Suhasini partly scripting Guru

On Mani Ratnam’s Guru

I have scripted the first 20 scenes of Guru. Mani bought me a ticket and asked me to go to England, where my sister lives. He sent me blank paper and some ideas, so it was a paid holiday. Mani grew up in the city, whereas I am from a small village even though my family was full of lawyers. I went to a government school and know the nuances of village life better. Guru is a village film in the beginning, before it shifts to the city.

On working with Mani Ratnam

Mani wanted me to work in Anjali, but he thought even that wasn’t good enough for me. He wanted to have something substantial to cast me. I would like to be directed by Mani Ratnam but, of course, it is not a big deal. I know the man. I think Balachander will make me act better. Mani’s characters will be good but, when it comes to performance, I think Balachander is even better; or, for that matter, Bharati Raja, Mahendran or Kranti Kumar. Mani has considered me for many of his films — Mouna Ragam, Nayagan (for the daughter’s role). He is a good director — he does not need a co-director. He just needs help with writing so he can concentrate on the making. I wrote the dialogues for Iruvar.

Read more from the Rediff’s interview with Suhasini Maniratnam.

Malgudi 'Doordarshan' Days are back

T.S. Narasimhan, the producer of the hit 80’s television version of R K Narayan‘s Malgudi Days is back with the next installment. Shankar Nag who directed the 80’s show, has passed away. The ‘new’ Malgudi Day will be directed by Kavitha Lankesh. And I first read it on rediff, in an interview with Kavitha Lankesh.

To select 15 stories was quite challenging. I had to select new stories, as tales from Swamy and Friends had been done by Shankar Nag. So, I had to read all the works of Narayan again and took stories like Lawley Road, Snake Song, Salt and Sawdust.

I am getting a positive response. You should know that, when Shankar Nag directed the serial, there were more black and while TV sets and no private channels to compete with Doordarshan. Of course, Nag’s efforts were also classy. Things are different now, yet the reactions I have been getting are wonderful. I think my efforts have been widely appreciated.

From the interview, it seems like the broadcast has already begun. I’m sure it will be interesting to watch the post-2K Malgudi Days.

Vijay Super Singer – Lifeline Round

vijay tv super singer

In this week’s Vijay TV Super Singer, the lifeline round brought in 5 contestants who were eliminated or who dropped-off due to personal reasons. It included Harish, Sowmya, Archana Iyer, Nitinraj and Vijay. Vijay seems to be the most luckiest than anyone in this competition. He was eliminated thrice in the prelims but managed to get back into competition because someone else dropped off. Also his singing gets better as the rounds proceed. Couple of weeks back when he sang, Illamai Itho with an intonation of a drunkard, I whistled from the living room.

The lifeline round was judged by the public voting method. So each contestant were given a number, and the viewers dialed-in or sms-ed to register their vote. One out of these five contestant was to be selected and others would get eliminated. Here’s what happened –

Sowmya sang her best song to date, Konjam Nilavu. And she rocked. Personally after Swathi, Anitha and Maya, Sowmya is also one of my favorite among the females. Earlier to this round she was eliminated and was brought-in by voting system of the previous round. Konjam Nilavu is a tough song to sing on stage. I dont know if Anupama also sang it in one shot during the recording. Neverthless its a song that allows you to travel through your pitches. Especially the lines, Enn Pirandhen Endra Kaelvi Vaarathu. Ingu Nee Irundhaal Athu Konjam Meerathu. Vandu Naaaan…, calls for a versatile singer. And I think Sowmya did a fairly good job. The most important thing was that her lyrics were clearer than the original version rendered by Anupama.

Harish Sivaramkrishnan, who dropped off due to his official work came back with a wildcard entry. He sang the Ennavaley Adi Ennavaley. Ofcourse Unnikrishnan was there judging him. And did a very good job by singing it one pitch lesser than the original. In the original version, Unni Krishnan picks it up at a higher pitch, making the words sound lighter and also resembling a female intonation. But I loved Harish’s version. And I’m sure he is going to be tough to compete with if he enters the finals.

Vijay, who stormed back into the contest with his drunkard version of Illami Itho, took a melodious number this time. He sang Nilaave Vaa from Mouna Raagam. Except for some places where he experimented he sang exactly the SPB version. And he did it perfectly well. Some place I thought they played a back-up tape of the original for him. While he was fine, I think he has strong competition from Sowmya and Harish to reach the finals.

Archana Iyer, who also dropped-off in the previous rounds due to her exams came back with her favorite, Thoodhu Varuma. And yeah an OK job. Ofcourse, she sang it in her own style which is appreciative but the flavor of the song suffered because of that. Neverthless it was a decent attempt with original style.

Nitinraj, whom I thought didn’t have enough versatality did a super job yesterday with his version of Kanaa Kandenadi from Parthiban Kanavu. And he did it really well that I had to change my opinion on him. He might be a strong contender for the finals.

The finals team has 4 contestants – Anitha, Maya, Nikil and Goutam. One out of these 5 lifeline contestants will join them. And its going to be huge show for the rest of the weeks at Vijay TV’s Super Singer.

Badri Seshadri's Interview – Aaraamthinai

badri aaraamthinai interview

I don’t think you should miss Aaraamthinai’s two-part interview[Part 1 and 2] with Badri Seshadri. It’s been sometime since the interview was published and it was only today I was able to read it.

Badri’s reply to the straight forward questions were as usual, very logical. He was spot-on about non-existence of competition in Tamil publishing circles and govt’s help for books publishers. Except that he was a little aggressive about the questions on tamil literature books. I wasn’t expecting Badri to be blunt with those answers, rather I should say it was a little shocking to hear that from Badri.

On a different note, recently Badri has become the face of Tamil Blogging. Whenever there is a snippet news or a covery story on Tamil blogging, they must be saying, “Call Badri”. Part of the reason is that he is Chennai and is easily reachable. Just like how Kribs [No comparison though] was there in every single blogging meeting or roadshow. While for someone new to blogging, it may be interesting but for bloggers who read stuff day in and out, it gets pretty boring to keep hearing the same person talk about blogging in main stream media.

In any case, if you have been watching the Tamil Publishing scene for the last couple of years, you couldn’t avoid but notice Kizhakku Pathippagam‘s birth and growth. They came in with a bang. Especially with Tamil blogging picking up and people who were involved in Kizhakku were bloggers, they had a good word-of-the-blog publicity. Also their marketing and quality of books were impressive. More impressive were line-up of books they got in. They published the entire list of Ashokamitran and Aathavan, sparing a couple of books. And they already published around 150 books to their credit. And that’s good going.

Balu Mahendra's Kathai Neram

sujatha balu mahendra kathai neram

Sujatha details his friendship with Balu Mahendra in a recent Ambalam article, Baluvin Kanaakaalam. Very importantly he mentions two things about Balu Mahendra’s Kathai Neram serial.

Those who had watched Kathai Neram can vouch that it was one of the best serial ever made for television. Each episode was a seperate shortstory. And as Sujatha says it was a perfect example of adapting a shortstory for the screen. He also goes on to say that Balu Mahendra was able to tell a shortstory in 20 minutes without making it embarassingly loud or terribly boring. And as someone who saw most of those episodes, I have to say that Sujatha’s words aren’t an exaggeration.

Sa.Kandasaamy’s Tholaindhu Ponavargal was my other favorite serial. If I could re-collect it right, it was broadcasted on Thursdays from 10 – 10:30 pm. In Channel 2. Remember, Channel 2 of DD ?

Fifteen Minutes of Fame – 2

This is a sticky post. Regular programming continues below.

If you encounter these lines in a blog, please close the browser and move onto the next one. That blogpost would be a pure collection of some mindless posts, which even the blogger who linked to it hasn’t read completely. Why in this world would you want to read something that hasn’t been even read by the blogger, in the first place ?

The more the number of updates to the post, the more it gets linked. It would stand a big chance of becoming the reference point for that whole issue. Plus it might get insta-pundited or mentioned in some mainstream media.

Apologize my swearing but what the heck is “regular programming” ?

Fifteen Minutes of Fame

Spirit of the Desi blogworld

Its amazing how quickly we’ve all moved on from the emotions of mumbai blasts which only happened a few days ago, its odd that none of have shed any tears for the Tsunami victims in Indonesia, its odd none of us have been reminded of the TN tsunami when reading about the recent Indonesian one. Its odd that all of us have now moved on to the Indian Government’s pathetic decision to stop people accessing blogspots within India. The in thing now for all us bloggers is to get on our high horses and scream at the top of our voices about freedom of speech and democracy etc etc until the next big thing hits the headline. Some might say that we are a stoic bunch of bloggers.

This post named, Spirit of the Desi Blogworld, isn’t a unique thought. But its the right way and the right time that WA chose to post it. I feel like locating the Wicked Angel and getting her/him a handful of Baskin Robbins. What say ?

Katrathum Petrathum – 4

sujatha katrathum petrathum 4

Just after completing the Silvia series, Sujatha is back with the next serving of Katrathum Petrathum. This is 4th part of Katrathum Petrathum and it starts with a Sujatha style analysis of the tamil world.

KP is turning out to be the biggest of series that Sujatha has ever written. While it started as an autobiographical column, it continues as an extended version of Kanayazhiyin Kadaisi Pakkam. Even Sujatha haters have been strong followers of Kanayazhiyin Kadaisi Pakkam in the 80’s. While KKP had more of literary stuff, KP is sort of a weekly blog. And I might right in saying that KP is slowly over-taking KKP’s fame.

Just in case, if you haven’t read Katrathum Petrathum Part 1, 2 and 3, you could get a compiled book version in the stores. And I hope someday after KP stops for good, there will be consolidated version. But for now, it KP Part 4.