It is strange how one tends to change over time. You think you have a grip over your life and you have your boundaries set. You know what you can do and you are extra sure what you cannot do. People around kinda help you know what you cannot do. That reassurance drives some people and pulls some people down from the misery they like to call life.
I do not know what kind I am. There are days I feel the naysayers drive me and some days I want to prove them right to the T. The problem is I am not aware if I can be that one person for a long time, even if I choose to be. My choice like everything else also changes.
Stories keep me alive. The ones they show in movies and TV, the ones they print in books and elsewhere and the ones you see in your life if you are lucky. I love the spark they ignite in me. It is momentary but At that moment I live life to its fullest. All other time I am only hoping such a spark is waiting in the corner ready to envelop me in its entirety.
In Tamil Nadu, every moviegoer at some point in their journey of getting to know themselves has to choose between Rajni and Kamal. While you can appreciate both of them you can call yourself a fan only when you announce your association with either of them. And once you have done you are set for life. There is no getting down from the ship. And from what I know you cannot make the switch.
If you consider yourself to be a passionate moviegoer and find others making fun of your obsession I have news for you. Your passion will always play second fiddle to the love fans from Tamil Nadu have for their stars and in turn their movies.
Bollywood has only recently woken up to the possibility of 'event' films. Kollywood or whatever you want to call it has been spearheading the concept since time immemorial. Okay not that long but long enough to justify the adjective! If you doubt my words, which you have every right to, please go to a single screen theater in any part of Tamil Nadu on the day when Rajnikanth movie is releasing. I am sure even God takes the backseat and relishes the madness with a sip of coconut water!
1. What went well in 2018? (What were my wins? What did I do right? What shall I continue to do?)
A. Job Upgrade
I was working as a Proposal Coordinator in BNY Mellon's Pershing. Everything was fine and I was getting comfortable in the job. I was not really thinking of changing the job since I had joined only 18 months earlier. Then a series of incidents happened with my then boss which compelled me to think of a change. In hindsight, those incidents did not warrant a job change but it turned out to be for the best.
I put up this as my WhatsApp status with a caption that read “New achievement unlocked”. It meant a great deal to me. To be able to set up a movie screening and then running a campaign to get more than 125 folks to sign up. I set up the screening on Vkaao a joint venture between PVR and Bookmyshow. I wasn't expecting it to get confirmed but still went ahead and did it anyway.
The tweet that blew up and made this possible reached more than 1 lakh people! This might be a normal reach for a marketing agency or an influencer on Twitter. For a person like me who has close to 570 followers (organic growth) on Twitter, this is big! This is my first viral tweet. Well viral as defined by my low standards.
Over the course of the last few days, a lot of Indian Men have been outed on Twitter for their sexual predatory behaviour. Most of these men belong to the world of Media and Bollywood. It is great to see women finding the courage and exposing men who have long been hidden in plain sight. These women have done it at a great personal cost. The anguish and the stress of listening, collating and sharing these hideous stories are unimaginable. I read through the multitude of stories and found myself irritated with a clumsy headache.
Few minutes after I finished watching Mulk I realized why I love watching movies so much. It is a powerful medium to show a mirror to the society and ask some pertinent questions. Mulk covers a topic that is very close to my heart. I have always thought about it and to see a movie bring home the point in such an eloquent way is amazing.
How we are prejudiced against Muslims in our country. We presume that Muslims have been “allowed” to stay in our country. And since media always portrays the bearded Muslim as the stereotypical Terrorist we can't fathom a terrorist who is a Hindu. The movie describes this in more ways than one. Why is it that when Hindu goons destroy the local property they are called local hooligans and when the same is done by Muslims they are potential terrorists.
One of the ways to figure out if a movie works is to gauge the audience response while they are watching the movie. Are they busy scrolling the bottomless pit of their favourite social media sites or are they enjoying the movie with rapt attention?
Andhadhun falls under the latter. There were numerous moments in the movie when the audience laughed, gasped, eeewed and got scared together. It felt as if we were collectively together in the experience. A big win for the makers.
Aakash (Ayushman Khurrana) in one of the scenes utters the infamous line “The nation wants to know” and it got a thunderous laughter from the audience. There were many such moments throughout the movie. The twists, which are in abundance, kept the audience guessing. So much so that at the cusp of the interval a girl in the audience was worried about a cat drinking possible poisonous milk. Her words were amplified because of the sunken silence of the crowd.
My last working day in Pershing was October 3, 2018. My first day at Chargebee was October 4, 2018. Many people asked me why I did not take a breather in between. While I can definitely come up with many reasons which in hindsight might justify the decision. The truth is that I dint want to waste any time. I wanted to start the new chapter of my work life as soon as possible. Well, I am also not a great negotiator. It could be just that.
I couldn't have asked for a better last day experience. Incidentally there was a Toastmasters meeting scheduled as well. I was supposed to give a special speech. Unfortunately what I delivered was anything but special. Yet the kindness of my colleagues was unfazed. They showered praise, gifts and lots of love. I felt very humbled and almost ended up crying. I din't though. Surprising myself.
Let me be honest. This is a review. These aren't any “meandering” thoughts. These are unstructured thoughts about the movie. The following words indicate how I felt after watching the movie.
I was concerned about Anushka fitting into the social milieu the movie represents. She has a glamorous appeal and has never played a middle class or lower middle-class woman's character. Pari (her own production) is close but even there she isn't playing your conventional character. She, as a matter of fact, played the role of a ghost in the not-so-successful movie!
Imagine you own a online business. You sell products through your website. To increase the sales you have put up discounts and expect huge traffic to land on your website. You manage the inventory and are prepped up to handle the hike in customers. On the day of the sale, you realize your site is down. Everything seems to be fine. But it isn't. Your domain registrar (a company with whom you register your site address before the launch of the site) suspended your domain and there is no way for your customers to log onto your site. How would you react? You have lost the momentum of the sale and to make matters worse you are unable to reach out to the registrar and get the issue fixed.