Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Happy New Year: Making Sense of Nonsense!

Happy New Year - Kartik Dayanand Boddapati

Kids laugh 300 times a day. Adults laugh only 5 times a day!

There is no scientific data to prove it, but everyone seems to believe the above numbers. Kids indeed laugh a lot, are happier and seem to have more fun than us adults. Thanks to the pressures of growing up, we often end up losing the kid inside us.

The reason I speak about kids and adults in this post is because I find it very amusing to see the extreme reactions to the latest Farah Khan movie Happy New Year.

Happy New Year seems to invoke a strange phenomenon - a battle between the kid and the adult within us.

By now, I am assuming you already know who you are – the one who laughed out loud while enjoying the movie, or the one who laughed reading the spoofs and reviews of critics who trashed this movie. One is the kid inside you reacting, and the other is the adult.

Through this post I would like to explore this phenomenon further. It will probably help explain why I like this film and why you might not necessarily be on the same plane as me. So here it goes, let me know what you think…

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Divine Science driving star studded blockbusters!

Secret behind blockbusters - Kartik Dayanand Boddapati

He won’t stop – that’s the literal translation of ’Aagadu’, the title of a Telugu movie that released last weekend.

True to its name, the movie was unstoppable at the box office, netting close to a million dollars on the day of its release in the US. An unprecedented number for an Indian film, leave alone a Telugu film. I was constantly bombarded by Whatsapp updates from my friends in the US who flocked to the screens in droves as if their lives depended on this movie.

Closer home, the story was no different - despite negative reviews from critics and 140 character experts on Twitter, the film marched on triumphantly.

I watched the movie in a Delhi NCR multiplex which was packed to the brim - a rarity in this part of the country.

Craze for the movie wasn’t surprising. Aagadu is after-all a big budget movie made by a popular director with a successful track record starring one of the most charismatic heroes of South India - Mahesh Babu - the central reason for the all-round mania over the film.

However, while watching the film I realized something very strange. Something that changed my whole perception of going to the movies…more so…big budget movies starring the likes of a Salman Khan, SRK, Rajinikanth, Pawan Kalyan, Mahesh Babu, Vijay, Ajith, Surya, etc.

Apart from their usual charisma to pull the crowds, I realized that their movies have a divine supernatural force that we are yet to fathom.

This blog post is my attempt to capture that force. Once you read it, let me know what you think. Because I feel I might not be the only one who feels this way. Here it goes…

Friday, September 12, 2014

Apple Watch and the Evolution of the Matrix!

Apple Watch and the Evolution of the Matrix

Ever since I watched the film “The Matrix” in the late 90s, I've often wondered if what was shown in the film could become a reality someday. It is highly unlikely, but for those who don't know what the Matrix is all about, here is a brief Wikipedia entry about the film:

"The Matrix depicts a dystopian future in which reality as perceived by most humans is actually a simulated reality called "the Matrix", created by sentient machines to subdue the human population, while their bodies' heat and electrical activity are used as an energy source."

The Internet of today seems like a nascent version of the Matrix. We humans constantly look for validation and information online. We not only consume but also generate all of the data online via social networks and other means which are powered by corporations that now wield immense power over our lives – think Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon, etc.

The Apple Watch seems like the next big logical step in the evolution of this Matrix.

Why do I say that? Well, read on…

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...