Showing posts with label Malayalis. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Malayalis. Show all posts

Friday, September 28, 2012

Viral [272/365]

The internet is such a wonderful medium that today, anything can go viral.
You can learn anything and see anything that the mind can possibly desire.

One among the more interesting ways people have gotten famous over the past couple of years has been by uploading a video on YouTube. And there has been some extremely creative ads in the past but call me old fashioned when I say I imitating a popular person or video and passing it off as something you invented is probably one of the lamest things you can do.

Case in point- The JK Wedding entrance video. At last count, this video has gotten over 77 million views and is arguably one of the cutest and most inspiring wedding entrances I've seen. The video itself was shot in a hand-held camcorder and the wedding looks very ordinary and is a far cry from the garish and outlandishly opulent weddings that Malayalis and the Chinese are famous for. As a wedding planner, (yes I am a wedding planner) I get lot of enquiries from couples who want a similar dance to be featured in their weddings. And I won't blame them. When I saw this video for the first time, I wanted something equally spectacular too. But that faded off really quick considering how something like this will be frowned upon. I mean c'mon, I've seen clients whose elderly parents have a problem hiring wedding planners when they think they can do the whole thing by themselves.

So while I have always advised my clients against aping something that isn't original and won't look tasteful when replicated in an Indian scenario, I know more than a few people who have had the JK entrance dance on their weddings. One such wedding which had the dance was so distasteful that on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the least and 10 being the most inspiring, that video was definitely a minus-10. (Observe the expression of the guests from 2:07 versus the reaction of the guests in the original JK wedding dance video and you'll know what I mean)

Creativity has its pitfalls. You can be copied. 

But if you have a sense of humor, easy on the eyes and have a cat-like sense of observation, then you could also be rich and famous on the internet.
Take video blogger; Natalie Tran. PYT with brain Inside!
With over 1 million subscribers on YouTube and 446 million video views, she is arguably the most watched vlogger in history. Her videos 'involve her making monologues in front of a camera, interrupted by skits acted out by herself.(sic)' For those guffawing at what good this lady could be, take this- she earns over $100,000 a year from YouTube alone! That's right, more than what middle-class Americans make in a year.
While Ms Tran is prancing her way to the bank, there is another vlogger that I stumbled across. Literally.
She calls herself Jessica Kardashian and one look at her aptly named YouTube channel- Therapy Channel, you'd definitely want to check yourself in for therapy.
She looks like a ABCD (American Born Confused Desi, to the uninitiated) who's got a boob job. The videos are terrible, her voice feeble and barely audible and her choice of topics- devoid of any thought. But what the heck, as long as she's showing her ample cleavage, her 1,710 subscribers are happy campers. After copying a famous last name, she has also copied Natalie's style. What a shame!

So what is it really that makes us want to ape more popular things on the net?
Is it the fame and money?
Or is it to brag and I say 'I did it too'?
For some couples who dredge the internet and steal ideas, it is just to look sophisticated and for someone like Jessica, you know it's just to brag.

God Bless the Internet!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Dishum Dishum

Quintessentially, fights in movies are nothing new and most Indian movies need atleast one 'stunt' scene.
Fight scenes usually play to the masculine need to show power and while most Hollywood movies deliver their fisticuffs very convincingly, almost all Indian movies are a departure from all logic and laws of physics.

What amuses me the most is when I see a fight sequence in a Malayalam movie from yore.
Any keralite worth his coconut will know Jayan, a Movie star of yore. With his unique style of acting and speech I would call him the Marlon Brando of Mollywood.
And in many movies from the late 80's and through the 90's, the hero would inevitably make a mash potato of the villain(s) single handedly. Not that I think the Hero should not have done that, or that I am sympathetic towards the villain. But what got me is how the director would think we would believe in a fight when inspite of much bashing up, the dhoti (lungi) of the hero or the shirt of the villain does not tear or come undone!
C'mon! I avoid situations where I have to wear a lungi/mundu just because I have a huge phobia of exposing my modesty. I remember wearing one to a 'Ethnic day' celebration in college. I had to wear a swimming trunk and loop a belt around my waist just to reassure myself.
But what the heck, these guys in movies don't even need to retie their lungi between all the fights!
Every fold and tuck is neatly in place, after 20 cinematic minutes of fights. And the shirts? Not a button comes off?
Where do they make such clothes? I need some.

Now, don't get me wrong. I realise that this is all make believe, and I really enjoy the comic relief in many of the fight sequences in Comedies. But give us more power to the punch, Mr Stunt Director.

Life is filled with so many serious stuff and Cinema is supposed to transport us far from the mundane realities of life into another world where the fine line between a punch and a pow is blurred with a dishum.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Taking the journey..

Street smart salesman selling dreary government forms by selling dreams of social empowerment. A couple bidding adieu, trying to steal a quiet private moment in a crowded compartment with a dozen eyes staring them down while trying to judge their character and declaring them guilty of marrying.
Virile young men casting penetrating glances at ‘suitable game' which is nearly every women he surveys.
Leary middle aged men stealing glances at girls young enough to be their nieces.
Newly married young men, that hurry into the train, only to realize the trains are packed, have to stand. You can spot them by their complete disregard of the other PYT’s in the train and the tired yet happy glow in their faces and the fresh new gold ring in their finger.
And then there is the quintessential 'kappi' karan who breaks every passenger's reverie with the calls of his trade and the strong aroma that lingers like the sweet fragrance of the ‘dubai karan’.
The students who are catching up on last minute 'trainwork' but still wont miss the opportunity to check out all the senoritas in the compartment.
The middle aged guy at the wrong end of 40 munching on an undated vada that the vada/vazakyappam karan sold a few moments ago.
The clean shaven nerd who appears so engrossed in conversation with fellow nerd that it looks like he's discussing ways to solve international terrorism, but is instead trying to steal glances at the most beautiful girl.
And then there are the accompanying kids who are either busy annoying the crap out of their single traveling parents or are sleeping.
All this while traveling through the most pristine shades of green, brown and concrete. The gazillion coconut trees, the bazillion thatched houses, the hundred lakes and the millions backwaters. Passing through a hundred stations, all that look like its been built by the same architect, mason and brick. A hundred paddy fields with full grown paddy swaying in the breeze and sparkling with the morning dew and the rising sun.
And then all the activity is interrupted when the train starts slowing down a quarter of a kilometer away, when the men reluctantly tear their stares away from the objects of their desire, inch slowly towards the narrow exit. They stop by the exit and turn back just to check if their object would look back at them for just one last time. If she does, then he's back in the same train, same time come what may unless tomorrow is a holiday.
The brief 40 second stop ushers in new blood and thicker crowd of people. Passengers who think they deserve a seat and consider standing their punishment for being late. Workout? Never. How can standing ever be considered a workout? The very fact that many of them had to come out of their homes to earn a living is a punishment.
And then as the trains snakes and zips through towns and cities inching its way closer to the political capital of kerala, there is a distinct class of passengers who accumulate. They discuss how their leaders and non leaders are ruining their pristine economy. Most people in Kerala are acutely political and many are definitely communist in their ideology. Well, you didn't think God would actually shower all His blessings on a single State, did you? Maybe something good will come out of all this, but for now.. I am through with one of my favorite things to do while in Kerala; traveling through an intercity express.

Bon voyage..

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