are meant to scare us from sharing our bottle of water with fellow human beings, it conveys in no mild terms to have your own bottle of Bisleri (500 ML costing Rs. 10 only) if you are thirsty.




I'm under no delusion to believe that we will switch on the reverse gear after making so much progress as the human race and begin to live organically and share natural resources with every living being.

Going at this rate the day isn't far when we will have the choice of buying perfume enriched oxygen in numerous variants or simply die breathless.

Happy Earth Day should we say?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Evening Walk with Mr. Prabhu


This is Mr. Prabhu, my nonagenarian neighbour who walks for 45 minutes to 1 hour daily evening. Everyday I hear the sound of his slippers while catching the news of the day on TV. Yesterday, after returning from work, I waited for him with my camera and tripod ready to click a few pictures of his. He asked me what was I doing outside and happily posed for me when I told him I was taking pictures.





This is Srikanth from the next lane who gave Mr. Prabhu company for few minute. I felt he was unexpected bonus for me.

I was humming the Alive is Awesome jingle of the Cinthol product range and felt that these two persons somehow gave real meaning to those words.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sun Bathing mangoes & a pair of shoes



Drying mangoes in the sun and making pickles is an annual ritual with Ma. You'll find mangoes of numerous variety cut, diced and even scraped all around the house during the summer. The fragrance of mangoes marked the beginning of the long holidays in childhood and tasting a few pieces without anyone noticing was a fun activity. Paradise Pickles & Preserves anyone? :-P

Sunday, April 07, 2013

I wished to hold on to you


I wished to hold on to you a little longer

and caress your cheeks

I wished to hold on to you a little longer

to tell you everything, good and bad,

that happened to me after you left

I wished to hold on to you a little longer

and look into your eyes to see if I still

existed there as a happy memory.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Grandpa's Clock


One of the few old clocks in my antiquated house. I got a kerosene lamp hanging nearby in the frame as a bonus.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Click for a click will make the world go...

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Chandrakanth clicked me

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I reciprocated
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He wanted my happy face but it became horror
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Surprisingly he isn't scared
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Pappa trying to click us together
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& does a good job, even though I blink 
I'd first read about Chandrakanth here. Then after a few days saw him on TV; immediately I searched for him on FB & requested him to make a tripod that could be fitted on my wheelchair. He obliged & here I am.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Man in a Jovial Mood



My photography is bound to be in Top Gear (quality-wise) from now on,  because of my new friend (brother) Chandrakanth Madhavan has gifted me a tripod that is fitted on my wheelchair.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

I Pretend to be Happy


I pretend to be happy without you.

Sharing small joys with the world

In an effort to forget the euphoria you shared with me.

I pretend to be happy without you.

Knowing that my existence is worthless without you.

Still making an effort to make it count for something.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Quality Time Spent with my Screen Pappa (Lal)

I'd gone to meet Lal for a chat after his performance in Ozhimuri got Special Mention from the Jury in the recently announced National Film Awards (2013).







I'll attach the interview here once it is up tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Amidst White Violins

Last Sunday (17th, the last day of the Biennale) covered two more venues, Moidu's Heritage Plaza and the Pepper House. The former of which was nightmarishly inaccessible even on the ground floor with obstacles (the structure itself is on the verge of collapse) every few steps. Pepper House was a bit easier and this time Sendhil took the initiative to carry me to the first floor.

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with Raju
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with Sendhil

Monday, March 18, 2013

I could do it!

Yes, I could it... The feeling was special, so, the thought came to my mind why not put it on a paper and see how it shapes up. This may have been the first time in 14-15 years I was trying to write something in the real sense using paper and a pen (though I've written a couple of letters & a few birthday message in between).

It took me 10-15 minutes to pour the whole thing out and make the corrections. The result was exciting as you can see.

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PS: I've already posted the readable version here.

PPS: This picture is taken by Ma.

Friday, March 15, 2013

You Can


You can make me cry.

You can make me laugh.

And, dance as your nimble fingers wish.

Because my strings are attached on them.

You can play a virtual God.

And decide my destiny.

Because I am hopelessly in love with you.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Flowering Cactus

The enchanting colour of this bunch of flowers drew me from day one itself. It kept growing every day gaining richer hues and I kept drooling thinking about how a pro or a person with little more mobility than me would have captured these changes. After nearly two weeks I just sat in front of it and clicked the best way I could.

This is my Best!


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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Absorbed

A Post Women's Day Picture of a Lady who can give any Superman a run for his money. :-)

Absorbed

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

A Prayer

Thinking about you,

Is the only prayer I do,

Every moment of the day.

Just mushy words! I know.

But still I hope,

They reverberate somewhere in your soul.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Precariously Perched

A construction worker working next door on a Sunday (in all probability an immigrant), that too without any safety gear. I'd hear the songs of Aashiqui coming from a phone placed somewhere inside the building. It made clicking these pictures more pleasurable.

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Bonus


While looking for the link of Aashiqui I discovered that my favourite song from the film Dheere Dheere Se is inspired by Joyce Sims' Come into My Life, which doesn't really bother me as such and I like the original too...

Here are the two songs:



Dheere Dheere Se


Come into my life

Friday, February 22, 2013

Endurance


Physical pain becomes second nature once it crosses a limit. You just learn to live with it, it becomes like overgrown fingernails, they don't hamper your capability to work much but their presence is a mild irritant in the back of your mind.

Pain has been my constant companion for me since the time I can remember. It was physiotherapy and other such assorted treatments from a very young age, the excuse being 'don't you wish to be ok?' 'walk?' 'run?' 'play cricket?' etc. At other times it was ridicule, the louder I cried the vicious the ridicule. I can't say how much such treatments helped me physically but, it surely helped me in braving the pain silently and learning to ignore it all together. I became detached from my body so to speak (this isn't a high funda thing as it sounds but a practical thing that happens naturally, so, now I feel that my b***t has gone numb still I can go on typing this without much fuss).

Heartache or emotional hurt is a different matter. You can read lots of self-help and how-to books or follow any spiritual guru, but, when it comes you're left to your own devices. There is/was (I'm not sure) a streak of depression in me that would take me brink often, it could be anything, sometimes something that may seem absolutely silly.

In the last few days there were couple of instances that I feared (they weren't silly for me, not even in hindsight) would take me to the brink or at least it would take me a few days to be back to normal. But, to my surprise I was back to normal in just a few hours on both the occasions. And, to top it up I can think of those incidents without any uneasiness. I have also thought about how my brain was working during those hours to see if there was any peculiar pattern that was followed.

I'm getting a few answers from this process. The best of them maybe that my heart too learning to endure pain without hampering my capability to work, otherwise I couldn't have written this post.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Thoughts on a Special Day


Hold me tight.

Let the gloom pass.

We will survive together.

It'll be just a normal day as any other.

I know that for sure My Love.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Imperfection And Inaction


I hardly strive for perfection or do my best, I’ll do better next time is my mantra (as there is a sense of dissatisfaction gnawing somewhere deep within and never a fulfilment). It is the mental thing, I just can't discount my limitations when I imagine myself doing something, it is only when the actual work starts the limitations come to the fore stifling even my thinking or the thought process and leaving me inactive. Sometimes, I stop making effort to do it again (if the degree of disappointment is very high), otherwise I just do it the way I can and leave the rest (it is very difficult for me to get out of the 'self-pity' zone if I enter one and I harass a couple of dear ones, so I've to be careful I don't slip into it).

Basically I feel I've turned out to be a happy person. I don't feel I require any special conditioning to remain like that (some weird chemical composition in the brain maybe).

Once in a while I do get lucky and achieve near perfection as in the snap below:

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I clicked it sitting in an auto-rickshaw in a traffic jam. Since then I have tried hard to capture fancy number plates (to make a series). But, has never come this close.

Monday, February 04, 2013

Second visit to the Biennale

At the Aspinwall House.

In front of the work of Vivek Vilasini.

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With Sendhil

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With Raju
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Sendhil with a headless Raju
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Discussing about how to be in my frame with their heads intact
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All Smiles
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At Ease (before Raju got punctured carrying me to the first floor a few times)
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The Unholy Trinity
Details of the First Visit to the Biennale are here.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Banana Vendor of Kochi

Shamir, from whom Ma sources our daily dose of energy. I'd clicked these pictures as 26th was a holiday and he came around noon. He patiently moved around his cart for 15 minutes as I requested him to and Ma placed me wherever I wanted to...

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