Comparing through a cinematographer’s eagle eyes.

 Our Isai Jnaani Ilayaraaja sang (it was a duet) a very good song praising our Tamil language and the life in the villages.

Set in the backdrops of the clean and green and secure (?) city and suburbs of Singapore, it was a breathtaking song and a nice picturisation.

“SwaRgame   endraalum…………….” His dream was really great. I bow before him. The titillating tune and the lines were amazing. (I do not know how that country allowed singing a song like that in that country itself. Their heart must be too too large, as they would have really enjoyed the pristine beauty of our land).The song was worded in a subtle and polished way.

Or the magnanimity of our Isai Jnaani, since music transcends all barriers!

We are able to see the amazing picturesque scenes of many village backdrops taken very beautifully by the cinematographers in our own India. Their real beauty is bewitching and can even outsmart the scenes of Switzerland or for that, any part of the world. The powerful Ganges is in no way inferior to The Nile or the Amazon. The Western Ghats is in no way a dwarf to The Rockies or The Alps. The Deccan Plateau is a fertile land embedded between the two Ghats and is not a barren valley with occasional flows like The Great canyon. Our Mighty Himalayas! What more to say about it! We have such beautiful treasures we could not really appreciate and enjoy the ethereal fragrance of them. What a pity. If it is turned out as a tourist spot, it gets easily polluted. Why it is so? Are we not capable enough to retain the beauty of our mountains, forests, the flora and fauna attached with it? These film scenes fills the stomachs of the less fortunate who could not see these places during their life time.

When I watch some movies and these picturesque scenes, I myself get transported to these unknown wilderness locations. I even envy the actors and their team for being able to see and live and enjoy in these locations. If at all I could get to know the team leader, I would have definitely requested him to take me with him. Wahl! India, my country is a treasure house of enchanting beauty. Let us transfer full and full to our children and not a barren land with concrete jungles. They can’t eat the cement and steel either. Or the speeding bullet trains and concords. Their hunger will stop only when they admire the green pastures and the grain fields around them. Remember, the full moon is required for the mother to feed her child! And not Armstrong.

If there are acres of cultivable lands, why we are backing out from it? The statement “Farmers are the backbones of India’ is losing its sheen from the neglect shown by the administrators of our land. We see the plight of farmers in India. Why we are unable to uplift them? Is it not possible to live in our country without spoiling these treasures? It is converted into real estates. Will the money converted last a life time? Can we eat the coins and notes when we are hungry? Or for that matter oil, cement and steel and rock? The story of the king who was ready to offer land “How much earth a man needs” comes to my fore. A big realtor in Mumbai wants to convert forest foliage into villas. Are the birds and creatures living there less mortals? How much money he needs to survive? Can he live without the flora and fauna? He may go abroad. How long?

Mughal emperor Jahangir famously wrote of Kashmir in the 17th century,

Gar firdaus ruhe zameen ast,
Hameen asto, hameen asto, hameen ast.”

“If there is Paradise on this Earth,
Then it is here, it is here, it is here…”

Can we dream of it today? The picturisation of the beauty of Kashmir was remarkable in “Kashmir ki kali”. Today we are scared to go there due to the fear of terrorism.

Kerala, remarked as “God’s own country” has retained its pristine charm. But the fear clings in our mind when the Western Ghats is dwindling in the forest coverage.

It was abundant with rivers and the timely monsoons when I was young. I still remember the year 1956 when this state was carved out from the Madras Presidency. The new picture of the bountiful Kerala State, full of rivers and covered by the verdant forests in Western Ghats.

Now the Ghats is a sensitive area and I am afraid we may lose the battle in preserving the existing foliage, if at all we are unable to increase (a dream beyond the brain) to our coming generations. Will it become like an extinct dinosaur? We must now form a human chain around it to protect them.

My wife was and is lambasting me for writing badly about our country. What to do? I love nature. If it gets spoiled, I get irritated. If a work has to be done by keeping ‘something’ in the pocket, I get irritated.

One year back an accident took place near our area. A young boy dashed the brand new car he was driving against a very old shade giving tree. He could not survive. The angry relatives cut off that tree. The girth and the number of rings gave me a clear indication of its past life. It was a 150 year old tree standing majestically all these years in a corner dropping the mercury level to 10 degree C! Even a 1000tonne A/C will not match this single tree!

Now tell me, will my heart talk about anything good of this land? How nicely it was picturised in Kamal Hassan film ”Unnaal Mudiyum Thambi”. The old man dies of heartbreak on seeing the tree he nurtured during his lifetime was axed by a vagabond!

Anything untoward happening in our country is treated as a rare occurrence. Even Bhagalpur blinding was rare and disappeared unnoticed. Only few were blinded, that was the verdict.

One may ask what these incidents have to do with a lover of nature. When the placid mind of a lover of nature is attacked by these bizarre incidents spoiling the tranquility of the brain, he loses his temper.

Again the picturisation of the song “konjaneram konjaneram…. Was taken on the barren mountain region of Cappadocia, and the carbonate river bed of Menderes valley Turkey. Or am I taken aback by an unknown location in India, Hospet or Bellary? It could have been as well done at Salem, the bauxite mining region on the way to Yercaud or at Kolar near Pillow lava and pyroclastic rocks. In no way it would get inferior. But the people who missed the foreign location can enjoy during the Konjum neram, that’s all. Beautiful Turkey. Beautiful India! Beautiful picturisation.

Even ‘Guns of Navarone’taken at Greek islands of Rhodes and the Aegean Sea which is an elongated embayment of the Mediterranean Sea can be captured even at Hogenekkal and Bhadravathy and edited. Our Mr. Thotta Dharani will help us in creating a set, the resplendence of which will blind J Lee Thompson.

Why go so far. The film SHOLAY was entirely shot at Ramnagaram, an outskirt of Bangalore. A truly Indian film. For a change it could have been shot at Glen Canyon of Utah and Chilly canyon of Arizona, the locations used for shooting Mc Khenna’s Gold. We would have still enjoyed the picturisation of a foreign land. The majestic walking of Gabbar Singh on the heights of The Great Canyon would have received all the clapping in his opening scene itself.

I love my country, that is India, very much, but I hate the destroyers of its pristine beauty, the flora and the fauna. But I am totally helpless to destroy these termites in the society.

Will a Messiah be born?

Till then, Grin and bear it.


Dated 26th May 2014


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