Okatae hrudayam kosam ….

This is one of my favorite songs of ANR garu’s movies – Chaduvukunna Ammayilu, I do not remember the movie but I remember this song very well. Comparing himself to a piece of tomato which has been sandwiched between two slices of bread – what a simile; athivila iddari madhyana naa gathini kanuma –

iddaru athivulunna irakatamaenaya Viswadabhirama Vinuravema –

Another one from this movie.

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Conversation between Ganesha and His vahanam, Mooshika

This is a write-up from Padma, my god given niece, who has been introduced to me by a common friend, Praveen (he too is a god given ‘thammudu’ ) on my birthday in 2011. We haven’t met personally, but on our first chat itself from facebook, we have been well connected, entha deep ga vellipoyam antae, ma jeevathallo unna tragic moments discuss chesukunae antha ga. And almost in the middle of our chat, she asked me whether she could call me as ‘atthayya’. I happily agreed.  She has written this on facebook on the eve of Vinayaka Chavithi. I was really amazed by this and asked her permission to put it in my blog.

Ten days ago, she has posted this bujji Ganapathi – He was not very sure whether Paddu could offer any pooja on His birthday. His main concern was she may not prepare any prasad for Him. He was so sad.Even the day before His birthday, she told me that she was so busy the whole day with meetings and get-togethers and was not sure what she could do. So Ganapathi was still in a dilemma. You could clearly see that in His face. Ayyo papam bujji Ganapathi. But things turned out differently to the astonishment of Ganapathi too.

గణపతి: మూషికా .. ఈ సంవత్సరం అప్ డేట్ ఏంటీ పద్దు నుంచి !!
మూషిక: అన్నీ తెలిసీ నన్ను అడుగుతారు ఏంటి స్వామీ..ఈ పద్దు పిల్ల పోయిన సంవత్సరం మీ బొమ్మతో పాటు నన్ను చేయలేదు..ఈ సంవత్సరం ఏకంగా మీ బొమ్మే చేయలేదు..ఇంక నా బొమ్మేమి చేస్తుంది..నాకు బాగా కోపంగా ఉందీ స్వామీ.. ఇంక మీకు పూజ, కుడుములు, ఉండ్రాళ్ళు చేయకుండా ఎగ్గొట్టెస్తుందని పెద్ద చిట్టా తయారుచేసాను పనిష్మెంట్ కి..లాస్ట్  మినిట్ లో అన్నీ చేసేసి తప్పించుకుంది మహాప్రభూ !!  
గణపతి : హహహహ..లైట్ తీసుకో మూషిక..బొమ్మ చేస్తే ఇక్కడ ఎలా కెనాల్ లో నిమజ్జనం చేయాలో తెలీక ఈసారి చేయలేదు..మార్టూరు, HCU ల్లో చేసే నిమజ్జనంలా ఊరేగింపూ ఉండదు.. ఇంక పూజ, ఉండ్రాళ్ళు అంటావా, నేను కూడా చేయదేమో అనుకున్నాను..లేట్ గా చేసినా లేటెస్ట్ గా వచ్చినట్లు పద్ధతిగా పట్టుచీర కట్టుకుని పూజ చేసింది..ఆ ఉండ్రాళ్ళు చూడరాదు..చూస్తుంటేనే కడుపు నిండిపోతుంది..ఈసారికి క్షమించేద్దాం.. ఏమంటావ్ 😉
మూషిక: ఇంకేమంటాను స్వామీ..మీరేమి చెప్తే అది చేయటమేగా నా కర్తవ్యం 🙂  (మనసులో..ఈయనొకరు..ఉండ్రాళ్ళు కుడుములు చూస్తే కరిగిపోతారు.. ఐ సీరియస్లీ హర్టెడ్ యు నో..పద్దు ..చూస్తా నీ సంగతి..యు ఆర్ నోటెడ్ !!)
పద్దు: ఇదెందబ్బా..మా గణపతి ఫుల్ ఖుష్ ఐతే ఈ ఎలుకగారు తెగ వార్నింగ్ ఇస్తున్నారు 😦 మీకు పల్లీలు పెడతా..శాంతించు సామీ 🙂
మనసులో.. ఎందుకైనా బెటర్.. బాదాంపప్పు కూడా పెడదాం :

Final ga Ganapathi full kush aipoyi ila aipoyadu annamata. naaku oka doubt – papam undrallu thinnado ledho, chusthuntaenae kadupu nindipothundi annadu ! Edi emaina papum ala sad ga unna Ganapathi ni ila FLAT chesindi antae maa Paddu em thakkuvu kadu. Thanu pattu cheera kattukuni mari pooja chesindi ani manaku cheppakunda cheppinattae cheppindi. I completely take your side Mooshika !

chivarakariga, akkada passport enduku pettindi ani meeku doubt vachhindi kadha, maa Paddu ki kallaki chakralu unnai, prapancham antha tirigaeyalani chala pedda korika. One year paiga UK lo untu, ippatikae, konchem bagaanae Europe tirigaesindi. So thana prapancha yatra ki vignalu lekunda cheyyamani ….

Life is Beautiful

I like Sekhar Kammula’s movies – no doubt about it. My favorite is Godavari, May be Sumanth, may be Kamilini, may be Godavari, may be a matured love story, may be the songs, everything about that movie. Anand is good, but it had some dragging moments in the second half.

Life is Beautiful is an ok movie. Everyone did his/her part beautifully. But there is no story, I get sick and tired of those conflicts with rich and middle class. The character of Nagraj played by Sudhakar Komakula is very impressive and effective. And the little girl chinni played by Kavya is a big asset to the movie. Her love towards her mom is shown very touchingly. I literally could not control my tears and was awestruck with her performance. ‘Amma gurinchi Englishlo matladalenu’ is the best dialogue in this movie.

I expected little more screen presence of Amala, and I am disappointed, Sekhar Kammula has not at all projected Amala’s character as he had described in the Audio release function -” her role in this movie defines ‘Life is Beautiful’ “- something is missing. I expected something bigger as she is coming back to the big screen after 20 years. She did not disappoint us but Sekhar Kammual did in defining her role. He should have shown us how strong she being a single parent. I do not think Sekhar Kammula wants us to believe how much Life is Beautiful just by showing her as a cancer patient, there should be something more for us to feel that the Life is Beautiful. In real life, Amala is voluntarily involved very deeply in a variety of causes in which she has complete belief in and she does not need a bigger than life role in a movie, but I expected something different.

I just feel like sharing a quote about what a volunteer is by Sadhguru (Isha Foundation)

“The question is not about the volume of what you do; the willingness with which you breathe, and walk and live, that makes you a volunteer.”

The most adorable human being – Amala Akkineni

Naa manasuki baaga nachhina vyakti Amala Akkineni – very simple, pleasant, strong, inspiring, works for the causes she believes in … I wish I knew her personally. Hope with Baba’s blessings our paths meet somewhere in the future…

Many Many Happy Returns of the Day to the most beautiful and the most adorable human being !!!

I wanted to add few of the heart touching emotions expressed by Nagarjuna about Amala in several interviews. Usually in his interviews, Nagarjuna always expresses high acclaim on Amala. In a recent interview by Keeravani garu on Shirdi Sai, Nagarjuna very proudly acknowledged that Amala is his spiritual guru. I was very much touched by that gesture.

After Ragada release, in a TV 9 interview, the anchor was asking about his comments on different heroines, and Amala was one of them. He said that he can not think of her as an actress and he said very emotionally that she is his heart and soul and everything and she lifts his moods up when he is down, and brings him down to the ground when he is high above the ground. I really loved the way he expressed his feelings.

Amala garu, thank you very much for coming back to the big screen and wish you all the happiness you truly deserve.

As Sekhar Kammula garu said, you have your own identity besides being the wife of Nagarjuna and you are actively involved in many wonderful things and your life inside and outside his movie justifies the title of his movie – Life is Beautiful.

Nagarjuna’s Shirdi Sai movie – an emotional journey

It is an emotional journey for Nagarjuna’s fans and more for Shirdi Sai devotees for sure. I have been listening to Shirdi Sai songs since the day the audio has been launched, 24 hours during weekends, and most of the time in the office too. First two weeks after the audio released, I was in a divine world and felt Baba’s presence very strongly. It has never happened to me in my complete life. I have had experiences of feeling His presence but is for short periods of time, but not for two to three weeks in a blissful and blessed state at any point of my life.

Unnu and Prati, my nieces, who are in their teens, have seen the movie on the first day and got very emotionally touched by the movie and it seemed they have tears throughout the movie and finally broke out at the climax scene. Unnu even texted me after seeing the movie – ‘awesome, senti and cried like an old lady’; and Prati – ‘my head feels so heavy right now, it was little too much to handle because no one has warned me before, good movie though’ . When I talked to Prati, I asked her what she meant by warning and she has told me that she was not aware of Baba’s life and nobody at home prepared her about what she would expect in the movie before she has seen the movie. LOL, I laughed and asked her whether it was an exam to get her prepared before she watched the movie? They even advised me to take a sari to the movie as the tissues may not be enough.

Why I wanted to elaborate on their experience was there would be thousands and thousands of thousands of kids of that age group would be reacting to the movie more or less similar way as my nieces had reacted.

I have a facebook friend, Archana who also lives in Hyderabad (she is the best buddy of my other niece Prashanthi who lives in US), and her message in the facebook is almost the same – ‘awesome performance by Nagarjuna…n everybody did thier best n almost made everyone to cry…..almost  i was crying like a kid…..my goodness….last 20 mins of the movie is superb…merged audience totally in Shirdi……I loved it’

I wonder how come only kids and old people can cry and the others in between won’t have any emotions ? how how how (Brahmi style not Shinde’s style)

Coming to the movie, it starts on a very radiant moment – Abhishekam to Baba – This is the very first song after the initial bhajan song (the initial bhajan song sung by the singers so devotionally and brilliantly on the audio launch event which is not part of the movie – Om Sai Sri Sai Jai Jai Sai Jai Jai Sai which takes us to places where we had never been before and I loved it very much, emotionally I felt like I was part of that audio launch event) I got glued to and mesmerized by when I heard on audio launch day (sung by Shewatha Pandit herself on the stage) – check for my reactions to this song at http://wp.me/p1zyXN-pf

I was wondering how it would be placed in the movie, as they won’t do abishekam to Nagarjuna for sure, and they can’t do abhishekam to Baba’s vigraham when he was alive and they won’t show it in the end as the movie might end with Aarti. There is one place I completely overlooked and that’s where the director’s brilliance plays a major role. It was magnificently picturized by Gopal Reddy garu, I got goosebumps witnessing Baba’s abhishekam with five elements – milk, honey, sandal, water and finally vibhuthi and thanks to lyricist Shiva Datta garu – Jai Ho Sai Jayam Jayam Nee Pada kamalamulaku Jayam Jayam. And it immediately takes you into the mood of the movie.

There is another epic – Dattatraeyuni charithra beautifully depicted with Bapu’s magnificient art – loved it the core, the three little kids are so cute, and every piece is so beautifully done. And Bapu garu has lovingly done this masterpiece as he was very much impressed with KRR garu and Nagarjuna with their Annamayya and SreeRamadasu.

As always, Keeravani garu’s music composition and the BGM have uplifted the movie to another level. I loved almost all the songs and it is even very difficult to pick a few. And in the movie they passed by so quickly before I notice – each song is situational and very aptly placed. Ramanavami song is picturized very colorfully. The two songs penned by Chandrabose garu and sung by SPB garu, Suneetha and Keeravanai garu are heart touching – Talli Tandri leni pillalamainamu and Vasthunna Baba. I want to write a separate article on songs in this movie. Of course I missed Manava seva song, how could they do it? As Keeravani garu mentioned in one of the Press Releases that this song had born when Keeravani garu and KRR garu worked for ‘Allari Mogudu’ and it has been growing since then charanam by charanam when ever they both worked for a movie as a starting tribute to God and finally it took its final destiny for this movie. It is in the audio CD but not in the movie. Very disappointing. And this song is written by Keeravani garu. Looked like Arati song (telugu part of the lyrics) was picturized on Nagarjuna and might have been the victim of editorial cruelty, saw a glimpse of it in the movie (a split second, my imagination?) and I wish it was there completely in the movie, would have been radiant.

I too agree like many others that Dharmavarapu scenes should not have been there and even now if possible should be completely deleted. instead of that at least one or two scenes should have given more depth, especially NINE COINS – nine forms of bhakthi, should have been emphasized – 1. sravanam (listening), 2. keerthanam (praying), 3. smaranam (remembering), 4.padasevanam (Sastanga namaskaram cheyyatam), 5.archanam (pooja), 6.namaskaram (vangi namaskarinchuta), 7.dasyam (seva), 8.sakyathvam (sneham), 9.atmanivedanam (offering atma).

Except for that I do not have any complaints. Nobody expects any comedy in this type of movies, even if the director wants it, give us some light comedy not some rotten scenes in the name of comedy. Please do not insult the word ‘comedy’. I really wish, they would delete those scenes (Dharmavarapu scenes only) to keep the movie as neat and classy as possible.

I have read and been reading Satcharithra for almost last 30 years, countless times I have done the parayanam (finishing the book in seven days, some times like on Gurupournami or Maha Samadhi Day or on any specific day if I wished – I have read the book completely in one day). But today I found something surprising when I was looking for something else and with which I was able to connect to the movie. It is in chapter 37 of Sai Satcharithra –  about chavadi utsavam – వారు ఎవరినో పిలుచునటుల గానిపించేడిది. … బాబా తన కుడి చేతిని క్రిందకు మీదకు ఆడించేడివారు

With whatever the information I have retained in my mind, I do not think except for the last samadhi scene (in terms of where he left the body), vasthava  vakrikarana  ekkada jarigindi? The two places where they have taken cinematic liberties (certain number of years in his teenage years when Baba was out of Shirdi and the 72 hours episode) and in those two phases, none knows what happened, it was not depicted anywhere I guess. Ofcourse I have not read any book on Baba except Satcharithra. But in Satcharithra, it was mentioned that nobody knows what happened in those two phases of time. Normal audience (even Baba devotees) may not bother about the presence/absence of Hemadpant nor Kaka Saheb Dikshit nor many of Baba’s most close disciples.

The last scene (Baba mahasamadhi scene) even though it is a deviation from what happened in real life (in terms of the place where Baba has left his body which is really Dwarakamai), okka sari gundae jallumandi Nagarjuna ni Baba ga chudanganae.  I was really shocked even though I read about it somewhere in the forums. Even though we are seeing only Baba not Nagarjuna, but suddenly when he sat in that position, evarikaina okka kshnam gundae ala agipothundi. The director has taken cinematic liberty to give a profound climax. So I do not want to question about the place where He left His physical body. And yesterday I have seen in an interview and Paruchuri garu was explaining about Baba’s hand and how it came down after Baba has seen Dasaganu as Baba wanted to see Dasaganu before He left this world physically. I could not connect that relevance when I saw the movie. That is one more example of director’s brilliance.

Coming to Nagarjuna – I was little scared when I heard that Nagarjuna has agreed to portray Baba’s character. Interested to know more about my thoughts on this, https://saradapk.wordpress.com/2012/07/05/nagarjuna-as-saibaba/

Nagarjuna has given an exemplary performance. His career best. May be Annamayya’s climax stands at par with this movie. I was very much worried about his body language, how he would mould it and how he would make people believe that he is BABA. When he played as Annamayya and Ramadasu, people at most heard Annamacharya and Ramadasu keerthanas, but no body has an image of them in the mind. So moulding into those characters would be little easier. Even then he received criticism initially about his moustache and some other stuff, but he emerged out as an outstanding performer in both those films, especially Annamayya and its climax would stay as fresh and as rich as the cinema lives. And he emerged out in flying colors against all odds and criticisms. With that proud feather in his cap, I guess Sri Ramadasu was very easy for him.

But when it comes to Shirdi Sai, it is totally different. I am not talking about the issue of Bhaktudu vs. God’s messenger or almost God. But I am talking about the emotions of people – millions and millions of people who are Baba’s devotees and they all have a form in their mind even though none of the existing generation have seen Baba and no one knows how Baba looks like. But people expect a certain body language. I am sure Nagarjuna would carry the character of Baba in the old age with ease (with the confidence he has given us with Annamayya), but my concern was how he would carry the role when Baba was young. And I sincerely prayed to Baba that we should see only Baba not the Nagarjuna on the screen. And the verdict of millions of people today proved that Baba Himself has chosen Nagarjuna for this role. As the same point has been addressed by Nagarjuna in a TV interview today that Baba had called him to Shirdi even before he was asked by KRR garu to act in this film to make sure whether Nagarjuna was fit for this role. Not that Baba can not see Nagarjuna when he is in Hyderabad. It is just a felling. May be Baba wanted Nagarjuna to experience and fell Baba. And Nagarjuna was self analyzing in the TV interview about his mannerisms and how he should have walked in a way different from what he had done when he was rushing to Bayajabai’s house when she was ready to leave this world. I do not remember how he walked, but if he has walked fast, it should be ok, as in the case of “sirkim cheppaka” – Gajendra Moksham – Vishnu Murthy rushed to help Gajendrudu without even informing Lakshmi Devi. That’s my thought but I really do not remember how he walked or any one would ever notice.

Proud to be Nagarjuna’s fan anyday. That fact is being reiterated again and again with each one of his recent movies. And I am so happy to know that Rajamouli garu told Nagarjuna that he has shown us an ‘adbhutham’ and he has destined for much more and his career is starting from now on. One could clearly see Rajamouli garu’s emotions, how excited he was from this video clip.

Bottom line – I too have had tears in my eyes at few instances and tears rolled down at few other instances and I had tears for BGM at few shots too which I never had experienced before. And I came home around 10:30 p.m. after watching the movie and I started watching Nagarjuna’s interviews on the success of the movie on different channels (youtube) and I could not sleep the whole night. I slept around 6:30 in the morning. And now I am trying to put together my various emotions related to the movie I have been going through and it is almost 3 a.m. again.

And congratulating every one involved in this project …

And finally very touched to see Nagarjuna’s tweet a day before the movie released – dedicating this movie to his mother Annapurna garu.

Way of life supposed to be ….

One of my favorite dialogues in Shirdi Sai movie
నీ దగ్గర ఉన్న రొట్టె నువ్వు తినటం ప్రకృతి
పక్క వాడి దగ్గర్ ఉన్న రొట్టె లాక్కుని తినటం వికృతి
నీ దగ్గర ఉన్న రొట్టె కొంచెం పక్క వాడికి పెట్టటం సంస్కృతి
Praveen, my god given brother has added an extra flavor to this –
                     శిరిడి సాయి చూడటం ఒక అనుభూతి
My niece Prashanthi’s comment on this dialogue is – the best dialogue till date
And of course it is not about the bread, but it is about the way of life we are supposed to lead and how much philosophy is embedded in such simple statements !

Humanity in people where God resides …

Very touching article I have read on facebook today morning. I have to take deep breathes while reading and after finished reading too. I feel like crying. I feel like hugging the woman as well as the cab driver. It is truly where God exists. Thanks Karthi and Prashanthi too for sharing this wonderful article where nothing would touch our hearts or our lives than humanity in people.

A NYC Taxi driver wrote:

I arrived at the address and honked the horn. After waiting a few minutes I honked again. Since this was going to be my last ride of my shift I thought about just driving away, but instead I put the car in park and walked up to the door and knocked.. ‘Just a minute’, answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor.

After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 90’s stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940’s movie.

By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets.

There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard
box filled with photos and glassware.

‘Would you carry my bag out to the car?’ she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman.

She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb.

She kept thanking me for my kindness. ‘It’s nothing’, I told her.. ‘I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother to be treated.’

‘Oh, you’re such a good boy, she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me an address and then asked, ‘Could you drive
through downtown?’

‘It’s not the shortest way,’ I answered quickly..

‘Oh, I don’t mind,’ she said. ‘I’m in no hurry. I’m on my way to a hospice.

I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening. ‘I don’t have any family left,’ she continued in a soft voice..’The doctor says I don’t have very long.’ I quietly reached over and shut off the meter.

‘What route would you like me to take?’ I asked.

For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator.

We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.

Sometimes she’d ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.

As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, ‘I’m tired.Let’s go now’.
We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico.

Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move.
They must have been expecting her.

I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.

‘How much do I owe you?’ She asked, reaching into her purse.

‘Nothing,’ I said

‘You have to make a living,’ she answered.

‘There are other passengers,’ I responded.

Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug.She held onto me tightly.

‘You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,’ she said. ‘Thank you.’

I squeezed her hand, and then walked into the dim morning light.. Behind me, a door shut.It was the sound of the closing of a life..

I didn’t pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that day,I could hardly talk.What if that woman had gotten an angry driver,or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?

On a quick review, I don’t think that I have done anything more important in my life.

We’re conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments.

But great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

The article is titled “It is all about women” – I feel the title is not apt and it should be “it is all about humanity” and it is also not about patience and it is about human values and emotions.

The day started with emotions at a high note and reminds me once again human values and emotions.