My other links
(Kannada Songs, interviews with C Ashwath, PB Srinivas and more)
For my Kannada blog please visit http://sampada.net/blog/rasikara-rajya
My first acting performance in a short movie (15 min): Please click here -> Kelade Nimageega - Short Movie
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Swamy was a technology professional in the valley till 2008. He took the bold step of returning to India and contested the Lok Sabha elections in 2009 and WON. This is an amazing feat for an outsider. With in a short span of one year Swamy has gained the reputation for being a very dedicated and honest politician. He is also very well know for his simple style and genuine interest in the public well being. Tune in to listen to his ideas and get inspired to be involved in public life. Please read more about Swamy at http://www.jswamy.com/ Click on 'Press' to read the good reputation Sri Swamy has earned for being a very dedicated MP.
Itsdiff Radio Program details:
Day and date: Wednesday June 30.
Time: 6.00 AM to 9.00 AM
KZSU Stanford 90.1 FM in California bay area
Listen live on the Internet at http://kzsulive.stanford.edu/
You can listen live and to previous programs here. http://www.itsdiff.com/
(Kannada, Tamil and Hindi program archives)
6.00 AM to 7.40
Regular Programming including Indian Classical Music, Devotional Music, Vanuli Kadambam and Thirulkurral
Interview with Dr. Sri Iyengar (President and convener) and Mr. Vallisha Sastry (VP) of Navika. http://navika2010.org
Interview with Mr. Raghu Halur President of Kannada Koota of Northern California. http://kknc.org
Interview with Sri Janardhana Swamy - Member of Parliament from Chitradurga
Sunday, June 20, 2010
In general I have refrained from getting involved in father's day formalities. The idea of an institutionalized celebration of a very personal figure was and is, anathema to me. However yesterday on radio, I was listening to Eric Idol of the Monty Python fame. There were many middle aged men calling and telling how they got their children interested in Monty Python. I too realized how much my father has influenced me. As a result, this father's day, I felt I need to use this opportunity to recollect some of my fond memories of my father whom we called aNNa.
Since mid 70s, our family of 4 lived near Sreeramapura, in Bengalooru. At that time my father's office was in Shivajinagar. In the mornings my younger brother and I, who were both in primary school at that time, would sit with Anna, as he ate break fast which include the day's special such as UppiTTu or avalakki or chapaati and a glass of hot Horlick's milk . As our mother prepared the 'carrier' (lunch) for aNNa, he would start pacing up and down and start raising fears of missing his bus-number-58 which ran from Rajajinagar Ramamandir to Shivaji Nagar. My mother had a trick to stop this fussiness. In her own words "I will make the Horlicks very hot. That will buy me some time". At 8.40 AM, I and my brother would go and drop him off at the bus stand and wait till his bus leaves. He had a big friend-circle who had formed a passengers-of-58 club and they thought it was cute to see me and my brother at the bus stop in the mornings.
In the evening he would come back in the same bus number 58 which arrived in Devaiah Park at around 7.10 PM. It was a road train with two compartments colored gray and yellow. The sides of bus would carry advertisements such as "kshema nidhi or bala nidhi safe deposits' by Corporation bank. I would receive him at the bus stop as he got down from the bus and take his lunch bag and walk all the way home with him. Many times when my mother was not home, I would make him tea after we came home. I used to look forward to dinner. Not in the least because my mother would cook the most Delicious simple food. Rice, saaru (Karnataka style daal), cucumber kosambri and diluted butter milk immediately come to mind. Another rare delicacy she would make is kaDle bELe and red chili chutney made from chana daal. Such delicious dinner would be accompanied by me telling the jokes I had added newly to my list. My father was always eager for a laugh.
I have come to realize that I have acquired many of my personal traits watching and adopting my father' mannerisms. My grand father was a railway station master and as a result my father lived in different small towns across Karnataka and had collected varied life experiences. He would engage our relatives with his fascinating retelling of hilarious and exciting personal experiences. He would tell a story of how he was attacked by a bison when my grandfather was the station master in the remote Makali Durga railway station. The bison knocked him to the ground and charged at him with horns pointing at him. The only reason aNNa escaped was this - the sharp horns missed anna and got stuck in the ground giving my father enough time to get up and run away.
Watching him narrate the incidents in his own style I felt it was not only OK to talk in one's own unique way but it was the natural thing to do. I was totally influenced by the way he narrated anecdotes. He had a naturally humorous style of speaking which I seem to have adopted. Many of my relatives fondly see my father in me when they hear me tell jokes or recount anecdote. It is common to hear "yalla avarappan thara ne" (just like his dad) or "namm moorthy maataDida haage annisalava". (Does not he sound like our Murthy).
I would help my dad do his work around the house. This was when I was still 4 or 5. My father was fixing an electrical issue . It was common for him keep stool atop a table and he would stand on the stool to reach the ceiling and do his electrical work. I was assisting him by holding the table, the chair or screw drivers etc in my hands. I was also thinking that I was securing the table and stool with my 5 year old hands and helping aNNa not fall down. Once when aNNA was perched in this position he received an electrical shock and he came crashing down along with the stool and table. I remember him telling his friends with a hearty laugh "As I hit the ground I looked around to see what had happened to Madhu and I noticed that he had run away and was peeping from behind the door". He taught me how to iron clothes. Right from when I was 9 or 10 it was my proud job to press his old style woolen trousers and bush-coats. That was when I learned the art of pressing trousers - especially the ones which had a generous dose of pleats.
One of the biggest influences I have had from my father has been his thrill for movies, music and popular entertainment. He would take me and my brother for watching second show movies at the nearby theaters namely Geethanjali, Navarang, Sampige, Central, Savitha and Nataraj. We have seen many movies this way including 'naagara hole' , 'naarada vijaya', 'bangarada manushya', 'singa poorinalli raaja kulla', 'aalemane' 'bara' ans 'sampattige sawal'. His taste for comedy is what runs in me. I can recollect his enjoyment of movies by Dwarakish, Mehmood and Johnny Walker. At the beginning of Dwarakish's movies there is the standard scene where a Karnataka map shows up and Dwarakish roars like the MGM lion. He would get a kick out of it.
He introduced me to Laurel and Hardy which we watched for the first time in Cubbon Park's Bala Bhavan. He also took us to other English movies including 'McKenna's Gold', 'Its a mad mad world' and 'The Crazy Boys' series which was very popular those days.
He was a great fan of Shammi Kapoor, Joy Mukherjee and Mohammed Rafi. He would enjoy songs like 'tum se accha kaun ho' and 'lakho hein nigahame'. The 'Rafi and Asha hit' from Aradhana "gun guna rahi he bhavara khil rahi hi gali gali' had a special place in his heart.He also liked the Junglee title song. He would be beaming as he said "Do you know who screams yahooo in the song. It is actually Jai Kishan of the Shankar Jaikaishan duo'. He would repeat famous dialogues from movies. Consequently my fascination for movie dialogs is equally deep. This was how I learned that being interested in tidbits can provide for great conversation material and is a genuine way to warm up to strangers and friends. When the popular Kannada song 'gombe aatavayya' played on the radio he would wait for the right moment and say "watch now, he is going to softly say 'krishna'" which PBS does in between background music. When the song 'onde ondu hosa haadu' started playing, he would get the same thrill into his face and say "listen to the guitar piece, it is very nice". Such innocent excitement really fills me up even today.
During Ramanavami celebrations, I would go with him, amma, my grand mother and aunts to attend the concerts by star Carnatic music performers at Sheshadripuram college. His favorites included Jesudas, Kannukudi Vaidhyanathan and Kadri Gopalnath. In one of Kadri's conccerts my father got so excited after a piece that he jumped up from where he was sitting and gave a good round of applause. Kannukudi's antiques with his violin like playing it like it is talking was enough to send him into bursts of enjoyment. The concerts would end late after midnight. I must have been 12 or 13 then. It was such a comfortable thought that at 12.30 in the night, we could safely walk back home from Sheshadripuram with women, children and elderly. In fact we would groups of such families on the streets, walking back home, talking about the concert.
He introduced me to the exciting Cantonment area (which according to him were all areas that were not under the influence of Kannada culture and environment). He came from a small town far away from Bangalore. He was brave enough to explore a big new city all by himself and that spirit - I carry with me today too. My mother would often say, "You are just like your aNNa. You seem to be familiar with all nooks and corners of the city".
He had a child like fascination for seeing himself in pictures. He would cheer when he saw his own picture and point at picture and say "hey, guru illidaane'. Seeing the pictures in this article, I am sure he would have been extremely happy. I find it interesting today - especially since it is father's day, that when ever I called him aNNa he would also address me as aNNa'. If I called out to him 'aNNa' he would lovingly reply 'yen aNNa' (What dad). Even though he was echoing my words in an affectionate way, I guess he had seen me going on to be a dad like him one day.
Happy father's day to all.
Photo credit: Thanks to my sister-in-law Archana, brother Arun and my mother for providing the photos. Archana even transferred the old photos from their physical form into electronic form and enhanced the quality of the pictures. Hats off to my mother for preserving these photos in her Godrej bureau. Having received what I asked for within an hour gave me the additional impetus to write this article.
Monday, June 14, 2010
June 16, June 23, June 30 and July 7th
Time: 6.00 AM to 9.00 AM
6.00 AM to 7.00 - Indian Classical Music
7.35 AM to 8.35 - Special segment 'SPB - the versatile singer!!'
KZSU Stanford 90.1 FM in California bay area
Listen live on the internet at http://kzsulive.stanford.edu/
Further details will follow.
You can listen to previous Kannada programs here.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Starring: Prakash Rai, Ramesh Aravind, Achyuthkumar, Seethara, Veena Sunder, Rajesh, Sihikahi Chandru and others.
Direction: Prakash Rai
Screen play, Dialogues: Prakash Rai
Photography: Ananth Urs
Produced by: Duet Movies and Media House Studio
Verdict - An excellent entertaining movie which explores the love a father has for his daughter which gets tested when she becomes an independent adult. It has good funny dialogues, great acting, superb photography and nice music.
Score: 9.5 out of 10
While watching Kannada or Indian movies, have you got bored of the stale adventures of the hero and heroine who fight against all obstacles and eventually teach us that love conquers all - that too not before the most stupid misunderstandings between the lovers themselves.? Have you got sick of how the hero-heroine gyrate in response to gross lyrics and head banging music? Now don't even get me started on movies that try hard to prove that in order to protect our personal dignity and survive in this unruly world, each of us men need to be the equivalent of a Jackie Chan or a Bruce Lee capable of beating the pulp out of twentyfive knife and chain wielding thugs !!
Yes.We badly need an antidote to such movies. We need a movie where the story is about some thing we can relate to, where the characters speak the kind of lines that are spoken around us? Still better, why can't the hero or heroine be in situations which are plausible and natural such that we the audience can relate to it?
Well, seek no more. Such an antidote has arrived. It is the Kannada movie Naanu nanna kanasu directed by Prakash Rai.
Prakash Rai (also known as Prakash Raj) is a popular national award winning actor well known in South Indian cinema. With this movie he has given a stellar performance as a director too.
The story is very new compared to what gets shown on Kannada movie screens. It is about the beautiful relationship and love a father enjoys with his daughter. The story is told by the father as he recollects one joyous event after another involving him and his daughter kanasu right from her birth. The story warmly unfolds as the girl grows from a baby to a toddler, to an adolescent and steps into adulthood. All along the father has been fully engaged in every walk of his daughters life and enjoying it. We also see very humane tendencies displayed by the father. It is to be admired that the story explores some very sensitive aspects like the father's resentment at his little baby growing up to be an independent individual.
In this movie, Prakash Rai has adopted the original Tamil movie (Abhiyum Naanum by Radha Mohan) and transformed it into a movie which fits the Kannada environment very well. Ramesh Aravind, Sihi Kahi Chandru, Seethara and Veena Sunder are very good in their roles
Prakash Rai shines in the role of the dad who tempers his desire to make his girl a strong and capable individual while at the same not wanting to let her out of his circle of love and influence. He has given a really genuine and bold performance bringing out his character's vulnerability, immaturity and fatherly love. His transition from a tense father to a relieved father is very nuanced and convincing.
AchyuthaKumar shines in his role as Patel and executes some juicy moments with assurance and confidence. I am always thrilled when young actors take charge of their role and hold their own. Amoolya as kanasu has given a dignified performance and personifies the role of the adorable daughter. Rajesh Nataranga's portrayal of the role of the supportive friend is very likeable and refreshing.
There are some very colorful picturization of songs with Hamsalekha providing interesting lyrics and fine music. The photography is pleasing. The dialogues are very natural, meaningful, sharp, funny and heartfelt. The song sung by Kailash Kher 'ondu maamara' has a haunting melody and is sure to be a hit.
I liked the cool and confident attitude displayed by Jogi when interacting with his prospective in-laws. This is in keeping with the times and shows the audience a character that has real personality as against the traditional tough guy hero who never-the-less exhibits over the top humility and modesty in front of elders. (I mean the dude who does not forget his culture of folding his hands and stands respectfully in front of guru hiriyaru).
The movie succeeds in being very entertaining while being realistic and natural. The movie demonstrates that a wholesome entertaining movie can be made while being highly artistic too. Going by the box office news, people are coming to watch this movie in large numbers in Karnataka.
So, Gandhinagar, you cannot give this excuse anymore. "We make crude cheap entertainment because if we make clean realistic movies, our Kannadigas do not come to watch it". I have always maintained that this is just taking the easy way out. I know there is always a market for movies which appeal to our base instincts. If people want to cater to it, that's fine. But if they channel their enormous resources they can make movies which they themselves can feel proud about.
I submit there is a huge segment of Kannada film goers who are desirous of watching well made movies. Let's not forget that the most popular and commercially successful director in Kannada is till today Puttanna Kanagal who appealed to such film goers. If Kannada can produce high quality literature, there is no reason why we cannot make high quality movies on our own. As can be see with movies made all over the world, it is the story and script which is the foundation for a good movie. I think we need more people like Prakash Rai who have the desire and confidence to make good movies based on good stories and strong scripts.
naanu nanna kanasu is the kind of movie Kannadigas deserve and have been craving for it. It is a very nice movie which must be watched by all kala rasika kannadigas especially fathers with daughters.
Saturday, June 5, 2010
ಇದೇ ತಾನೆ ಊರಿಗೆ ಕಾಲಿಟ್ಟ ಖಾಲಿ ಹೊಟ್ಟೆಯ ಪುಟ್ಟಿಯು
ತಟ್ಟೆಯನು ತಾ ಮುಂದಿಟ್ಟಾಗ, ದೋಸೆ ಹಿಟ್ಟಿನ ಕ್ವಾಲಿಟಿ ತಾ ಮುಖ್ಯವೆ ?
ಸೊಂಯ್ಯೆಂದು ಬಿಟ್ಟ ದೋಸೆಯನು ಕಾಯ್ ಚಟ್ನಿಯಲಿ ಅದ್ದಿ
ಅಮ್ಮನು ಪುಟ್ಟಿಯ ಬಾಯ್ಲಿಡಲು,
ಐಸೊ ನೈನ್ ತೌಸೆಂಡಿಗೆ ಕಿಚ್ಚು ಹಚ್ಚೆಂದ, ತಂತ್ರಜ್ಞ !
ಮೇ ಐದು ೨೦೧೦
ಬೇಗಲ್ಏ ತಿನ್ಈ ದೋಸೆ
ಕೆಂಪಗೆ ಕಾಯಿಸಿ, ಬೆಣ್ಣೆಯ ಲೇಪಿಸಿ
ಮಸಾಲೆ ದೋಸೆ ಎಂದೇ ಭ್ರಮಿಸಿ
ಟೋಸ್ಟರ್ ಎಂಬ ಕಾವಲಿಯಿಂದ
ಬೇಗಲ್ ಎಂಬ ಒಣಕಲು ಬನ್ನನು
ಬೇಗನೆ ತೆಗೆದು ಮರೆಯಲಿ ಕುಳಿತು
ಬಾಯ ಚಪ್ಪರಿಸಿರೊ ಮಂಕುದಿಣ್ಣೆಗಳ
ಟಿಪ್ಪಣಿ: ಬೇಗಲ್ ಎನ್ನುವುದು ಅಮೇರಿಕದಲ್ಲಿ ಭಯಂಕರ ಪ್ರಸಿದ್ಧಿ ಹೊಂದಿರುವ ಒಣಗಿದ ಖಡಕ್ ಬನ್ನು