With procrastination dominating me for the past one week, I finally contemplated my thoughts on the content I watched, books I read, and the places I visited in the last month, October 2021.

This 5th of consequent month deadline is making me a lazy ass, so I would like to alter the deadline to publish this monthly review blog to the last day of every month or first of the consequent month or not publish.

Disclaimer: This blog will be a relatively shorter one due to my laziness in compiling thoughts on the content that I consumed last month. However, I plan to write two blogs next month (not a promise though).

Okay, enough of fluff now. Let’s get into the actual syllabus of the blog. In the month of October, I read two books — both are Telugu fiction books. I watched two web series: finished my Mithila’s Little Things and completed S1 of Ram Madhvani’s Aarya. Coming to movies, I watched three new ones: Raja Raja Chora (Telugu), Aamis (Assamese), and the incredible Avatar.

Movies

Starting with Raja Raja Chora — this film is written and directed by Hasith Goli, an alumnus of BITS Pilani and a cousin of Vivek Athreya. He previously worked as an AD, a lyricist, and made cameos in both of Vivek’s films.

Raja Raja Chora is all about human desires and the immorality that we deal with every day. It also shows how hypocrites we humans are and has brilliantly written and portrayed characters. Bhasker, played by Sri Vishnu, only rises like Sun with the help of Vidya, his wife, played by Sunaina (half credit to the dubbing artist). This film reminded me much of BrochevarevaruRa, may be due to the team involved.

Coming to Aamis — a dark love story that takes the subject of dealing with Love to the whole next level. What can, at maximum can you do for your love by being alive? This movie can’t be digested by everyone, and I wholeheartedly appreciate the writer-director Bhasker Hazarika for dealing with such a brilliant dark subject. It reminded me of Mani Ratnam’s Geethanjali but in a much darker and tangential sense. See, movies can disturb you and you can appreciate them at the same time.

And finally, we have Avatar — hands down; it is the best film in terms of visuals that I’ve watched until now. I was in awe after seeing Bahubali, but this is next level stuff from James Cameron. Can’t describe the experience in a short paragraph. I’ll definitely write a detailed blog post on it.

Web Series

I finished Little Things finally! Candid conversations on life, love, relationships, the couple fights, and consoling each other — everything is beautiful with regards to this show. This is total magic for me, and I’ll rewatch parts of it for sure! All love to the excellent writers, and Dhruv & Mithila ❤

Kavya and Dhruv from Little Things. Courtesy: YouTube

On October 31st, I stumbled upon Aarya, starring Sushmita Sen, Sikander Kher, and others. This is a good enough show for a one-time watch about the chaos, dysfunctional family, and how a mother tries to eliminate all the threats to her children. I loved the character ACP Khan and the subtle handling of gay character without any explicit content. Appreciate the writers.

This is only the second performance of Sushmita Sen that I’ve watched, the first one being her debut in Rakshakudu, starring Nagarjuna that bombed at the box office in the 90s.

Books

This month, I laid my hands on two Telugu books: Thappu Cheddam Randi by Yandamoori and Cinema Kathalu by Venkat Siddareddy.

Reading Thappu Cheddam Randi proves how prolific writer Yandamoori is. His writing prowess is a blessing to commercial Telugu writers, who ventured into writing after reading his works. The storyline is intriguing, and the characters, as usual in other Yandamoori’s works, are brilliant. Thank you, Yandamoori, for bringing such works which made me prioritise reading over sleep.

Coming to Cinema Kathalu, I met the author Venkat Siddareddy back in 2019, and he gave me the signed copies of both of these books, Cinema Kathalu and Soul Circus. I read the latter soon after meeting him but didn’t get my hands on the former one, owing to my obsession with spoiler-free viewing.

Cinema Kathalu is a collection of stories that formed the basis for the films around the world. Venkat translated them into Telugu and made necessary changes to suit the premise set in Telugu states. The stories included Quitters Inc by Stephen King, Memento Mori by Jonathan Nolan, the story that inspired Kurosawa for Rashomon, etc. I suggest you read this book if you are literate in Telugu.

This book covers stories from Japanese, Spanish, English, Hindi, and other languages. Felt like I was in a continental restaurant that also serves dishes from the Eastern part of the world. Do read it for the wholesome experience that it gives and to appreciate the efforts put by the filmmakers while adapting a story from a book.

Other Stuff:

In the first week of October, I visited Tirumala, and Tirupati, accompanied by my brothers. Covered places like Shila Thoranam, Chakra Theertham, and other tourist locations on Tirumala and went to Kanipakam the following day. And in the last week of October, there was a wedding in our extended family, and I was pretty occupied there (not an excuse for postponing this blog, though).

We lost Puneeth Rajkumar in October. People shared anecdotes highlighting his humility and friendly nature with everyone, apart from his philanthropic activities — respect to the departed soul. When an artist dies, we shouldn’t feel sad for the untimely demise but should be learning from the contributions they made to the art.

Also, this interview of Vetri Maaran from his farm is worth watching:

He shares his further projects and plans to make the farming place his workstation.

An update: I’m now on Twitter, and you can subscribe to this newsletter from my Twitter Profile. See you there :)

In November, I intend to publish at least two blog posts. Let’s see how it goes. Wish you a Happy Diwali!

Let’s talk about cinema and books