Tuesday, 20 December 2016

He who lost Babylon: Blog # 283

He who lost Babylon

He was busy at his office. Having returned from abroad armed with a master’s degree, he was asked to oversee two of the smaller companies of the business empire that his family owned. He knew that the companies were not going anywhere in spite of his best efforts. It was on a cold evening that he received a phone call asking him to helm the entire business group. He wondered as to why he was chosen.

Corporate, work, Corporate house, Corporate war, Boardroom battleTo be the Chairman of a world renowned business group was not a small responsibility. It weighed down on him considerably. He found it difficult to convince veterans during board meetings. He felt that he was not being taken seriously. He tried his best to reason with the seasoned leaders. They refused to budge. One fine day, he changed the rules of the game. He slowly started bypassing them. They were not told about important decisions. They were made to feel irrelevant. Those who couldn’t understand the language of subtlety was told in loud and clear terms to leave. He knew there would be backlash and he was ready for it.

Years went by. He strived hard. He managed to turn around some businesses. He made some smart investments. He was leading the business empire in to the future. Soon he realized how newspapers and public relations worked.  Newspapers wanted Ads to stay afloat. When he could control about half the revenue of the entire private enterprise of a nation, he knew how to rein in the newsprint. He also realized that people care more about stories than numbers. He created a very smart story around his business empire. They told the story of ethics, corporate social responsibility and governance around the business group. They told similar stories for all the group companies. They told them repeatedly. Soon it was as if no one could question the credibility of his business house.

            He had friends in all the right places – ministries, newsrooms, corporate circles and everyone that mattered. The government felicitated him with the highest civilian honors. His business empire grew by leaps and bounds. Along the way, he made some bad decisions. For fear of upsetting him, not even one newspaper criticized him. His corporate circle heaped praises on him for the failed endeavors too. Many knew that the group was bleeding money. Everyone kept quiet.

            It was time for him to retire. He found a replacement, quiet and conscientious – more importantly not charismatic and hence less threatening. He expected the new chairman to toe the line. The newbie did just that in the beginning. And then, the winter set in the board room and the relationship. He tried all the tricks in the trade. But nothing helped. The newbie conquered the boardroom like an old king captured Babylon. That would mean his legacy would be threatened. His foibles would be revealed. He asked the newbie to step down. The newbie reminded him of his younger days; how he had pushed aside the veterans thereby implying that now he was the veteran who needs to be removed.

            He had to make a decision. It is either his legacy or his business group’s that was at stake. He knew the group would eventually recover from the bad press. But it was upon him to guard his legacy. He underestimated the clout of newbie. He expected everyone to sing his praises. Alas! That was not to be.

            He and his group, both stood tainted. And he became a fallen hero.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

For the love of family : Blog # 282

For the love of family

I do not know how one can comprehend not having a family. To not have someone whom you can call one’s own, To not have someone around with whom you have grown up with, To not have someone who will forgive all your sins without batting an eyelid is a tremendous void.

Family, Bear, Bear cubs, Forest, Cute family, CuteThere is something strange about family. They are your worst critics. They are the ones who holds grudges for the longest of times. They are the ones who drive you up the wall. But they are also the ones whose approval you seek the most. They are the ones with whom you want to mend your fences with.  They are the ones whose absence can make you feel empty.

All of us know that living in this world is not a walk in the park. As one grows older, one realizes how difficult it is to navigate the vagaries of life. Having a family by the side gives one the notion that one is not alone in this journey.

Later on, one does realize that the challenges in life really are one’s own. One has to walk through one’s own troubles. There is a great deal of loneliness in crisis. It is not that the family does not want to support you. They try their level best. But then, there is only as much a family can do. Still, the realization that there are people around you who are concerned for you does make the journey easier. Imagine not having anyone around you to offer a word of solace. What an abyss of grief will that be?

I have always felt that what keeps us going in life is memories. For a while, I thought memories are made of places and experiences. But I continue to realize that it is people who make memories. It is always people. Places and experiences are just the props on the stage. It is the people who brings the stage to life. It is up on us that we collect good people who make good memories. Friends are a blessing. But a large part of our life memories beginning from childhood are made up of people from our family.

My friend Jeeva and I were talking today about the demise of Jayalalitha, We felt may be one of reasons why people were so moved by the passing of one of the strongest political leaders of our times was the lack of a family around her. To lie there waiting for her final journey, lonely without having someone nearby whom she could call her own was indeed heartbreaking to say the least.

Blessed are those who can claim to have a family around them!

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Pictories #2 ~ Of pictures and their stories ~ Blog # 281

Pictories #2 ~ Of pictures and their stories 

These days, we all click pictures. I think, of the many things which social media managed to do was to take away the elitism from photography. Anyone with a cell phone is a photographer these days. Of course, this does not mean that all of us take good pictures. But we all try. What I request all the shutter bugs though is to use a line or two to describe your thoughts while you took the picture. This would add more gravitas to the picture than reducing them to mere hashtags, don’t you think? Here are a few clicks of mine and what I think of them.

boat, ocean, sea, beach

While trying to capture these two people on a boat in the middle of the sea, I couldn’t stop myself from thinking about the beauty of solitude and friendship. If there were only one person on that boat, it would have been only about solitude and how it helps one to reflect on thoughts and life in general. The presence of second person there makes it to be about friendship too. How blessed one should be to find someone in the journey of life with whom one can share one’s silences too.

Murugan Idli, Chennai, Food, banana leave, Vada

That my friends, is a spread from Murugan Idli at Besant nagar beach in Chennai. I literally had to stop myself from diving right in to that banana leaf before clicking this picture. Those of you who haven’t had Murugan Idlis have no clue how delicious a humble food like Idli and those chutneys can get. Don’t even get me started about the sweet pongal. There are very few things as therapeutic as good food, isn’t it?

Gold, Necklace, Kerala, Kerala Wedding, Wedding, Indian wedding

My little sister is getting married. We were at the jewelry store to buy gold and this is something which we all liked. Look at the intricate work that has gone in to the pendant. What adds to the glory is the little red, green and pink stones around the pendant. It speaks volumes about its creator. How swiftly time passes by. One moment before, we were kids fighting for the larger bar of chocolate and now, she is getting married!

How beautiful this house is! The little corridor which is ideal to read a book or to just wile away time chit chatting with your friends, the thatched roof, and most importantly the sun and the sand. I have failed to understand as to why people like mountain and mist and snow so much. I have always been an admirer of a bright sunny day. This picture somehow reminds me of my summer vacations spend in Palakkad, my mother’s place. Somehow I feel these houses have a soul to them unlike the concrete blocks that surrounds us these days.

Lone tree, Swimming pool, tree by the pool, ocean

There is something oddly intriguing about a lone tree, isn’t there? It rises high above everything else around it. Yet there is a sense of loneliness to it. In this particular one, it is by the side of a pool overlooking a sea. I wonder what the tree might be thinking. Is it looking only at the pool admiring its own reflection? Is it aware of the vast ocean ahead of it? Is it trying to decide as to which side it should grow towards? Only the tree can tell.

Like the above pics? Want to be bombarded with such images on a regular basis? ;). Please follow me on Instagram. My Insta handle is roamdworld .

Check out other Pictories:

Find Pictory #1 here
Find Pictory#3 here

Find Pictory#4 here

Monday, 28 November 2016

Is Koffee with Karan becoming the worst TV show ever? : Blog #280

Is Koffee with Karan becoming the worst TV show ever?

I am a self-confessed Bollywood buff. Not the kind that gets intrigued only by Gurudutt’s Pyaasa or Shyam Bengal’s Zubeida or Mahesh Bhatt’s Arth. I enjoy a Veer Zara and a Devdas and a Kal ho Na ho and a Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and a Barfi and a Ye Jawani Hai Deewani too. I understand the business enough to know why movies like Chennai Express and an Ek tha tiger exist and how they work the box office.
Koffee with Karan, Star World, TV show, Talk show, Karan Johar

I understand the fact that Karan Johar is an astute film maker. He understands the world of cinema in a way few other directors of his time does. This does not mean he is the best director around. What I mean to say is his grasp of cinema is far superior to his contemporaries. I am one of those who enjoy his kind of cinema – light hearted, emotional stories with soul touching music and dance with good looking people and stunning locales. I used to look forward to Koffee with Karan the way we look forward to an episode of Crown these days or Game of Thrones in the recent past. May be this is why I found the Koffee with Karan episode featuring Ranbir Kapoor and Ranvir Singh completely pointless.

My grudge is not against the innuendos or the insider jokes or the gestures dripping with vulgarity. Those are what the ‘complete-freedom-of-expression’ brigade calls “comedy”. The bone I have to pick with is regarding the utter pointlessness of the whole interview. After watching it for an hour, there was nothing worthwhile at all. It had nothing to offer but a void.

To begin with, the overt familiarity between the interviewer and interviewees was too appalling to say the least. If the idea is to showcase Karan and friends having a banter, then put up a home video on YouTube. There is no need for a show on TV! There were no sensible questions. And the answers were equally senseless too. Most of the time, the three of them kept talking together making it difficult to know what they were talking about.

You might say that well, Koffee with Karan was never meant to be a sensible show. I beg to disagree. There were times when some tough questions were asked and some very brave answers were given. In one episode, Sanjay Dutt asks Sushmita Sen as to why she hadn’t given up smoking. The one with Juhi and Madhuri was very interesting to watch. It was intriguing to see them taking an effort to be appreciative of each other and yet not succeeding much. The one with Mahesh Bhatt and Alia Bhatt was honesty at its best. The ones with Abhishek Bachchan were quite witty and entertaining. So were the ones with Priyanka Chopra.

From those interviews filled with fun, entertainment and trivia to wither away to something of today’s format which can be described as hollow at best is truly saddening. What is worrying though is how most of today's popular shows are following suit. But then again, when we ourselves spend time in finding the best selfies and keeping track of the narcissistic reinforcements through 'likes', how can we complain!

Sunday, 13 November 2016

A letter to Zuckerberg: Blog# 279

A letter to Zuckerberg

The past week has been nothing short of an opinion DELUGE. There has been a barrage of information all around. Be it the deafening TRUMPet at US or the dark blindfold of black money in India or the corporate opera being performed at the Bombay house in the shrillest of voices, one could not escape opinions.
Zuckerberg, Mark zuckerberg, Facebook, Social Media

I am someone who thoroughly enjoys such dramatic turn of events and is in awe of the fact that how social media amplifies the drama. What got to me though was the umpteen repetitive forwards and posts which kept on coming with no end in sight. Everyone, including me with a keypad at their disposal opined about all of the above topics.

If you are someone who pays attention to social media, you would have heard of how Twitter became too LOUD for anyone to be on the platform and thus led to its limited growth. This was because of too many people taking extreme positions about various subjects on Twitter which led to a lot of hatred and thus people being put off. Somehow I feel Facebook is headed the same way.

Among people, there is almost a compelling urge to put up an update the moment we hear (not learn or understand) about something. We HAVE to show that we too are aware about the ongoing around the world. The only research that goes in before putting up the posts is in understanding of taking which side would enhance one’s social currency. Should I post pro Trump or pro Hillary? Should the prime minister be criticized or appreciated? Should I be on TATA’s side or should I stand with Mistry (as if either of them are bothered).This leads to extreme positions. If one doesn’t put up a status, there is always a “well posted” (not well read) friend of yours asking you if you are aware of the latest event or not.

Now about how the posts are becoming repetitive and thus boring.  No one is taking the effort to think through a situation. Let alone analyzing it. There is no question of reading up about a topic. Almost all of it is borrowed thoughts. There are little or very few posts which explore the grey area.

            I think all of this has something to do with what we are taught in our schools/colleges/workplaces. We are all told to speak up, to express ourselves, to TALK. When was the last time you heard someone asking you to LISTEN? I can’t remember having heard that in the recent past. Almost all the workshops in effective communication is about delivering content effectively. Nobody talks about the need for mindful listening.

            What I would urge Mr. Zuckerberg is to include a ‘Listening’ option on Facebook. This should give people informative, qualified, researched articles about a trending topic which will show the positive and negative reactions regarding a topic. . There should be an option to show to the world that the person is ‘Listening’. Something like ‘Listening about Trump’ or ‘Listening about black money’. This is critical because people HAVE to show that they are in the loop. Such an option will bring back reading, research and will reduce rhetoric. The decibel levels on Facebook will reduce and sanity will prevail.

Let us make listening cool again.

Arun Babu

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Pictories #1 ~ Of pictures and the stories they tell ~ Blog # 278

Pictories #1 ~ Of pictures and the stories they tell

                   I have always admired people who can capture a moment in time more beautifully than we, the lesser mortals see it. Yes, the magicians who create magic with a lens and a click – Photographers! Such talented people. I shared some of my pictures with one of my friends, who is a very talented artist. He told me “Yea, these are ok. You will get better”. I was not exactly excited to hear those words. But I know what he meant and he is too earnest a friend J. It takes a lot of patience, an eye for detail and an eye for beauty that we see around us to get that perfect click. So I will keep trying.  

            Meanwhile, I thought I will try and share what was going through my mind when I was clicking these pictures. It is indeed true that a picture speaks a 1000 words. And the best part, it speaks different sets of words to each of us. So here goes J

Trees, Road, Infosys, Infosys Office, Infosys Chennai

This was clicked at the Infosys office in Chennai. In that moment, I was thinking, how much ever we try, we rarely come close to what nature can achieve. Look at the magnificent canopy that nature has created for itself and for us! Do you see the little patches of light on the road? Intricate, isn’t it? And many a time, we get so caught up with our work and life to pause and take a look around. It is all that takes to make our day. 
Jalebi, Yellow Jalebi, Desserts, Indian Deserts

Looks can be deceptive. These Jalebis were not as tasty as they looked. I wish if I hadn’t eaten them before taking a click. Had I not tasted, I would have had a happy memory around this pic. Now when I see it, all I can think of is the mild disappointment. I always eat the dessert first if it’s on my plate. Patience doesn’t really come to my help in those moments. How about you?

I feel there isn’t even one color in the world which is not present in this picture. These are handmade, little flowers made out of palm and coconut leaves. I have always been drawn to handicraft. What intrigues me is the fact that each and every one of these little things is made by a person. It is not created by the mere movement of machines. There is a story behind each of them.

Words fail when we try to describe the beauty of fire. My wife and I were out for a stroll at night. There was this fire burning by the road side. Being in Bangalore, fire and its warmth from the distance is quite welcome. I stopped and stared for a while admiring how fascinating fire is. Very few things in life can destroy with as much grace and poise the way fire does.

Well, Kerala, Kitchen, Kerala Kitchen

Now, those of you who have spent your childhood in Kerala would relate to this picture. This is a little bucket resting on the pavement of a well waiting to be flung in. In olden houses of Kerala, these windows will open out to the well from the kitchen. There will be a similar window on the other side of the well that opens to the bathroom. Much before motor pumps started humming, water used to come up in these little buckets. This picture brings back memories of childhood.

Like the above pics? Want to be bombarded with such images on a regular basis? ;). Please follow me on Instagram. My Insta handle is roamdworld .

Check out the other Pictories:

Find Pictory #2 here
Find Pictory#3 here
Find Pictory#4 here

Thank you dear Nandakumar uncle for putting this idea of Phlogging (Photo – Blogging, as he calls it) in my head. 

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Why should you watch TED talks? : Blog # 277

Why should you watch TED talks?

If you were to ask me if there is something on the Internet that is fun, cool, educative, varied, and intriguing all at once, my answer would be “Yes, TED talks!” It is such a beautiful thing one could have thought of, that too in the 1980s! Internet has just amplified that imagination in a stupendous way.

TED, TEDx, TED talk
So for those of you who do not know already, TED talks are small, 18 minute speeches by people who have excelled in their lives. Excellence could be in anything and everything. Many a time, it is not limited to just excellence. The talk could be about an Idea that could impact a society or mankind at large. Infact, the mission of TED is to spread Ideas. Also, the focus is more on content of the talk and less on delivery.

What is it that you stand to gain by watching TED talks? What I felt is that it has the power to ALTER our perspective. For instance, there is this talk called “The Price of Shame” by MonicaLewinski. It is astounding how this video makes us think of that incident in an absolutely different way. You will never think of that lady in the way you might have thought of her till that moment. These talks are powerful enough to enhance/enrich our perspectives. This has a profound effect on the way in which we approach situations, people or life at large.

Thanks to internet, there is a deluge of information around us. To know which is true and which is just a ‘beautiful presentation’ requires considerable effort. TED talks have built credibility around them through years of consistent effort which makes these talks a treasure trove of correct and thus valuable information. We get to learn A LOT by listening to these talks. There is comfort in knowing that one doesn’t have to go back and check the authenticity of information being given out on this platform.

TED talks are a master class in communication. Although the focus on delivery of speech is less and content is given prime importance, there is still a lot to learn about speaking and communication at large by observing the speakers. The pauses they make, the clarity with which they speak, the details- how much they include and more importantly how much they exclude in their speech, their body language are all worth noticing and learning.    

Many a time, we tend to think that communication is only about speaking. I feel communication is equally about listening too. Being surrounded by electronic gadgets, I think our ability to listen effectively is reducing at the rate of pings.  Taking an effort to listen to such conversations of value and trying to understand them will help us a great deal in becoming good listeners. Try being a good listener; your friend circle will start to swell - not on Facebook, but in Life!

The best thing about TED is the fact that this platform is like one of those non-preachy, cool, super intelligent professors that the luckier ones among us would have had in college. May be that is the reason why TED Stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design – Yes, Entertainment! I rest my case.

Arun Babu

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Too Close for Comfort? : Blog # 276

Too Close for Comfort?

With great power, comes great responsibility is what they say. These days, somehow I feel that with great proximity, comes greater blinders. Great proximity to anything or anyone can result in two different outcomes. The more involved we are in something or with someone, either it makes us too knowledgeable about it or the person. The flip side is that it makes us too foolish about the situation or the person.

 For instance, if I am part of a club which I deeply care about, I tend to think that it is the best club in the world. I tend to overestimate its importance for others. The fact might be that they won’t be interested in the club at all. But I am too blinded by the involvement that I lose perspective. Same holds true when we fall in love. All we see is how wonderful that person is. We wonder why others around us don’t see it!

The same happens when we are working in a certain situation. If you are working in a certain realm of profession for too long, there is this danger of falling to the fallacy of knowing too much. When you know too much, you rarely take a chance. You know or you think you know before taking a decision, what the outcome is going to be. The problem here is that you don’t even explore certain possibilities. For all you know, the circumstances might have changed. Something you tried earlier might not have worked due to a certain situation. It might have changed completely. But you tend to not give it a fair chance. Someone who doesn’t know about the field as much as you will take a chance and they might succeed. Is this why every organization looks for new talent quite often to escape the fallacy of knowing too much?

There is also the risk of being too invested in the situation. I am not talking of economical or such tangible investment. What I mean here is the emotional investment. When something is created by you or is nurtured by you, then it is a bit difficult to look at it objectively. It is almost like a parent-child relationship. The mindset here is that my child/creation is the best thing that could have ever happened to mankind. Why aren’t the people around not understanding it!

May be this is why we should allow ourselves to be consumed by multiple endeavors. The perspective which one endeavor gifts us might open up an entirely different mind space with which we can approach an alternate passion. May be, letting more people in to what you are trying to achieve will also help the cause. May be, stepping out of your interest for a little while and then going back to it might make you realize its worth or lack of it. 

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Perimeters of Thought : Blog # 275

Perimeters of Thought

My friend Jeeva who went to a Poets’ meet recently told me about the perimeters of literature for writers from North East. Those writers have to bear in mind not to come across as defiant towards people form the mainland. All they might be doing will be to try and bring to fore, the plight of their people. But they need to be careful to do just that and not go overboard. Else, they will be looked upon as hatemongers. That defines their perimeter of writing. This got me wondering about what defines perimeters for all of us.

Every single aspect that is part of our identity defines our perimeters. If I am from a religion which is a majority in a country, I cannot criticize the acts of someone from a religion who belongs to the minority. The moment I do that, I will be looked down up on as someone who doesn’t appreciate plurality of the country. Someone belonging to a minority religion also faces the same fate. He/She cannot condemn something that the majority does for they will be branded an extremist.

Another fascinating perimeter set these days around discussions is by the notions around feminism. The moment you criticize something that a woman has done, suddenly you become a cave man. You can call a man a pig privately or on a public platform. Everyone including men laugh. Try using a similar salutation for a lady who has done an extremely heinous act. Let us look at something more subtle. Calling a man bald is perceived to be fine. But dare you not tell a lady that she is on the healthier side. See I did not even use the F word here :)

The circumstances in which one grows up also affects how one’s perimeters are defined. Being from Kerala, the whole beef debate had me in splits. I couldn’t wrap my head around what the whole issue was about. But had I been born and brought up somewhere in the Hindi speaking heartland of our country, my reactions could have been entirely different. Here, the perimeter is defined from within rather from outside. May be this is why we should get to know people who are from much varied situations and places than ours. That will give us a perspective which we will never think of otherwise. Also, travelling far and wide opens our horizons of thought like none other.

Someone from Pakistan will be putting himself/herself at a grave danger by appreciating India. Likewise is the case with someone from our country too. Even if a politician from a certain party has to appreciate what someone from an opposition party has done, one needs to be extremely cautious.

I feel restrictive perimeters are defined when we try to define people by one singular aspect of their identity. It is time we looked at people as a whole than parts. May be that will allow debates to flourish.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Who is Pokemon? : Blog # 274

Who is Pokemon?

Unless you have been living under a rock or on a short lived social media detox mission, chances are you would have heard of the ‘Pokémon Go’ madness which is taking the world by storm. Here is an attempt to tell you in very simple terms what the hoopla is all about. I am neither a gamer nor a coder so much so that I need to seek help to know the RAM capability of my phone. So this is as layman as it gets. Also, ‘Mon’ is an endearing term for a little boy in Malayalam. Further, ‘Poke’ roughly translates to a ‘hopeless person’. For a small while, I thought Pokémon is the evil twin brother of Tintu Mon!!!

Pokemon, Pokemon Go, Gaming, GamesTo begin with, Pokémon Go is an Augmented Reality (AR) mobile based game. AR is the technology in which whatever you view infront of you is slightly modified and shown on your screen. It alters (enhances or diminishes) the way in which you see a certain visual. The game is developed by a company called Niantic which is founded by John Hanke. Now starts the interesting part of how the game came about. John was a Google veteran who used to work on Google Earth and Google Maps. Talk of connecting the dots and so beautifully at that!

Now how to play the game? One has to explore the real world. For once, this isn’t a game which will lock us down to the confines of a 4 inch screen. One needs to go out to play the game. We should walk outside, look for, find and catch Pokémon outside your home/office in a public place using our phone’s screen and camera. We can also collect items at Poke stops and battle at gyms to conquer them. If we do all of these, we get experience points and once we have enough points, we get a level up. Pokémon currency are called Poke coins. Once we reach level 5, we get different teams – red, yellow or blue. The game proceeds such.

It is fascinating to know how the places where Pokémon appears at the public places were arrived at. There was a game called ‘Ingress’ which is a sort of a predecessor to Pokémon Go. People who played that game in a way made a huge databank of locations available which was used to decide the Pokémon appearance locations. In addition to this, historical markers, public art works and Geo – tagged photos from Google maps were used to arrive at places which might interest a large number of people.

Now, there are different types of Pokémon’s. How they appear at different locations is based on what kind of habitat they use. For instance, they used the geographic markers on google maps to identify what kind of area it was. If it is a water body, only certain type of Pokémon will appear near those places. They also looked at Climate, Vegetation, Soil and rock types of places and assigned the Pokémons which could inhabit such places.

Is Pokémon going to be just a flash in the pan? The founders are quite serious to not let that happen. They are planning to extend the game with addition of more experiences – by building capability to create lure modules to attract Pokémons, more cooperation between players, trading etc. They are expecting the game to become more popular once goggles with inbuilt AR capability becomes an affordable technology. 

Will Pokemon become the world's Mon? Let's wait and see :)

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

The blessings of Life : Blog # 273

The blessings of Life

If you must hold a grudge against your creators, be it the ones who live with you or the ones in the heavens, it should be for not giving you a sibling. I cannot even begin to explain how much of a loss it is to not have a brother or sister in your life. In the earlier years of one’s life, one might feel thankful for not having a sibling for the little pleasures of not having to share the things one owns. Later on in life, one does realize how much of a blessing it is to have someone to grow up with.

Family, Siblings, Brother, SisterI for one, cannot imagine growing up without my sister. I still remember going to hospital and seeing her for the first time along my mother’s side. At that instant, I knew that here is someone I am going to give my life for. May be that visual left so much of an impact on my little mind back then that I never grew out of it. This might be the reason why inspite of all the achievements she has had in her life, my first instinct is to protect her.

I am sure all of us who have a younger sibling in life would have gone through that phase in life where we become more of a parent to the little one than our own father and mother. Somehow we feel that we have more say and sway over her/his decisions than the parents themselves. And many a time, the parents graciously let us be too.

The other day, I was having a conversation with my colleague Risha who said that she is the youngest one in the family. I was telling her how much of a pampered life she would have had and she agreed saying it is completely an enviable position to be in free of responsibilities and how it lets one be as carefree as one wants to be. Although I don’t have an elder sibling, I have cousins who have always showered me with love and affection just the way an elder sibling would. I do enjoy the perks of being a younger one and seek their support to push my cause within the family, be it a small one or a significant one at that.   

Many younger ones have horror stories of being bossed around by the elder siblings. But all of them say that there comes a point in life where the elder brother or sister becomes their strongest support system. Some of my friends from college used to say that they ask for pocket money from their elder siblings quite shamelessly and devoid of any guilt. They couldn’t do quite the same with parents though.

The best part of having a sibling is that you get to share memories with them. Having gone through similar experiences and identical circumstances while growing up, they understand you in a way not many other beings are capable of. We all know that there comes a point in life where we become parents to those who brought us up. There also comes a time when your little brother or sister becomes the shoulder that the entire family leans on.

Arun Babu

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Blog on Dulquer Salman’s Filmography #4 : Blog # 272

Blog on Dulquer Salman’s Filmography #4

Tomorrow, the 20th day of 5th month of 2016 is the release day of Dulquer Salman’s latest movie, Kammattti Paadam. What a great day to release a movie. The election fever has died down and news channels have analyzed and scrutinized elections to death. People are actually looking for a refreshing change. Right from the poster with DQ sporting a salt & pepper look to the trailer, there is nothing ‘usual ‘or ‘familiar’ about this film. Don’t believe me? Watch the trailer below. It looks like DQ will get to portray a character that spans from adolescence to old age which is quite a challenge for any actor.

After the stupendous success of OK Kanmani and sweeping the Tamil audience by their feet thereby, came along a master class of a film called ‘Charlie’. It is one of those films which an actor yearns and strives for. The movie had this bohemian aura about it and his character personified free spiritedness to such an extent that it left the audience reminiscing about olden days Malayalam classics. The film is filled with unexpected pleasantness across scenes strewn over its length. It is one of those creations which lifts one’s spirit and gifts one with the conviction to go down the less trodden path of happiness. His acting looked effortless yet the scenes showcased that there was a delightful amount of work which has gone in to make them beautiful. Tessa, played by much talented Parvathy matched the tempo of the movie at every single step with Charlie. I couldn’t get over the scene where he and Mary (played by the immensely talented, Kalpana) has this conversation over a boat in the middle of the sea. That scene and the accompanying pain it leaves you with is pure gold. The climax leaves us with a strange kind of mystique which we are not quite used to much in the Indian cinema.

Kali depicted the struggles of a young man trying to reign in the anger within him; the struggles and the troubles which his temper brought along. The first half of the movie was a light hearted take on the issue. But the second half had a nail biting – edge of the seat- thriller feel to it. The fact that the female lead was played by the much loved ‘Malar from Premam’ also helped.  I personally couldn’t wrap my head around the climax of the movie but the movie as a whole was a great watch.

If one were to measure his popularity with the yardstick of Social Media, almost on every single platform – be it Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Google Plus, he is the most popular Malayalam Actor. Although he was felicitated with many awards including the ones by Asianet, Filmfare and Vijay the most prestigious of them was the Kerala State Film Award for Best Actor in Charlie; richly deserved I say. Here is wishing all the very best to him and his crew for Kammatti Paadam!