Saturday, June 23, 2007

The 'P' factor..

I've never been very politically inclined, but a recent turn out of events have definitely made me to think otherwise. A lot of people, especially those in political circles would be setting up an eye on the next month's presidential elections.

After having considered names like Pranab Mukherji, Karan Singh and Sivraj Patil, the UPA eventually came up with its candidate's name - Pratibha Patil Shekhawat(ab ye kaun hai yaar..;)), the Rajasthan Governer (literally i didn't even know that) and it seems certain that she will be our first lady President. She seems to be getting support from a wide quarter. Her marathi roots has actually provoked Shiv Sena boss Bal Thackeray to begin drumming up support for her even in BJP. Strange, isnt it?

I'm a firm believer of the phrase "Equality of Sexes". For India to make a mark globally, liberisation of women(almost half of our population) is probably as important as any other issue and one can say that having a lady President is like having a step forward in the right direction. Things are definitely not as bad as they were a quarter of century ago. Indian women have taken considerable leaps in the course of time and things can only become better from here on. I also strongly believe a person should be given a fair run before coming to any conclusion on him. However, at this moment of time i'm certainly having these apprehensions on Mrs Patil being the first citizen of the nation.

Although, she seems to have the required experience - she has been on the Marathi political circuit for almost 4 decades now. But, as youths of this country, do we really want a President who we cannot even look up to and aspire. According to me, the President should be a person who has the credentials to inspire the nation, especially its youths. He should be an ambassador of the brand 'India' to the outer world, should be dynamic and most importantly a role model for the rest of the nation and at the moment it seems unlikely that Mrs Patil will be able inspire a nation where more than half the population is below the age of 40. For me, its like being a CEO of a company (although the Indian President does not have powers to run the country..I guess 'Chief Mentor' is right term ;)..yes,yes.. i know i have learnt this term in Infy..;)), where it is absolutely necessary for the company to have the best person at the top.

If we have a look at the last 4 Presidents that we have had(last 4 because i was not able to recall who the President was before that), i.e APJ Abdul Kalam, K.R.Narayan, Shankar Dayal Sharma and Venkataraman, apart from Abdul Kalam no one else seemed to have the persona to be the first citizen of the country. Ofcourse, no one can question their accomplishments in their respective fields but none of them had that 'Chief Mentor' quality that I talked about earlier. Kalam not only had the intellect, the credentials but he also ensured that he remained a people's President and spent a lot of time with school kids and the poor.

I might not be in a position to nominate the right person as the President in this post but as I said I would always like to see someone whom i can idolise. Unfortunately, at this moment, there is a big question mark on my mind as far as Pratibha Patil is concerned.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

boss kaun hai...

Last Friday, while in office, i was checking these forwarded chain of mails which of course is an integral part of most of our professional lives..As i was browsing through my inbox, I came across this forwarded mail, "Shivaji-The Boss"..Yes, after almost 2 years in exile, the superstar, Rajnikanth is finally back..the forwarded mail contained images of the so called rajni-bhakts mobbing the the whole of 3rd floor at Forum mall, bangalore where PVR is located...there were hundreds and thousands of people waiting there for the ticket counter to open, so that they can get to watch their favourite man on the first day itself..

As, i saw the images in the mail, the first thought that came to my mind was, "What the hell? Why are people so damn crazy about this guy? Surely, he cannot be a bigger star than Amitabh Bachchan and the BigB's movies would never draw such a huge interest on the first day that people will go absolutely crazy, then why the people here are so desperate to catch up on the movie on the first day itself. Can't they wait a little longer to watch it." I had a chat with a colleague of mine who happened to be of the same view as I was on this matter. While discussing with him, I found out that around 20 people from my building(mostly Tamilians) had bunked office that day to watch the 12 noon show and almost half of Infosys was absent on Friday in Chennai office for the same reasons.

I decided to forward the mail to some of my friends to let them know how insane people can get. One of my friend's boss(not a big Rajni fan) was really happy to see those images and told him to forward it to him as he wanted to show it to his wife who was insistent on going for the movie on the first day.

In sheer curiosity, I went and chatted to a couple of other colleagues who knew a thing or two about him. Of course, I always knew that he is a superstar in south and has a huge fan following but, i had absolutely no idea about the extent to which his fans love him here. My colleagues told me that in Tamil Nadu he is next to god and If someone utters even a single word against the superstar he might just end up in the hospital for a week. In Andhra also, he has a huge fan following but nothing compared to what he has in Tamil Nadu. However,in Kerala and Karnataka, he does not command the same respect. I was also under the impression that Rajni's fan base is in south India only but to my surprise, I found out that he has a huge fanship outside India as well, especially in south eastern Asia, people are as crazy about him as they are here. There was some news in today's TOI that there was a brawl at a theatre in malaysia as some people were denied tickets on the first day.

Born in maharastra and later working as a conductor in BMTC buses here in bangalore, Rajnikanth started his career in the mid 70's as a villain with mostly Kamal hasan in the lead. After some initial struggle, his career really took off in the mid 80's after doing some complete masala movies. Typical Rajni movies are famous for their one liners. It may look funny to most of us, the way he lights a ciggaritte, puts on his sunglasses, ties his scarf or for that matter the way he salutes, but i guess this is what Rajnikanth is all about. His unconventional looks would not have taken him so far. He has fans in equal numbers in almost every age group and barring Amitabh Bachchan no other indian actor has been able scale such heights.

It might be interesting, if we juxtapose the careers of the two superstars. According to me they are the two biggest superstars ever in indian cinema. There have been the likes of SRK in hindi, Chiranjeevi in telugu, Uttam kumar in Bangla etc but those two will always be there at the top. Although Mr.Bachchan draws a wider audience but thats primarily because, hindi as a language is understood by a larger section of the poulation than Tamil. However, according to me like Amitabh, Rajni should also start playing his age in his movies, of course in central roles. The superstar is in the 58th year of his life and seeing him romancing a 21 year old girl in his latest flick, Shivaji, and dancing around in a blonde wig was a little hard for me to digest. Even Amitabh romanced Tabu in Cheeni Kum but he did play a 64 year old in the movie.

Other facts that did interest me were, the Big B charges 3 crore per movie while Rajni charges a whopping 35 crore. However, Rajni does only one movie every 2 years copmared to BigB's 7-8 an year. The most interesting fact that i saw in a news channel was that BigB has only 20 registered fan clubs worldwide compare to Rajni's 63000+, which just gave me the shock of my life. This led me to think that even Amitabh has never had a kind of fanship which Rajni has acquired over the years.

In the end if you ask me, I might vote for Rajnikanth the superstar especially after knowing a lot about him in the last couple of days, but I'll anyday vote for Amitabh Bachchan the actor.Kudos to both of them for having made india proud. Long live Indian cinema!!!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Blogging..could be another thing I tried my hands at!!

Well..writing has never been my cup of tea. I've never been a good writer my whole life. Even when I was in school, I remember, I would always score excellent marks in Maths,Science,History,Geography etc and infact I was always one of the toppers(many people who came to know me after school will dissagree with this), but when it came the languages, I always had these apprehensions, be it English or for that matter Hindi, which was even worse.
But here I am, writing my first blog on the internet. The interesting thing to notice for my readers(if any) and most importantly for me is to see how long can I continue with this, because I've never been focused about anything in my life. I've always enjoyed the tag of being laidback and even I'm amazed by the fact that I'm scratching my head to write something on a public forum.

All the best to my readers(again..if any)