Avatarred - Can't elude from reality

Summary first… Avatar experience makes so called animation artists like me feel that it is shame on us to feel proud of terming ourselves ‘storytellers’. While I was traveling through that magnificent cinematic voyage I realized that I am nothing more than an ordinary chap who can only afford to buy a movie ticket and stand in queue for popcorn during intermission. And there isn’t much difference between me and the person standing in front or next to me waiting for their turn.  

Five years ago when James Cameron was busy with this project visualizing an entirely new planet, I here was sleeping pleased with the childish animation results of diya’s flame coming out of hands closet which becomes sun through zoom transitions. It will be foolishness to even review this extraordinary movie... rather we should be thankful of being born as humans and at this time.

Today I am unsure about the truthfulness of ambitious promises I once made to my wife. As an honest confession, I don’t even know how do these Gods create such fascinating cinematic experiences in one lifetime?

I can only hope that this depression soon transforms to motivation and re-ignites the passion I had in my childhood days. Until then, it will not be so nice to give lessons to beginner artists when I am myself not working hard. Thanks James Cameron for reminding me my purpose. I am sure your Avatar example will leave me sleepless until I pay back my tribute. And that’s my new year’s resolution :)


Wedding sketch


Good Bye Original… Hello Piracy

Ask any of my acquaintance and they will tell you how much I hate piracy and believe in purchasing original electronic products, computer softwares, movie DVDs, music CDs and UMD games for my PSP. It took me more than five years to come up with a library of more than 250 DVD movie titles and almost 100 expensive animation books. As a bearer of torch on my drive against piracy, I have even spent decent money on international calls to Motion Pictures Association of America (MPAA) to report piracy I have noticed in my neighborhood and to discuss and suggest how we could fight it.

As another example, I never hacked my Playstation Portable (PSP) console and chose to purchase expensive and original UMDs without caring that the purchase of a dozen such UMDs even exceeded the retail price of PSP. I did so because I felt a responsibility within… and wanted to do such small gesture of being responsible to the industry that made me. Even then, I have lately had so terrible experiences that my devotee soul refuses to continue its stand against piracy. Here’s one such example explained:

Since a month I was experiencing slight problem with performance from the joystick of my PSP. Except of it working, everything else was in control (that included no hacking done on PSP, never opened by any engineer and all purchase invoice retained). Finally when I failed to live with the nutty joystick, I decided to take it to an authorized Sony Service Station hoping for a replacement of the joystick at any cost they ask for (since my PSP went out of one year warranty). I was ready to pay any price, just because I didn’t want my PSP to be opened by a non-authorized engineer. Let’s come to the conclusion without even discussing the effort that got involved in approaching one service center and the other, I was literally shocked when they told that Sony doesn’t have policy of repairing Playstation Portable and call this a ‘use and throw object’!!! The best favor they could do is get me a discount of some 2-3k rupees if I choose to purchase a new console from them by surrendering this one (which is no big deal as I can easily find any person willing to buy this PSP at such cheap rate to get video watching facility).

I was very disappointed and cursed myself for not hacking the PSP for entire warranty year which could have at least gifted me the chance of playing a wide range of games. At the end I had to take my PSP to the market I hated the most (and even reported twice to Film Piracy Help line)... Palika Bazaar, New Delhi! In that underground complex with shops having billions of movie discs and vendors claiming to have every movie you may name, I somehow managed to find the shop I needed. There sat an ordinary chap with a few screwdrivers. He later proved himself to be far more qualified and skilled then the so-called engineers with tie at service centers. He had packs of joystick accessory and took hardly two minutes to replace my dead joystick with the new one. And once again, my PSP worked with full functions adding some life to my UMDs which I was regarding worthless. There after it just needed an exchange of smile between my wife and me as we both were thinking the same thing: ‘to hack the PSP as well!’ I now have my memory stick loaded with loads of games I can play which is also my first step towards piracy. I am not sure that this new change in me will last forever as I still feel hatred for piracy and can never forget my duties towards my own animation industry. Even then I would wish that there should be some change in this world which could offer better support to a very few people like me who are avid believers of original products and hate piracy. Until then… ‘You will always remember this as the day you almost caught Captain Jack Sparrow.'


A. R. Rahman & Saira Banu

This caricature is my quick submission to A. R. Rahman's caricatures exhibition planned by Kerala Cartoon Academy. Since I thought there must be dozens of caricatures of A. R. Rahman with either Oscar Award or as singing Jai Ho... I personally thought Oscar is not that heartily objective to A. R. Rahman. Therefore I wanted to capture a more personal moment of him that could possibly delight him and his family. Hope that he likes it.


Rock Gods