Friday, 29 August 2014

Blog on Dulquer Salman’s Filmography #2 : Blog # 190

Blog on Dulquer Salman’s Filmography #2

          Today, DQ is an immensely popular star who knows the craft of acting. Now that is a combination that isn't easy to come by. Post his ‘5 Sundarikal’ which won him quite some praise from the critics and the audience alike for his sensitive portrayal of a wheel chair bound youngster, there were a couple of movies which did not really qualify to be called a ‘Success’ in the economic sense of the word.
dulquer salman, DQ , dulquer salman films, malayalam cinema, malayalam films

            Not one to shy away from challenges, he did a bilingual (‘Vaayai moodi pesavum’ in Malayalam and Tamil) as a salesman who loses his ability to speak. The film was quite novel as it did not have any dialogue at all in the second half. In Tamil, the film was a huge success where as in Malayalam, it wasn't. But then again, his acting prowess was noted. What this did to brand DQ was that he became a house hold name in Tamil Nadu also which is quite close to being qualified as a ‘Southern Superstar’.  

            And happened, ‘Bangalore days’, the phenomenal success of a movie by much acclaimed director, Anjali Menon. Not only was the movie a huge commercial success, it was much loved by the people for its quality of craft. His effortless, intense yet subtle performance of ‘Arjun’ a biker grappling with the harsh realities of Life won the audience’s hearts hands down. It was the first Malayalam movie to be released with sub titles and the way it was marketed over social media by ‘Iced tea’ was sheer brilliance. A bit of DQ’s popularity on social media which stands at a little over 25 Lakhs likes on FB and about 1 Lakh followers on twitter might be a windfall from that movie and its success.

            Bangalore days was an ensemble cast. His next, ‘Vikramadithyan’ however was solely on his shoulders. This film also was widely loved by the audience. Two movies that have been announced are ‘Njan’ and ‘100 days of Love’. The trailer of ‘Njan’ looks quite interesting. There are reports that DQ will be doing a Mani Ratnam movie next. Now who gets to do a movie with Mani Ratnam, in the first two years of one’s career? The answer is a talented actor does! J.

 DQ’s appearance on the popular tamil show, “Coffee with DD” did manage to pull up his popularity a couple of notches up in Tamil Nadu. He is endorsing a popular brand of shirt which is doing quite well for itself.  By now, he has appeared on the cover pages of many a popular magazine. His interviews though are far and few. Whenever he has given an interview, it was straight from the heart and free of pretentions. Being the tech savvy person that he is, he has quite a presence on Google plus as well with close to 3 Lakhs followers.

What is heartening though is the fact that success has only added to his humility. Also, him lending his popularity for the Anti addiction campaign by Kerala government (Addicted to Life) speaks much about his awareness and understanding of society’s challenges.

I remember chatting with him on twitter when his first movie had released. I felt that he wasn't completely convinced that movies was the place for him to be in. But now, it seems he has found his calling and we are happy that he did! J.

Earlier blogs on Dulquer’s Filmography:

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Worth a 1000 words! : Blog # 189

Worth a 1000 words!

        We are a species which astonishes ourselves time and again by the lack of sensitivity that we show towards each other. I often wonder why do we not feel a kinship with our own kind from a different part of the world. One reason might be the lack of awareness about the severity of their suffering. Being away from the place and being detached from that situation takes away the much needed empathy from our minds.

            Steal a few moments from your busy to breathe lives and look at this picture. I want you to think of a baby that you know of. I want you to think of all that you will do to prevent any harm being caused to that little kid. I want you to think of how you will rush towards the kid at the first instance when the baby cries for food.

This picture taken by the Pulitzer prize winning journalist, Kevin cater stands in contradiction to all that we do to protect our little ones. The vulture at the distance is waiting for the baby to breathe his last. The little one has suffered without an ounce of food or a drop of water. Can you fathom what this kid is enduring? At an age when the child should be showered with love and blessings, she is made to struggle for life. What in the world would justify such a situation! We all wallow in self pity at the smallest of life’s difficulties. I cannot stop my eyes from welling up when I attempt to understand the physical pain and mental agony the kid is made to go through. More so,just because we as a race in spite of all our advancements and capabilities cannot find a way to feed our own kind in a different part of our world. We all have little ones at our own or at extended families and that kid in the picture is someone’s baby. That kid also deserves to run around, laugh aloud, be fed, be loved, go to school, realize his dreams and live through his destiny.

Now, war is something which almost all of us would say ‘No’ to. But apart from the few who are part of the armed forces, we do not get to witness the hurricane of destruction that a war unleashes. We do not realize the pain it spreads. We are blinded to the loss of lives, the suffering that families are made to go through.  A few of you might find it hard to look at this picture taken by Kenneth Jarecke, the American photojournalist. It shows a man who was incinerated when he was trying to escape from his vehicle. This photograph is from a war zone in a country that was devastated by war. If you can’t bring yourself to look at this picture, imagine the plight of this person who went through hell! He is burned from head to toe and pain would have traversed through every cell of his body! That person there is a son, may be a husband, he has a family like you and me. Sufferings like this which are beyond our worst nightmares happen during a war. Whichever side of the imaginary line of a ‘border’ one is, a loss of life is a loss to the humanity. At every war waged across the world, it is humanity that dies a slow painful death.

I believe creative endeavors should be aimed at spreading happiness and should attempt to inspire people. But these two pictures deserve to be seen and talked about. The next time we think of a war or sanctions on the third world, these pictures must bring tears to our eyes. I pray and hope those tears will clear our vision which often gets blurred by the wall of region, religion and race!

Arun Babu

Sunday, 10 August 2014

With Love, Noora : Blog #188

With Love, Noora

Dear John,

            I woke up to the early morning sun peeping in through the windows of our balcony. The sun shines bright and yellow these days. There are no clouds of dust which shield the golden rays. The nights are peaceful. The only sounds I hear are of the crickets and the creatures of the night.

         Loud music played on as I had breakfast. Father offered to drop me. I chose the public transport instead. Why wouldn't I? It’s so safe these days. Initially, I found the concept interesting. Remember? We never had it here earlier. The only vehicles which came close to public transport were the ones used by the embassies. Thanks to your father’s job there, we both used to frequent them.

         My kid bro is a little unhappy these days. He has to go to school every day. There aren't many vacations for him, not unplanned ones at least. I love going to college. There are new universities coming up. People are hopeful about future. At times, I listen to our discussions ranging from job prospects to developments and wonder if it’s for real. There are trees being planted on the road sides. Earlier, there were hardly any trees and now, there are glimpses of greenery here and there.

          Our relatives who had been gone for long have all come back. Now we know what it feels to be like a real family. The sense of void is no longer there. You know what I like the most? The movie theater which was closed years ago is reopened now. We get a glimpse of the world outside now. How much the world has changed! A new super market has opened in the locality recently. I never knew there are so many kinds of chocolates!

         My father has restarted his business now and mother has started teaching the kids craft again at home. Every day morning, the roads are filled with vehicles. People go to work, kids go to schools. We have our own mini rush hours. The radio gives alerts on traffic these days and not cautionary warnings. The streets are filled with honks and not sirens.

These days, Life has become what you call ‘Normal’. Now, I understand what ‘Normal’ means.

With Love,
From Palestine,

Something to wake up to : Blog # 187

Something to wake up to

I remember the day when I completed my last semester’s exam of Engineering. There was a void. I did not have anything to do at all – no assignments, no projects, no examinations and no deadlines for submissions. The fact that I did not have a job offer in hand also helped. Unlike many of you, I am someone who enjoys doing nothing. I am not someone who has to have something or the other to occupy myself with. Inspite of this, I did not enjoy the void that I felt on that day.

We all complain about our hectic schedules. We all fret about how our lives have become a never ending pursuit of deadlines. But what do we do when have some surplus of time with us? I happened to think about this a couple of months back. I shifted to a place which is closer to my office and suddenly, I got about 3 hours a day which I did not know how to handle!

I think we land up in this situation due to the fact that we let ourselves be consumed by a single facet of life that is work. It is important that we respect work , understand how it gives us a sense of purpose to live with and of course how it contributes towards our sustenance. But equally important is the realization that work will come to an end one day. The day wok comes to an end, all of us might feel the void that I mentioned above, I know atleast I will for sure.

I have heard people say quite often that if you choose something you love doing , you won’t feel like working at all. Somehow, I cannot find truth in this statement. At best, I can imagine one not hating the fact that one has to go to office when one likes what he/she is doing. But the awareness that it is work afterall will be there at the back of one’s mind constantly is what I feel. Thus falling in love with one’s work is a difficult proposition especially when all of us have managers J.

We should cultivate and develop interests beyond work. It can be nurturing relationships with loved ones, friends or extended family. It can be some hobby or interest. It can be a creative endeavour. It can be sports, arts or craft too. But there should be something which should help one disconnect from work. Also, having something of this sort help us get in touch with the larger purpose of life. If it is not a passive interest, one might end up creating something for posterity!

Sooner or later, a day will come in all of our lives where we don’t have much to do. In days like those, having an interest or passion of some sort will gift us with the feeling that you have something to wake up to. In our busy to breathe lives, we often forget the fact that dusks are longer than the dawns or so we perceive them to be. When we slip in to those dusks, it will be comforting to know that you have something to wake up to.

Arun Babu

Sunday, 3 August 2014

It’s complicated : Blog # 186

It’s complicated

Relationships have never been better defined by words than these two – It’s complicated. The more we try to understand them, the more complex they become. Many a time, we tend to think that relationships evolve by themselves. This is rarely true. They need and want to be nurtured.

Strangely, it is the little things which help relations flourish. I still remember one of my uncles taking an effort to find me a job post engineering when no one else bothered. It did not work out. But I am still grateful for the effort he took. I am sure all of you have little things which you remember people by. It doesn’t take much time and more often than not, not much effort too. But one has to have the heart to do it. This doesn’t come by easily. One has to cultivate that habit.

In our part of the world at least, relationships play a huge role. Be it family, friends or acquaintances, having a ‘connect’ with someone is valued more than anything else. Then the decisions are made by the heart and not the head. I remember once, under a situation of immense pressure, I called up a colleague for something quite late in the night. He told me that I am doing this since YOU are asking me. Otherwise, I need not and will not do it. I would say one of my greatest learnings from working for the little time that I have done is that it is people who get things done and not processes. So if you need to get things done in a work environment, you need to connect with people and it doesn’t happen in a day or two. One needs to build relationships. Only then people will at least try to go an extra mile for you.

It is quite easy to let relationships fade away. But getting them back is not quite as easy. More so,in today’s time and age where we are under a sort of siege by technology. Relationships begin and end between the time one logs in and logs out.I think the way we seek out relationships also changes with age. Early in life, we seek out similar people- people who are like us because there in lies happiness. Later on, we should try and seek out people who are different from us for they will help us grow as an individual.

Recently, one of my friends told me that we haven’t met in a long time. I told her that we have been always in touch through Facebook. She laughed and asked “Since when did that become your idea of meeting?” One fallacy that we commit these days is in thinking that virtual interactions are as effective as meeting people in person. This is far from truth of the matter. When you meet a person, they are able to see your eyes lighting up seeing them, they understand your genuineness through your physical gestures and touch. They realize you travelled all the way to be in their presence.

Relationships need time. It is like water to a plant. By spending time with each other, one learns more of the other. We must understand that companionship is one the greatest comforts. There are times one needs to be alone. But there are also times when one needs to be with people. And more often than not, the latter need happens more frequently. It can be family, friends or neighbors. But these relationships don’t happen in a moment. It might take a lifetime but these are what makes living a lifetime worthwhile.

Arun Babu.