How many of you used to collect the book containing the lyrics of Malayalam film songs? I used to. So recently when i had to visit a book store in my hometown, i happened to see these books. I got curious to know whether the book had my brother’s (Shabareesh Varma) songs. Went through the index and found ‘Premam’. Got excited and bought the book.
First saw the ‘Malare’ song then ‘Pathivayi’ and ‘Kaalam Kettupoy’ songs. So far so good. But the excitement turned to shock when i saw the ‘Aluvapuzhayude Theerathu’ song. The name of the singer(S)! One of the interesting facts of songs of the movie ‘Premam’ was that there is no female voice in any of the 9 songs, forget about a duet. But look at the names of the singers! They made the song a duet! P. Jayachandran and Rajalakshmi! But in reality the song was a solo sung by Vineeth Srinivasan.
Now I thought of gifting the book to my brother! I have second thoughts now, whether to gift it or not! This would be the expression of his seeing the singers’ name of “Aluvapuzhayude”. The book is now hidden in the Garage!
So when my uncle asked if we could travel to Baroda via road I got excited and readily agreed. We started planning, calculating the kms, check and book hotels, where to halt. Its a 3 days trip one way, close to 1700kms from kochi to Baroda, passing through 4 states (2 UT excluded). The vehicle was Mahindra Bolero.
In Kerala, the roads are bit narrow, compared to other states. Then the state is thickly populated. You can say entire state is like a town. You see people everywhere. Even in Highways, its difficult to drive in good speed.
Day 1: Our first stop
By the time we reached Vadakara, it was breakfast time, close to 10 AM. Found an Indian Coffee House near the bus station. Indian coffee house is always a nostalgia. I still remember visiting ICH at Cherthala, along with my Grandpa! My favourite at ICH is the cutlet.
Mahe, also known as Mayyazhi, is a small town at the mouth of the Mahé River and is surrounded on all sides by Kerala. The Kannur District surrounds Mahé on three sides and Kozhikode District from one side.Formerly part of French India, Mahe now forms a municipality in Mahe district, one of the four districts of the Union Territory of Puducherry. Mahe has got its own charm! Mayyazhi puzha, the small lanes! The police with round cap!
Day 1: As we cross the border! Kerala-Karnataka Border. By around 4 PM, we crossed Kerala and reached Mangalore in Karnataka. Even though, there is no much difference in the terrain, there is a huge difference in the quality of roads. The roads are broader and well maintained.
Murudeshwara! Our first stay!
By the time we reached Murudeshwara, it was already dusk. So we couldn’t enjoy the beautiful beach and the temple. Murudeshwara is a town in Bhatkal Taluk. Murdeshwar is another name of the Hindu god Shiva. The place is famous for the world’s second tallest Shiva statue and for the Murdeshwar Temple. Believe me the statue of Shiva at Murudeshwara is massive. Surrounded by sea in 3 sides, the view is breathtaking.
Day 2: We started off from Murudeshwara early morning. The travel through villages in Karnataka is quite memorable. The west coast is full of greenery and filled with magnificent beaches. Now we took a detour and travelled across the state via state highway. Reached a place called Yellapur at Breakfast time. Believe me, great innovations also happen at villages in India, you need to travel to believe it. In a small shop I found this interesting assortment of Handmade soaps with biodegradable packaging. Make In India, Truly.
Now the state highways are full of surprises. Most of the time they are cut across two villages. We encountered one bizarre traffic block at the middle of nowhere. We couldn’t identify the reason for the traffic block. There were no accidents or breakdown of vehicles. In minutes there were all kinds of vehicles, huge number of people dressed in colourful cloths.
Day 2: By the time we crossed Karnataka and entered Maharashtra, the entire landscape changed. One thing I liked was the colour of The public transport buses I found while passing Satara, Maharashtra. Roads were very wide.
Now when we travel in National highways, whats the most trickiest of decisions to take is decide on how to overtake these massive trucks with 10s of tyres and they move at some 15kms per hour. Imagine 3 of them moving parallel. How do you overtake them? By night we reached our second day halt, Pune!
Day 3: Pune to Baroda
Really enjoyed the Pune-Mumbai expressway, good, wide road, with lots of tunnels 🙂
On Third day, by evening we reached Baroda! When you travel, especially in India,you meet different cultures, people who speak different languages and the best part is you get to eat lot of varieties of food. This is amazing and is the best part of any travel.
Had a great fun travelling by road, experiencing new cultures, trying out some great food and of course meeting some wonderful people. Now we travel for this right 🙂
On Mount Road, Chennai, opposite to the iconic LIC building, is the main showroom of the Tamilnadu Handicrafts Development Corporation (TNHDC, www.tnhdcltd.com, www.poompuhar.org), popularly known by its brand name “Poompuhar”. TNHDC trains artisans to help improve their product quality and provides them social security by marketing their craftwork.
On the same compound is an interesting entrance you can hardly miss. The entrance is adorned by exquisite and intricately carved bronze idols. A huge statue of “Nataraja” welcomes you to the “Poompuhar Craft Cafe”, an innovative and interesting themed cafe conceptualized and executed by Dr.Santhosh Babu IAS, CMD of TNHDC, and his team.
The entrance, corridors that connects the cafe with the entrance and the walls are decorated with Bamboo. There are various artefacts and idols that add grace to the ambience. For the past 30 years, the place was used as a dump yard. Tremendous efforts have gone into converting the dilapidated go-down into what it is today.
Ms. Mital Surendira of Sanskrriti runs the cafe. “Here you will get the best traditional vegetarian Tamil cuisine that probably you won’t get anywhere else in Tamil Nadu, thanks to the creative genius of Ms.Mital Surendra, ” says Santhosh Babu. As the tagline says Poompuhar Craft Cafe serves the forgotten flavours from Grandma’s kitchen. You will get the most authentic healthy and tasty South Indian delicacies of yore that includes the Tamil Nadu Meals and snacks.
So if you are a foodie and appreciate tradition and artefacts, ‘Poompuhar Craft Cafe’ is place you must visit in Chennai.
I ordered a book on flipkart and gave my North paravur address. The guy asked me to come to the location where they had parked the delivery van. When I go there, I see at least 5-6 youngsters queued up to collect what they had booked. Goods varied from electronics to shoes to books. The funniest part is the location is the municipal shopping complex and when I look around I see a shoe shop and electronic shops
Here is the link to the article and read the article,
The DigiFaktory team that marketed ‘Premam’ talks of unorthodox and out- of-the-box ideas to market a film.
No Malayali who is a film lover would have missed ‘Premam’ that rocked the boxoffice even after 100 days. The fact that the film had three heroines was a suspense to the audience, who expected to see only Anupama Parameswaran, the lead actress featured in the songs and posters released initially. It was a delight for the audience to watch Nivin Pauly in three different ‘avatars’ and romancing three different heroines. What was even more amazing was that ‘Malar’, who never appeared in any of the initial promotional posters, eventually stole the show. The planned marketing strategy pulled off the suspense factor and added to the whole experience of watching the movie, which of course went on to create history. Although it was a team effort, ‘Premam’ was Digifaktory’s maiden venture in movie marketing. Digifaktory, the brainchild of Krishnabhaskar Mangalasseri, Sandeep Varma and Gokul Nath is a 360 degree film marketing company that offers both online and offline marketing for a movie. “From the very beginning, the director, Alphonse Putharen and his entire team were clear that there was a need for an element of suspense. So the promotions were planned in such a way that it was projected as a single heroine movie. The tactic worked!” says Sandeep, strategy head.
Gokul Nath, business head at Digifaktory, has over a dozen films to his credit. He was one of the masterminds behind successfully marketing films like ‘Neram’, ‘Om Shanthi Oshana’, ‘Oru Vadakkan Selfie’ and ‘1983’. The popular number ‘Pistah’ sung by Shabareesh Varma from the film ‘Neram’ was an experimental online marketing project for the Digi team. The song has since then crossed 98 lakh likes and has also won the ‘Most Viral Video’ award in the Social Media Day awards, 2014. The concept of marketing a movie online or offline is relatively new to the Malayalam film industry. Until recently film promotions stopped with printing banners, posters and flex boards. Companies offering online promotions took it to the next level by including the social media. Creating websites, facebook pages of upcoming releases, tweeting, releasing clips or trailers on you tube has now become a fad. “There is a need to combine the old and the new, to reach out to audience across all age groups through social media, WhatsApp, media houses and radio stations. Online promotion is just a fragment of marketing, controlling online content, crisis management, integrating various platforms, managing social initiatives like creating awareness about piracy or negative reviews are also part of our profile,” explains Krishnabhaskar, creative head. Although the concept of movie marketing is dominant in Bollywood and Kollywood, Digifaktory is one of the pioneers in Mollywood to offer a complete marketing package starting from day one with the Pooja up to the 100th day celebrations. “It is important to believe in the product that you are marketing. Quality of the product builds the brand and a brand name that promises quality entertainment is our core focus,” says Gokul.
‘Answer this question correctly and you could be the lucky winners to earn tickets for the first day first show!’ is a statement we often hear on the radio these days. But little do we know about an entire team of people who work on the game concept, execute it and coordinate the logistics behind the scene. The ‘first day first show’ is crucial for any movie and so it is vital to plan an effective strategy to attract a sizeable audience for the event. “When it comes to marketing a product that is worth a couple of crores, there has to be a collective effort from various quarters. This is a highly unorganised sector and there is a need for setting up proper channels of communication in terms of PR and marketing. Having tie ups with multiple platforms like TV, radio, online promotional companies and event management groups is very important,” echoes the trio. The ‘Monsoon Mangoes Micro film Mela’ is one such online game that the team has planned as a part of the marketing strategy for Fahad Fazil’s upcoming release, ‘Monsoon Mangoes’. DigiFaktory is also working on a lot of interesting ideas for Nivin Pauly’s new release, which is an action packed entertainer.
The ‘DigiFaktory brand’ is slowly making its presence felt in the Malayalam film industry. They have been invited to present their success story at various management summits like the TIE in Chennai, TKM Institute of Management and the TRIMA, trivandrum. When asked about future plans, the trio said that they hoped to step outside Mollywood, to set DigiFaktory as the thought leader in the movie space and in the long run, add a production wing to the company.
We already did this a couple of years back, with Neram, 1983, Ohm Shanthi Oshaana, Vikramadithyan, Oru Vadakkan Selfie, Premam and many more, but team DigiFaktory- the first 360 degree marketing venture for movies has its website officially launched now.
Seen here is Nivin Pauly, The new Star of Malayalam cinema launching the website of DigiFaktory, www.digifaktory.com
Along with him are the founders of this venture, Gokul Nath G, Krishnabhaskar Mangalasserri and Sandeep Varma.
We are ever great full to our dear Nivin for showing his support to our venture.
Premam running to packed houses throughout Kerala and outside. Feeling so proud to be part of this wonderful movie. But then, this is the time success shouldn’t get into one’s head. What better way to be humbled and be grounded than be in company with people like Alex Uncle.
Dr.M.M Alex needs no introduction for the people in film industry. But for the sake of ‘New Gen’, let me try introducing him. Alex uncle has acted in more than 80 films, covering several languages. He has worked with legends like P. Padmarajan and Bharatan. His most memorable role is of “Babu “, the bus owner in Padmarajan’s cult movie “Thoovanathumbikal”. Remember the dialogue ” (ദേവി ഇലട്രിക്കൽസൊ? ദേവിക്ക് ഇലക്ട്രിസിറ്റിയോ?? ) and the epic bar scene where he throws up the empty beer bottle into the ceiling fan. When he was at his peak, Alex uncle left the films and the glamour attached to it.
Dr. M.M Alex made close to 250 documentaries, he was the first person to document the rituals at Sabarimala temple. He is the Director of Ancient Integrative Therapies and Vedik India Society. He is full of path breaking projects and relentlessly working towards realising them.
And when I am with Alex Uncle, I am firmly grounded myself and realise that there is so much to be achieved and have miles to go.
P.S: Alex uncle passed away in 23 June 2015. Just 2 days prior to his demise, I spent an entire day with him discussing about cinema, his writing and the book he wanted to write. The selfie was taken on 19 June 2015.
Here is a short interview did by Mathrubhumi channel