Day/interior. Fade in from black. Sometimes there is a dream that looks so real as though it happened. Subject is in focus and the misc-en-scene radial blurred. Then when the dream moves and you can smell the musty smell of the dream and sweat. In the montage of unrelated shots and overlapping sounds, you can hear the creek of the bed and see the shut windows and zero watt bulb. You can hear someone in the other room and feel the dream's red oxide floor. You do not fall. You are woken up.
Night/exterior. Sometimes there is reality that feels so dreamy as though it never happened. The star lit sky and the full-moon and salty smell, the creaking sound of anchored boats and feel of sand. The narration is about a trip from Howrah country to a Mumbai beach side house. The background score is missing, the co-actor along side you is missing, a can of memory is missing and you are looking around. You climb the spiral stairs and see reality and you begin to realise the mercy of the Goddess. She makes you believe that you are dreaming. Right there you close your eyes and go to sleep. Fade to black.
Monday, June 27, 2005
Sunday, June 26, 2005
The news spread like a 'camel' ink blot- sisters have begun a hunt...
Back in the dorm, he is applying 'cuticura' power on the mark on his forehead, It is changing color, from a darker shade of his light brown skin to a shade of pink and now it is becoming maroon and eventually it would become a mark on his forehead like a small pox scar and there remain for the rest of his life. His blessing and his 'third-eye'.
It was an hour back that Matthew Kurian, the senior from 2nd standard gathered 9 first standard boys and cramped them into one of the small toilets of the hostel. Matthew elevated himself by climbing on the upturned bucket over the indian closet to be seen and heard clearly. He was a towering 5 footer, as the 3 foot somethings looked up and listened with open mouths, he began instructing" With your thumb rub the middle of your forehead, up and down, a hundred and one times, chant the name of siva and you will get a vision of the lord" Matthew starts to count "1, 2, 3, 4, ...99, 100,101." and when the chorus of counting and chanting stopped, nothing had happened.
For next minute there was silence. The boys looked at each other. Everyone looked blank. Little Parashu's protest broke the silence "where is siva?". Matthew didnt have an answer. Murmuring the murmur of disappointment the group dispersed. It was Sivaratri of 1981, junior hostel of Sarvodaya Vidhyalaya, Trivandrum.
The warden sister came to know of the incident and a hunt began for the boys with mark of the third-eye. Those who were caught were caned, amongst them was Matthew. Fortunately, Parashu was not caught. That was the first night Parashu had the vision of the Lord in full glory on top of icy kailasam, parvati was beaming alongside. The serpents seemed excited to see Parashu and winked at him. That wink contained knowledge of life.
Eventually Parashu learned the art of visiting the divine by feeling his 'third-eye' scar. He met them again on every public holiday, sometimes siva would not be around, but parvati was always home. She was nice to him.
Since his hostel days, Parashu has been visited by many other Gods and Goddesses of his times with the help of his 'third eye' scar. Each encounter making Parashu more enlightened.
Friday, June 24, 2005
media. history. constitution. communication. geography.
my society has its own little software encoder and decoder
and a social consciousness of social rights and wrongs.
they record it on white pages, printed in black and white
and taught me and you about our's and their's
and all the societies write their own laws and protocols
their imaginary lands and lines.
now can we have a right society or a wrong society
is it even required to have a knowledge of what is right. what is wrong.
eye. nose. ear. tongue. skin.
each one of us have our own little encoding and decoding softwares in our little heads
we all are wearing distortion lenses in front of our eyes and other senses
and we all judge our own rights and our own wrongs.
so so conveniently.
i do that all the time.
do you know someone who does not.
now can we have a right view of clear and real
is it even required to have a knowledge of what is clear. what is real.
Sight. Smell. Sound. Taste. Touch.
My senses are open to stimuli. by millions every day.
Receive signals, decode them.
Encode and memorize or encode, memorize and respond.
This memory is used to decode future stimuli.
There is a software in my head that encode experiences
and creates responses.
all this when i thought that i was in control
can we have a right view of reality
is it even required to have a knowledge of what is real. what is right.
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
Word of mouth rules in Kerala. Advertising in the way the rest of the world thinks is paralyzed in Kerala. The uncrowned kings of kerala advertising: the real people who have helped shape the identity of kerala as the best test market in india. Please welcome into our midst Saboo Coloniaa, Gayatri and Rehman and their predecessors- the film poster designer.
They design poster that foil warp kerala. Over the years their posters helped shape the mallu's dismissive attitude towards advertising and publicity. Flop film posters consistently claim superhit status, numbing the senses and trust of the market. “ You cant trust these printed words “, says madhu- who sells among other things lolly-pops from his rickety pavement shop near chittor road in Cochin. He had over heard our plans for the matinee show of ‘taskaraveeran’ , the just released mammooty flick . The poster is screaming ‘SUPERHIT’ in the fifth colour. These posters are mostly final struggle of a sinking producer trying to keep nose above the waters. (These guys are overlooked by watchdogs that are on the look out for false claims in publicity materials.)
These people are not seen in the award functions or the seminars of Cochin advertising club- the official union of the advertisers. Rahman or Saboo or Gayatri have no clue about the theories of advertising. These guys follow their gut. They have their protocol, their set of rules and process. Family posters- to woo the family audience, title poster to announce, action posters mend to curdle the young’s blood, ‘glamour posters’ with the mandatory ‘A’, ‘the class posters’ done in white space… these rules have set the ground rule for advertising in Kerala. Any one at Cochin Ad Club listening!
Coming soon- IMAGES that set the rules.
Friday, June 17, 2005
Did you know that? Kerala is considered to be best product test market in India. That is the reason why many products are launched here before the high decibel nationwide commercial launch. The legend goes that if the product clears in the litmus test in the kerala market, it will succeed any where in india. The critical ‘force’ of Keralites is not entirely useless!.
But finally when commercials are made for a nationwide launch, kerala is not considered an important market worthy of a tv commericial with its regional sensiblities. So they dub the north Indian sensiblity into Malayalam often ends up being not understood in the most literate state.
I am told if there is enough budget, then a single commercial is made of the consolidated southern states mostly taking into consideration the tamil/ telugu/ kannada cultural backdrop. They know that kerala is a totally different cultural consciousness, but it is not considered a worthy enough market to spend precious tv commercial budget on!! We should not be fighting about cultural endangerment posed by globalization when ‘Hindisation’ of Malayalam is happening through advertising and films. I shall talk about fear of the ‘inevitable’ globalization in another post.
The Mumbai advertisers fears are not entirely baseless. When greeted with a commercial the ‘who are you trying to fool’ sense is triggered in the mallu brains.
Since the ad filmmaking community is virtually non-existent in kerala the blame of nuking 2 generation of malayalees trust on advertising falls on the print campaigns. The agencies in kerala have being bombarding the mallu brains with functional advertising with false promises and claims. Image advertising/ branding is non-existent.
Kerala is a word of mouth market. The Malayalam film industry will vouch that claim.
To be continued….
Monday, June 13, 2005
This is a blank post. I have already written nine words. By the time I would have written whatever this article turns out to be it would be irrelevant and 'nine words' would then seem stupid. The page then would no longer be blank for I have written by now fifty words already. I think have succeeded in writing out a post and filled out a blank page for which I am happy. But I have not said a word. The page is still blank and the word count zero. For real, have i said something, Parashu? I have said nothing!
In desperation to communicate, we in the media fill out blank pages. And keep word count in the name of art. If the audience does not understand, what is the point? Would it not have been better to leave the page blank, than scribble gibberish?
I turned to Parashu and asked him, ‘given a choice between gibberish and a blank page what would you choose?’
Parashu replied ‘ gibberish, any day'.
I kept quiet for 2 weeks.