Unsung heroes of Indian Army

August 30, 2008

 

As mentioned in my previous post, my new job is keeping me very busy. That my current company works 6 days a week is just the icing on the cake I neededJ

 

Watched just a couple of movies on home theater in the entire month. “Jaane Tu…”, that I heard so much about, did not disappoint. But some how Genelia managed to look old and worn out in this movie. Though the story and screenplay were positively formulaic, such themes usually go down well with any type of audience. But the movie I liked more was “1971” which I missed watching last year. Though the 1st hour was little slow, it picked up momentum post-interval and finally left me moved with deep emotions. Apart from the fact that there are still so many Indian POWs languishing in Pakistani jails (which speaks a lot about the apathy of Indian administration), this film is a grim reminder about the tough conditions soldiers live through, with nothing more than a modest salary and possibly a medal to show for their sacrifices. The locales in which the climax of the film was shot reminded me about the inhuman conditions in which India and Pakistan armies have been waging a conflict in Siachen. The Siachen Conflict is over the disputed Siachen Glacier region in Kashmir. It began in 1984, and more than 4000 soldiers (from both sides) allegedly died in this inhospitable terrain, mostly due to weather extremities and the natural hazards of mountain warfare.

 

 

Back to the film, it reminded me about a family get together I attended some months ago in an ex-colleague’s house in Vayupuri, Secunderabad. This ex-colleague of mine was a Doctor who previously served in Indian Airforce. Hence, the party was attended by lot of Ex-Airforce and Ex-Army folks. That night I had the privilege of listening to the war stories of the officers who were part of 1965 and 1971 wars. Truly a memorable experience!


Good begining to the month of August

August 14, 2008

 

Been quite busy past few weeks and hence no blogging.

 

Joined my new job on Aug 4. Really felt good to receive such a rousing welcome (yes, there was a formal reception) from old colleagues who I worked with during 2003-07. As expected there was no formal orientation and not even a honeymoon period, so I had to hit the ground running. There was so much to do, and I am loving it.

 

Seems like this month will be very good to me. A property deal that was dragging its feet for the past 4 months was finally settled this week. Made a quick trip to Tenali to attend to this task, but the public did not notice it because “Superstar” Krishna also was visiting his hometown (Tenali) on the same day J

 

Took a few days off last month to spend some time with my friends at Guntur. I was joined on this trip by some of my Hyderabad-based friends. So we hopped over to Suryalanka beach resort (operated by APTDC) and spent a whole day there. They charged Rs. 1100 per day for an AC cottage with double beds. I believe they charge Rs. 200 more during the weekends. As we were there on a week day there was not much crowd, which suited us very well. The beach was very flat and one can wade into the sea for almost 50-60 meters during low tide. We spent more than 2 hrs swimming in the sea in the morning. Couple of points about the resort that I want to highlight – Outside food is not allowed and hence one has to put up with just-okayish food served by the canteen. Two, the place can get lonely during the week days, so not ideal for a single family even though NO security issues are reported so far.

 

Finally, I join my fellow Indians in doffing my hat to Abhinav Bindra, India’s only gold medal winner at Olympics in an individual sport. No praise is too high for him. Back in 2002 when I and my wife were considering various names that start with Abhi for my first born, I plumped for Abhinav because the guy was already making waves in international sports. I hope that my son will achieve at least 1% of what AB has achieved.


Of Telugu Films and Andhra towns

August 2, 2008

 

I was always fascinated by history. Apart from giving insights into our heritage and the key reasons for the rise and fall of all those great empires and kings – lessons that can be applied to our benefit now – history helped my imagination run wild. In my childhood I used to try imagining the lifestyle, the dressing style and the pattern of human emotions at various points in time, going back to vedic times. For example, I tried to imagine what my great-great-grand-father was doing in mid-19th century, and what his reaction might have been to the major national and local events in his time. Of course, I could not figure out what his reaction was to, say, Sepoy Mutiny in 1857 J But the very mental exercise used to give me a high JJ

 

Given that the human civilization is changing at very fast pace in the past few decades – even India’s maiden cricket world cup triumph n 1983 is a major historical event now – history lovers like me have a lot to ponder over. The most routine study in history for most of us now is wondering at how the cities and towns are changing, more so in post-liberalization India. For example, one of the most common remarks heard in Hyderabad these days is how Kukatpally, Miyapur, Madhapur, and Gachibowli areas have developed into major residential and commercial hubs in a matter of 4-5 years. That’s what people of my generation talk about, whereas my father can’t stop wondering about how desolate the areas beyond Panjagutta (i.e. Ameerpet, Srinagar Colony, etc.) used to be even in 1980’s.

 

Carrying on in the same vein, I get nostalgic when I see movies of 1970’s and 1980’s shot in the cities/towns that I am associated with. In the past 2-3 days I watched a few Telugu movies that took me back to my memories of Vizag, Vijayawada and Amaravathi in those good old days – which is not too far, considering that I am only in mid-30’s J

 

The first movie was Rendu Jella Seetha, directed by Jandhyala in early 1980’s. It was shot almost entirely in an old bungalow on Vizag beach road. You can recognize some of the buildings on the beach road, incl. this bungalow, that have withstood the onslaught of apartment clusters on beach road. And, it makes you feel sorry for the buildings and trees, some of them 100+ years old, that have bitten dust. I get the same feeling when I watch Chantabbai or Babai-Abbai or scores of other movies that were shot at Vizag in early 1980’s, after K.Balachander popularized Vizag as a beautiful location for movie making.

 

 

The next film was Appula Apparao directed by EVV in early 1990’s. The movie was shot in Vijayawada, a city I used to visit regularly to meet my class mates from REC, Warangal. Vijayawada formed the back drop of a handful of movies in 80’s and 90’s, but was lying low since then, till it was showcased again this year in Krishna-the power of Indrakeeladri  featuring Raviteja. This movie earned accolades, of course from Vijayawada folks, for capturing some of the beautiful locales in Vijayawada. But after the repeat watch of Appula Apparao recently, I could n’t help but appreciate director EVV for showcasing many hitherto unknown – some beautiful, some weird – locations of Vijayawada.

 

 

The crown jewel for me was Sapthapadi, directed by K.Viswanath in early 1980’s. Strangely enough, I watched this film for the first time last evening. Apart from a great theme and mind-blowing songs, I was mesmerized by the way Amaravathi was depicted in this film as a quintessential coastal village. Many of the songs captured the beauties of a village such as the early morning dips in river Krishna, cows grazing in the fields, temple on a hillock, and the famous Amaralingeswara Swamy Temple and the pushkar ghat next to it. Amaravathi was featured in many other Telugu films such as Shankarabharanam, Develayam, etc., but Sapthapadi should take the cake for showcasing it so beautifully.

 

Talking of Telugu movies and Andhra cities/towns, other than Hyderabad, Tirupathi is another town that featured in many films, that showcased the Seshachalam hill range.

Picture Courtesy: travel.sunyaprajna.com/India/