A reflection on 2016

A reflection on 2016
All good memories – dreams came true in a blossoming way, discovering inner strengths and talents, taking paths those I even didn’t know they exist, all positive vibes.

pongal-2016Just to showcase my hidden talents – Pongal 2016 at Ramana’s place – I have practiced birds muggu as we planned to have muggulu on that day, but after I had that one, got so much inspired and checked for radham muggu on iPad and just put it on the spot, felt very much blessed.

It all startnagarjunaed with a memorable India trip in Feb/March – I met Nagarjuna (on 5th March) which I never ever dreamt of. Praveen has been asking me and I was asking praveen too about meeting him. But some how in my earlier trips, when ever Praveen asked me and he was shocked  when I was telling him that I was not ready to meet him yet. I truly admire him for many of his qualities and a day in my life wouldn’t pass on without me remembering him atleast once. But i really do not know what I should talk when I had lot to talk and for sure I did not want to meet him for just a photo op. I want him to know atleast a little bit of who I am when I know (I think) so much about him. So I have been postponing this for almost 5 years I think. This imagetime I have mentally prepared to meet him (even though i was not sure what I would talk to him 🙂 ) and I have decided to make a scrap book with some pictures starting from his parents’ pics to his kids’ pics and those all in between – from his real and reel candid shots. I had tons and
tons of his pics on my iphone and iPad – wherever i see a pic I like, I SAVE it. It took me a few days to select the pics from my humongous collection and got them printed. I have ordered scrapbook stuff from amazon.in and took some from here too and bought some stuff at Waldens. I also added some of the articles from my blog. I guess I need a separate blog article for this whole episode as I want to write every little thing related to this event. I got an apt prescription from him.

End of April – we had a baby shower for Prashanthi at my place – the first event that has brought out my hidden talents – I, Prashanthi and Chaitanya unknowingly each other’s ideas thought of Peacock theme for the baby shower. I had to thank Lakshmi Gonji immensely for bringing her artistic mind into this to make this venue a perfect Peacock land. One day, few weeks before the party ,  Lakshmi and I were talking on phone about this theme and in the next 15 min, she has sent me photo of a bird she made with paper (of course that one looked like a turkey, that is a different story) and then we  shopped for some nice paper in peacock colors.prashanthis-baby-shower

We made some banners and the day before the event Lakshmi with the help of Prithi and Babloo made some more peacocks. I was able to buy the gift bags designed with peacocks for return gifts. I found those online a week before after an intense search on the web and we were able to get those just on the day of the event. I even printed the labels with a thank you note with peacocks on it. With out any idea of this theme nor any planning, the sari I got for Prashanthi (my sister’s gift to her) is peacock colored shades one. I have ordered some sweets from Vellanki in Hyderabad and they have sent ladoos in hard boxes so that they won’t break into pieces have big peacock on each of the boxes. Of course, nevertheless to say that the flowers, eucalyptus stems  we used for decoration, the cake and the cup cakes everything is peacock themed.prashanthis-baby-shower1

When Prashanthi and Chaitanya walked into the party room around 4 pm while we were still decorating it were so amused (Prashanthi even complimented that she was feeling like walking into a Peacock land with eucalyptus and fresh flowers aroma is spreading the whole area). Chaitanya felt like he should hire an official photographer to make and preserve the event even memorable. But he could not find any in a short notice and Lakshmi gladly took that responsibility.

Wittheteamh the confidence that we have gained from Prashanthi’s baby shower, we (I, Prashanthi, Lakshmi, Babloo) have established our ‘theTeam – an event management group‘ and initiated this on Guru Pournami day with Baba’s blessings at Flushing Temple

Then came Tanvi’s langa voni event.

tanvi-langa-voniI have asked Sekhar whether we could decorate the party hall (for Tanvi’s langa voni ceremony) and it was confirmed 5 days before the event – the event was Saturday lunch and we were given a green signal on Monday morning I guess. We plunged into the opportunity and had conference calls everyday and with whats app group, Lakshmi, Prashanthi and I came up with ideas and ordering stuff from amazon with prime. We were asked for center pieces on tables – Prashanthi came up with the idea of small dolls garned with langa vonis and lakshmi got the idea of making lotus flowers with paper so that we could keep the dolls on the lotus flower and we could use them as centerpieces on the tables. We have ordered barbie dolls and we used old pattu blouses to make vonis for them and decorated them with some jewelry and bindi etc. We bought a stand for the photo backdrop and some sarees were used as drapes and I made garlands with fresh flowers (carnation and mums in pink, yellow as the color theme for the event was pink and mustard).

Then Vinayaka Chavithi
vinayaka-chavithi-2016
Some how few days before vinayaka chavithi – I had some images in front of my eyes – to arrange flowers in circles and keep Vinayakudu in the center. I had another vision to celebrate Vinayaka Pooja in an open farm amidst nice plants – may be Vinayaka would bring this dream materialize soon as I have a passion for farming and am looking for the options to start something in those lines.

I usually keep some books when I do Pooja on chavithi, and since I am not studying anything new by attending schools, I have just picked up a book from husband’s humongous collection of books. That is another story for my blog (my husband’s voracious passion for books, and music ) and I realized later that the title of the book I picked was Now, discover your inner strengths, so surprised and happy that Vinayaka’s blessings are with me always.
Then Rachana’s sweet sixteen

rachana-sweet16for this event Prashanthi and I have worked with Ramana (Rachana’s mom) to make the decor as beautiful as we could think (dream) of. For this event we had ample time, almost close to a month. The color theme for the event is Aqua Blue – Rachana’s dress color. We have completely taken ownership and used our creative abilities to bring beauty to – Welcome Table, Photo Booth, Sweets Stall, Guest Book, Papers Used for Guest Book, Printing Rachana’s 17 photos (16 birthday pictues + the one on the day she was born). For all the banners we made – Rachana’s Sweet 16, Guest Book, Sweets Stall, Photo Booth – we tried to stick to the theme colors – shades of Blue and white. These banners literally takes several hours to make those big circles with floral arches and the letters – thanks to Martha Stewart Arts and Crafts tools.

#Photo Booth – This one was an instantaneous hit. 1. Hand-made paper flowers – one big blue, two medium sized blue and 4 small white flowers 2. A backdrop for Photobooth 3. Hand-made floral props (became very popular) 4. Sweet Sixteen props designed and printed 5. Small slate.

#Guest Book 1. Hand-made banner ‘Guest Book’ glued to a Blue tulle and put it nicely in a photo frame 2. Printed various pictures of Rachana as watermarks on various colored papers so that guests can write their wishes and those papers would be nicely bound for her to keep it as a beautiful memorabilia.

#Sweets Stall 1. Hand-made banner – Sweets Stall 2. Cup cakes, Cake pops and Cake cones baked by Prashanthi and those are nicely wrapped in fancy decorative paper. We have placed a cherry Blossom tree on the table to bring elegance to the Sweets table.

Printed ‘Thank You’ labels to be affixed to the return gifts. Designed the labels with the birthday girl’s attire, shoes etc with a nice message.

Printed 16 birthday pics of Rachana with an extra one that has been taken on the day she was born which goes on to the 16 Candles table and the rest are nicely positioned on the walls of the party hallrachana-sweet161

Diwali – Worked with some mason jars – nicely wrapped with jute ribbons placing LED light strings inside. Also made paper lanterns with a string of LED lightsdiwali-2016

My office Christmas party –  Everything is hand made except for the raw materials. The decor completely reflects the holiday spirit. Made food place card holders with glass candy canes; Printed some food (our menu) labels with all Christmas based images;

oppba-christmas-party-2016decorated Mason jars which reflect the holiday spirit – lights, snow, pine cones, leaves and the red fruits; Made #GrinchFruitKabobs, Bombay Halwa (an Indian sweet) with Christmas colors; Made a beautiful garland with 100 multi colored lights string by knotting different colored ribbons (red, green, blue, silver, gold, white and jute). Made cotton ball garlands for bringing the snow effect; Made photo props; and finally the backdrop for Photo booth. Used meshed ribbon (close to 2 ft wide), with cotton ball garlands and the lights floral garland as the border with some Christmas decorations. Of course I was there with Canon DSLR and became the official photographer of the event and won the appreciation from many including the admiration and recognition from Ms. Bettina Tucci Bartsiotas (Assistant Secretary-General, Controller Department of Management)

New York Cares giving gifts to kids project – with the help of family, friends and colleagues was able to answer 105 kids’ wishes. New York Cares – Give Holiday Gifts 2016

My floral Christmas Tree – read about my passion for having a Christmas Tree at home christmas-tree-week-2

my-christmas-tree-christmas-week

On my birthday – I have been seriously thinking of celebrating my birth in a different way from next year onwards (regretted for not doing anything constructive this year) _ iad a a beautiful experience at the place I go to volunteer two days of a week – teach Math and English to students (adults) who are preparing for college entrance exams.

birthday2016“The place where I go to teach (through New York Cares) is 1199 medical insurance company
. They had a tutor appreciation day dinner a week before my birthday and I could not attend that one. Today when I was working
with my two students, the coordinator asked me to see her supervisor after the class as she had some gifts for all the tutors (I went to the class yesterday but she did not say anything) I wasbirthdat-gift-2 with the students and her supervisor came to me and handed over this to me in a small gift bag, I thought there were some cookies, I came home and opened it and to my surprise I found a data bank and on that engraved Rabindranath Tagore’s quote, very emotional moment to me, a perfect birthday gift from Baba, my parents and my beloved husband, I was in tears 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻”

Taking all these beautiful memories and with the confidence and strength they have provided, and with Baba’s protection, guidance and grace and the love and support from my dear parents and my beloved husband, walking into 2017 to unveil more talents and to blossom into a better human being 

New York Cares – Give Holiday Gifts 2016

imageThis year with the help of friends, family and colleagues, we as a team answered #105WinterWishLetters from kids, teenagers. Very happy and an emotional moment for me. Thanks everyone who has been part of this happiness – Geetha akka and her colleagues around 36 letters), Karthi, Prashanthi, Chaitanya, Arya, Tinku, Radhika, Ramana, Radha, Radhalakshmi, Girija (Sirisha), Kameswari, Sarada (Prashanthi’s friend) and my colleagues – Gilbert, Dawit, Eswaran, Joseph, Rama Krishna, Monica, Liz, Mario, Michael, Nicole, Eline, Cheryl, Marta, Brenda, ever thankful and grateful to everyone who has faith in me and supports me in this journey ❤ ❤ ❤ #NewYorkCares

Usually New York Cares posts this project for us to request the letters around 3rd week of October, I logged into this site around 24th October and I did not see any letters for senior citizens. I sent them an email inquiring about senior letters and to my astonishment I was told that those letters were taken away already. I could not believe it and I was arguing with them with exchange of emails. I am disappointed a bit that I could not answer their wishes but I am very delighted that people are more aware of this project and embracing it with so much grace.

One of my colleagues who was a major support to me in this project for almost 7 years had left the United Nations and I was little worried that I might not be able to answer my usual 100 letters goal. But I have full support from Baba and love you sister’s colleagues were very enthusiastic and took almost 36 letters vs. 20+ letters in the past. And some new colleagues and family members joined me in this journey and helped me reach my goal and we collectively made some kids smile on that day and tried to support their belief in giving – Believe

one of my supervisors said that he was glad that I had asked him to be part of this project and thus was the most rewarding thing he had done during this Chritmas season and another colleague complemented my efforts by thanking me by letting him to be part of my humanatarian efforts.

thanking Baba for every opportunity that is coming in my way to make me grow into a better person 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

My floral Christmas Tree

Having a Christmas tree is an everlasting dream for me. I used to tell my husband that we should have one around Christmas time every year and December just passed away without having one. We had one small tree only once with all blue lights decades ago.

Prashanthi keeps asking me about the tree and two years ago, I told her I would have one after I renovate my apartment. Obviously I did not have one in 2015 even though I finished renovating my apartment before summer last year. This year in November, she has asked me again and I said that I was not in the mood to have this year either.

A week or so after I spoke with her, I saw a beautiful floral Christmas tree on Pintrest. And instantaneosly  I fell for it as I love flowers. But unfortunately they did it with artificial flowers – silk flowers so that the flowers need not be changed frequently. But that decoration has inspired me intensely and pushed me to make up my mind.

When I decided to have Christmas Tree this year, I thought of Christmas tree with white lights only and decorate it with #FreshFlowers – NO IFS and BUTS. I know I have to keep changing flowers at least every week, but I decided to go that way only. I do not want to do regular stuff. Something must be unconventional – with #FreshFlowersOnly – a moment here and there I got tempted for plastic flowers, but NO. It would be so very artificial.

image2

Karthi has bought the tree for me and he came to my place last Saturday and set up the tree and set all lights.

 

I did not have any plan until that day how to do it or what to do. One of the reasons for that I could attribute to is how actively I was involved and be a part of my office Christmas party; another blog story I promise.

#White just flashed in my mind when I was in a shop picking up some extra lights I needed for the tree. We have put 400 lights 🙂

mct3Fixed in my mind – White is the color theme – started with peace 🌲🎄⛄️🕊 I guess,

So #AllWhiteFlowers – decided
But how to arrange them – NO IDEA, which flowers to buy – NO IDEA, how many bunches to buy – NO IDEA. OK

I was very lazy on Sunday to go out to buy flowers until 4:30 p.m.. By the time I stepped out, it started snowing. For a few minutes I gave up moving further. Then I checked a few florist places near my apartment and picked up #WhiteMums – two different types, #WhieSpiderMums, #WhiteCarnations – big, small, #WhiteOrchids.
I wanted to pick #WhiteTulips and #WhiteRoses – I do not think Roses would stay for a week, I got an idea to keep roses alive for few days, for that matter, any flowers. I was running among few places before I ended up buying those flowers. While I was getting home, some thing popped into my mind (I could see an image – a plastic tube which I could fill up with water and put each of these floral stalks). I do not know their name or any sort but I came home and I was searching on Amazon.com with different search criteria. Baba, He always always stays with me and be with me in every move I make, in every act I do and in every word I speak, helped to figure it out. Grateful for ever for His Intense grace and love. Without spending much time, I found what I was looking for and I just saw the image and I did not even read the description, I placed an order on Prime expecting them to be at my place by Tuesday.

I was really clue less before I started decorating, and I pray to Baba to guide me which I do in every thing I do, and He just helped me to do as per HIS wish, half way through, I was so excited and took some pictures and sent them to Karthi, Prashanthi and Chaitanya, Prithi and Lakshmi as I could not hold my excitement. I was really so excited as it was turning out so beautiful.

To my surprise and to my distress, the spider mums seem to be drooped by Monday morning. Carnations seemed to look fine. I did not have a clue of how to keep them alive.To keep my faith in HIM alive, the tube like structures I have ordered from Amazon arrived on Tuesday afternoon, and my joy knew no bounds. They are the perfect solution for my problem. I have bought two more bouquets of spider mums and big carnations and used my water fillers (I made water solution with flower food) and these flowers stay as fresh as the day I bought or even better even after 5 days.

So this weekend I have decided to clean out some of the withered flowers for which I haven’t used water fillers and then fix the tree with few more carnations and may be some roses and tulips (white) and make a beautiful decoration with flowers with vibrant colors for Christmas (very close to Christmas day – may be on 22nd) and one more for New Year and one for Pongal before I wind up this project for this year.

Imct4 still have another desire/dream yet to fructify – to have a train set around my Christmas tree. My husband and I love these Christmas trains. I can not find the one that I am looking for yet – hope to find it before Christmas – crossing my fingers.

I do not know how I would decorate my tree for Christmas – but vibrant colors for sure. And again I have the biggest support anyone can think of – Baba – He plans things for me in the best way possible. My husband had a staunch belief – thakkuvaemi manaku Baba okkadundu varaku – He never leaves me – so much to be grateful for 🙏 – thanking for all the blessings 🙏 …

This is the link for my shared album My Floral Christmas Tree – Week 1

thanks to Baba to help my every move 🙏

My everlasting dream has come into a beautiful reality !

mct11

My floral Christmas Tree – Week 2

My Floral Christmas Tree – Christmas/New Year Week

Oopiri – Heartfelt Experience

imageThis is an emotional experience from Praveen Veluvolu, my God given thammudu, which I have saved it since its inscription with an intention to treasure it as a keepsake by publishing in my blog. Thanks Praveen for allowing me to post it.

This is one movie that is universally accepted by everyone. I haven’t heard any negative comments or criticism on this movie (everyone has only high acclaim for it) – universally people loved this movie. Proud to be Nagarjuna’s admirer on any day ❤

Here it is …

సినిమా చూస్తూ ఏడవటం ఏంటి అనుకునే వాడిని…. కాని కొన్ని సినిమాలు నన్ను కదిలించాక ఓహ్ నిజమే సినిమాలు ఎడిపిస్తాయ్ అని నమ్మాను…

గతం లో నా కళ్ళు తడిచిన సినిమాలు అప్రస్తుతం కాని… ఇప్పుడే చుసిన ఊపిరి నిజం గా మూస ధోరణి లో కొట్టుకుపోతున్న తెలుగు సినిమా ని బతికించే ఒక ఊపిరి

ఇలాంటి ఒక కథ ని నమ్మే స్టార్ హీరో నాగార్జున ఐతే ఆయన నమ్మకాన్ని నమ్మిన పి వి పి మరొక ఊపిరి

ఊపిరి ని కరెక్ట్ గా చెప్పాలంటే ఒక ప్యూర్ లవ్ స్టోరీ… జన్యూన్ ఎమోషన్స్…జన్యూన్ నటన…జన్యూన్ మ్యూజిక్….జన్యూన్ రి రికార్డింగ్…. ప్రతిదీ జన్యూన్ గా ఉన్న ఒక్క ఒక జన్యూన్ సినిమా

ప్రేమ కథ అని దేనికి అన్నాను అంటే

ఇద్దరు స్నేహితుల ‘ఉండే ప్రేమ’ కథ
ఒక కొడుకు తల్లి మధ్య ‘ఉండే ప్రేమ’ కథ
ఒక అన్న చెల్లి మధ్య ‘ఉండే ప్రేమ’ కథ
మంచి మనసుల మధ్య ‘ఉండే ప్రేమ’ కథ

నేను ఇంటచబుల్స్ చూసినప్పుడు అనుకున్నా తెలుగు లో వర్క్ ఔట్ అవ్వదు కాని చేస్తే మా నాగ్ చెయ్యాలి అనుకున్నా…. నా ఊహ కి ఊపిరి ఇస్తూ నిజం చేస్తూ ఈ సినిమా అనౌన్సమెంట్ వచ్చింది

నాగార్జున ఈ సినిమా లో విక్రమాదిత్య పాత్ర లో పరకాయ ప్రవేశం చేశారు….ఇంత సటిల్ గా ఆయన మాత్రమె చెయ్యగలరు…

మెడ కింద మొత్తం పనిచేయని ఆ పాత్ర కి కేవలం మొహం, కళ్ళు మాత్రమె నటించాలి… కాని ఆయన విశ్వరూపం చూపించారు…

కార్తీ ఈ సినిమా కి అతి పెద్ద ఎస్సెట్…. అమాయకత్వం,అల్లరి తనం,పోకిరి అన్ని కలిపిన ఈ పాత్ర లో చెలరేగిపోయాడు

ప్రకాష్ రాజ్ ని ఇంత మంచి పాత్ర లో చూసి చాన్నాళ్ళు అయ్యింది

తమన్నా సూపర్…. మొదటి సారి యాక్ట్ చేసింది

అనూష్క కాకపొతే ఆ రోల్ కి అంత డిగ్నిటి రాదు

జయసుధ టాప్ క్లాస్

సాంగ్స్ ప్లేస్మెంట్ బావుంది… Background Music ఈ సినిమా స్థాయి ని పెంచింది…

విజువల్ గా ఇంత గ్రాండ్ గా ఉన్నా సినిమా తెలుగు లో ఈ మధ్య కాలం లో రాలేదు…

వంశీ పైడిపల్లి ఈ కథ ని తెలుగు నేటివిటీకి మార్చిన విధానం అద్భుతం…. ఎమోషన్డ్ ఫెచ్ చేసిన విధానం అద్భుతం….దర్శకుడు గ చాల మెట్లు ఎక్కేసాడు….

ఊపిరి అనే ఈ సినిమా ని మిస్ ఐతే మీరు జన్యునిటి ని మిస్ అయినట్టే… ఈ సినిమా మీకు నచ్చి తీరుతుంది…. మీరు కులం మతం ప్రాంతం లాంటి పొరలతో మీ కళ్ళను కప్పేసుకుంటే తప్ప

ఊపిరి తప్పక చూడండి….. పల్లెటూరిలో పౌర్ణమి రాత్రి పొలం మధ్యలో నులక మంచం వేసుకుని వేడి వేడి అన్నం లో ఆవకాయ కలుపుకుని తింటుంటే ఎంత హాయి గా ఉంటుందో అంత హాయి గా ఉంటుంది ఈ ఊపిరి… అప్పుడు ఎంత స్వచ్ఛం అయిన గాలి పీలుస్తారో అంత స్వచ్ఛం అయిన సినిమా ఊపిరి…అప్పుడు ఎంత ప్రశాంతం గా ఉంటారో అంత ప్రశాంతం అయిన సినిమా ఊపిరి..

నాగార్జున అభిమాని గా నా జన్మ ధన్యం ధన్యం ధన్యం…

Say it Loud HAIL THE KING!!

Say it Again HAIL THE KING!!

Say one more time HAIL THE KING!!

My Fitness Pal

imageTwo months ago, few family friends in our group have started some fitness activities with this logo with the caption Till the Body Behaves – I always feel that it is not the right title, it should be mind rather than ‘body’. Anyways our initial goal is to achieve 10000 steps a day. After a week, everyone feels we should go for 12k per day. And of course people were very enthusiastic and doing 20k and above too. we all use different gadgets to track our progress. I use UP24. It tracks sleep too. It is so mean 😡- one day I was in a meeting from 2:30 pm to 4 pm and I was playing a very passive role – mere attendance – just listening to the people talk. Of course, I was so sleepy and was controlling very hard not even to yawn. After I returned back to my seat, the UP popped up a message on the phone checking whether I was sleeping from 3:30 pm to 4 pm, that mean👺I have set up a mental goal for my self to do atleast 10k, anything over it is a bonus and spend 30 min on the stationary bicycle and 10 min on the elliptical as they are very important for my knee problem.

Then 10 days ago, Ramu has introduced My Fitness Pal  (MFP)- a program could be used online and also used as an app – a calorie counter and diet and exercice journal/tracker (http://www.myfitnesspal.com/) into my life for which I am ever grateful to Baba and Ramu. I have synched that app with my UP app, basically I maintain my food jounal with it and track my exercices, sleep patterns, my fiber intake goal etc., with UP. I should say I am eating very healthy – more focus on fruit smoothies, nuts and bean soups with vegetables. Nonetheless to say, within a week I lost few pounds which has been so difficult for me to loose for months. Since I eat mostly home made food, I am creating my own recipes with MFP – enter all the ingredients (you can match them even with the brand name – even Indian grocery brands) and save the recipe with your own name (of course it does not take in consideration on the preparation of that dish, it is ok with me as I am not making any fried or deep fried foods), and it would immediately give all the nutrient info on line with FDA standards. Sometimes I am afraid to eat food as I need to enter it as approximately as possible. Another trick to loose weight 😜 if you are very true to yourself. If you do not take the required amount of food that day, it would warn you with all health hazards and it won’t project your weight for the next 5 weeks which it would on a normal basis, projects the weight in next 5 weeks if you would continue to follow the same way as you did that particular day. 😍 Very encouraging.

This is a screenshot from UP image

for the past few days, when I am completing my diary for that day, I was getting very positive feed back on my projected weights which I hadn’t even noticed when I crossed them. 😂😂😂Such a nice feeling.

So from now on I decide to post my recipes on my blog with complete nutrient info too. Watch out this space for more yummy, healthy recipes …🍲🍲🍲

Oopiri – an emotional roller-coaster journey

imageOopiri – an emotional roller coaster journey.

That is what #Oopiri is all about – an apt tag line – ‪#‎celebrationOfLifeYOLOYou Only Live Once – Make it Count 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

“Life is not the amounts of breaths you take; It’s the moments that take your breath away” – Hitch

It is those moments you are by yourself physically and emotionally and analysing your life, experiencing your life, enriching your life and celebrating your life.

I have been reading rave reviews on Oopiri from film critics since its release. Most of the standard newspapers in India and some websites have given 4/5 rating. Overwhelmed with happiness.

  1. The Hindu: “Celebration of Life, indeed” by Sangeetha Devi  ****
  1. Deccan Chronicle: “Beautiful, emotional journey” ****
  1. Times Of India: “Oopiri is a beautiful film”**** and average readers’ rating 4.3
  1. India Today: “Oopiri is a beautiful film – All the right buttons pressed in this film” 3.5
  1. iDreampost: “Oopiri is a beautiful film; If Karthi is the life of the film, then Nagarjuna is its soul” by Hemanth ****
  • Two big thumbs up for Oopiri. It’s a film which you shouldn’t miss. Because, it’s the kind of film which makes you believe in the principle of YOLO – You Only Live Once. Make it count. Breathe and be thankful that you’ve the greatest gift that one could ask for – to be alive. Smile. Walk. Run. Fly. Live again.
  • http://www.idreampost.com/oopiri-movie-review/
  1. bollywoodhollywoodnet: “Karthi-and-Nagarjunas-epic-bromance-makes-this-comedy-drama-a-must-watch” ****

 

I can’t imagine how the whole team Oopiri celebrating the success, celebrating those Oopiri moments, celebrating the life …

It is their conviction that wins, their faith that wins, it is their passion that wins.

In a prelease oopiri team interview (the director, the producer and the main cast), the host has asked Nagarjuna how he could act sitting in a wheelchair  and charm the audience after Soggadae Chinnin Nayana where imagehe was bubbling with so much energy and he replied  ‘wheelchair lo kurchini chimpaeddamani’ with a burst of laughs among the team. He DID it INDEED, one of his career’s best performances.  Proud to be his admirer on any day, no ifs and buts. And of course as he coreectly points out in that interview, Oopiri will become a feather in his cap. He has so many of those …

There are few things touched my heart at Oopiri audio launch event and stayed there since then.

  1. Starting with the captain of the ship – the director, Vamshi Paidipally, told that he has reinvented himself with this movie and was almost in tears when he was acknowledging his love and gratitude to three persons – people behind his reinvention – Nagarjuna, Karthi and PVP garu
  2. Another noteworthy point mentioned by Vamshi – “most of the time people are in wheel chairs only” – literally not physically handicapped but practically and emotionally handicapped – not able to do the things/ or not do anything (lack of push to do) which they really want to do due to any reason not able to do; for all those #Oopiri gives inspiration to celebrate life.
  3. Prakash Raju garu – speaking from his heart and did not want to talk about the performances of the main cast rather he would prefer to talk about their characters in the real world – talking about Nagarjuna – he has pinpointed that the growth of a person is not measured in monetary terms but how much he helped others around him to grow in the process of his growing and in those terms “Nagarjuna is so rich, so wonderful and so loved”.
  4. Karthi in his speech mentioned that he was so excited to act with Nagarjuna and after working with him, his love for Nagarjuna had grown even more as it does not normally work that way as we had some expectations on certain persons and after meeting them or after being with them for certain period, we wouldn’t feel the same about that person any more. He is damn right about that. That was the fear I had for a very long time to meet Nagarjuna. But it turned out to be exactly the same way as Karthi felt for Nagarjuna. It really happened to us after meeting Nagarjuna last month when I was in India, and my love and admiration for him have been manifold million times. He has such a warm heart.
  5. Besides other things Nagarjuna has spoken at the audio launch, I got stuck with one thing very deeply – he strongly admitted that if we wish for anything intensely, it would materialize (“What do they say about the universe conspiring to make things happen when you really want something?” That’s what has happened  ‪#‎Oopiri ‪#‎SpecialMomentsInLife ‪#‎alwaysAlwaysHappens
  6. And Nagarjuna endearingly embraced Karthi as his younger brother. The off-screen bonding is very clearly seen on-screen

The whole cast and crew earned respect” –  very true as Vamshi Paidipally has responded on the success of this movie

Some compliments for the cast and crew from media

People behind Commercial Masala films assume audience to be brain less idiots whereas people behind Oopiri respect audience’s intelligence”  – Ram Gopala Varma

“ఈ సినిమాలోని గొప్పదనం ఏంటంటే…
మామూలుగా మనం ఏదైనా సినిమా చూస్తుంటే మనకి బాగున్న సీన్స్ దగ్గర ఫీల్ అవుతాం.
వాటి గురించి బయటకొచ్చి చెప్పుకుంటాం.
కానీ ఈ సినిమా అంతా కూడా గుండె బరువెక్కే ఒక మంచి ఫీల్ తో చూస్తాం.
అది మొదటి సీన్ నుండే డైరెక్టర్ ప్రిపేర్ చేస్తాడు.
సో ఈ సినిమా అంతా ఒక సింగిల్ సీన్ అనుకుంటే గనక ఆ సీన్ మహా అద్భుతం” – TNR from iDreampost.com

Even before the release of the movie, the whole team has been constantly reiterating the point that the movie itself has handpicked every artist and technician for which the audience finally convincingly agree – Karthi replacing Jr. NTR, Tamanna replacing Shruti Haasan.

In the success meet, few of the media people have pointed out that Karthi had more screen time than Nagarjuna or Karthi’s performance was awesome, then I loved the explanation from Vamshi Paidipally – The character which is very jubilant would reach the audience very quickly than the character which is very poised and subtle.

That actually explains why Bangaraju was felt and loved more than Ramu in Soggadae Chinni Nayana – Ramu’s character would be like slow poison as does Vikramadithya’s.

Few ramblings on Oopiri –oopiri moments in the movie

  1. I do not want to say much more about Nagarjuna, or about Karthi, or about Prakash Raj or Tamanna – They have all excelled in their roles; Nagarjuna and Karthi mesmerized the audience with their stellar performances.
  2. The whole movie is an emotional roller-coaster journey – peaks of happiness and sadness in the same screen – the man behind this – Vamshi Paidipally deserves and earns credit for making those emotions portrayed very well on the screen
  3. Cinematography by P S Vinod garu is brilliant. Eiffel Tower was shown so beautifully especially in the night-time when karthi slowly opened the retracted roof top of the car.
  4. There is no villian in oopiri – a very positive sign – spreading the positivity around
  5. Manishi vellina chotikalla manasu velladu – (heart doesn’t go to all the places the man goes) – #Oopiri –  it is absolutely true as we go to so many places on obligation
  6. Background score by Gopi Sunder garu 👌🏻👌🏻👌🏻👌🏻👌🏻👌🏻👌🏻
  7. Lyrics by Sirivennela garu is very heart touching and thought provoking🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻
    1. Nuvvemicchavo
      Neekaina adi telusuna
      Nenem pondhaano
      Naa mounam neeku telipenaNuvemichavo telusa vethike kala
      Neevalle kadha kalisa nanne nenila
    2. Oka life song – Ye.. Em ledhani
      Manam choodaligani
      Oopiri ledha
      Oohalu leva
      Neekosam nuvve leva
      Cheekatiki rangulese
      Kalalenno neethodai vasthundaga
      Ontariga life ani
      Aasakkooda aasani kaligincheyi
  8. Some brilliant scenes –
    1. Nagarjuna’s disinterested look with the beard and without any emotions in the initial scene of the movie- the audience could feel what he is going through – the loneliness – and he could not even come out of that in spite of Karthi being besides him as he knows that moment is temporary
    2. Nagarjuna looking at a bird through the window which is flapping its wings  – he sits steadily watching the bird aimagend may be thinking his inability to move his hands/or legs or any part of his body for that matter. If I am not wrong, there are two times we were shown that bird. I have heard a better simile about the bird’s episodes from Vamshi recently in a TV interview – in the initial scene it was flapping its wings but not able to fly (as Vikramadhitya’s inability to move inspite of his active mind), and the bird was flying at Anushka’s episode – where Vikramadhitya’s heart becomes very light as he came to know that she has been so happy with her present life.
    3. when everyone is dancing at his birthday party, Nagarjuna seems happy but once he looks at the legs of people dancing in front of him.
    4. When Karthi puts his hand on Nagarjuna’s hand to express his happiness, gratitude when his sister’s marriage is fixed, Nagarjuna just looks at the hands
    5. The complete painting episode which comeimages at different parts of the movie starting from Nagarjuna buying a painting at the gallery and ends with karthi’s dialogue at the end – ‘dust paper lanti naa jeevithanni oka painting laga marchevu’ –  is simply mind blowing – Vamshi garu 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻
    6. Someone is praying for the things you take for granted” – clearly expressed by Anushka as she was wondering how could she be so happy with her present life when she had so much hatred for Nagarjuna with whom she was in deep love earlier
    7. I have to see the movie again to refresh my heart and memories. I did see the movie again. I would have seen the movie even more times if it has been screened in Manhattan 🙂

“హేట్సాఫ్‌ టు నాగార్జున గారు. ఆయన ఈ సినిమా చేయనంటే ఊపిరి తీసి ఉండేవాడిని కాదని వంశీ పైడిపల్లి చెప్పాడు. నిజంగా నాగార్జున లేకపోతే ‘ఊపిరి’ లేదు. తెలుగు సినీ చరిత్రలో చిరకాలం నిలిచిపోయే ఎన్నో చిత్రాలని చేసిన నాగార్జున నిజంగా మన తెలుగు చిత్ర సీమకి దొరికిన వరం.” – Ganesh Ravuri

Hats off to Nagarjuna garu, Vamshi Paidipally told that he would not have taken Oopiri movie if Nagarjuna hadn’t had agreed to act in this movie. Truly there is no Oopiri without Nagarjuna. Nagarjuna is a boon to the telugu film industry as he has done movies that could stay eternal in the history of telugu movies – Ganesh Ravuri (translation for the above statement in telugu)

The bottom line is “Oopiri aadakunda chese cinemaluntayi.. oopiri aagipothe bagunnu anipinche cinemalostayi.. Oopiri undaga chudalsina cinemalu #Oopiri lantivi!” – Ganesh Ravuri

As Chaitanya has correctly pointed out in his tweet that the soul of Oopiri is just a simple emotion – #Caring which we forgimageot from time to time.

 

 

Oopiri stays as a classic movie as long as cinema lives👌🏻👌🏻👌🏻👌🏻

For the whole cast and crew 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

image

 

Life is not the amount of breaths you take It’s the moments that take your breath away

This is again from Ganesh Ravuri garu, film critic. Earlier I had used his critic review of Manam in my blog as I was awestruck with it and I have informed him too. I hope he would not mind using this piece again in my blog.

Life is not the amount of breaths you take

It’s the moments that take your breath away” – Hitch

image.jpeg‘హిచ్‌’ అనే ఇంగ్లీష్‌ సినిమాలో ఒక డైలాగుంటుంది… ‘జీవితమంటే ఎన్నిసార్లు ఊపిరి తీసుకున్నామని కాదు, ఊపిరి ఆగిపోయేలా చేసిన క్షణాలు ఎన్ని ఉన్నాయని!’ ఈ మాటలకి ఒక సినిమా రూపమిస్తే అది ‘ఊపిరి’ అవుతుంది. ‘సెలబ్రేషన్‌ ఆఫ్‌ లైఫ్‌’ అనే క్యాప్షన్‌కి తగ్గట్టే ఈ సినిమా ఒక గొప్ప సంబరం, ఒక మధురానుభూతి, ఒక మర్చిపోలేని జ్ఞాపకం!

తెరపై చూస్తున్నది నాగార్జున అని తెలుసు, ఆయన నడవగలడని, జీవితాంతం కదల్లేని పరిస్థితిలో అయితే లేడని, హాయిగా ఉన్నాడని మనకి తెలుసు. అయినప్పటికీ తెరమీద నాగార్జున కాకుండా, దురదృష్టవశాత్తూ జీవిత కాలం చక్రాల కుర్చీకి మాత్రమే పరిమితమయ్యే అపర కోటీశ్వరుడు విక్రమాదిత్య మాత్రమే మనకి కనిపిస్తాడు. కరిగిపోయిన అతని కలలు, అనంతమైన చీకటి నిండిన అతని అంతరంగం మనకి కనిపిస్తాయి. అందుకే ఊపిరి అందని స్థితిలో అతను ఉక్కిరిబిక్కిరి అవుతూ వుంటే, సాయం చేయడానికి ఎవరూ రాని పరిస్థితి వుంటే ‘అయ్యో పాపం’ అంటూ అల్లాడిపోతాం.

‘ఎప్పటికీ నాతో ఉండిపోతావా?’ అని తనకి దొరికిన ‘తోడు’ని అడిగిన అతనే అవతలి వ్యక్తికీ ఒక జీవితం వుందని, ఎప్పటికీ చక్రాల కుర్చీ తోస్తూ బతకలేడని గ్రహించి తన సంతోషాన్ని వెతుక్కుంటూ వెళ్లిపొమ్మంటే, చిగురించిన ఆశలన్నీ శిధిలమైపోతే అతను పడే వేదనని మనం అనుభవిస్తాం. కదల్లేని స్థితిలోంచి మళ్లీ ఎగరగలిగిన అతని ఆనందాన్ని, జీవితం మీద విరక్తి చెందిన సమయంలో అతనికి దొరికే ఓదార్పుని.. ఇలా దేనికైనా సరే గుండె చప్పుళ్లతోనే చప్పట్లు చరుస్తాం. ఉబికి వస్తోన్న కన్నీటితోనే ఆ పాత్రకి, ఆ నటుడికీ నీరాజనాలు అర్పిస్తాం.

హేట్సాఫ్‌ టు నాగార్జున గారు. ఆయన ఈ సినిమా చేయనంటే ఊపిరి తీసి ఉండేవాడిని కాదని వంశీ పైడిపల్లి చెప్పాడు. నిజంగా నాగార్జున లేకపోతే ‘ఊపిరి’ లేదు. తెలుగు సినీ చరిత్రలో చిరకాలం నిలిచిపోయే ఎన్నో చిత్రాలని చేసిన నాగార్జున నిజంగా మన తెలుగు చిత్ర సీమకి దొరికిన వరం. ‘మనం’ ఇలాంటి ఆణిముత్యాలని చూడగలుగుతున్నామంటే ఇలాంటి ప్రయత్నాలకి ఆయనిస్తోన్న ప్రోత్సాహమే కారణం.

కార్తీని ఎంచుకోవడం ద్వారా ఈ కథకి ఈ చిత్ర రూపకర్తలు ‘ఊపిరి’ అందించారు. ఎంతో సహజంగా, ఇలాంటి స్నేహితుడూ మనకీ ఉంటే బాగుండని ఫీలయ్యేంతగా కార్తీ అద్భుతంగా అభినయించాడు. అతని కెరియర్‌లో ఇదో మణిపూసలా ఎప్పటికీ నిలిచిపోతుంది.

‘ది ఇన్‌టచబుల్స్‌’ సినిమాని వంశీ పైడిపల్లి రీమేక్‌ చేయబోతున్నాడంటే చాలా మంది ఆశ్చర్యపోయారు. బృందావనం, ఎవడు లాంటి మసాలా సినిమాలు తీసే దర్శకుడు అలాంటి క్లాసిక్‌ని రీమేక్‌ చేసే సాహసానికి ఎలా ఒడికడుతున్నాడని అనుకున్నారు. ఏదైనా బాగా నచ్చినప్పుడు దానిని ఆరాధించి వదిలేయాలని, అంతే తప్ప అలాంటిదాన్ని మరోటి తీయాలని అనుకోరాదని అంటుంటారు. కానీ ఒక దానిని మనం నిజంగా ప్రేమిస్తే, దానిని పునఃసృష్టించినపుడు కూడా అంతే అందంగా తీర్చిదిద్దవచ్చని, ఆ ఆత్మ ఎటూ పోకుండా ఈ కొత్త సృష్టిలోను దానిని ప్రతిష్టించవచ్చునని వంశీ పైడిపల్లి నిరూపించాడు.

రీమేక్‌ సినిమా అంటే ఉన్నదానిని యథాతథంగా తీసేయడం కాదు. ఆ సినిమా తాలూకు భావోద్వేగాలని అనుభవించి, దాని తాలూకు ఆత్మని పట్టుకోగలిగితే తప్ప ఆ ఫీల్‌ రాదు. ముఖ్యంగా ఇలాంటి ఫీల్‌గుడ్‌ సినిమాల్ని రీమేక్‌ చేయడం అంత తేలికైన వ్యవహారం కాదు. ఫ్రెంచ్‌ క్లాసిక్‌ని రీమేక్‌ చేయాలని అనుకోవడమే కాకుండా దానికి పరిపూర్ణ న్యాయం చేయడంలో వంశీ పైడిపల్లి విజయవంతమయ్యాడు. ఆ సినిమాలోని ప్రతి మూమెంట్‌ని మిస్‌ అవకుండా, తను జోడించిన మూమెంట్స్‌తో కథ అందం చెడకుండా చక్కని బ్యాలెన్స్‌ పాటిస్తూ మరపురాని ఎమోషనల్‌ జర్నీ చేసివచ్చిన ఫీలింగ్‌ అందించాడు.

మనకి బాగా నచ్చిన సినిమా చూస్తున్నప్పుడు అది ఎంత సేపటికీ పూర్తి కాకపోతే బాగుండనిపిస్తూ ఉంటుంది. బహుశా ‘ది ఇన్‌టచబుల్స్‌’ని అతిగా ప్రేమించేసిన వంశీ పైడిపల్లి తన సినిమా కూడా పూర్తి కాకుండా రన్‌ అవుతూనే ఉండాలని అనుకున్నాడో ఏమో.. కాసింత ఎక్కువసేపు నడిపించాడు. విక్రమాదిత్య, శ్రీను (కార్తీ) జీవితాల్లోకి కాస్త ఎక్కువగా తొంగి చూసాడు. వాళ్లకి సంబంధించిన డీటెయిల్స్‌ అవసరమైన దానికంటే కాస్త ఎక్కువ ఇచ్చాడు.

అంత అందమైన చందమామకి కూడా మచ్చలున్నప్పుడు ఒక సినిమాకి చిన్నపాటి లోపాలుండడంలో ఏముందిలెండి. దీన్నో సగటు సినిమాగా చూడకుండా, ఇద్దరి వ్యక్తుల జీవిత కథగా చూస్తే (ఫ్రెంచ్‌ సినిమాకి నిజ జీవితంలో జరిగిందే స్ఫూర్తినిచ్చింది) ప్రతి క్షణాన్ని ఆస్వాదించవచ్చు. ఒక సినిమా చూసేసి వచ్చాక కూడా ఆ పాత్రలు మనతోనే ఉన్నాయంటే, సినిమా అయిపోయాక కూడా వాళ్లిప్పుడు ఏం చేస్తూ ఉండి ఉంటారనే ఊహ తలపులోకి వచ్చిందంటే ఒక సినిమాకి అంతకంటే పెద్ద అఛీవ్‌మెంట్‌ ఏముంటుంది? అన్ని విజయాలనీ బాక్సాఫీస్‌ లెక్కలతోనే కొలవలేం.. ఇలాంటి కొన్ని సినిమాల్ని తూకమేయడానికి అవి మిగిల్చిన అనుభూతులే కొలమానం.

ప్రతి నటీ నటుడు, ప్రతి సాంకేతిక నిపుణుడు ప్రేమించి చేసిన సినిమా ఇది. ఇలాంటి మరెన్నో ప్రయత్నాలకి ఊపిరినిచ్చేంత స్థాయిలో ప్రేక్షకులు దీనికి ఊపిరినూదాలి.

ఊపిరి ఆడకుండా చేసే సినిమాలు వస్తుంటాయి, ఊపిరి ఆగిపోతే బాగుండనిపించే సినిమాలు చాలానే ఉంటాయి… ఊపిరి ఉండగా చూడాల్సిన సినిమా అనిపించే ‘ఊపిరి’లాంటి సినిమాలు అరుదుగా వస్తుంటాయి. మిస్‌ కాకండి!

బోటమ్‌ లైన్‌: సెలబ్రేషన్‌ ఆఫ్‌ లైఫ్‌!

– గణేష్‌ రావూరి