Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Shankara lives on ...

Today (9th Nov) its late Shankar Nag's Birthday; one of the most charismatic actor and director who continues to live in our hearts. He was born director and used to work tirelessly for 16 to 20 hours everyday. one the few creative directors sandal wood has ever produced.

Another early death of the most inspiring directors who ever made an impact on me is Puttanna Kangal. A director ahead of time with just 18 movies to his directorial credit and still remembered as one of the greatest. I can write on and go pages about these amazing guys.

About Shankar Nag, his works speaks than anything. Even today my eyes go moist when I see film 'Geetha', amazing direction and acting by Shankar and the story line makes you overwhelm with emotion. How can someone forget those melodies by music Maestro Illaya Raja.

A hard core drunkard and chain smoker, Shankar directed the very own R K Narayan's 'Malgudi Days'. I as a kid never even knew about R K Narayan, but for would be glued to the TV sets. I would say the direction at its best. This is supposed to be the serial made by Shankar for Doordarshan to keep the show going on. I was inspired by this in my collage days and had a few skits and mad-ads directed for the college.

Of late, my friend Ravi has been a regular play goer, and everytime the cell is off; he is at Ranga Shankara. The place where I was a few plays which still holds to me. Plays always have had more impact than the reel stuff on me. Some of the best plays I ever say include 'Sangathi arinya', 'Ninna preethiya Amritha- translated Pakistani play', 'Heegadre hege'. This place is rich in theater culture and one could just watch a few theater greats and personalities walk along.

Shankar Nag lives on in the work he has done to the theater world including Marathi and Kannada. He lives on in the plays of Ranga Shankara and characters played. Thanks to Arundati nag who made this happen. Every art form lives on. Let there be light, Let there be theater, Let there be Shankara, Ranga Shankara. Shankar lives on.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Planet of the Apes... movie for apes

Weekend movie on home theater ? Yes, this time it's 'Planet of the Apes'. Little did I know about the movie; as I just borrowed the DVD from my colleague. I knew this would be a good and different movie I had ever watched. After hearing a few reviews; I was watching it.

Other day I was watching some crap bollywood movie; and I couldn't control my anger towards it. I felt the movie was like any other movie with songs which were not required and unnecessary fight sequences pin together. I just bluntly blurted 'who the hell will watch such crap movies ?'. My sister just responded back immediately saying 'its not the movie for you... may be someone else wants it that way'. 'may be film doesn't suit you but somebody else'. I think I got the answer there.

About the planet of the apes, amazing story and direction I would say, as the 3 astronauts land on the planet of the apes. Well to begin with; this planet is special and the man is treated like an animal on this place. So the struggle for proving his intelligence begins. Apes rule the roost; they hunt down humans as though they are not worth living.
The best part of the story is when the man is tried in the Apes court as criminal; there are a couple of apes on trial as well for helping the man. The court council reasons out the intelligence and brilliance of the man on trail; the prosecutor question is very simple 'tell me what is the second rule as per the law of apes'... the Man is baffled and is not in a position to even smell anything of that sort.

Funniest part of the story is that apes believe that Humans are inferior to apes; as apes rule the world. Man's insistence is that he is superior and apes just next to the primates and man is more intelligent than apes. Well the struggle goes on and the man gets his well deserved freedom only to find that the very planet apes is earth and was destroyed by man.

Director's view is extremely good and is bound by the fact that there is nothing beyond religion, creed and race. What I mean to say is the very thought of him to show that apes were born after humans destroyed earth; again starts with something like a holy book, may be Bible, Koran or Bhagavad Geetha. Its quite human of him to show that apes again have the holy book with rules on what to do and what not. It has verses as in bible or any other holy book.

I was shocked to see something like this. human can only think till the extent of book of the god and its rules. He again in this movie shows that, the struggle is on to defend the book and its author, however impractical it may be. The rules in book are quite straight forward; 'man is animal and should be destroyed as he causes damage to the ape society in group as he grows'. Well well well, all my thoughts of watching a good movie culminated at that point, just to say that man creates them all in a sense he wants to understand. The same has been transformed in each of the cults, communities and so on.

No wonder, we being in the 21st century behave like apes and more premature than them. Time ticks before we realize that its time that we don't get into the 'lost world', while 'finding Neverland'

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Hell on earth ... believe me ...

Time and again my silence gets heard I guess. Now its time for another interesting and controversial topic. Let me warn folks before getting into the details. My views may be disturbing and not suitable for believers of a certain community of people. My apologies for that, as don't intend to do so in my writing. This purely is my own view and my opinion. So please read it at your own risk and discretion.

I saw Michael Jackson's 'This is it', was inspired by the Earth Song with favorite lyric 'look what have we done ...'.

Recently I have been going through some of the puranas (manuscripts of Hindu mythology) and the very own Vedas. It was interesting to go through some of the details of the Vedas which talk about the use of somarasa (divine drink for many of the gurus and saints). I was going through the process of making somarasa; it’s indeed very well documented in Rig Veda. It also explains the background of somarasa and exact way to manufacture it.

Now many of you folks may not be aware of the details of Somarasa; its a divine drink as said and is more taken by gods. It posses lot of medicinal properties as well as the intoxicating effect which can make people go out of control. Soma rasa can have the similar effect of that of Alcohol, and can make the drinker go ecstatic and wild. There are several theories on this; can be referred at the link, indra & soma-rasa talking about the variants of it and the advent of it in the modern world.

Now lets go the gods drink in particular; as may would have seen several mythological movies showing suras (so called good ones, Devas) and the Asuras (bad ones who are also called Rakhsasas). Going through the details of the puranas I see Indra is the head of the suras, and Sukrachraya is the preceptor of Asuras. Indra, the owner of swargalok or heaven. This is now familiar to many folks I guess, heaven is full of alcohol and there are apsaras dancing for Indra, he employs these apsaras; who entertain devas with their dance and music. This is similar to that of the modern day pub/disco or so live band. As per the puranas soma rasa was the sacred drink of the devasa and used to be served in heaven, that too in enormous quantities as much as one could have; as I guess on the lighter side no 'drink and drive' offense in heaven.

The common trouble makers for such a get-together were the asuras or the rakshasas. They came in and attacked the Devas and played spoilsport to devas entertainment and partying spirits. There are several instances in the puranas where the heaven is captured by the asuras and lord Vishnu or Shiva has to come the rescue of the suras. It’s been the normal practice that incarnations or avatars happen and lords reside to save heaven and give them back to asuras. so that they continue with their routine of entertainment.

As ironical to what is said in the above Purana and Vedas. recently so called infamous Rama sena activists ransacked the pubs/discos in Mangalore. The motive behind the attack was to drive and manhandle women folks in the party for drinking and partying. there were video footage shown on the TV screens as to what extent the unruly mob ransacked the place, beating up and mis-behaving with women. Firm believers of the community didn't even know what they believe in. Its quite an amusement to watch people worshiping the pub owner as their own god, and rest of the Devas too who employ women folk.

If we believe in something, no matter what we cannot think otherwise. Can't we question the fact 'are we Rama Sene or Ravana Sene ?', 'are we different from al-Qaeda or Taliban?', 'Why are we making hell on earth go get to the imaginary heaven there ?'. Just 'Believe' me; we have no answers, but questions for ourselves !!!