Saw a sweet! Mind says eat! – Pootharekulu

So while my stay in #HYDERABAD

Ihad a chance to savour Pootharekulu

For those like me who don’t know what Pootharekulu is a popular Indian sweet from the Andhra Pradesh state of south-east India. The sweet is wrapped in a wafer-thin rice starch layer resembling paper and is stuffed with sugar, dry fruits and nuts. The sweet is popular for festivals, religious occasions and weddings in the Telugu states.

The name of the sweet literally means ‘coated sheet’ in the Telugu languagepootha means ‘coating’ and reku (plural rekulu) means ‘sheet’ in Telugu. The making of pootharekulu is a cottage industry in Atreyapuram, where around 400 families are dependent on the making and marketing of the sweet. As of October 2018, the state of Andhra Pradesh was said to be in the process of applying for Geographic Indication (GI) tag for the sweet.

Atreyapuram in East Godavari district is famous for bringing out this dish.

Normally, women make pootharekulu in their free time while men are engaged in the marketing of the sweet. The annual turnover of the cottage industry is estimated to be Rs. 3 crore.

Someone from my office got us these lovely sweets and I am loving it while trying different varieties of Pootharekulu.

Liger -review.

Liger tries hard to roar loud but coughs midway. 

The first thing that’s intriguing is the word “Liger”. Protagonist’s mother says he is a crossbreed but, when two species mate (inter-species), the offspring is a ‘hybrid’, not a crossbreed (breeds are intra-species). Hybrids include Liger, Tigon, Mule etc. They are usually born sterile. This same sterility of broiler/layer chicken eggs makes some vegetarians claim Egg is Veg. 

Liger is also sterile in a sense. Key takeaway from the movie is nothing. 

Director Puri Jaganath ‘connects’ with Karan Johar to produce something which is only remarkable in the body building and performance of Vijay Deverakonda. 

Movie starts as a mother son duo Chai wala on the streets of Mumbai, then our liger – the fighter storms up the place. He tries to get classed by coach Ronit Roy and make India proud by being a MMA fighter in international championship and that’s it. His love comes on and off and done. Pack up. The movie is old curry reheated and packaged and delivered online, even after waiting for long the curry (movie) is neither spicy, sweet nor filled with vagetable chunks but a lifeless pond of gravy with same old Masala smeared here and there. 

The film does have a stammering hero and that’s a progressive sign but it doesn’t make you feel for him nor shows his struggles. Why does most of Indian movies need a funny sidekick always, Why can’t hero be flawed and funny himself. 

Film has all buildups other than the actual stamina build up of Liger. He has a strong body but nobody knows how. He is inspiring but film never unfolds his layers. 

A son who’s mom inspires him to be a fighter like his dad and stay away from girls and snds up getting the girl and about the championship not only the audience but even the writer and director doesn’t know. 

How can a boxing/MMA/fighting movie not show Mumbai basti by the sea and also not go to Las Vegas. This one too goes to both the palaces and there is nothing you wouldn’t have seen in a boxing movie before. 

Coming to the casting, Balamani from Karimnagar is played by Ramya and played as Ramya from Bahubali she does perform extremely well but it’s all the repetitive and at some place unwanted. 

Ananya pandey plays Tanya in the movie but Taniya is nothing but Ananya Pandey IRL totally unlikable. She is not only dumb in real life but dumb in movie too. 

Ali and Ronit Roy are reduced to just some speaking clichés and Makarand Deshpande only comes like chief guests come for deep prajwalan. Writer should have given them depth and director some screen space. 

Liger doesn’t stand out but will surely make you stand and go out”.

The biggest plus point of the movie is it’s BGM. In the theater it sounds even more nice. Sunil Kashyap deserves much appreciation for that. At the same time the music really sucks and was totally unwarranted and avoidable. 

At one point in the movie you can see a board in Gujrati saying “Patel fal kendra” and what does this roadside vendor do sell panipuris, I guess panipuris are the new age fruit then. And at a fight sequence in Mumbai train you can see a Gujrati saree wearing aunty suddenly speaking in Marathi. But the worst part is none of the Hindi actors are speaking in Telugu and that’s easily identified by audience and that sets the mood off. Director should have had some thought while filming it. 

Also unrealistic frames of a floating shack in Mumbai, Vijay Deverakonda appearing in a ranch just out of Las Vegas on a bike and no GPS. 

Chunky pandey sends a private jet to pick someone.. That’s the biggest joke in the movie. Also the scenes with Mike Tyson were so funnily shot that the essence of humour or the devotion of action is all gone. 

There isn’t a climax but an anticlax in the movie which makes you think if the movie name is Liger or Linger. Because it leaves at nowhere and leaves with nothing. There’s one last Coka song which the audience sits through because it thinks there will be spoilers like Avengers but there are extremely disappointed when the song ends and the titles start showing up with the making of the movie. As if the audience din’t have enough of the subtle torture the making is a big no and people start leaving with absolutely nothing. The makers could have just played the titles side by side with song but they dint. The movie will stream on Disney Hotstar soon if it doesn’t perform well or later even if it does so tame the Liger within to enjoy it on OTT or if the Liger in you is roaring for Vijay Deverakonda then rush to the nearest cinema. 

Let’s see if this Pan India film pens well in numbers or is the audience hitting it with a flying pan. 

Also let’s wait to see if audience appreciate this movie just because it’s a Telugu movie ya boycott gang wale iski “Watt Laga Denge”…

P.S : Don’t wait for the koka song and just leave.. 

Schindler’s List


Directed by Steven Spielberg, the name is enough. He enjoys immense love and justified appreciation. It’s not just a rumour, but his name transcends to million footfalls to theatres and multiple OTT replays. But this movie is special because as a Jew Spielberg felt the pain of Holocaust and thus this was personal. Spielberg’s paternal grandparents were Jews from Ukraine. I really hope things cool down very soon in Ukraine and somebody someday make a film on the crisis in Ukraine.

After watching “The Kashmir Files” I felt like watching the list because I wanted to see how we can make better movies without the propaganda. The Kashmir Files is necessary minus the very few political flaws and propaganda it subtly injects into its viewers. Asking the questions is not anti-national and not all JNU people come with an agenda. Kashmir Files tells many truths and ought to be told but also hides a lot of the actual/factual truths. Just like a dictator it blatantly shows only the side they want to without any iota of balance.

But Schindler’s List is different because it never lets the bleakness of the Holocaust overwhelm its important theme of fighting for the common good. The director says, “My primary purpose in making Schindler’s List was for education. The Holocaust had been treated as just a footnote in so many textbooks or not mentioned at all. Millions knew little if anything about it. Others tried to deny it happened at all.”

Keneally’s best-known work, Schindler’s Ark was published in 1982; also known as Schindler’s List and film released in 1993, tells the true story of Oskar Schindler, a German industrialist who saved more than 1,300 Jews from the Nazis. . Liam Neeson plays very well Schindler however shows his true side that he was a playboy and so on. He was not a saint. He cheated on his wife, drank excessively and spied for Abwehr, the counter-espionage arm of the Wehrmacht (German army), in Czechoslovakia.

But the true characteristics of human beings cannot be spliced even in the most fascist regimes. Sometimes character flaws bring in real joy, excitement and belief. Steven Spielberg’s movie, Schindler’s List, while important, impressive and admirable in many respects, tries to show the true face of propaganda and mass bullshit and how an entire nation can be mass brainwashed to fuel hatred amoung it’s people and bring a great nation down. Something India and Indians need to really ponder upon.

After Germany invaded Poland in 1939, Oskar Schindler sets up an enamelware factory in Krakow that used a combination of Jewish workers interred by the Germans and free Polish workers. His initial interest, of course, was to make money. But as time went on, he grew to care about his Jewish workers, particularly those with whom he came into contact on a daily basis. In addition, helping Jews became a way to fight against what he viewed as disastrous and brutal policies emanating from Adolf Hitler and the SS. Oskar Schindler convinced German authorities his factory was vital and that he needed trained workers. But Schindler did not author or dictate the list instead, Marcel Goldberg, a Jewish “clerk” compiled it. There is a line in the movie which goes like, “That’s not just good old fashioned Jew hate talk. Its policy now” and it hits hard and makes us aware that nothing has changed in present too. Itzhak Stern, played in the movie by Ben Kingsley was one of the most powerful character more of culmination of lot of people at that time. Oskar Schindler was a great man publicly and a not so great man privately but he saved the lives of more than 1,000 Jews during the Holocaust and that’s why a movie has been made on him. The imperfections in his character and the nuances in the historical record only make his story more remarkable.

The movie’s budget was just $22 million. No one had ever made a profitable film about the Holocaust. Spielberg himself didn’t take a salary, calling it “blood money.” Something Vivek Agnihotri and makers of “The Kashmir Files” should ponder upon. As I write this Kashmir Files has already touched 250 Cr. Such sensitive films should come with not just spontanity but also empathy which is found in Spielberg and lacks in Agnihotri’s.

This movie reminded me of another Spielberg movies which moved and caved in Bridge of Spies. Bridge was about the fine art of negotiation and the List is about the fine art of “Gratitude” you will hear this word a lot in the Schindler’s List. I felt both the movies very similar and fantastic.

The use of black and white cinematography also makes me think of “KOTA FACTORY” both shot in black and white to resemble the dark and hollowness of the subject material. Art does make you uncomfortable and that’s it’s Dharma and Karma but propoganda does give you only the bigoted narration with giving the example that his master is always a good guy.

In one scene, Schindler implores Goeth to spray water into the cars on a hot day to help the dehydrated Jews inside. Goeth tells him that to do so would give false hope—a clear implication that the trains deliver Jews to their deaths.The lists become increasingly ominous during sorting exercises to determine who is fit to work or who is “essential” and who is not. Those deemed “unessential” are placed on the list to be evacuated to extermination camps. Stern’s name appears on a list sending him to Auschwitz. When Schindler saves him, an SS officer mentions that it doesn’t matter which Jew gets on the train, and that keeping track of names just means more paperwork. This disregard for names and particularity symbolizes the extent to which the Nazis dehumanized Jews. Schindler’s list is one that saves lives. The Nazis’ lists represent evil and death, but Schindler’s list represents pure good and life. In an ironic twist, the final list in the film is a list that Schindler’s workers give to him—a list of their signatures vouching for Schindler as a good man, to help him if Allied soldiers catch him. The saved in turn become saviors.

The one-armed man who thanks Schindler for employing him and making him “essential” is shot in the head by an SS officer as he shovels snow the next day. Blood flows from his head, staining the surrounding snow. In a later scene, Goeth orders the execution of a Jewish woman engineer who tells Goeth of a fatal construction error. Her blood, too, pours from her head and darkens the snow around her. The blood pouring from the victims’ heads is both literally and metaphorically the lifeblood being bled out of the Jewish race. In yet another scene, Goeth attempts to execute a rabbi working at the Plaszów labor camp. The rabbi stays kneeling as Goeth again and again attempts to shoot him in the head. But the gun jams, and the rabbi is spared, symbolizing the tenuous protection the Schindlerjuden had and the fine line between life and death.

The film talks about the corruption of not just money but hearts and minds too. It shows us privileges and different aspects of life while keeping humanity before profits and ideologies. Intricacies of personal and professional lives are intertwined here for the good sake.


The actual Oskar Schindler died in 1974 and was buried in Jerusalem on Mount Zion. He is the only former member of the Nazi Party to be honored in this way. He and his wife Emilie were named Righteous Among the Nations by the Israeli government in 1993, something that would be hard to believe could happen without the film highlighting his life. 

As we all know, Spielberg and the film went on to win several Academy Awards for Schindler’s List, including Best Picture and Best Director. The film also won for Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography, and Best Editing. Spielberg would win another Best Director Oscar for Saving Private Ryan five years later, but for him what happened with Schindler would be his crowning achievement. 

Schindler’s List is a rare movie whose legacy is just as important as its existence.

Perhaps the lasting legacy of the film, aside from tolerance, is the image of the girl in red. During the liquidation of the ghetto scene, we see a little girl wandering. She serves as the person Schindler and the audience fixate on. The weight of the atrocity that we carry as viewers.When prompted to talk about one of the only color moments in the film, the girl in red, Spielberg told USA Today, “In (Thomas Keneally’s) book, Schindler couldn’t get over the fact that a little girl was walking during the liquidation of the Krakow ghetto. While everyone was being put on trucks or shot in the street, one little girl in a red, red coat was being ignored by the SS.”

For Spielberg, that came to symbolize the blind eye world leaders turned to the murders going on in Europe. “To me, that meant that Roosevelt and Eisenhower—and probably Stalin and Churchill—knew about the Holocaust… and did nothing to stop it. It was almost as though the Holocaust itself was wearing red.” Same repeats in Ukraine too.

Spielberg helped develop and found The Shoah Foundation. It furthered the education and established “The Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation” to document the testimonies of thousands of survivors. For Spielberg, he wanted future generations to have these eyewitness accounts to serve as a permanent record. He hoped that there would never be a time we saw Nazism and fascism on the rise again. The project has collected the testimony of more than 55,000 survivors and witnesses to the Holocaust as well as other atrocities. “It wouldn’t have happened without Schindler’s List,” he said. “The Shoah Foundation wouldn’t exist.” Something the Hypocritic Vivek Agnihotri should think about. I still stand by that “The Kashmir files” should be shown to everyone without propoganda and only one agenda that this atrocities and “Genocide” should not be repeated on any one anywhere.

The film is available on Netflix. Go, watch, think.

J e a n s

100% Love, 0% Cotton.That’s what the makers of this movie say. 

Refreshing and enriching to some extent.
Initially titled “genes”. Later the makers thought that the word “genes” would not appeal to semi urban and rural viewers . Hence they renamed the movie to a much trendy name “jeans”. 

Shankar proves that Mechanical Engineers can do anything in this world and I being one stand by it. 😅
Songs are shot at exotic locations in all Shankar’s movies, a movie can be produced out of just the songs budget from his movies. 
One such interesting song is shot at all the seven wonders of modern world. The poster depicts Eiffel Tower and it has nothing to do with the movie apart from few second sequence in that song. 

Some lyrics & translation :

Poovukkul Olinthirukkum Kanikkoottam Athisayam
Vannathu Poochigalinmael Oaviyangal Athisayam
Thunai sellum Kaatru Mellisai yaathal Athisayam
Gurunaathar Illaatha Kuyil Paattu Athisayam
Athisayamae Asanthupoagum Neeyenthan Athisayam
The seeds of fruits, inside a flower, is a thing of fascination.
Beautiful art on the body of fireflies, is a thing of fascination.
Tunes of the wind, as it accompanies me, is a thing of fascination.
The melody of the Cuckoo, without a teacher, is a thing of fascination.
Oh you thing of beauty, that fascinates all fascinations, you, my love, is my thing of fascination.

Set in LA initially it’s about a pair of twin brothers, and then it plays serve and volley with past present to make it exiting. Movie definitely lacks editing skills. 
Lyrics by Vairamuthu and music by A R Rahman is killer. It makes you hmm for the whole week. 
The total runtime of Visual FX in this movie was more than Jurassic Park 93 and was featured in Guinness Book of World Records for some time.The VFX was simply butter smooth for that time.
Ending is predictable but gives you a beautiful glimpse of Tamil drama with punch worthy and non stereotypical dialogues. 

Overall, a good 90’s Shankar entertainer with Aishwarya Rai, music and asthectics. Available on Amazon Prime Video in Tamil only and, get some delicious rasam, vadas and end with a jigarthanda.

Jeans on Letterboxd

Saina (2021) – sports biopic review, on Amazon Prime Video.

It’s unbelievable that “Saina” comes from someone who made Taare Zameen Par.

Saina is old hindi bipoicy formulated movie which right intentions but not so tight execution.

Unprofessional, unpromising, unsympathetic, uncharmismatic, unconditionally bad. Filled with non natural performances.

Saina is like that cherry which looks glossy but tastes artificial.

There are two Malik’s in this movie Meghna Malik and Armaan Malik. But Meghna Malik as Usha Rani Nehwal does a wonderful job and has single handedly upped the acting game in the movie.
Armaan Malik’s music is in stark contrast to the other Malik. No feel, no retention. Yet bearable unlike “Tony Kakkad”. 😅
Subhrajyoti Barat who plays Saina’s dad Dr Harvir Singh Nehwal also does a good job. (You might have seen him in Mirzapur on same Amazon Prime platform).
Manav Kaul’s as charming as always he portrays Pullela Gopichand and
Ankur Vikal looks fresh and interesting but again bad writing overpowers good performances.
Eshan Naqvi looks promising and cute but doesn’t get much written for his role.
Manav Kaul’s near perfect hindi with Nakko makes it funny and intentional relevancy lays flat.

Earlier, Shraddha Kapoor was signed to play Nehwal’s role, and she even started filming in September 2018 after training, but later she opted out of the film due to health issues. Even Paresh Rawal was roped in to play Saina’s father.
After seeing the visuals from YT I personally feel Shradha Kapoor looks more like Saina than Parineeti.

Dialoguebaazi itni thi nahi, writing could have been better. Thoda toh MSD se inspired hote.. That was such a delightful movie. Even Saina’s mole changes it’s size after every shot that’s the consistency of this movie.

Disappointed because P.Kashyap has been shown only in hindsight that too just as a chocolaty cherry boy. Felt bad for him. Would have looked as his perspectives also. That’s what a biopic has to do right explore different personalities in different perspectives.

This one is just a plain single tone biopic.

Available on Amazon Prime Video. Don’t watch if you have something better to watch. Even old matches of Saina Nehwal. Carolina Marine, P.V Sindhu can be found on YouTube and enjoyed while having comfort dinner of Dal Rice or Chole Bhature/Puri at dinner time/table.

The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020) / Nominated for Oscars – Best Picture.

Writer-director Aaron Sorkin’s The Trial of the Chicago 7 is a powerpacked film. The intensity with which his characters speak and deliver high voltage dialogues give a Bollywoodish feel. And while this might seem unnatural in life, in a courtroom, it makes perfect sense. This … Continue reading The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020) / Nominated for Oscars – Best Picture.