January 21, 2017


గమనిక: నేను బాలకృష్ణ అభిమానిని కాదు. ఇది ఎందుకు చెబుతున్నాను అంటే, ఈ పోస్టు వ్రాయటంలో ఆయన అభిమానిగా ఏమన్నా పక్షపాత వైఖిరి చూపించాను అని మీరు అనుకుంటారేమో అని...నేను హాల్లో  చూసిన ఆయన ఆఖరి సినిమా మహారథి. ఇది రివ్యూ కూడా కాదు. నేను చూసాను. మీరు కూడా తప్పక చూడండి. ఎందుకు చూడమంటున్నానో చెప్పే ఒక చిన్ని ప్రయత్నం.
గౌతమి పుత్ర శాతకర్ణి. క్రిష్ సినిమా అనగానే ఒక లాంటి ఆదుర్దా. క్రిష్ కి ఎందుకు అభిమానినో రెండు ముక్కల్లో చెబుతాను. ఒకటి, తాను సెన్సిబుల్ డైరెక్టర్. రెండోది, తన సినిమాలు ఒక మూస పద్ధతిలో ఉండవు. దానివల్ల ఎలా ఐనా ఈ సినిమా చూసి తీరాలిసిందే అనుకున్నాను. అందులోను ఒక చారిత్రాత్మక చిత్రం. నేను ఏదన్నా సినిమా చూడాలి అనుకుంటే మాత్రం దాని రివ్యూలు చదవటం, హిట్టా, ప్లాపా, కలెక్షన్స్ ఎలా ఉన్నాయి ఇలాంటివన్నీ పక్కన పెట్టి చూసేస్తాను. ఎందుకంటే, జడ్జిమెంట్ అనేది మన మైండ్ లోకి వస్తే, మనం ఆ సినిమాని ఆ కోణం నుండే చూస్తాము కానీ, సరిగ్గా ఆనందించలేము, అభినందించలేము.
ఈ సినిమా చూసిన తరువాత ఒక హైలో ఉంటాను, ఆ హైలో నుండి బయటకి రావటానికి చాలా సమయం పడుతుంది అనుకున్నాను. కానీ అనుకున్నంత రాలేదు. కారణం నేను చాలా ఎక్కువ ఎక్స్పెక్టేషన్స్ తో వెళ్ళటమే. అది వేరే విషయం అనుకోండి. దాన్ని పక్కన పెడితే, ఈ సినిమాని ప్రతి ఒక్కరు చూడండి. ఎప్పటి చరిత్ర అండి ఇది? రెండు వేల సంవత్సరాల క్రితంది. మన చరిత్ర పుస్తకాల్లో కానీ, పాఠ్యాంశాల్లో గాని దీని గురించి ఎక్కువ చెప్పబడలేదు. అలాంటిదాన్ని ఒక చలనచిత్రంగా తీయాలంటే ఎంత కష్ట తరమైన పనో ఒక్కసారి ఆలోచించారా? అదీ 79 రోజుల్లో? కానీ, అతను చేసి చూపించాడు. హ్యాట్స్ ఆఫ్ టు క్రిష్!
సినిమాలో అన్నిటికన్నా నాకు నచ్చింది, సంభాషణలు. ఎంత అద్భుతంగా రాసారండి సాయి మాధవ్ బుర్రా. వొళ్ళు పులకించి పోయింది అంటే అతిశయోక్తి కాదు. బాలకృష్ణ ఒక్కో డైలాగ్ చెబుతుంటే ఆలా రోమాలు నిక్కబొడుచుకున్నాయి. ఏ మాట కా మాటే. అలా డైలాగులు చెప్పడం అందరికి రాదండి. ఆ భావ వ్యక్తీకరణ ఆయన ఒక్కరికే సొంతం. ఇప్పుడు ఉన్న హీరోల్లో బాలకృష్ణ తప్ప ఇంక ఎవరు ఆ పాత్రకి  సరిరారు. ఆయన లోని ఠీవి, దర్పం, ఆ రాజసం.. అక్షరాలా ఆ శాతకర్ణి మహారాజు మన ముందు ప్రత్యక్షం అయ్యారా అనిపించేలా అబ్బుర పరిచారు. మచ్చుక్కి: "బడుగు జాతి కాదు, తెలుగు జాతి. అధములం కాదు, ప్రధములం. ఈ విశాల దేశాన్ని భుజాలపై మోస్తున్న పునాదులం. వీరులం. వేద భూమి వేరులం." ఈ డైలాగు ఎంత బాగా చెప్పారు అంటే మిగతా డైలాగులకి అన్యాయం చేసినట్లే. ఒకటా రెండా...ప్రతీ మాట ఒక మంచు కడిగిన ముత్యం లాగా వుంది. అలాంటి ముత్యాల సమాహారాన్ని మనకి అందించారు శాతకర్ణి బృందం. ఆయన మీద మీకు ఉన్న దురాభిప్రాయాలు అన్ని పక్కన పెట్టి చూసి రండి. తెలుగు భాష అంటే మక్కువ ఉన్న ప్రతి ఒక్కరూ తప్పక చూడవలసిన చిత్రం. లేకపోయినా విని రండి. భాష మీద ప్రేమ పుడుతుంది.
ఇంక మిగతా పాత్రల గురించి క్లుప్తంగా చెబుతాను. వాశిష్టిగా శ్రీయ చాలా అందంగా వుంది. ఎంతో నాజూకుగా, సుకుమారిలా, ఒక రాణిలా మనం ఒక కొత్త శ్రీయని చూస్తాము. చిన్న చిన్న భావాలూ ఎంతో అద్భుతంగా పలికించింది. తన పాత్రకి పూర్తి న్యాయం చేసింది. రాజ మాతగా హేమ మాలిని ఎంతో హుందాగా అనిపించారు. ఎవరికి వారే ధీటుగా నటించారు. పాటలు చక్కగా మాటలు వినబడేలా వినసొంపుగా ఉన్నాయి. కంచె సినిమాలో, "అటు ఇటు....." పాట విన్నాక, చిరంతన్ భట్ కి అభిమాని అయ్యిపోయాను. చాలా రోజుల తరువాత బాలు స్వరం వినిపించింది. సిరివెన్నెల గారి గురించి చెప్పే అంత దాన్ని కాదు. విన్న మీకే తెలుస్తుంది. ఆయన అంటే నాకు అభిమానం కాదు, ఆరాధన. సో.....
అన్ని సినిమాల్లాగే ఈ సినిమాకి కూడా ఇన్ని ప్లస్ పాయింటులతో, చిన్న చిన్న మైనెస్లు ఉన్నాయి. అవి చెప్పి నేను అభిమానులని హర్ట్ చేయదల్చు కోలేదు.:) యుద్ధ నేపథ్యంలో జరిగిన కథ కాబట్టి యుద్ధం ఎక్కువగా చూపబడింది.
సినిమా చూసాక, దీని కన్నా బాహుబలి బావుందే అని అనుకోవద్దు. బాహుబలి ఒక కల్పితమైన కథ. అది ఒక దృశ్య కావ్యం. రాజమౌళి ఒక అద్భుతాన్ని సృష్టించి తెలుగు సినిమాని ఎక్కడికో తీసుకెళ్ళారు. అందరూ అలా తీసుకెళ్ళలేక పోయినా, క్రిష్ తీసుకెళ్ళే ప్రయత్నం చేశారు. ఇది చరిత్ర. మన తెలుగు వారి చరిత్ర. అందరూ తెలుసుకోవలసిన మన కథ.
ఏదన్నా మసాలా,  వెకిలి హాస్యం, చిందులు  కావాలంటే మాత్రం ఈ సినిమాలో దొరకవు. :)
చివరిగా ఒక చిన్న మాట. ఒక సినిమా తీయాలంటే, కోట్లాది రూపాయిల ఖర్చు, సంవత్సరాల తరబడి ఆలోచనలు, నెలలు తరబడి నిద్ర లేని రాత్రుళ్ళు, పగళ్లు, వందలమంది జనాల సహాయ సహకారాలు కావలి. అలాంటిది మనం అర ఘంట వెతికి ఆన్లైన్లో చూసేస్తే ఏమి బావుంటుంది చెప్పండి? ఎంతో కాదండి. ఒక బిర్యానీ కానీ పిజ్జా కానీ తిన్నంత కూడా అవ్వదు :) లాస్ట్ బట్ నాట్ లీస్ట్, "అమ్మో... బాలకృష్ణ సినిమానా అనుకునే వారందరు, ఆహా! బాలకృష్ణ సినిమా బావుంది" అని అంటారు.

ఇట్లు మీ ,
లక్ష్మీ పుత్రిక పృథ్వీ లత 

December 28, 2016

Plan B!! What plan is she talking about? I know what you all naughty people might be thinking of. I am not talking of the Plan B for...err..Okay! Let's talk business. On a cloudy morning we warn our kids to wear their rain jackets, we remind our spouses not to forget their umbrellas. We have an alternate plan for surprise showers. We keep candles at home in case of a power shortage; we have hand fans, we buy additional groceries to avoid running to stores at odd hours; we keep a rescue kit for floods and earthquakes, you name it and we have an alternate solution for every single trouble that comes our way. Do we also plan similarly for larger things in life? If a family member falls terminally ill; are we financially equipped to meet the medical expenses? If that family member is the sole bread winner; who is going to take reins of the family? What if both parents travel together and never come back? What happens to the kids? What if the husband dies of a heart attack or meets a road accident? What's the plight of the wife and children? Life isn't going to be the same, is it? These thoughts run through my mind all the time.
Death and unforeseen circumstances could occur in anyone's life. We hear this random news of deaths and illness from a distant relative, a friend, a co-worker or a neighbor. But the intensity hits only when it happens to us.
When I was a kid I would think people die only when they get old. That myth has changed over the years. Of late, with the incidents that have happened around me, my perception of life has evolved a lot larger than it was. Death could happen to anyone in any age. A few incidents in the past few years related to people I once knew or cousins of friends have left me devastated. 
I know nothing can prepare us for the worst. But like they say foresee the unforeseen; by taking some small and some big & bold decisions, I believe we all can be prepared for what may come. If not completely, at least partially. Don't ask me if I have taken all the below measures before coming up with this post. The answer is No and I am on my way. Few of them are:
  1. Insurance. Get Insured. Enroll in a Life Insurance Policy that will take care of the family in case of a sudden demise. Make the spouse and kids as nominees for the ease of everything.
  2. Write your Will. It may sound overly precautious and a bit dramatic but yes, your Will is important. It is important to let your kids know what and with who their future lies. If you have already done so, revise it every 5 years. Will is not just a testament of your properties and declaration of who is going to possess what physical belongings but to let them know who has the custody of the family. In some cases, if the Will is not written, the insurance amount does not reach the beneficiary but would go to some charity/organization. 
  3. Finances. Make your spouse a partner in everything. There are many families where the man runs the show and the woman of the house has no clue on the inflow/outflow of finances. Both the partners need to be involved in paying the bills and running the household. Don't limit their capabilities only for savings in coupons and grocery shopping.
  4. Be Independent. Women need to come out of their protective shells and be independent. I have heard this answer zillion times when I ask some basic questions. "Oh..I don't know all that Latha. He takes care of all that stuff." I have friends who do not know the salary they earn or what their bank accounts hold. Every woman needs to know a means to earn.
  5. Learn to cook and clean. These days most of the men know basic cooking and cleaning. Yet there are scores of men who do not know a thing in the kitchen. My dear ladies, teach your man how to cook and make the kids get ready to school. Your parents will be too old to support you or your neighbors cannot keep sending dishes forever.
  6. Slow down. Life is a race. We all are running to meet ends. And the little time we have on hand is spent on trivial matters that don't really need our time.
  7. Good Relations.  There is a saying in Telugu, "Noru manchidaite, vooru manchidi avutundi". Which is "If your tongue is sweet, your village is sweet with you". I know the true translation sounds funny but it really means to maintain the good relations with our near and dear without slipping our tongue. A quote that resonates:  "You can change your world by changing your words... Remember, death and life are in the power of the tongue." Joel Osteen. 
  8. Save. Save for a rainy day. I don't think we need to be stingy to save nor splurge on extravaganzas. Try to strike a balance between saving and spending.
  9. Be Practical. Teach your kids the harsh realities of life. Since we faced hardships growing up doesn't mean we have to protect them from those. Let them know that life could turn upside down any moment.
The list could go on and on..We can never be 100% equipped all the time waiting to face an emergency situation. However, it will be a tad bit easier to pull ourselves together when everything falls apart. With this, I want to bid good bye to an eventful year. Hoping the next year brings more peace and love for all of us; I wish you all a Happy New Year! 
We don't develop courage by being happy every day. We develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity.  -Barbara De Angelis

P.S: If you haven't thought about it so far, start thinking about your plan B!

September 22, 2016

Warning: This post is not intended to target any one person. All the opinions are purely the writer's ramble.

I hate Desis! Oh well, hate is a strong word, they say. Rather, I don't like desis. These days, it's one of the in things. Like wearing pants that show your bottoms, heaps of hair on the top of the head, like growing beards, over sized watches...like many of these things we see and hear everyday, dislike a desi being a desi. I hear this statement so often. Also, I have noticed not all immigrants have this special dislike for desis. There are certain categories. I don't want to single them lest they all file a law suit on me. Anything is possible in this country, you know!

This special section of desi disliking desi disorder can be found anywhere. At your work place, at your common parties, in your community club etc.They do not like to gather with a lot of Indians, send kids to a Montessori with Indian teachers, they don't like to visit Indian doctors (poor fellas work their asses off than anyone else to settle in their profession), don't visit Indian restaurants. Though many Americans love Indian food, this tribe carries their pride in savoring over Sushi and dining at a Lebanese or an Ethiopian restaurant.  For that matter, they have nothing to do with India at all except feel unlucky for being an Indian. (The unlucky part, I made it up :P).

Mom lives with us here and has come across this increasing breed in recent days. That's when a few questions sprang up in our discourse.
  1. Aren't we all desis? Aren't we here like any other one of them? To make a livelihood? Then why hate the same breed so much?
  2. When you don't like Desis so much, why do you live among them? Why don't you buy a home in a place where there is no Indian population at all? May be go to Alaska..just a thought. I know folks who have done that too, BTW, Not Alaska really...
  3. Why do you celebrate Indian festivals? Eat Indian food?
  4. If your kid is sick, why do you call your desi grandma and ask for home remedies?
  5. Why this touch me not attitude? 
Living among Indians, helped me in many ways. There are times when either of us can't drop or pick our kids from schools. I just have to call one of our neighbors and they do it for us. One of our neighbors had their family visit and all of them wouldn't fit in their car. We were more than happy to lend our van. Last weekend, there was a talk show of my favorite writer and we were wondering what to do with the kids. I just had to knock on a door and drop her there. The same neighbor called mom to ask if she can cook and send something as she was sick for past 3 days. It is mutual. Folks, there is an unexplained camaraderie in the desi community. Many of our organisations are going above and beyond in extending a helping hand to our community. One needn't face unforeseen circumstances to experience it. Next time when you utter: "Oh..Desis!"; Remember! If you aren't tolerant to your own kind, no one else will be!

It's implied that you be a Roman in Rome. One may change the way he dresses, talks, walks, eats but not the way he's born. That doesn't make you any less Indian. 

P.S: Let me admit, this post rose from my own intolerance and how I grew out of it.
P.s.s: I hope you all like this new template...more peaceful and simple compared to my old one.

July 27, 2016

Each time I vanish and pop-up after a few months; I notice that I come up with a post of Ammusings as one of them will always be lying in my drafts. Here's one more for you and me:

Ammu: "Amma, I really don't care about American Presidents!"
Me: Why?
Ammu: "Because I am not an American..
I am an Indian"
Me: So, who is the Indian president?
A: Obama
Me: hehehe...no .....he is the American President
A: "Then who is the Indian president?"
Me: Pranab Mukherjee
A: Moh- kah-who?
Me: Pranab Mukherjee
A: What's his first name?
Me: Pranab
A: Para..What is the last name?
Me: After a good 5 minutes of trying to say the name right
A: Abraham Lincoln lives on a Penny!!
It took me a few seconds to understand that
And George Bush lives on a Quarter!

Ammu: "Amma, the girl's bathroom in the school smells nasty, yucky and horrible!"

Me: "Why do you think so?"
A: "Because you know kids don't flush properly"
Me: Ohh!!
A: "You know if you crack an egg...and the yolk comes out?"
Me: Hmm
A:"Like take another egg and crack it and there are three eggs with yolks open"
Me: Ewww
A: And you know it smells as if it stayed there for 58 years!
Me: 58 yrs???? OMG
Don't know where that number came from...sigh!!

One evening while her dad was doing his stretches:

Ammu: "Nanna, did you know what?"
S: "What?"
A: People are symmetrical
    Becuase they have sides
    Separates her legs and touches her left leg and right leg
    See.... look at my nose
    There are two sides!!

Ammu started collecting money for Jump Rope for Heart Event. When I asked her to give her contribution; she said she would do it at the end.
She adds one dollar at the end to the list of names
Me: "How come you donated only one dollar?"
Ammu in her nonchalant way: "Because I don't want to waste my money"
Me: Seriously???

While practicing music, Ammu suddenly waves off her head and says this thing makes me mad.
Me: "What thing?"
Ammu: "There are these two boys who told me: hey girl, do you know how a booty looks like?"
Me: Surprised and shocked: "they said that? to you?"
Ammu: "Yes, to me! They are big hypocrite boys who are stupid!"
Me: "What is hypocrite?" (She hears her brother use it often )
She actually doesn't know the meaning but wanted to use it for the complexity of the word and thinks that is a really bad, bad, bad cuss word.
Me: Next time if they say that, tell them: "Go ask your mommy and she will show you what a booty looks like..." (I was really mad)
After a few days...
Ammu: I saw them again...I wanted to smack their head with something!
Glad you didn't!!

February 1, 2016

You can read Part 1 here...

I remember saying I will come up with a Part 2 of the post and vanished into oblivion. After Bhogi, the second day is Sankranthi. Sankranthi means the migration of Sun from one Rashi (Sun sign) to another. When the Sun migrates from Dhanur Rasi (Sagittarius) to Makara Rasi (Capricorn) is when Makara Sankranthi is celebrated. I am sure you'll get this much info from anywhere on the internet. My purpose is not to define the festival but to share my memories associated with it.
         
      First thing that springs to my mind on hearing the word Sankranthi, is Ariselu. Ariselu made by my Ammamma are the best. She was one expert in making the jaggery syrup in the right consistency and exact crispness. As I am wired different, unlike everyone who loves Ariselu made with Jaggery, I would eat only those made with Sugar. She made sure she cooked a different batch at the end ONLY for her loving grand daughter. No one gives me that extra attention anymore :( Sob! Sob! Every year she would bring a big can of Ariselu, LaddoosKarapoosa etc etc

      Ariselu made and parceled by my mom-in-law with love

     Preparation of these savories was a huge deal. Preparations started a week before the actual festival. They were cooked collectively in one of the relative or neighbor's homes. After the cooking was done, we kids would go distributing to the same bunch. But then, what was the purpose of giving it to the same people again? More or less, we all cooked the same varieties. Who cared anyway? As kids, we just wanted a reason to visit the relative's or friend's place one more time. 

     Many people visit their villages or home towns for Sankranthi. That is where the festive season comes to full life. Newly wed daughters visit their maternal homes with their husbands. The new son-in-law has has most of his wishes fulfilled. Like a new bike, car etc...etc.

One practice that is famous in certain parts of Andhra is Kodi Pandelu. I can never get a word in English that translates the exact meaning. Though the High Court has put a ban on them, they continue to happen. There is a lot of money involved in betting that happen around these fights. I haven't witnessed one though.


        Image Courtesy: Youtube.com

Flying kites is something that always bring color and fun to Sankranthi. S narrates me stories of his childhood how they would sharpen the kite string with powdered glass. 

                             Image Courtesy: thehindu.com

Sankranthi as a festival has more memories than rituals and practices that go along with it. I will conclude this post with the third day, Kanuma.

Ammamma - maternal grand mother
Kodi Pandelu - Hen/Cock fights