Anjali Ameer and the Changing Transsexual Politics in South India Cinema!

(Pic courtesy: www.timesofap.com)

The transsexual politics in South Indian cinema has been solely one-dimensional, what with the transsexuals, largely occupying the fringes of the industry as extra artistes or makeup assistants. Even when they have been offered roles in films, they have often been relegated to comic images of gaudily attired, men-thirsty vampires. Continue reading “Anjali Ameer and the Changing Transsexual Politics in South India Cinema!”

Hyposmia and the Lost World of Smells!

They tell me ‘hyposmia’ is the word, when I inform them that I have been experiencing a decreased sense of smell over the last several years. It isn’t quite an easy life, especially when you don’t have a clue as to how you smell like after having sprayed yourself all over with a can of cologne. I look around for all the possible reasons, and finally attribute it to my allergies, my sneezing bouts, nasal polyps and a host of other reasons. Continue reading “Hyposmia and the Lost World of Smells!”

The Age of Artists and Assaults!

The extent of freedom that is attributed to an artist, takes into consideration their insights, and here is where the precise demarcation between ‘artistic freedom’ and ‘freedom of art’ exists. It is assumed however, that a democracy lets the artist enjoy both, and when it is curtailed, they cry foul, demanding that censorship of all kinds be eradicated once and for all. Continue reading “The Age of Artists and Assaults!”

Saanson Ki Zaroorat Hain Jaise (Aashiqui) – Cover Version

‘Aashiqui’ was a one of a kind film, that stirs up quite a lot of memories in me! The year was 1990, and romance was in the year. And even as Rahul Roy and Anu Aggarwal seemed like they would be around for a 100 years more on screen, it was the music director duo, Nadeem and Shravan who stormed the Bollywood scene like never before.

There was hardly anyone around with a basic knowledge of Hindi, who wasn’t humming the tracks, and I remember  standing all proud in front of Lighthouse, the then music destination at Thampanoor, Trivandrum, having finally managed to own an audio cassette that was, if I remember right, priced at twenty five rupees. The music company was T Series. Continue reading “Saanson Ki Zaroorat Hain Jaise (Aashiqui) – Cover Version”

Jungle Joys @ Rolling Stones, Masinagudi!

I have been to quite a few forest resorts in the last few years, and had chosen Rolling Stones as a second choice, when I found that bookings at another resort were way out of my budget. Having been to Rolling Stones, however, I am glad that I rethought my initial decision, since Rolling Stones is every jungle enthusiast’s dream come true destination.

Tucked away from the Masinagudi – Ooty main road, Rolling Stones is a stunning resort that is located right in the midst of the jungle, and though Google Maps had led me right to the spot, I somehow couldn’t find my way in. Connectivity is pretty low at RS, and hence I drove a few meters back to the main road, before I could ring up RS over the telephone. Mahadevan, the resort manager, who picked up the phone was all too helpful and within minutes I had landed back at RS, where my friends and I were warmly greeted by Mr. Ashish Kole, who runs the place.
Continue reading “Jungle Joys @ Rolling Stones, Masinagudi!”

Will Major Ravi be back with ‘1971: Beyond Borders’?

With Mohanlal releasing the first look poster of the Major Ravi film ‘1971: Beyond Borders’, a day back, there have been discussions galore as to whether the film would mark the comeback of its director Major Ravi. Ravi has been on a walk downhill, what with his recent films like ‘Picket 43’ and ‘Karma Yodha’ not rising up to the expected mark. Continue reading “Will Major Ravi be back with ‘1971: Beyond Borders’?”

Thanks for those Guppy memories, Chethan!

I have always wondered how much an award would mean to an actor, even as some among them assert that they remain indifferent to the accolades that come their way. And then, there are the few others who do agree that those recognitions do mean a lot.

There are instances however, when you watch an actor perform on screen, and with your hair standing on its ends, see them walk down the aisle in a few months, to receive all the major awards of the year. One such instance was when I got to see the incredible young actor Chethan Jayalal on screen, in the delightful ‘Guppy’, directed by Johnpaul George. Continue reading “Thanks for those Guppy memories, Chethan!”

Raees (2017) Hindi Movie Review


Running for almost three long hours, ‘Raeez’ is a grim, and yet mostly mindless gangster flick that does not leave you breathless. Appearing puffy and trite by turns, it pushes in all the gangster chestnuts in a rather bloated package.


Ecstasy gives way to an odd emotion that almost borders on the uncertain, when the protagonist in ‘Raeez’  is informed of an impending new arrival in his family, and is almost immediately assigned a task to bump someone off the line.  This conflicting temperament is what marks the psyche of don that we get to see in the film, but the dazzling sparkle here and there that one gets to witness in Shahrukh Khan’s ‘Raeez’ does seem too few and very far in between.

Rahul Dholakia’s film seems to be in a no compromise mood, and sets its story in Gujarat. It tells us the rise, fall and rise of Raeez (Shahruk Khan), a Muslim gangster, who would stop at nothing, until he get to pull that mighty throne right towards him and majestically recline on it once and for all. This isn’t an undemanding ride for him, and the blood that is spattered all across an eventful life, makes him want to mull over it time and again.

Continue reading “Raees (2017) Hindi Movie Review”

The Ali Baba @ Varanasi!

I had planned a week’s stay at Varanasi, and had decided on Ali Baba Guest House, after reading the positive reviews on TripAdvisor. Had also read that for a first timer in Varanasi the p[lace could be a bit difficult to find, and hence rang up Vishal at the front office from the Bangalore airport to see how I could reach there without much hassle. Vishal rang me back after a while and messaged me a cabbie’s number who would pick me up from the airport, and when I landed at Varanasi a few hours later, was greeted with a warm smile by Amit, my cabbie for the week. 🙂 Continue reading “The Ali Baba @ Varanasi!”