Tag Archives: movies

Love what Stray Factory is doing in Chennai

19 May

I just submitted couple of my blog entries at “The Great Indian Blog-ologues” conducted by Stray Factor in collaboration with Indie Bloggers.

Never heard of Stray Factory until  today. Actually, there was an article in The Hindu: Group comes up with innovative exercise in collaborative entertainment which I dint take seriously enough. So, I was definitely in for a surprise when I checked out their site.  I was like , “Hey, these guys are doing something interesting and cool !” .

They are into collaborative entertainment (whatever that means but sounds juicy enough to me). But I guess they are more interested in Theatre than other forms of entertainment at this point.Chennai has a vibrant theater culture anyway.  l would really these guys to succeed in whatever plans they have in the future.

Dint like their website though!  Doesnt have enough info or links are not really working. But hey, These guys have started something new and it will take some time to get things moving .

Great stuff, Stray Factory… Keep going!

check out the competition here : http://www.indiblogger.in/blogologues/

My hate campaign against Slum Dog Millionaire continues….

1 Mar

I am surprised at myself  for taking this Slum Dog Millionaire movie issue way too seriously. I never thought the movie is good enough to feature in my blog. But then I never expected  one of my good friends to call me a  “traitor” just because I carry the opinion that SDM is one of the movies which never deserved an Oscar. 



Here is my previous post on Why Slum Dog Millionaire should never have won the Oscar award.

Re-emphasising  my views …..

 How dare a British director Danny Asshole Boyle can call a poor Indian – Slum Dog ? How the hell did we accept and applaud and award a movie like that ? 

Slum Dog Millionaire


Continue reading

Why Slum Dog Millionaire and Rehman should never have won the Oscar

26 Feb


I am going to take the risk of falling in to that minority group of people who thinks and believes that Slum Dog Millionaire should not have won the Oscar.



What went wrong, guys?

The movie is by a firang and SLDM movie has a hero born and bred in slums speaking British accent. How ridiculous can that be?

There are scores of movies made which showcased India in much better way. When AR rahaman has made much better music where did all these awards and recognitions go? Laagan , RDB , Roja were all from India sent for Oscar nominations. Why dint the world take notice then ?

Are we saying that Slum D M movie was better than Tare Zameen Par or Laagan in terms of direction and music ?

Only cos the movie was made by a British bloke with immense PR backing cum excess Media hype did the movie come up… This was the movie which so badly received by the American and British audience that it was all set to be released in DVD! 

Therefore ,I stick to my opinion that SLUM DOG M doesn’t deserve an Oscar .. AR … definitely doesn’t deserve an Oscar for this movie.

Let’s take it one by one shall we ?

SDM movie dint deserve the award cos it was not up to the so called Oscar standards (if we consider its past as a benchmark). The music was mediocre compared to what Rehman churns out for Shankar and Mani Rathnam. It definitely dint deserve “best director” when you had heavy weights like “the curious case of BB” and  “Doubt” and “milk” 

Between Smile Pinki and SDM . SP dint get any PR, dint have newspaper/TV/radio coverage. No one knew such a movie was coming out which had Indian background. None cheered for Pinki? Not a single “jai jai” for Simile Pinki . And yet it won an Oscar.

A real  underdog performing! Not a movie which was wining bafta, golden globe.. And all that jazz on sheer media hype and on merit. 

It was going to be a DVD release cos Warner bros (the original launch company) closed down their speciality division for low budget movies named ‘Warner independent’… it was ‘saved’ by Fox cause they obviously saw the potential and launched it.” – The movie dint not even give a whimper to survive in theaters.Fox saw the potential of a “marketing gambit under the recession cloud”….

That’s why it escaped the DVD gallows and was given a chance to survive and pumped it with huge PR campaigns… No one has ever heard of Danny Boyle in India before that.

 I bet no one in India had heard of Danny till SDM movie came along.

 Why doesn’t AR deserve an Oscar for this movie?” – Because “jai ho’ is a mediocre song in every sense. Do tell me that western audience so loved this mediocre song and decent background music that they gave him an Oscar?

That would be that “Oscar” in itself is a cheap version of our national award which recognized AR R 4 times for his music. Imagine the taste of the western audience who enjoyed jai ho… If that was the case, AR R should be given an Oscar for every Mani Athena movie he scores music for. 

Laagan and Rang De Basanti went for ” best foreign movie” and that too had AR R music. And the music was much better that SDM. How come the world dint  notice of his greatness then?

 Someone told me in an online discussion , ” Vikas trust me anyone who has lived in Bombay will stand by the depictions in the movie . “

Huh? Why Bombay? I am from Chennai and I stand Bombay what was shown in the movie. The director indeed has the guts to show the rawness of slums of Bombay.. But then Chennai has slums too , so, we have a National Image problem not something to celebrate about ! One British comes in and shows it to the world and he becomes the best director around? He exploited our image problem and made tons of money and got an Oscar.

“A Wednesday” also showed the plague India is witnessing  … no one recognized the director! 

That same person in the online discussion told me , “The director used actors from slums and Indian actors where he thought were appropriate..Dev Patel got the role cos most Indian protagonists he auditioned were beefy, slick Sallu and hritik wannabes.. He basically wanted someone who looked like a wanker…” 

A wanker is a guy who ” masturbates” or ” a stupid person” . Let us for the sake of argument take the second meaning… 

Does it mean Danny Boyle couldn’t find a single actor who looked like a wanker in India? Ridiculous! 

Every actor in India wants to act in a Hollywood movie. Cos it would look good on their CV! Check out PINK PANTHER 2 – aish rai gets the smallest role and yet the media is jumping like rabbits in heat to cover the story. The movie is flop and is sinking… Here the protagonist gets all the scenes in the movie and yet you mean to say Danny dint find a “wanker” looking guy?

Abbhay Deol in Oyez Lucky Oye .. Doesnt aim to be a Sallu or amir or whatever. He is not beefy either! 
The hero of the movie ” Aamir” doesnt look beefy nor has aims of becoming a Sallu or whatever .. Incidentally, Aamir (one the lowest budgeted movie” went on to win critical acclaim and box office hit and it was the same year when almost all movies of Sallu sank without a trace. 

Sheryas talpade doesn’t aim to be a Sallu or mallu or whatever .. Danny could have chosen him – he speaks Hindi, English and he is a better actor than dev Patel and definitely doesnt look beefy .. 

Still not convinced? head south and I can show you some really talented guys who can speak him and look great on screen and do a better job than dev Patel ( check out Evam Karthik) ..

Meaning: Danny delib chose a British Indian and suddenly he is the toast of the town. 

I am not taking any credit away from Dev , of course!

I say it again .. 

SLUM DOG MILLIONARIE never deserved an OSCAR ..

It aint worth it ! 

The original ” Q and A” by Vikas Swarup dint have a British accented protagonist, either ..

Insipring article on rural bpo in india

29 Jan

yesterday’s editorial by Rasheeda Bhagat – Where money has new meaning , which appeared in Business Line has become one of most inspiring and important article in my life.  it practically changed the way i treat a BPO/Call Centre employee and more importantly it once again showcased  the power rural Indians have in shapping our country.

i request anyone …nay .. everyone who reads this post to follow the article link and the read it. that is not enough.  Pass on the post/link to your friends , relatives, managers where you are working and let them know the potential of rural India.

why is the post important to me ? you need to know my insignificant story first .

the story :

on the first week of Nov 2008 i quit my job at the advertising firm where i was working. i quit suddenly .. just like that ! one reason was due to a pressing  family emergency which i cant write it here for obvious reasons. the other was because i started hating the job. it wast not like that before, though!

i used to love the advertising field. i used to dream of working for an agency  for couple of years, finish a MBA degree . then join main stream marketing , enter Brand Management field with specialization in digital media communications. I was clear in what I wanted to do . But working in the company for close to 5 months I just got too stressed out. I dint have time for my family and friends . Even more alarming was that I dint have time for myself. working Monday to Saturday from 9 am to 9pm drained me out so completely that I was too exhausted on Sundays to do anything. I couldn’t read a book , felt lazy to go out and meet friends, dint have time to visit British Council library ( i used to go there every Saturday for 3 hours from 4 pm to 7 pm ).  i was tired to get up early morning to go out for a run/gym/yoga/meditation etc .. i just couldn’t .. so i quit! Call me a wuss but hey .. I have no regrets .

Today I believe that core marketing and PR has better chances revolutionizing brand management theories than advertising can ever do. I am looking to enter the Afro mentioned fields.

3 months hence I  still havent joined a new company yet. worse ! i dont have money to pay my credit card bills. now comes the call from bank bpo employees cordially asking me to pay my minimum due amount. i tell them i cant pay because i am out of work . i will pay it later with the interest .  but when they keep calling , i get irritated and blast them. i forget for a minute that they are just doing their jobs. they are collection agents and they have to collect and close accounts every month  which are due on late payments.

I forget that they could have been Shahida!

after reading the article yesterday, i realized i could have blasted Shahida or some one like her and now i am reeked with shame.

so .. who is Shahida ?

you will meet her when you read the artcile . here is a snap preview of her …

name : Shahida – age: 25 – location : Tirupathi (A.P) – education : B.A Economics , Telugu medium – occupation: bpo employee at Atlas Documentry Facilities Company Pvt Ltd started by HDFC bank – job profile : backroom processing of banks data’s in fuctions as opening of new accounts,credit card related information,foreclosure of loans ,etc.

pay : rs3,700/month – expense : Rs2000 sent to parents,rs 1,500 for hostel and lodging – for personal expense : rs 200 ( balance amount) – other income : after work shift , she makes 3oo rupees from weaving embroidery sarees.

Total amount on hand : Rs 500/per month.

Money sent to parents which helps in paying for her 2 brother’s college fees – rs 2000

her father earns – rs 60-70 a day .

Compare that with mine :

2-4 movies per month at Satyam Cinemas ( when i go with a friend or with my girl friend ) : rs 500 ( tickets alone)

a meal for 2 at Subway – veg patty sandwhich – rs 201- includes coke under “special offer” scheme . I go there almost every week.

other expenses – very very studpid unnecessary expenses – rs “more than 3000” .

Does that mean, I could /can help educating 2 young guys every month by paying their college fees ? does that mean i can uplift India in my own way in providing education to these students ? Does that mean, if I sacrifice a bit ( do i really have to watch 2 movies every month and eat at subway every week ?) i can make differece to a fellow citizen ?

Do the math and find out how much you are wasting …

And if HDFC or other bank’s marketing people are reading this post. I would like to ask  – why dont you take initatives and reach out to people like me directly to fund education of students – like that of Shahida’s brothers?  I am ready ..

As a customer/client I am ready . The question is whether the people from the bank/govt of india core management team ready to bring out innovative policies to tap working class people like me from urban india to educate the rural india.  I will never call them poor. They are more hardworking, more resourceful, more dedicated than most of us ( including me). They may not have money but I dont give a rat’s ass to money if you have diginity .

This is my clarion call to all the banks in India.

Here is an important line from the article which shook me to the core and changed me as a person.

” They have to fight for what most of us take for granted- a college education,a secure home loan, enough food on the table and a job in an air conditioned office…”

My Salutations :

to Shahida and her coleagues in that bank : My humble pranam to you . you inspire me in a way like no other other “self help” books or the monks who sold their ferraris. from you i realize the value of hard work , money and pride. if you ever read this post i want you to know that you have my sincere admiration and respect . you rock !

to HDFC bank : I am not your customer . I dont know how good is your service to your customer. I won’t comment on that. But this initiative you have undertaken – Kudos to you!  Great work and i wish you guys will go ahead and replicate this kind of work all over India.

I second what Mr.M Durgaprasd ,Assistant Vice-President and Head Operations (BPO), “……. I find them sincere,disciplined and hardworking”.

to govt of india :  most of the policies introduced is rampant with corruption. consider : the amount of money politicians would have pocketed set aside for NREGA.  But the EGMM ( Employee Generation Marketing Mission) initiative is something you will have my complete support.

most corporate look at rural india from a CSR perspective. it is nothing but one form or sympathy and empathy. people from rural india are not looked as someone who can bring in money for the growth of the company and earn a livelihood for themselves . Instead , companies open such initiatives and give it a CSR tag. I think that is stupid. given their dedication to work,opportunity for self empowerment and at the same time contribute to the growth of the company in terms of good service and revenue generation , corporate india should consider them at par with other employees from urban india.

that is why i always consider c.k prahald’s book – fortune at the bottom of the pyramid very important in its concept and execution to change  India.

I have earlier 2 articles on this :

About time we looked at rural india

Is india still in recession

Spread the good word !