Saturday, 25 February 2017

Un Azhagiya Punnagai: Part 2

Having ordered that bouquet to be delivered to her, I slipped my phone back into my jeans pocket and with my bagpack, I started to head out of the platform and out of KL Sentral. Having booked an Uber for a ride back to my little rented room in Bangsar, I waited at the pick up point. At all times while waiting for the Uber ride, I couldn't stop myself from hoping she will walk pass me one more time.

The Uber arrived and I got into my ride, as my thoughts wondered on Thila and her smile and without me realizing, what usually is a frustrating 30 minutes drive in traffic flew away without me realizing.

I couldn't wait for the next day already. A million thoughts and possible outcomes ran through my mind about the way she will react to my bouquet. Will she smile about it, throw it away, ignore it or find my gesture as a nice romantic sign and we could head out on a date. I was already thinking where I should take her for a date and what do I speak to her during the date? I was overwhelmed with emotions and it was perhaps the toughest night for me to fall asleep.

The next day at office, I couldn't stop myself from checking my phone every five minutes, to see if there was a call or a text from an unknown number. Every time my phone vibrated, I will drop everything I was doing and attend my phone rightaway. It was lunch time already and I was yet to hear anything from her. Maybe, just maybe the florist is yet to deliver her the bouquet.

With doubts starting to creep in, I called the florist to confirm if my bouquet deliver has been completed. My worst nightmare came through. They informed me that the bouquet was delivered at 9.27 a.m. as per the system to the right address and the person who accepted the bouquet confirmed herself to be Thila.

My facial expression just changed, I stood frozen for a moment, didn't know how to process the information. The florist operator had to check to see if I was still on the line. After thanking her for her support, I ended the call. The crack in my voice would have been too obvious so much so that even the operator would have realized that I was heart broken.

After hanging up the call, I came back to my lunch table, seating opposite my boss Ms Nisha. Ms Nisha is someone who is in her early forties and a mother of two. She had this look of a dynamic driven leader who you instantly look up to, yet is someone who is friendly enough for you to discuss your personal issues with.

As I sat, Ms Nisha noticed the change in my face and asked me, "Varun what is wrong with you today? Your thoughts isn't at work today. You seem to be off the pace since morning. Do you want to take the second half of the day off and come back fresh tomorrow. I rather have you on leave then have an unproductive member in the team. What's up boy? What happened during the call? Your face just changed when you hung up the call."

I told her everything that happened the previous day. From the part I caught Thila's beautiful smile and eyes, to the point I found out that despite having received the bouquet, she choose not to call me back. Maybe she thought I was a freak to send a bouquet to her right after one conversation.

And then Ms.Nisha said, "Yeah maybe she thought you are indeed a freak, but have you thought to consider this fact. It is a Monday, and maybe just maybe she is overwhelmed at work just like how you and me are and maybe she wouldn't know how to process the fact she received a a bouquet from a guy she barely knew 24 hours ago."

She took a sip of her iced Milo and continued, "Give her some time Varun, she will get back to you. Personally I think that was a sweet gesture. Give her some time boy, she will call you back. Now are you going to finish that fried rice and get back to work?"

"Anyways Varun, what do you think about Vaishnavi?" asked Ms. Nisha. "Why boss? She is a nice person, work well with the team and has surely improved our team very much. Why boss? Are you considering to promote her or something?" I asked. "Haha nothing Varun, just wanted your thoughts that's all." said Ms.Nisha.

I don't know if what she said made sense or not but it surely did make me feel a little better. I finished up my lunch with Ms. Nisha and treated her for her meal as a sign of thank you for her advice. With that we left the mamak shop which is around the office and head back to work to complete the task for the day.

This time I was more at peace and was able to get more things done in the second half of the day, than I got in the first half of the day. Every time Ms. Nisha caught me staring at my phone, she would say, "Be patient boy, the call will come. Now complete my work before you leave. That is what gets you paid" in a kidding manner.

Work came to an end and she never called me. By the time I packed my dinner at a nearby eatery nearby home and reach back was about 9 p.m. already thanks to the massive Monday evening traffic. I was already exhausted from the drive back in traffic and by the time I had my dinner and read the news of the day, my eyes were already dozing off, yet the corner of my eye was always observing my phone.

As I was about to call it a day, my phone rang. It was a number which was never saved. With a rush of blood to the head, I jumped out of the bed with full of excitement and nerves. "It has to be her, it has to be Thila." I composed myself to sound casual on the phone before answering it.

"Hello." said a sweet beautiful voice. I just closed my eyes to savor the beauty of her voice in silence.  "Hello, is this Varun?" She asked to confirm if I was still on the line and if it was right number.

"Hi yes, Varun here. Erm can I know who is this please?" I asked despite knowing it is her. "Hi Varun, this is Thila here. I received your bouquet today. It was really beautiful. Loved it a lot Varun." she said.

"Haha thanks Thila, I hope it made your day. Just felt it was the right thing to do for you." I said with all smiles in my room. "Haha yeah, it did made my day and the message was lovely too" she said with a little pause. I knew the little pause wasn't a good sign.

"But?" I asked. "What but Varun?" she questioned, to which I said, "The little pause in you suggest that there is a "but"coming. So but?". She was quite for a little while and than proceed, "Yes Varun, there is a but. I am sorry I can't go on a date with you. I have been engaged to a guy who I have been in a relationship with the last 2 years plus." she said.

My heart was crushed and it sank. I didn't know how to react to that. I visualized many different scenario's of this call but none of it has it Thila being engaged. I just stood there and said "Ah, okey Thila."

She continued by saying, "You are indeed a sweet nice guy Varun, but I don't think I should be seeing you knowing you have the intentions to date me. That wouldn't be right to my fiancee. I am sorry but this call would be the last of it. I don't mean to hurt you or leave you wondering. I called you to let you know that I am already engaged. I am sorry I said anything wrong Varun. You are a nice guy."

"Owh no Thila, you don't have to apologies. I had no idea you were engaged. If I knew you were engaged, never would I send the bouquet. I feel so bad doing so. I am really sorry Thila. Sure yes, I myself do think it wouldn't be right for us to go out with me having the intentions of dating you, now knowing you are engaged. That will be very wrong indeed." I tried to say that with a positive tone, but it was perhaps the most painful thing I had to say while trying to maintain a smile.

"Thank you Varun, thank you for understanding things. That will be all. Wish you all the best and hope you do find someone soon. Take care Varun, bye." she said and with me saying bye, we hung up the phone.

About 24 hours ago, I met this amazing lady with the most beautiful smile I have ever seen. I thought maybe, just maybe she could be the one. 24 hours later I got to know she is engaged to someone. It has only been 24 hours since I saw her. I don't know much about her clearly, yet it hurts as if I lost someone very special to me.

I am poor at expressing my emotions. All I can do now is try to get some sleep and hope for a better day tomorrow and move on from this beautiful smile. I don't know just how yet I will have to do it, but I know I will do it. Looks like I have to start from scratch again then. With that I call it a night and hope for a better tomorrow 

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Un Azhagiya Punnagai: A Short Romantic Sequence

It was a Sunday afternoon and I had just arrived at Ipoh Train Station. Dressed in my favorite red long sleeve shirt, which I folded to my elbow length and wearing a dark blue jeans, I reached Ipoh Train Station just in time for my train to KL with my bag pack with me.

The ETS Train has already arrived and awaiting for it's passengers to board in. My ticket has placed in coach A, thus from the platform I had to walk all the way the front of the train to enter it. I found my seat and kept my bag on top, took out a book to read for the journey and sat at my spot and begun reading my book which was Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire.

Moments later, I sensed a presences beside me but I ignore as per usual and continue to indulge in my book and music. Moments after the train departed, came the ticket checker and he asked for my ticket. I took of my earphone and passed my ticker to checker. 

It was at that moment I realized that the presence beside me was a young, very sweet looking Indian lady. She was wearing this blue sleeveless blouse, black long pants and her hair was to her shoulder length and wavey too. 

She looked towards me and smiled. That was it, if there was an AR Rahman music, I would have probably drifted towards a romantic duet in la la land with her. There was something about her eyes when she smiled. There was this spark in her eyes when she smiled than can make anyone's day in an instance. Was I in love with her? No I wasn't, but I was instantly attracted to her smile and eyes. It was a feeling I never felt before.

From that moment on wards, I could no longer concentrate on my book and song. I wanted to talk to her but I was shy. Than this thought struck my head. At most, all I have with her is this 2 hour train ride to KL. After that we would go on our separate ways and maybe I would never see her again. If I don't talk to her now and built a friendship with her in this 2 hours, I would never have an opportunity to move things further between us.

I believe that you have one shot and life, you got to be brave do what your heart says. Succeed or failing is not important, what is important is that you seize the moment and have no regrets. With that I braved myself and introduced myself to her. " Hi I'm Varun, how are you doing? What's your name by the way". " Owh hi Varun, didn't expect that. Hi I am Thila. I am doing good. How are you doing? Are you heading to KL yourself" she said with a smile. Once again I was awestruck with her magic of her eyes and smile.

Without me realizing 2 hours just flew in an instance and we reached KL Sentral in no time. As we got down the platform and move in separate directions. Just before she left, she turned around and said, "It was really nice talking to you Varun, hope to see you around." 

It was after she left that I realized that neither did I take her number or gave mine. How dumb could I be not to do that. Here there was this amazing lady I spoke to in the last two hours over numerous things but neither one was about asking her number.

Thinking what to do next, I had this ambitious idea which could work out great for me or back fire big time. She told me where she was working and I thought why not send her a bouquet of roses and attach my number there for her to call me.

I have no idea how she will react to this action of mine. Will she feel it was a sweet & lovely gesture or will she perceive me as some crazy awkward stalker guy. My heart told me I should just do it and have no regrets. Took out my phone and had a bouquet of roses ordered to deliver to her office the very next day with the following message, "There was something about your eyes and smile the very first time I saw you that took my breath away. I hope to take you on a date soon. Here is my number, call me when you get this" and I inserted my name and number

Will she call me back? Will I get a date with her? Or will she freak out and ignore me forever. I have no idea, just like you I have to wait until tomorrow to see if she will call me back

Friday, 17 February 2017

The Analogy: Hiking & Life

A couple of weeks ago, I did something which I thought I would never do in a life time. I had my very first hiking adventure. 3 of my friends & I made a call that we should do some hiking activity. Thus we decided to hike Broga.

For many hiking Broga is a very small, simple and easy experience but for me it was a huge task like climbing The Everest. That is because of my ever so poor fitness level and the fact about being fat. That is why I have always shun away from adventures activities. This time for a couple of personal reasons and just to snap some beautiful photos, I decided to hike Broga and the journey to the peak thought me that there was many things in common between hiking up Broga and Life itself

If I could I breakdown my hiking experience and equate it to life, I would break it to 5 stages

Stage 1: Decision Making Stage

Hiking: As I said for many years, I have been turning down invites from my friends whenever they asked me to hike with them. I would always say that I am too lazy, too fat or unfit. I kept shunning them away. I was in my comfort zone and living in denial that I was perfectly fine and healthy that I don't need to hike to gain an adventure experience

With the recent break up and hearing that my ex was kinda making a "sacrifice" of being with me despite me being fat spurred me to get out my comfort zone and do something to convince myself that I am capable of pulling of an adventures activity.

The first step was to complete the obstacle course at SKYTREX Shah Alam. Feeling positive from that experience, I decided to take up the hiking experience & it turned out to be an amazing feeling. To make it a reality, first I had to make that decision that I was going to hike and that is Stage One

Life: Just like making the decision to hike, in our life we have many dreams we would want to achieve but for unknown reasons we would put them away. We would tell ourselves we will start it tomorrow or give some other reasons to stay in our comfort zone.

Sometimes a series of unfortunate events will inspire us to get out of our comfort zone and start pursuing our dreams. The key here is not how you make your decision, but the very fact that you make the decision to do something about your life, to pursue your dreams

Stage 2: It's OK To Take A Break

Hiking: At first it felt easy hiking Broga, but after a short time, I begun feeling out of breath, felt my legs started giving away and I was in need of a break. Initially I didn't want to stop for a rest as my friends all seemed to be in fine shape. I didn't want to look like the weak one in front of them,

But I knew my body better. I need to rest or else something worse would happen. I let go of my pride and told them I needed a break and some water. Continuously as the hike continues I took multiple number of breaks to recharge myself before hiking back again.

Life: When you are pursuing your dreams, it can be very exhausting both mentally & physically. It can drain you out so much whereby you will not be getting your maximum output from your true capabilities.

That is why it is so important to take breaks in between your journey to recharge yourself. Take breaks and go for a vacation. Discover your purpose & drive again during this vacation. Take your mind of work for a week and just focus on yourself.

When you come back from this vacation, you will feel so much more energized and you will see yourself getting the best out of you

Stage 3: To Quit Or To Stay

Hiking: It was dark and around 6 A.M. that day. I have no idea how much of the hiking track I have completed. My legs were killing me already and the bottom part of my legs starts to shiver every time I stood still.

There was a huge empty ground and I decided to take a break. As I lay down, many thoughts were running through my mind. I start to feel numbness in my legs and I was out of breath. I thought this is it, I can't do this anymore and I am going to just quit and stop here. An inner voice in me was telling me to get up and continue this journey but mentally and physically I was all wiped out.

Had I gone alone, I would have stopped there and than and not reach the peak. Thanks to my friends, they kept pushing me and not allowing me to quit until I made it to the peak. They will tell me stuff like it is only 30 more steps or we are 5 minutes away from the peak. They would point to something on top and say that's the peak and you are almost there. They would make me turn around and look back down how much have I completed and there was just a little more to go.

Of cause I never there were lying to me. I knew the peak was much further away and not five minutes and 30 steps away, but more importantly I knew that they were doing all this so that I wouldn't quit. They would let me rest but wouldn't let me quit. I think they were more determined for me to finish the hiking more than myself. I wouldn't have completed it without you guys. Thanks a lot guys!

Life: The route to success is never easy and a straight path. It is difficult and painful and will push you to your limits. So much so many people quit half way towards achieving their dreams. That is why you don't see every Tom Dick & Harry end up being successful. That is because they quit when the going gets tough.

Make your dream your passion. Live and breath your dream. Visualize it, imagine how it feels to make your dream a reality. That is the fuel that will keep you going. Because in your life, you too will face a make or break moment towards pursuing your dreams. Wherther to give it your all and make that giant leap to success or to quit. 

I hope you make the right decision and not quit on your dreams, because at the end of the day it is fantastic to see everyone around you succeed

Stage 4: Success

Hiking: The moment I was within touching distance of the peak, a sudden burst of energy came flowing through me. All of a sudden, the legs weren't hurting and I wasn't out of breath. I practically almost ran my way through the top.

The moment I step foot on the peak, a sense of pride just hit me. I shouted in joy that I made it to the peak despite all my limitations and mental blockage I had. I was over the moon and savoring the moment. 

It was an amazing view and I took as much pictures as possible. I spent as much time as possible in top because it's a reward I deserved. I way have took twice or more longer time than a normal person would do but that didn't stop me from feeling happy. It was a hard earned success and ensure I lived it as much as possible making it a beautiful memory in my mind

Life: Shall you choose not give up at the crossroads of your life and continue to work hard and work right, it is only a matter of time before you succeed. It way not come to you immediately and longer than others but hey life isn't a race.

It doesn't matter who succeeds first or not as long as everyone succeeds because the pie is big enough for everyone to have a bite and there is plenty still left. Remember to celebrate your success once you have achieved it but you earned every bit of joy from it. That will fuel you up again.

Stage 5: The Next Challenge

Hiking: After enjoying every bit of my success, than it hit me I have to hike down back to ground. I had no idea how am I going to do it but all I knew is that now having reached the peak, I am motivated than ever and knew I will find my way down.

With that confident in mind I started the hiking down and successfully completed than challenges too!

Life: Just like the hike down, once you have achieved success and savor it, you cannot let yourself stuck in the comfort zone. You need to find a new challenge and start the process all over again. This time you will do it with more motivation and believe because now you know that if you put in the right effort and not give up you will be successful.

Now you are ready to face the next challenge in your life and trust me you won't fail!

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Under The Spot Light: Singam 3

When Singam 1 was released, I felt it a good one time watch and felt the film should have left to be ended there and than. And than come something called Singam 2 which cost me 2 1/2 hours of my life which was so damn poor, justified why there shouldn't be a sequal to the film.

I believed Singam 2 was so damn poor, there is no way in a sane mind would they come up with another Singam film. Owh boy I was so wrong and here now is Singam 3. Maybe they thought they set the bar freaking low in Singam 2, maybe the could salvage something in Singam 3. Get ready for another round of unnecessary shouting and screaming

Story Review

In a nut shell, if you change a couple of the cast in Singam 2 and make minor adjustment to the story, you will get Singam 3. It is almost the same crap from Singam 2 except the cast selection was an upgrade. Below is a comparison between Singam 2 and 3, you see if for yourself the striking resemblance.

Singam 2
Singam 3
Politicians orders Duraisingam to take up a case within South India
Politician orders Duraisingam to take up a case in Andra
Duraisingam goes undercover as a school teacher before the moment is right to strike
Duraisingam replicates a poor very of Vikram’s Sammy character by so cool supporting the goons but hits when they are harsh to him
The case was about who runs the criminal ring locally and who controls the harbor
The case is about who murdered the commissioner of police  
The moment is right he reveals himself as a police officer and starts hunting them down
The moment is right he reveals himself as an honest policemen and starts hunting the criminals down
Only to realize that there is a bigger mastermind behind
Only to realize that there is a bigger mastermind behind
The chase to the bigger villain leads to climax of the film
The chase to the bigger villain leads to climax of the film

Again here there was 2 heroine one being Anushka and another being Shurthi Hassan who replaces the void left by Hanshika where she plays the hyperactive, annoying second heroine who falls in love with Duraisingam again. The film was so empty whereby the had to fill in with so many empty and poor plots just to ensure the film reaches a run time of 2 1/2 hours

Empty plots such as the false journalism article which practically has no impact to the film, the whole scenes of Radhika was not needed, the so call investigation in "Australia" and the length to investigate the initial case. Thanks to these empty fillers the film successful reaches a run time of 2 hours plus

Rating: 1.8/5.0

Director Review

Without a doubt, Hari is one the director I rate so poorly and maybe is next to worse after Venkat Prabhu. His only proper film for me was Saamy, staring Vikram. Apart of them it has be the same poor repeated formula in his films.

For Singam 3, it was so obvious that he has ran out of ideas on how to continue to sequel. With nothing new in his mind, he basically recycled Singam 2 with a better cast selection but as usual fail to utilize the best of them.

Radhika has almost to 0 relevance to the film so much so if you edit her scenes out you wouldn't realize you have missed out anything in the film. Such a shame that such top class actress was so poorly utilized.

The director seemed to be using Anushka nothing more that an added baggage weight in the film. It is almost like he can't end her character and is left with no choice but to keep her in the film. I still don't understand why the so call Universal Cop is so afraid to live together properly with is wife and fear for the criminals. Shouldn't the Universal Cop be able to protect her well and secure.

I don't get the need of why Hari needs to keep forcing on a second heroine in the film and insist she falls in love with Duraisingam. In Singam 2, Hanshika role was so empty so much so I can accept that, but here Shurthi Hassan could be used so much better in a much more mature way and influence the plot with much conviction. Yet Hari decides to play it poorly

Nithin Sathya as the Robin Hood of hacking is displayed as some sort of zombie/ robotic machine. He almost doesn't blink his eyes when he is hacking. He seemed to be so stiff and look so unhuman when he does his hacking. Don't get why Hari doesn't actually plays him like a normal human been who is smart and hacks well.

Under the name of graphics we were shown something kiddish. Those hacking scenes, phone signals, helicopter and plane flying and sudden appearance would make you laugh rather than wow you.

When comes down to editing, although it is not something he does but I am sure it his something
worked under his influence. Changing the frame of the shot every 2-5 seconds will cost your audiences eyes to hurt and makes it so hard to follow what you are trying to show on screen.

Finally the cinematography was nothing more than disastrous. The amount of shakiness in the shots and movement made it look like some cheap work. Some of the angels of the shot being taken makes no sense and was ever so poor. Not the mention the some of the visibility of the shots looked so damn blur. Perhaps that is his idea of creating a racy feel to the audience by changing the frame every 2-5 seconds with this time of cinematography.

My humble request would be please don't come up with Singam 4. Don't challenge yourself to come up with something poorer than Singam 2 & 3. It is not something to be proud about Hari

Rating: 1.5/5.0  
The Cast

The only saving grace in the film is Surya screen presence. Perhaps that is the only pulling factor in the film because everything else in the film is poor. Unfortunately for him, the design of the character was already fixed in Singam 1 & 2 and there is nothing much he could change and explore in this film.

His portrayal here hardly taps into 10% of what he is truly capable of. As much as I enjoy watching Surya's film, I never felt he was one who fits into a commercial mass role. He has tried it in Singam, Anjaan and Mass but it never seemed to suit him. Hope he does less of that and more which brings the actor in him out.

In this film he carries the role of Duraisingam with so much ease and conviction. Within one scene he makes you believe that he is such a tough and smart cop. That is where Surya is at his best. Convincing the audience about the naturalness of his character

 Rating: 2.9/5.0

Anushka & Shurthi Hassan

It is sad to see a brilliant actress like Anushka being kept in the film nothing more than a burden in the film instead of giving her a scope in the film. Yet again here the director wrote her character to be staying away from her husband but still be his pillar of strength. Despite her limited number of screen time and a formality song sequence she gives her best and is convincing in her role of a sincere policemen's wife and a successful businesswoman

The scope of Shurthi Hassan was one of the many let down of the film. She basically repeated nearly the same thing what Hanshika did in Singam 2. Here she plays the role of an investigative journalist. It is a character which could be developed into so much more importance to the film but the director decides against it to keep the focus on Duraisingam. She looked extremely beautiful in all her scenes and was a welcome addition to the film and worked her comedy timing well with Soori in the film which was a little saving grace to the film

 Rating: 2.5/5.0
The Music
Harris Jeyaraj

The melodious king fails miserably with his album in Singam 3. None of the songs worth to be remembered or neither will it be talked about as a classic in years to come. The songs felt more like  a compulsory to the film rather than it flowed naturally with the film. The bgm also didn't stand out particularly to well for me. A below average performance at best

 Rating: 2.0/5.0

Final Verdict: Change a couple of things from Singam 2 and you get Singam 3

Final Rating: 2.14/5.0

Friday, 10 February 2017

The Short Story Series: Episode 4: When James Meets Jessica

Link to Episode 1, 2 & 3 of my short story series :) Have fun reading!

SHORT STORY: Episode 1

SHORT STORY: Episode 2

SHORT STORY: Episode 3

As I drove off after dropping Jessica at her friend's place, I couldn't help but to have a huge smile on my face on the drive back. The last time I felt this way when I was with Amanda. I am in love with Jessica?

I don't know. I honestly don't know. There is no way I could be in love with her. I have had just met her a couple hours ago only. In fact earlier today when I ran into Amanda, I was hoping to get another shot with her to work things out.

Was it even possible for me to switch from wanting to be with one girl in the morning to wanting to be with another in the evening. I don't know. Maybe I was never in love with either one of them today, but just the feeling of longing to be with someone. I don't know.

Nevertheless I was reached home a happy man knowing I met Jessica. I did not get her number today but I was sure sooner or later I will bump into her again and this time I will get her number.

A couple of days had passed by since the day I met Jessica and I am yet to met her around. After all this is a large city and what are the odds of me bumping into the one specific girl I want to see. Day by day, the feeling of me wanting to see Jessica kept growing and I still have no idea am I feeling this way.

It's been exactly a week since I met Jessica, and I decided to head to the bar which I met Jessica last week. I told myself I was only heading there to get a couple of drinks but when I was there I knew I was lying to myself. All I kept doing there while sipping my drink was to look out at every woman there hoping that Jessica would also be there.

Than it seemed like the moment was finally here. From far there seemed to be a woman who looked like Jessica but I couldn't get a proper look at her as she seemed to be in the middle of a group of woman. I couldn't have a clear view of her.

From far it surely does look like Jessica, Average looking height with straight brown her up to the shoulder length. So I braved myself up and walked up and her and said, "Hey Jessica, how are you.. Remember me, I'm James.". She turned around and said "Hey sorry, I am not Jessica. I think you got the wrong person" and her friends burst out laughing.

I can't explain the amount of embarrassment I felt. I am not the type of guy who walks up to a random girl in bar and tries to talk up to them and here I am today in bar looking to find these one specific girl and ends up humiliating myself to a group of ladies who I don't even know. All of this for a girl who I only met for a few hours a week ago.

With every passing minute in the bar I kept on thinking why am I here waiting for this girl who I only met once. As times goes on, I begun thinking maybe Jessica has forgotten about me. Maybe she isn't looking for me as how I have been looking for her. After all the night I met her was the same night she had broken up and it was an ugly scene. Perhaps she is just moving on from that guy and the last thing she would be thinking would me.

I had enough of waiting and was convinced that I was never going to met this girl anymore and I should just get going with my life. I left the bar and drove down to the my favorite cafe for supper just like I did last week. I went in and order the usual I always have and the shop owner Julio, in his thick Italian accent said "Yo James, that girl you came with here last week came by the next day looking for you and I told you here you only come here once a week and you will be here today at this time. There she is in the corner booth waiting for you. Go over and talk to her man. She looks like a very sweet girl."

I was shocked, I was speechless. I was at a point where I had given up of waiting for this girl. I thought this very girl was not interested in me. Here I am going around a week finding for this girl without realizing that this girl was also out there looking out for me in that whole week. I was left with a huge smile on my face.

I carried my plate and walked towards her and said "Hi I am James. Do you mind if I join in here with you." She giggled and said "Yeah sure why not James. I am Jessica by the way.". I said, "So I heard you been looking for me". She sat quietly didn't know what to say. I guess she was hoping I did not find out that she was actually looking for me,

"Hey actually ever since I dropped the other day I been wanting to see you again. I should have taken your number that day but I don't know how I didn't do that. I am so glad that I saw you today. I told myself that the next time I see you, I am going to get your number. If you don't mind can I get your number?" I said

"Well if you wanted to see me, why didn't you just come over to my friend's place. I've been there the whole week. I was hoping you would drop by actually." she said that with a small smile. God she had that amazing smile on her and just like that I am hooked on the her again. "Well James, here is my number." as she passed me a piece of paper with her number on it. "I've got to go now James, call me when you are free and lets meet over dinner." she said.

As she left, I found myself smiling beyond my control. There was something about Jessica that makes me want to see her more, be around her presence and just talk to her. Maybe it's her smile. She had that amazing smile that can light your day up in an instance.

I knew for a fact that I shouldn't let go of this girl, I took up my phone within minutes of she leaving and asked her out for our first official dinner date for the next night. And that's how I met Jessica, someone who would grow on to change my life forever

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Under The Spot Light: Venpa

Today marks the very first time I am writing a film review for a Malaysian Film. Venpa is not your ordinary feature film. It is a film of a run time of about 50 to 55 minutes. Therefore it is neither a short film or a full feature film, I would rather classify the film as a short feature film. I had the privilege of attending the one time special screening of Venpa at Federal Theater on Monday the 6th of February and thus here am I writing this film review

Below is the link to Venpa. I leave up to you if you want to watch the film first before you read my review, or you want to read my review first before watching the film

Link To Venpa Film

Story Review

If I could summarize Venpa in 3 words I would call it "A Beautiful Poem". The movie taps into the theme of "Your Unproposed 1st Love". Thenavan is our hero of the film, meets Kalyani who is under distress due to certain events in a public area. He reaches to her aid and from here we can notice they both no each other, but although Thenavan approaches her gently, she seems to shun him away as if she hates him and we don't know why

He than goes on to help her settle her issues and we can see clearly he is mesmerize by her and yet again we see Kalyani keeping Thenavan at a distance. As they are about to part ways, Thenavan ask's Kalyani for a coffee date, which she reluctantly agrees after a little persuading from Thenavan

Here it is revealed that both Thenavan and Kalyani knew each other from their schooling days and Kalyani is a couple of years younger to him. We are than brought back in time through a sequences of flashback scenes about their schooling days and the events that lead to why Thenavan is all friendly and warm to Kalyani but she is the opposite to him

In a nutshell, it was love at first sight for Thenavan on Kalyani and due to a series of events Thenavan was not able to propose to Kalyani and she ends up being together with a senior of theirs. We are than brought to present time back to the coffee shop and the sequence of events after that leads to an unexpected end to the film

I have tried my best not reveal as much magic of the film here as I strongly believe you should watch this film and travel with it to feel it's magic.

So much of memories ran through my mind during the film. It brought back beautiful memories of my very own first unproposed love in my university days. You made me feel like contacting her and apologizing to her and telling her I loved her in the past. Hats of Venpa for bringing that connection
Rating: 4.5/5.0

Director Review
Kavi Nanthan

To the local short film fans, Kavi Nathan is a well know figure. I personally have not watched any of his past work and Venpa is the very first film of Kavi I am watching and that was a privilege indeed. The success of Venpa can be attributed to 3 factors and the first factor is Kavi's screenplay

It is not easy to do a 50 minute film which brings you through an emotional travel. To do a travel in a film, you need to have built and an proper end, and to do all of those in 50 minutes and keep it so engaging, so realistic and beautiful deserves a ton of praises

The film was very well edited in the sense that as you watch the film it brings you to flashback and there is couple of scenes which moves front and back in the timeline, but due to excellent editing, it was so easy on the eye to watch and follow.

I loved the whole theme of "Unproposed 1st Love" because I believe it is something that nearly everyone who will watch Venpa, would have had such experience in their life and that makes it all the more easier to connect with Venpa on an emotional and intellect level.

Kavi, your dialogues were a highlight for the film too. It was so meaningful yet so light to be understood. My particular favorite was the part where Thenavan says he LOVED Kalyani. I think we all were expecting him to say I Love You, but saying he LOVED her carried so much more meaning to the film and added a lot of value to it.

My one and only request to you Kavi is to convert Venpa into a full feature film length. They way you ended the film gives you lots of scope to explore if you are going to make a full feature film, especially Shiela's character. I am looking forward for Venpa The Movie

Rating: 4.4/5.0  
The Cast
Yuvaraj @ Thenavan

Yuvaraj a.k.a Thenavan is the second factor to the success of Venpa. The boy has immense talent and this is just a pinch of his capabilities. The character of Thenavan is not an easy character to play as he has certain turmoils happening in his mind as he meeting Kalyani.

He needs to suppress the internal conflict enough to show Kalyani he is calm and collected but express it just enough to let the audience know there is something running in his mind, That is no easy task and he executed it very well.

My favorite scene of Thenavan was the flashback scene at the mamak shop when he speaks to Sathya Abang. Watch his eyes closely during those scenes and you will notice how the emotions in his eyes changes when Satya Abang tells him something and yet he is forced to maintain a smiling face and be excited yet his eyes carried a lot of pain. That scene shows you the brilliance of Yuvaraj and the Malaysian Local Industry has now found a new hero in him

On a note of improvement, the scene which he teared didn't really convince me it was a genuine tear and that is something he can work on future films. The future is bright for this lad.
 Rating: 4.3/5.0

Agalyah Maniam @ Kalyani


Agalyah a.k.a Kalyani plays a very pivotal role in the film. She is displayed as a very serious
women and a lady of few words. At all points of the film she is shown to be someone who is not drawn to Thenavan. Given a chance she would have avoided him completely but due to the circumstances she had to speak to him.

Her individual smiling shots was absolutely beautiful and it was a huge treat to those watching her on the big screen. I primarily enjoyed her scene right after the flashback whereby there is a huge emotional change on her face towards Thenavan.

Again she will turn out to be a new gem in the Local Film Industry sooner or later
 Rating: 3.8/5.0

Santeini @ Shiela & Thevaguru Suppiah @ Sathya Bang

Another character who deserves to be mentioned here is Santeini who played the role of Shiela. She is without a doubt my favorite character of the film. I think he character was so beautiful crafted and design by the director yet so underplayed due to the short length of the film. If the film were to develop into a full feature film length, I would love to see more of her character on the screen as I find her so mature and intellectual. In fact if you watch the film closely, you will notice that it is because of Sheila that makes the whole ball rolling for Venpa.

Lastly not to forget Thevaguru Suppiah who plays the role of Satya Bang. This character will remind you of your actual high school senior or university senior. Someone who you speak of with so much of respect, someone who you wouldn't mind doing anything for because they mean alot to you. The role he played reminded me of my Segi University seniors.

He played his character with so much ease and calmness and perhaps he most the most natural actor among the four. Satya Bang is another character with so much more scope to explore shall Venpa be made in a full feature film. Director Kavi holds him in very high regards and I can't wait to see him in more future films

 Rating: 4.0/5.0
The Music
Varmman Elangkovan

When I first heard the song from Venpa, it did not create any magic in me. I felt the song was Ok, nice to listen but I wasn't "wow" by it. To me it was average at best.

But when I saw the screening of the film, the music in the 3rd big factor is making Venpa a success. Hearing the song with the visuals and the timing was simply amazing. The background music at parts of the film were so well placed and so beautiful tuned. It was MAGICAL.

To express an emotion well to the audience, the performance of the cast alone is not enough. You need a beautiful bgm to help it reach to the audience and Venpa had that magic. That is why I truly believe Venpa will be a huge success among it's audience.

Now I am totally in love with both the songs in the film. That is what movie magic is all about

 Rating: 4.7/5.0

Final Verdict: Venpa will take you through a magical journey and remind you of your first unproposed love

Final Rating: 4.3/5.0