Sunday, 29 April 2007

Rewriting Panjak

Directing Tips from ISOA (Indian Soap Opera Association)

Posted by pankajunk on March 27th, 2007

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Camera Placement
Always place the camera between someone’s legs, under a table or on a chandelier. No face level shots please. Also note,  brownie points for a falling chandelier and more if a resulting rescue occurs and a saaazish is thwarted!

Camera Movement
The Cameraman should preferably have Parkinsons. Rapid to-and-fro and side-to-side movement heightens emotions. 3 level zoom also compensates for dead expressions.

Any camera man who fails to do the above mentioned may as well opt for early retirement and watch these very shows on tv.

Rapid transition between different themes. For example if four characters are communicating - a goodie two shoes, a vamp, an angry person and an excited person - each time the camera focuses on a particular person, the corresponding music should play in the background.

For example a possible sequence could be soothing goody melody - sultry vamp music - angry dramatic  music - soothing music - excited music - angry music - vamp music - goody melody music etc. Quick transition is the key.

Choir singers and cheesy lyrics are more than welcome too.  Once again, the music aids the actor to cover lack of expression. Dharti-Phat-Gayi music for a shocking instance (KYA? YE NAHI HO SAKTA!! -  y make the actor say this over n over again, just push play) 
For sankaari folks, the b'ground music must include chants, gayatri mantra is the reigning fav.

Facial expressions are the best way to communicate the script to the audience.
Goody characters should have noble expressions, an angelic face and that extra something that spells SANSKAAAAAR,  and villains should have leery expressions so that the audience can differentiate between the two.

And if it’s a villain posing as a goody, intermittent leery expressions when the character is alone should be adhered to.

Extension of Scenes
Particular scenes need to be prolonged to heighten impact (this also helps in lengthening the lifespan of the soap which equates to more ad revenue). For example news is broken to two characters and each one reacts differently - one with joy and the other with shock. The camera should focus on each alternately to convey the intensity of the emotions.

For example a possible sequence could be :- camera on happy person - camera on shocked person - happy person - shocked person - happy - shocked - happy - shocked - happy - shocked - happy - shocked - happy - shocked and so on( with appropriate music of course). This sequence should be continued till the audience have pulled out their hair and have  lifted their foot to kick the TV screen.

Costumes, Accessories et al

By far the most important element in a TV soap. ZE COSTUMES. 

Vamp = Stylish, over dressed at home and all occassions, must have a signature accessory or costume quirk. Deep necks and sultry make are also indispensible. Must become a fashion statement within three months of the serial's telecast, else go in for a change of look, call up nim sood (the stylist for ALL balaji soaps). 

A common measure of a vamp's style statement is the market's emmulation of the accessories and clothes. Ex: The Ramola ring, The Komolika blouse, etc.

Sanskaari Kanya = Pastels, chiffons, churidaars, bangles, subtel embroidery, the person chosen for this role must exude sankaars and benevolence, else all the accessorising etc is futile. Must nowear chhichhora mini skirts and backless salwar kameezes.
The Buzurgs = Must never look a day older than the kiddies, also over accessorised, certainly shud not dress for comfort. Must wear elaborate saris to bed. Kyunki nighty pehnna humare sanskaaron mein nahi, hehehehe. 

Sanskari Ladka = Simple clean cuts, must be handsome, must look earnest and mehnati. Anything goes on these creatures. No accessories please. Those are for the non-sanskaari brigade.

Miscellaneous Must-haves
Mangal sutra, sindoor, glycerine, mentions of 500 crore projects and profits - lakh do lakh to 
chillad hai boss, plastic surgery, staying alive n reappearing on the soap after being declared 
dead by a doc, more sanskaars, insaaf, pehla pyaar, thappads, badla, saazish, saas-bahu, comic relief, a minimum of 3 shaadis and 6 kids from  diff spouses, revelations, 
and what not.  
The above techniques may prove to be ineffectual in isolation and need to be brought together for the right effect. For example leery eyes - villainous music - rapid to and fro movement and snazzy-gawdy-out-of-place-at-home clothes, is a good combination.

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Thursday, 26 April 2007

Random Stuff . . .


I am the kind of guy you will ultimately go home with by the end of the
day, so u might as well give me a shot now.


One little person, giving all of her time to peace, makes news. Many people,
giving some of their time, can make history.
 ~ Anonymous

Monday, 23 April 2007


A certain lady in my office sends a 'thought of the day' to all employees, some of em are really nice, here's one:

But goodness alone is never enough. A hard cold wisdom is required, too, for
goodness to accomplish good. Goodness without wisdom invariably accomplishes
~ Robert Heinlein

Saturday, 21 April 2007

It's JUST not the SAME

I tried to read an archie comic on the web for the first time, it was no
fun. In this day and age of ebooks, ereaders, and what have you, the joy
of curling up with a great book seems to be evaporating. AND I HATE IT.

Who in their right mind, would want to read an entire book gawking at the
computer. I for one, just dont feel connected to it. The same is true for
letters, for they can actually be kissed and hugged and taken to the
garden. You can also see the person's writing and find out if they were excited of in a rush or just plain sleepy. You can take the email to the garden if u have a laptop but then again,ITS NOT THE SAME.

I am all for saving paper and the environment, but reading an actual book
with real pages is a joy I cant give up. So ebooks and ereaders and palm
pilots can come and go, but nothing replaces the true joy of lying in bed
with a fab book and reading it in leisure, thereby establishing a real 3d
relationship with the book.

To conclude, I would like to quote Paulo Coelho:
You can have at your disposal all the means of communication in the world, but nothing, absolutely nothing can replace looking someone in the eye.

Thursday, 19 April 2007

Dear God

Dear God,

Please please please don't give me a double chin ever! PLEASE!!!!


I'm Nobody! Who are you?

I'm Nobody! Who are you?
Are you -- Nobody -- Too?
Then there's a pair of us!
Don't tell! they'd advertise -- you know!

How dreary -- to be -- Somebody!
How public -- like a Frog --
To tell one's name -- the livelong June --
To an admiring Bog!

- Emily Dickinson

Friday, 13 April 2007

Drifted Apart . . .

I shall now reproduce a poem which I wrote ages ago (sometime in 2001). This plain truth of life, that people move on, was something I acknowledged a long time ago, but then everytime it stares at me in the face, I seem to go weak. Another friend, another love, another friendship, is sure to come, for such is the cycle of life. After every winter there is bound to be a spring. Here goes nothing:

Like fragments of a glacier, on a bed of sea,
We drifted apart, as apart can be.

I miss the times that we had shared,
Before the painful seperation we beared.

What a torture it was to see you depart,
But I still do have hope in my heart.

Lost in my world, I dream of you,
I wonder if you think of me too.

Inspiration: How friends turn people and people metamorphose into friends. How time makes people drift apart, and equally well heals. How friendships get limited to Hi, Hello & Bye.

Wednesday, 11 April 2007

What NOT to name your Kid!

Aina Andriamanjatoarimanana

This name belongs to an olympics athlete. And YES, This is actually a name! This beats Haathiramani for a surname. LOL

Saturday, 7 April 2007

Work Week 3 (Too long, Dont read)

Professionally Unstable
You know how some people are mentally unstable, I am professionally unstable. And there is ample evidence for me 2 believe otherwise. It bodes well for me datI have
accepted this fact. I now know that no matter what job i take up or want, there are
always going to be a lot of unsettling things, such as:

Delayed responses to better job applications.

I am a professional rolling stone, or so I believe I am percieved to be.

Job offers will pour in wen i don't intend to, or am unable to work, and they are usually the best.

The moment i take up a job, some other better org will knock on my door to confuse me to no end.

I have never been able to stick anywhere!


Sigh. I was tranferred, rather lent to another deptt for a month. Needless to say I felt betrayed. Not worthy enough to be on the TSPL team. This is also a part of why I feel professionaly unstable. Just when I begin to get comfy in any environment, my world is rocked! I really wanted to ask me boss - why oh why r u sending me away 
:( am i not good enough for TSPL or am i good enough to represent it?

Chaos n' More
The whole lending for a month thing was carried out in such a chaotic manner dat it ended up being abso-funny. For starters, hardly anybody bothered to inform me right away. The HR folks were not aware and nobody asked me if I even wanted to do such a thing! My super told me only when I asked him for the next assignment after meeting a bitchy deadline.

The next day when I walked in uncertainly towards my workstation, I noticed that my CPU had vanished! Then I spoke to my office mommies (The HR folks, I go to them for every query!) They said that I would be doing stuff for another website but I will continue to sit on the 3rd floor. Ok, will do. As long as I dont have to move. But then some IT guy came telling me that my CPU has been shifted to me new work station, I baffled him saying that I have to sit here. My moment of peace was ruined when a perky sardard came to escort me to the third floor. 

Seeing the chaos my boss walked up to us and told me that "dont worry, am not going to let go of you, u will be back in a month" and he said the same to d perky sardard adding that he's marking the date :) 


Doosri Manzil
Hmmm, once I reached the cursed destination, I was shown a workstation which I thought was pretty cool. I was also introduced to someone I was supposed to collaborate with, but little did I know. She started teaching me a program I knew zilch abt. I found it so weird technical n complex that I felt like crying, after an earnest attempt to figure out the thingamajig, I msgd my boss and quick came the reply. He was going to come and sort things out. 

A little while later I learnt from the chick teaching me that the sardard had told her that I was an HTML programmer, of all the things! Then I could wait no longer and wen up to my real boss and told him what the headache thought! Chaos, laughs and a lot of apologies from almost all of the management followed soon after. The way my boss stood up for me and told the entire management of the sardard's goof up was amazing, to say the least. Can't wait to be beack on the TSPL team. 

The Royal Sardard
What do I say about him. He talks to himself, laughs at his own jokes and is adamant to the core that 'stadia' is a word for 'stadium'! 

The Last Word

Lesson learnt: If your job does not make you cry, it is not a job. Lol. I hope this one month passes by in a snap (now that's wishful thinking for ya).

Thursday, 5 April 2007

A Dollop of Wisdom

Have love; Not love alone for one,
But man, as man thy brother call,
And scatter like the circling Sun,
Thy charities on all.

- Schiller

If you treat an individual as he is,
He will remain as he is. But if you treat him
As if he were what he ought to be and could be,
He will become what he ought to be and could be.

- Goethe

Love is a feeling that lifts us
To our feet and provides us with
Wings to fly.

- Hansa

Love is not what we become,
But what we already are.

- Stephen Levine

This is the true measure of love,
When we believe that we alone can love,
That no one could have loved so before us,
And that no one will ever love
In the same way after us.

- Goethe

Death . . . Such an easy thing to say,
Such a hard thing to face.

- Hansa

Live so, that when your children
Think of fairness, caring & integrity,
They think of you.

- Anonymous

Tuesday, 3 April 2007

Enjoy marketing at Glenferrie Road!

This was how the conclusion/ sign-off for an article abt shopping in Melbourne read. It had me in splits. Sadly, there was no one to share it with. LOL!

English still remains to us the coloniser's language and we, the people Indianise it without even knowing that we are doing so. It is indeed amusing to hear and read technically unsound (if there is such a word as unsound) English from so many people who innocently think they are saying it right.

Some such funny and commonly understood (but not accepted) phrases:

  • I was here only.

  • I didn't knew only. If I had knewed I would not have done anything.

  • Myself Pratap Srivastava. I am done my graduation from B. Com.

  • The dish is been cooked. I make a great foods.

  • I am having one computer on my house.

  • His hairs needed a shampooing.

  • I like clothes according to winter season.

Sunday, 1 April 2007

Work Week 2

Getting more used to things, falling in love all over again wid sleep and coming to hate a computer gawking job and desirous of goin to kolkata only to slap d moronic writers in the branch, imagine writng abt cattle feed in an article abt a fine dining restaurant! All this and more was part of work week 2.

Deadly Lines!
We are under-staffed as far as the editorial team is concerned and I have no qualms abt saying it out loud even to the CEO (am lucky to have a caring boss as him, and cute too) and if they don't bother hiring more ppl for d job or having a workshop wid d blasted writers, then i have no qualms abt taking an off or leaving dot at 6 pm. 

Ok, so the  girlies are ok. They even invited me to join em for lunch after dat new joinee ditched me to have lunch with sum other gal. Thankfully, they r editors too, so there is tons to discuss 
and bitch about. 

Mr dimples sniggers at me, maybe coz of the way I look. $%#@!$$%#$%!@#Apparently he's a star performer, the CEO walks up to him frequently and the MD also did the same and greeted him heartily. Nonetheless he is a girl gawker and stil makes weird expressions at some of em. It wud do the dude a great deal of good if he tried some colours. Black n White, dats all he's abt! 

Mr arrogant goes by the name of vivek if am not wrong. He seems better behaved. Dresses well too. It bodes well for me dat I am not trying to please anyone here. Just interested in working.

These guys really believe in solidarity and unity. They are organising a cricket match soon in which various firms under the company wud battle it out.

That meansI get 2 sit at home. Yay!