Friday, December 29, 2006

Films and Updates

Just a little update on what's happening with our films

1. Men of Burden - Pedaling Towards a Horizon
After the NYC premiere at IAAC, there hasn't been much happening. Although our plans for future screenings are on. We have been talking to some folks in the Cycle Rickshaw (Pedicab) industry here in New York for arranging private screenings. Hopefully by mid-January, we'll know more. So far, DIY distribution seems to be the way to go. More on that later.

2. Wait No More
Our new completed short film is all ready to go places (crossing fingers). We got some good reviews for the film from our inner circles, but still, until it hits the big screen and people outside our inner circles say something good, we aren't going to rejoice. The DVDs are burnt and ready too, and some have hit the submission currents, so let's see what's in store.

3. New Untitled Documentary film
Yes, our documentary on Siragu school based on underprivileged/homeless children in India still is 'Untitled'. We have a few options but they are just 'ok'. Nothing too exciting. We will be getting the footage in our hands next week and then we will start Post-production. Very excited. But, so long.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Conversations with a friend...part 6

We all say God is everywhere.
It is obvious that God is also inside us. We say God has His influence on anything and everything. So He can influence us from inside. Now if we consider God as this enormity as a whole, then it is obvious that we are inside Him. Now when God can influence us from inside since He is in us, then we can equally influence Him since we are inside Him.
Is it so ? or not?

Conversations with a friend...part 5

We know all the living beings grow from inside. Growing is nothing but an action or a happening. Happening is nothing but a change. No change can happen without a cause. Now the origin of the cause is internal or external?
Our growth is perfectly a physical change.
Again, any physical change must have a physical cause. What exactly would be the physical nature of that cause?

Conversations with a friend...part 4

Let us once again ponder over the creation of the baby. The single cell splits into innumerable cells and all the cells assume their own functions simultaneously.
Can we identify the exact nature of influence or authority or command that is possessed by the single cell over the rest of the cells?
During the process of growth almost all the cells are equivalent.
Now tell me if each and every cell represents the single cell or the single cell represents all the cells?

This would directly relate to the all-powerful omniscient divinity that is a part of us all. We cannot say exactly whether the divine represents all of us or we represent the divine.
We do not know whether the baby in the womb is conscious or not (even though a great search, debate, theories and incidents are prevailing on this particular issue) but when it comes out, we can be sure that it is physically unorganized. First it takes control of the nose when it is able to smell and recognize the mother; then the ears play their role in sensing the mother- with louder noises; then sometime in the third month, the eyes when it is able to focus and smile; then with great difficulty the hands and fingers, when it learns to grip; then the legs, when it stands up to walk, then it analyses everything when slowly taking the control of mind and behavior and it walks the whole life to achieve towards a great organization at first to realize itself as a whole and later to realize some other whole.

Now without such a great course of growth with full of events, will there be any meaning for the single cell?

Thoughts and Expressions...

This is a topic on alienation and this particular paragraph from the book "Marx's Concept of Man written by Erich Fromm and it shows so much depth that I cannot even explain how overwhelmed I was when I read it...
Karl Marx says,
"Among the many forms of alienation, the most frequent one is the alienation in language. If I express a feeling with a word, let us say, I love you, the word is meant to be an indication of the reality which exists within myself, the power of my loving. The word "love" is meant to be a symbol of the fact love, but as soon as it is spoken it tends to assume a life of its own, it becomes a reality. I am under the illusion that the saying of the word is the equivalent of the experience, and soon I say the word and feel nothing, except the thought of love, which the word expresses. The alienation of language shows the whole complexity of alienation. Language is one of the most precious human achievements; to avoid alienation by not speaking would be foolish; yet one must be always aware of the danger of the spoken word, that it threatens to substitute itself for the living experience. The same holds true for all other achievements of man: ideas, art, any kind of man-made objects. They are man's creations; they are valuable aids for life yet each one of them is also a trap, a temptation to confuse life with things, experience with artifacts, feeling with surrender and submission."

Please also do refer the September post on Language and expression. Expression is the most essential part of human life and living and is very much needed in the surrent scenario...

Conversations with a friend...part 3

We see a lot of people in our lives and we interact with a lot of them. When you see somebody can you visualize him or her with a totality that is right from the baby to an older one?
It is assumed that each and every human takes numerous births. As a second step, can you imagine somebody with a lot of forms? A greater totality over a great period of time?
Can you imagine at one sight, all the human beings, at the same time with the entire history, right from the earlier man to a greatly organized society in the future?
On an interaction with somebody, can you imagine yourself as the person with whom you interact? Can you imagine yourself in all the human beings, along with all the pleasures and sorrows, pains and comforts, births, lives and deaths, all the emotions as if you are undergoing and experiencing them in the most objective way?
As a next step, can you imagine yourself in all the living forms with varied emotions and secondly in all the non-living forms?

Conversations with a friend...part 2

Only that single cell takes a form of you or me. And we know that the cell is more knowledgeable than us. Now, tell me if that single cell has grown towards the present form of you or me, or that it has decayed towards this form?

Conversations with a friend...part 1

A friend asked me recently....

When a sperm gets fused along with an egg or ovum, they together form a single cell with 46 chromosomes, containing all the genetic information. Only that single cell is the origin of any one of us. Now the point to be noted is, that single cell not only contains the genetic information, that is a great past, but also all the information about us, which comprises our future. Whether we are black or fair, fat or thin, bald or hairy, tall or short, our physiological structure, physical being, i.e., when we would get what disease, also our temperament, and our psychological make up, and so on; that is our entire life is concentrated in that.

Can we say that is exhaustive? Along with that a lot of cells are formed along with innumerable information and assumes a form of any one of us.

We know that the single cell has everything about us. But even to know that, we need science, experience and a great historical process. and, we are in the process of knowing more.

We can very well say that we can never be exhaustive with respect to knowledge.

Now, can you tell if we are conscious or whether that single cell is conscious?

When every information of our life is somehow embedded in us, then what about our free will?

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Mythology in Movies

Ahh...a cliched pair, huh?
But whatever we may call it, they are still the basis of our imaginations running wild. Wild in terms of what we can't seem to achieve in the 'real' life. There have been so many thinkers and writers who have extolled the relationship of mythology and what role it plays in stories, films, civilizations and life itself. Having read the likes of Campbell, James Bonnett, etc, I have to admit I'm finding myself increasingly attracted towards the genre.
I recently saw the trailer for 300, which is an adaptation of Frank Miller's graphic novel. It'll be out in 2007 and has been directed by Zack Snyder, who is a cousin of a friend's friend. Was really amazed at the amount of effort they had put in towards the making of the movie. Imagine, LOTR, Harry Potter, Chronicles of Narnya, Superman and now 300, they all take us to a world devoid of our mundane existence here in the 'real' world as we see it. It makes us wanna break out of our monotony and do something outrageous which is primarily because the films and the stories serve as metaphors for our 'true' existence. It's just spectacular how we translate them into our lives and sometimes try and become better versions of ourselves. Maybe someday we can be the superhero we've always been dreaming about. Up, up and away!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Global Warming on the Loose??

Whatever happened to the snow this year- 2006?? Today is December 24th and still there is absolutely no trace of snow in New Jersey. My anticipations have turned into disappointments with the warm sun smiling at me even during the supposed winter. Well, it is a wait that brings so many questions to the mind… is there is something wrong on a larger scale? Three four years back when people talked about Global Warming, no one had any clue as to what it meant. But I guess the meaning is slowly getting into our understanding. The fluctuations in the weather and the warm temperatures indicate something worse that is impending. The rest of the world is already suffering the consequences. There are some parts of the world which are already deprived of good drinking water and Nature has her own way of expressing her disappointment I guess. SIGH!

Where do we start? Many people would not know…but, for a start, let us begin to respect our trees and hope we can correct our mistakes sooner and not let anything drastic happen to this beautiful world around us.

I pledge not to hurt any tree and see to it that I plant at least a 100 trees in my lifetime.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Principal Photography: Complete

Can't believe we are done with Principal photography. So many things have happened over the last few days that we are finding it hard to believe the primary work on location is behind us now. In the last couple of days, we did the interview bits with Uma and Muthuram, you know, asking them about the specific activities that the children did over the days of the shoot. Seemed like their thoughts fit in quite well with the overall objectives and the goal of the documentary.
An irony is that we still haven't come up with the Title of the film, weird but true. The same thing happened to our new short film, Wait No More, we came up with the title only during post-production. But hey, if any of you have any ideas just holler.
The picture above is that of the kids during the football games, I think. We got a lot more pictures, but they are still in India. We are waiting for the tapes too. Man, can't wait to get our hands on them and start post-production. Ok, gotta go, a movie's waiting to be seen.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Production Updates

Well, well, well, guess what?
Our Universal concept for kids is shaping up pretty good. The kids are much, much smarter(hyperbole) than we thought and the story-making exercise was a real eye-opener, not for them, but for us...the kids taught us a lot with their creativity. More in detail about that, later.
The world languages exercise is also proving to be a great tool for the kids. They have already started wishing us in Greek, French, etc. Everyday, the teachers would teach the kids new words from new languages. The primary world languages that are being taught are Arabic, Chinese, Greek, French, German, Hindi, Russian, Spanish, Swahili and Tagalog. I guess the next time we meet them they are gonna talk about things we wouldn't have a clue about.
Postcards - They also created postcards with drawings, paintings, poems, written messages, etc for kids in other parts of the world. This exercise was primarily to help them connect with kids universally and maybe in future develop life-long relationships with them.
Most in the crew were exhausted after continuous shooting, day and night. Our Cinematographer became sick and we continued despite that, nevertheless, we got some great shots. We also got routines of the kids' activities as we followed some kids on their daily journeys. There's lots more to discuss, but we'll soon update you within a couple of days.
In the pics, you can see the crew with the kids in the playground with one of the teachers. The other pic is a painting done by them on aliens and space.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Siragu Documentary Update

The second and third days have been great. We made great progress with the shoot. We went with Uma and Muthuram to the actual Nadaipathai (pavement) where the parents of the children live.
You can see Uma and Muthuram in the photo above with the parents, talking to them. They showed us the whole environment where many pavement-dwellers lived. It was an amazing experience meeting people who are so straight-forward and simple.
Back at the school, Siragu, we played football/soccer with the children. Man, was it fun! Ramesh, Raja and almost all the crew members joined the game and were so exhausted after that.
At night, we had a campfire with the children where they were asked to write down what they didn't like and threw them into the fire - they threw 'War', 'Guns', etc into the fire. Babu (Ramanujam) was the one who initiated it, with the whole thing being a very deeply emotional experience - the children striving for peace, love and unity. Can you believe it?
The little girl(2nd photo) with the hat is Meenakshi who recently joined Siragu and she tagged along with the crew most of the time.
Watch out for more updates soon.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Siragu Documentary - In Production

Great News!
Our next documentary film on Siragu, a school(it's more than that) for street/homeless children, is under way. We started production/shooting yesterday in Avadi, Chennai, India.
The day started out great with the Production Crew leaving at 7 a.m from Chennai city. After a long 2 hour drive, Ramesh, Packya, Babu and Raja reached Siragu Home/School and met the children and checked out the school and the location. Ramesh, who is organizing and directing the whole shoot in India, is a trooper, who's been working constantly with sleepless nights and endless travel. Packya is associate producing with on-location logistics help. Raja, is our Cinematographer, with about 8 years experience in Chennai. A great team. Period.

We got lots of great shots of the children in the school and the surroundings. The school is located in the outskirts of Avadi, which is itself in the outskirts. It's amazing how the Founders/Managing team, Uma and Muthuram have built the school from the ground up. They are so committed in their goal to educate children from the most down-trodden areas of the society. They have been amazing in their cooperation and are guiding us through the entire shoot. Do check out their website
The above are some pictures that we took immediately after we landed there. Enjoy and more to come right after this.

Friday, December 15, 2006

The Latest Epidemic!

This dis-ease has been spreading swifter than a forest fire and the germs come in all possible forms and in all mediums…
It is called the CREDIT SYSTEM…

I tried to collect a few definitions from some informative sources…you can see what this can do to your life...
A credit card is a small plastic card issued to users of a type of retail transaction settlement and credit system.

1. A card that identifies a person as entitled to have food, merchandise, services, etc., billed on a charge account.
2. A plastic card having a magnetic strip, issued by a bank or business authorizing the holder to buy goods or services on credit.
3. A card allowing someone to make a purchase on borrowed money. Credit cards are one of the most popular forms of payment for consumer goods and services in the United States.

And some free advice…from the Investopedia Commentary…
Credit cards have higher interest rates than most consumer loans or lines of credit, so try your hardest to pay off your credit card each month.


Before you realize what is happening you are sucked into the abyss of the credit system making money (which is after all a tool and is supposed to assist us with exchange of goods) one of the most sought after things in life, pushing Love well behind in the race.
Where is this all leading us to?
Check these links for some more information on the students of the United States and how they are finding themselves caught up in the maze of the credit system and cannot seem to escape its poisonous fangs at such a young age.

And if you are young and in debt with your credit card loans, you have another set of people to help you out and that is not for free… there is a crowd to help you build your finances again…for money, of course!!
And, what about the rest of the world? They will soon join the credit clubs…sooner or later!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Reality or Illusion?

Is there a line that distinguishes Reality and Illusion?? If so, where does the line exist between the two?
All our lives we run behind things thinking that they are real, but can we really be sure about that Reality not being Maya?
What then constitutes MAYA or the Illusion?
Nature around us... all the while tries to show us Reality and Maya alternatively...but then is our perception too rigid??

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

R.K.Narayan - Those days...

I was reading the article below about R.K.Narayan (1906-2001), one of India's celebrated writers of realist fiction. Of course, anybody who knows him will know him primarily by his Malgudi Days - Swami & Friends.
Lucid, simple and powerful prose. To me, his stories are more about evoking that nostalgia, recreating those familiar memories that we all have buried inside. When we used to watch Malgudi Days back in the 80s, it would create an inexplicable pain, everytime. Now when I think about it, it not only brings back memories of our golden days but also the evocative narratives that were very much part of our psyche when we grew up. The reason why I can relate to it is the exitentialist nature of R.K.Narayan's characters. Maybe I see his perspective as part of my own, maybe that's why I've been having a lot of questions in my mind about being right or wrong, about good or evil, about the larger cosmic paradigm that we are all part of.
(picture courtesy:

Wait No More - Completed

Wait No More
- Our next short film starring Ragini Parmar and Patrick Fernicola is now complete. Gotta admit we are a little behind schedule, but hey, it's all good now. The project is ready for the DVD pipeline and soon for the Festival circuit.
Here's the link that's been up and we hope to update it soon. Watch out for more news.

Saturday, December 09, 2006


Sharing is one of the most valuable tendencies of living beings. We see it in every possible species. Once the action of sharing starts, it opens up a lot of knowledge gates where you learn a lot of new things about the world and its mysteries. Apart from the uniqueness of every single being and the connection that brings all of them together, there is this element of sharing which further enriches the whole living process without which the planet would have stopped revolving. However big or small the invention or discovery, unless it is shared with the rest of the beings, it does not make any sense. How on this earth is it ever possible to live otherwise?