“I Don’t Like Comedy”, says Sreenivasan

Sreenivasan has an eerie talent of keeping himself the favorite of all. He is one of the most talented actors and scriptwriters in Malayalam cinema. Many of his movies depict problems affecting Kerala, which are rendered in a humorous manner. Excellent characterization, most ironic dialogues and self-disparaging wit are signature of Sreenivasan movies. Ask about his silver screen attraction; it is the lack of star appeal..!
His latest film "Katha Parayumbol", says it all! The film has Mammootty in a glamorous role; but it is Sreenivasan who made an imprint in the viewers' mind. His is the role of a barber in a small village, struggling against innovation in his own obsolete ways. The film has now become the talk of the town because it has been decided to be remade into Hindi and Tamil, starring King Khan and Rajnikanth respectively.
I was lucky enough to spend some time with this gifted actor.. However, that was long time back! Let me share the discussion we had through this post!
Will u be surprised if an actor like Sreenivasan says, “I don’t like comedy”? Laughter is the best pill for tension, but incomplete without the humor of Sreenivasan in Malayalam Cinema. When did Sreenivasan win the hearts? Perhaps it was after they saw him in “Chinthavishtayaaya Syamala”, where he describes a person who loves to escape from responsibilities. Or, it might be two decades before when they saw him as Vijayan in “Nadodikkatu”. Now he is getting thumbs up sign from all around.

“Chinthavishtayaaya Syamala”, was made in memory of his history professor who used to insist on doing a work that gives one the most pleasure. Professor mentions that a person should have a goal to achieve in life and should concentrate on achieving that. “If you choose a job you love, you will never have to work a day”, says Sreeni. It was his teacher who had set a goal for Sreenivasan.

He, Him and Only His:

The versatile actor has acted in more than 150 films, also has scripted close to 45 films and has directed two. Some of his films have won State and National awards under different categories.

He had a great passion for acting since his early college days. He took active part in scripting for many plays in which he acted himself. He has won ‘Best Actor’ award many a time at University level, while in college. During this journey, he realized that his happiness lied in making others happy and the inborn talent in him greeted him to the Malayalam film world.

His favorite pass time is reading, considers books as his best friends. A book represents different things to different people. Books not only teaches one how to face life; but also portrays the thoughts of many writers. He gets inspired by the writings and thinking of great personalities.

Movies and Him:

There is no formula as such to make a movie a commercial success. He believes that each movie is an experiment. A good script is a fundamental element contributing to the success of a film. Instead of giving importance to get better scripts, obsession with star value has reduced the significance of the script in a film. He says in India, the quality of the script is not taken into consideration; they emphasize more on shooting.

In between the conversation, he coolly said, “I don’t like comedy”. I was shocked. I looked at him disbelievingly. He quickly added, “I like only humor”. When I asked him the difference between the two, he chuckled and answered, “A comedian in a film is like a buffoon in a circus. Making people laugh is an art”.

It is his style to make fun of his own looks and appearances through his movies; thus mocking those having an inferiority complex and tries to give them confidence. It is very important to know the psychology of the audience, to keep them entertained for two and half hours. Film makers should decide what the audience should enjoy and not vice-versa. Today, the audience wants variety and that is where Indian films lags.

He has included his personal experiences in many of his films, like “Varavelppu”, where he tells the bitter experiences of his dad and “Udayanaanu Tharam” brings out his own experiences in the field. He himself is his role model since he has stood by his own principles and policies.

We want more from this man, hope we haven’t yet seen Sreenivasan at his best! Looking forward to that, Sreeni! Cheers!!

(excerpts from the interview with Sreenivasan - college project, 2005)


Email – Always a Boon?

“Email” – a word familiar even to a 2 years old kid! In technical terms, it can be defined as a more up-to-date method of transmitting data, text files, digital photos, and audio and video files from one computer to another over the internet. Yes, we know the advantages - Email has changed the way we do business. It has an edge over other methods of communication. Critical decisions are made in minutes. Compared to telephone calls or faxes it is less expensive.
I’m not here to talk of the pros and cons of emails!

I guess while sending mails, at times people forget that the content in their mail reflect their conduct and character. How one addresses another, tone in the writing style, language, and subject – all of these give a first hand impression about the sender.

I live in a residential community where there are about 400 families! A forum to exchange views, questions and answers is very important in such an environment. From deciding festival celebrations to tackling resident issues, the community makes use of the group mail. Hats off to technology!! But.. some days, when I feel little low at work, instead of opening my favorite Calvin and Hobbes page, I open my community mail (Not an exaggeration)..! People have started exploiting even this! They make use of this to take their personal retaliation. Have they forgotten that the entire community is reading each alphabet what they have typed? Don’t people recheck if the mail makes sense to the recipient?

"quit the circus company” (referring to management committee).
"can you advice me the nearest shop where I can get a bucket and a mug?”
"when my car is in the garage, how do I get to electronic city easily from home?”
“batted breath to your piecemeal mufat ka gyaan”.

I have not seen any of them who send mails to the group. However, many names are familiar to me and I try to associate them with these ‘quotable quotes”. On a Friday evening, while having get-together with friends, we have something more to talk about other than film reviews.

At the same time, I cannot stop without saying “Cheers” to those who take their valuable time to help their neighbors resolve their troubles to make home, really a SWEET home!


A Religion that Unites the Nation – Cricket

Cricket is not merely a bat and a ball game, it is not about just winning or loosing; in India it is a religion that unites people, barring disparities in social status, caste, creed or culture. Cricket in our country has always been excused from the infection of religious conviction. Hindu-Muslim, Bengali-Punjabi-Gujrati-Malayalee, men-women, rich-poor - a vogue flanking on passion unites the nation when it comes to cricket.

The country comes to a halt when a cricket match is
being played - the roads are deserted, parties are postponed, meetings are rescheduled, students go to the extent of even bunking exams!
Why does the game of cricket drive a billion people into a state of helm?

The eleven players become the topic of discussion at dining tables and cafeterias in office. People whom we have never seen in life – we talk of their style, their likes and dislikes, their family, even about their girl friends and other obsessions. In India, cricketers make news even when they sneeze!

Suddenly there's too much happening in the game of cricket. But nothing to cheer about - it is not all about the game. Sledging, wrong umpiring decisions, and racism - the list seems to be getting longer day by day. Millions across the country have been fastened to televisions watching India play Australia. But what they watched is not just cricket! Australian player Andrew Symonds accused Harbhajan Singh of racism. From media offices to people on the streets, everybody believes that the Indian player has been mortally victimized. Indians were disgusted by ICC’s double standards. The issue found its way into parliament, with members describing the incident as disrespect to India's national dignity.

The support that Team India got has been tremendous. Cricket fans have smashed the decision to ban Bhajji. They rallied behind the players and joined far-reaching battles to show their support and love. It is not a matter of an individual despotic ban on a player but more a matter of hurting our national sentiment, pride and honor. The support that the Indian team has been receiving only goes on to prove that cricket is more than just a game for Indians!

Now, the flip side of the coin:

“Police strengthened security at the homes of Rahul Dravid and Anil Kumble in Bangalore”.
“Furious Indian fans stormed the house of captain Dhoni to protest a five-wicket defeat”.

These headlines get printed in the newspapers quite often.

Why do people take loss in a match too personal? Why do the media turn furious? Indian cricket fan is fanatic. He will go to any extent. Reviewing the anger, one would have imagined that the players had done something outrageous, such as supporting Pakistan or engaging themselves in match fixing. Cricket fans take pains to stay awake all night to think of ways to upset the players if they perform badly. “Aree Sewag..”, They scream at the television set at home, “Come on, you are batting like my sick Naani!” At any cost, people want Team India to win every match they play!

Intellectuals, social scientists and sports writers have tried to find out justifications for India's cricket madness - but none has come up with a satisfactory answer. May be, love for the game is just in our blood...!!

Across the country, once a child learns to stand on his feet, he tries to reproduce Tendulkar’s winning shot in the last match. Every kid dreams of wearing colors for the country – as a child, he lives to become a Dhoni or Yuvraj.

Cricket is for India, what football is for Brazil. Perhaps.. much beyond that!

Is the Grass Really Greener on the Other Side of the Fence?

Most of us love daydreaming of being someone or something other than what we are. Accomplishments need not always reach the target. That is when one gets disappointed and depressed in life. One after the other, each day in life gets washed out tormenting about things which really doesn’t matter, forgetting to take pleasure in what time has gifted.

While on this side, why does the grass always seem greener on the other side?? Why are we never pleased with what we have? Why do we never feel completely comfortable in our own skin? Just like any other theories of life, even this exists: “The Greener Grass Theory of Life!!”

We live in a very competitive world. Resolutions taken will alter not only his life, but also his entrant’s life. Such decisions have become inevitable in today’s world going by the principle “Survival of the Fittest”. Consequently everyone is compelled to compare his life with others’ and then make the judgment – whether he is content or not!

While living in a dusty apartment in India working for a decent company, one would dream of being in the US or Europe like his friends, having fun with
desi gang, enjoying the weekends there exploring the new country. They dream of earning in dollars or euros. Finally, when his dreams are fulfilled, the priorities keep changing – from repaying his education and home loans to buying the most expensive car.

One day, all his aspirations come true, what he has been longing for in life. Here, a question to ponder up on… Is he happy then? Now he is on this side of the fence which he felt was greener, but... he may just want to get back! There is a conflict between the heart and the brain. He is a confused man today, wondering what step to take further in life.

When back in India, he doesn’t like the undisciplined way of life, he can’t stand untidy roads and leaking drainage. He hates politicians and the atrocities that the news channels keep flashing. However when away from home, seldom he thinks of the darker side. He gets reminded of the monsoon, the path leading to the nearest temple, home cooked food and mom’s love.

So, what is it that really makes one content in life?

Watching a fisherman gaze at the sea waves sitting beside a small boat and folded net, a rich businessman got annoyed.

He approached the fisher man and asked, “Why aren’t you going to the sea? At this time of the day one should be found working”.

Replied the poor man, “I have caught enough fish for the day’s survival. So, I’m not worried.”

“If you work harder, you can have a better living. You can make more money to sit back and enjoy life”, advised the businessman.

"What do you think I'm doing now?" the fisherman replied. There was fulfillment and joy in his eyes.

The fisherman’s reply says it all!!!

A great thinker puts it this way,
"The grass is not, in fact, always greener on the other side of the fence. Not at all; Fences have nothing to do with it. The grass is greenest where it is watered. When crossing over fences, carry water with you and tend the grass wherever you may be."


To My Mother

A priceless gift which is inborn, which cannot be expressed by words, whose love for you is incomparable - a six letter word which holds the whole universe in itself: M-O-T-H-E-R!

Mom's love is a forfeit with one desire - that her children outshines in all endeavors of life and thus evolves as a Champ! Her personal aspirations take a back seat and she set her priorities based on her child’s likes and dislikes. My mother likes left over chapattis and dosas that are slightly burnt -- things me, my dad or brother don't care for. She says that is what she prefers, leaving all the goodies on the dining table for us.

My mother has been my best friend with whom I share even the silliest thing that happened during the day. She becomes a listener to all my heartache, to every accomplishment that I make and to all nonsense I blabber. I tell her about samosas in the canteen, boring physics class, how I got punished for not answering the questions and so on.. Now I realize how patient she has been; I find it too hard to stand such things from anybody – be it my friend or relative or whoever!

For my mom, the day begins at 4! That is when I’m in the deepest of my sleep, dreaming of a tomorrow that promises loads of fun and smiles. She enters the day with a plea to God – to keep us healthy and happy always! Her agenda for the day is quite long - washing, ironing, scrubbing, cooking, and what not??!! I can’t imagine myself doing the things my Mom did any day in my life! Living in an apartment, having all the facilities including a maid, I crib of not having this and that.

Now I make fun of her for not knowing well about ‘Google’ or ‘BPOs’. But I remind myself the pains she has taken in improving my hand writing, how patient she has been in making me understand the difference between the alphabets “M” and “W”. Along with bed-time stories, she also sings multiplication tables so that I won’t have a problem with sums in Math. My mom made me eat the vegetables I don’t like by telling tales of Krishna and Sudama. After getting dressed for an evening party, she gives me the most affectionate kiss and calls me her Cinderella! My Mom is my first teacher; she taught me the value of hard work, honesty and forgiveness.

I always take her for granted; even today I’m not aware of how much she has struggled to bring me up, how often her time and energy were devoted to me. What ever I’m today, it’s all because of my parents! So now, for all the times I didn't say it before, holding back my tears.. “Thank You, Amma.... I love you so very much!”

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