Monday, May 26, 2014

The Legacy of Manam!

The legacy of Manam - ANR lives on - Kartik Dayanand Boddapati

"There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed." - Ernest Hemingway

While I punch the keys on my laptop to write about the Telugu film Manam, my feelings are similar - instead of blood, I have tears in my eyes. Tears that refuse to stop long after the show got over. Tears that seem to emanate from a complex set of emotions triggered by nostalgia, sadness and joy - all at the same time. It is as if the movie has done some kind of black magic on me. The only way for me to make sense of all those tears is to write this blog post. Who knows, you might be feeling the same way too after watching the film.

One basic assumption before watching Manam is that this is a film about glorifying the decades old ANR legacy which starts with Akkineni Nageswara Rao in the 1940s to his son Nagarjuna starting in the 80s and then onto his grandson Naga Chaitanya starting in the new millennium – all of whom star in this film. It is an easy temptation for the film makers to fall into a trap of over the top hero worship but Manam pleasantly surprises and almost shocks everyone with its approach to storytelling.

Manam isn’t just a film about glorifying the legacy of one family but is a mirror to the existence and continuity of life beyond the pendulum of life and death!

Very rarely do we come across films that tie in the elements of deep philosophy and love while retaining the essence of glorifying a legacy. Manam is that rare gem which achieves the impossible, and this is why it made me cry…

Monday, February 17, 2014

Arvind Kejriwal's Nocebo Mantra and why you can't ignore him!


It will be a big mistake to underestimate Arvind Kejriwal's impact on the upcoming Lok Sabha elections!

Ever since he started his political campaign, Arvind Kejriwal has been two steps ahead of his competition. Be it his innovative use of social media to reach young voters, banners on autos across Delhi city or the incessant radio campaign amongst other things - his political rivals were always playing catch-up and it showed in the results of the Delhi elections.

Forty nine days after assuming power as the Chief Minister of Delhi, after creating one ruckus after the other, being labeled as an anarchist where everyday governance turned into a prime time reality show, Arvind Kejriwal finally resigned from his post. Fallout of this: 

A major part of Arvind Kejriwal's educated fan base has deserted him but he still magically manages to find new admirers and fanatic followers.

Free from the burden of the CM's chair, Arvind Kejriwal now seems to be in a hurry to reach out to a wider pan India audience. Post his resignation, he has already starred in (pun intended) two prominent interviews by two top journalists of India, Barkha Dutt and Rajdeep Sardesai, both incessantly promoting those interviews on Twitter ensuing loads of free publicity. Kejriwal cleverly seems to avoid Times Now though. And the best part, all the uncomfortable questions that people had for him, he let Barkha and Rajdeep ask on their shows and answered them without fear. Whether the answers were convincing or not, his conviction is all that seems to matter now.

He even did the unthinkable by sharing on Twitter a spoof video song made to ridicule him. The after effects of which are quite hilarious where the guys who made the video, out of utter shock or joy, tweeted that they will now vote for him. One more vote bank captured - the comics on Twitter, a very critical element that shapes public opinion online in a jiffy.

But, the real secret behind Arvind Kejriwal's unstoppable juggernaut is a simple secret ingredient - The Nocebo Mantra or Effect!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Pehle APP - Phir AAP: The story of two disrupters

Aam Aadmi Party and the AAP and APP connection - Kartik Dayanand - Mind u Read

AAP and APP - One is a political party, the other a term used for mobile/internet applications.

One might think the only connection between AAP and APP are their similar sounding names. The Aam Aadmi Party's name AAP is often spelled as APP by mistake. But the truth is - they have more things in common than one can ever imagine. For starters, both are new, disruptive in nature, upsetting the way things are run conventionally.

I am going to list out in this blog post many more points that are eerily common to both. Here they go...

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Is there a Sachin Tendulkar inside God?

Why is Sachin Tendulkar called god? Kartik Dayanand Boddapati - Mind u Read

Ever since Sachin Tendulkar announced his retirement from international cricket, thousands of articles have been written about him, adding to the millions that are already in existence. I tried to read most of the pertinent ones but somehow I never found a convincing answer to the one question that always haunted me...

Why is Sachin Tendulkar called God?

I also asked my friends on Twitter; they came up with some interesting observations, but the complete answer eluded me. I then saw Sachin Tendulkar's farewell speech at the Wankhede. That speech brought tears to my eyes for reasons that seemed to defy logic. Based on what he spoke, I wondered further... 

What if the question changed from...why is Sachin Tendulkar called God? to...what if there is a Sachin Tendulkar inside God?

A bizarre thought, but the answers that came up really baffled my mind. Here is what I figured out, summarized in ten points.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Krrish 3 and Mangalyaan: Birds of the same feather!

Krrish 3 and Mangalyaan - Kartik Dayanand - Mind u Read

People laughed when I said I loved Krrish 3. They laughed even harder when I said Krrish 3 should break all box office records. But they laughed the loudest when I said Krrish 3’s success is as important to us as the success of Mangalyaan, India’s Mars Mission.

Everyone thought I was joking. They still think so. Now that I am writing this blog post, I hope all doubts will be laid to rest. I will start by first speaking about the movie and then go on to Mangalyaan.

Krrish 3

To be honest, I wasn't too enthusiastic to watch Krrish 3 despite all the pre release hype about the VFX and other stuff. Dhoom 3 which is to release in December seemed far more exciting. In 2006, Dhoom 2 overshadowed the hysteria around Krrish, and it seemed like a case of advanced deja vu already.

However I was really curious to see how Rakesh Roshan strung the movie together. I think he has a terrific sense of screenplay and there is a certain rhythm and mathematical precession in the way each scene of his flows into the next. I have been observing this from the time I watched his Karan Arjun in 1995; more about that in another post.

So, this wasn't a good enough reason to convince my wife to watch the film as she didn’t find the prequels that exciting. She agreed only under the condition that she would catch up with some much needed rest in the theatre by sleeping through the movie. My kids weren't too enthusiastic too; they hardly knew who Krrish was, especially considering the 7 year gap since the previous instalment. They were more attuned to the likes of Iron Man and Hulk. They are 8 and 5, so you can imagine how ancient Krrish seemed to them.

And then...

Friday, October 25, 2013

Gravity and the secret sauce of life!

Philosophy behind the movie Gravity - Kartik Dayanand's blog

Life in space is impossible!

The movie ’Gravity’ begins with this ominous line, and for the next 100 odd minutes  it is an immersive roller-coaster ride following astronauts marooned in space.

As the tag line of the movie ‘Don't let go’ suggests, survival of the characters in the film depends on - holding on to things, letting go off things and reaching out for the right things at the right time. This in essence is the simple storyline of the film.

The above scenario reminded me of how similar life on earth is to the one the movie showed us. For survival, we all do the same three things - hold on, let go and reach out; though not literally like in space but in a very metaphorical and invisible way. This is the secret sauce that I am going to speak about in this post.  If you were expecting a review of the movie Gravity, I am sorry to disappoint you.

So here it goes...