Friday, January 30, 2009

It's Sheer Blasphemy

While blog hopping (going from one blog to another), I came across a series of blogposts about Chyetanya Kunte's NDTV fiasco. My very first reaction, I really live the life of an ignorant fool, because how else do I explain my not knowing about this for such a long time. Second, third, and all the reactions that follow till I am exhausted are nothing but of shock and disgust. It's been quite sometime that I have been wanting to make a post about my personal opinion about 'The Ms. Barkha Dutta.' However, I think, after finding about CK and NDTV I am left with no words. I infact feel sad about the lady and the channel that flaunts itself raising the 'free speech' flag all the time. But reading about the Chyetanya Kunte's case, I am appalled at NDTV and at Ms. Dutt, more than I ever was.

I think may be, just may be, someone needs to clarify the meanings of 'free speech' and of 'double standards,' to both NDTV and Barkha Dutt. I agree Chyetanya Kunte's post 'Shoddy-Journalism' was not really professional and lacked facts, but it said nothing to evoke the kind of action that was taken by petty NDTV folks and Ms. Dutt. The apology surely stinks of the double standards that both the entities (NDTV & Dutt) reak of and presents the Indian Media in a new light. 

Yet Another Hour Of Office Time!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Is The Honeymoon Over??

I went to watch Slumdog Millionaire last Tuesday. With all the shiny golden awards that the film bagged, I and KT went in with a lot of expectations. 

We hated the fact that we missed the first 2 minutes of the movie. All settled into our seats, we began the journey of Slumdog. I infact quite liked the portion where they extensively show Dharaavi and the kids navigating through the mysterious lanes and by lanes. Then in a very small period of time comes a series of things that any foreign eye thinks is quintessential India - Gallee cricket matches on runways, policemen chasing slum kids, the fan frenzy for Amitabh, the communal riot, the bad beggar gangs, childhood love, if anything was missing Danny Boyle completed it with the last dance number in bollywood ishtyle Jai Ho....though Kudos to AR Rehman for the fantastic music. 

Many might think that I have a problem with foreign directors like Boyle showcasing only the worst of India. But trust me I have no such issues, I am not ashamed of saying or seeing what is my own (I know, i can say this easily, as I don't physically belong any of these spaces), and if I get awards and fame for it....what could be better. But if anyone is to ask me, whether or not I liked the movie....I would say, it was just OK. A mediocre film for me, that did not really transport my movie watching experience to something I had never experienced before. I perhaps wanted to like the movie, so much, that I felt guilty for getting bored. Since then, I have spoken to quite a few of my colleagues, friends, and family who watched the movie and each one of them is a little dissappointed with the fact that the movie was just OK for them too. Why so? What went wrong with the movie releasing in India, when it won such high remarks outside?

To give a very amateur opinion, I think, the whole content of the movie is for a foreign audience, who finds shock and surprise at the sight of a place like Dharavi, seeing all that makes a slum in India. With kids fighting their own way to adulthood, with a child being exposed to the malice of the grown up world, they watch all this in awe and perhaps feel pity. I think, it is all very unrealistic for a foreign eye and therefore, they enjoy experiencing something out of their own worlds. But for us, there is nothing new, we see such scenes everyday. This is where, I think, the movie fails. 

For us, it is a way of life in India. Many of us may be even want to do something to help them. But still we very much accept the fact of their existence and the conditions in which they live. But for the world of America and is beyond imagination, leave apart acceptance, to think of this way of life. I think this is where the movie is such a hit outside of India. Talking about cinematic brilliance, I could not really find many of such moments in the entire movie. It is more or less like a very good documentary cinema, if we can place it in that genre. May be the end dance & song number was only to make the audience feel that they were watching a mainstream cinema, may be even the love story was there for this very reason. Though, personally for me, it completely lacks any spark, chemistry, or even reason :)

But I do give points to Danny Boyle, Dev Patel, Freida Pinto for surviving India and Dharavi without a scratch. Also, I think, I will give points to Dev Patel and Freida Pinto for going on and on giving interviews about SDM, without stopping to think...hellos people, you literally had no role in the movie....I am angry that Salim has been completly forgotten...

What I love in the movie is the way, the kids have acted.  Hats off to whoever made them act so naturally. I love Salim's character in the movie, it is the best developed character in the film. I think....more people should be talking about the kid, the guy, and the character who played Salim, than the typical NRI looking Dev Patel, whom if you want you can completly ignore in the movie, or better place anyones face instead of his...and the movie will make no difference at all.

All this said and done, I think the Honeymoon is over for SDM atleast in India! Also, I think this will make no difference to the Oscar nominations or results. Big deal, if the movie is all about India....and a bigger deal if it wasn't really a hit in India, who cares....let's lobby for the film...since very few Indian(ummmm, if we can call it that) films reach the Oscars.....three cheers for Oscars....hip hip horray!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

One word for going mad with boxes (9)

The answer is CROSSWORD!

Over the long weekend, I managed to acquire a new prizes for guessing. It indeed is crosswords. All my life, untill the past weekend, I hated doing crosswords and thought it to be a sheer waste of time and efforts. Mostly, coz whenever I tried to solve them, I failed miserably. So, much so that, I would forget the simplest of english synonyms. As a kid, I even thought it to be some kind of a monster, which makes you forget your words and spellings :O

But to every crossword solvers relief, I have overcome my fear for them and infact I love them now. Last saturday, I dug out all the supplements for MetroPlus (Hindu's daily supplement, except for Fridays) and tried my hands at around 20 crossword puzzles, loving each one of them. Though in the process, I almost ate up KTs brain asking his help on every second word. And KT being the superman when it comes to crosswords, did not really like getting disturbed between his Tennis, Mahabharat, Enter the Dragon, and other stuff. So, mostly I left many of the puzzles 50%-60% complete, after I got the "eyes rolling, chuckling to self" expressions. However, last night KT and me attempted to complete one old one :)I also completed one at work today with all the online help I could take and with the benevolent Meisters help. Yay! but I completed it all alone(since there was no physical being next to me ;)....kudos to me! But I do not like doing the online version much, and prefer the old school pen and newspaper :)

P.S - Have flicked today's Metroplus from office for a nice brain wrestling tournament at home :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

For Federer!

Have been wanting to blog for a while. But then far too many things at work and work in itself has been overwhelming for a few days. 

So, thought a small post about something new I watched on television last weekend. I am really bad when it comes to choosing what to see on television. I choose the most saddest of Ekta Kappoor operas and watch it, inspite of the fact that they make no sense to me. As, I watch TV once in a week or two may be. So, my room-mate and my boyfriend, usually try to show off their talents in this area. Though, I make my unhappiness with grunts and my constant trials to reach for the remote. I hope neither of them chance to read this, because the moment they do, my TV watching hours are so gonna reduce :(

Coming back to, to why I have suppplemented this post with Federer's pic :)I succumbed to KT choosing to watch one of those history captured series on FOX (a channel covering all these things that are past, present, and future). The show was showing, Federer's journey as a tennis-star. Glimpses from his matches from the past. I really liked what was shown as Federer to me (coz I somewhere identify with his never say die attitude he has as a sportsman) and decided, that if ever anyone asks me who my fav tennis player is, I would grin and say "Federer."

P.S - Post that day, I am trying to keep myself informed about my fav Tennis Player :)New Hobbie you see

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Hindi Movie Posters...

A coincidence it might be, but the topic seems to be swirling around my conversations with my  friends and cab mates off late. So, what better than making a post about it.

In our conversations, I realized that hindi movie posters seem to have come a long way. Going back to one of the first image-less posters of the film Raja Harishchandra to the recent glossy posters for the Rock Ons and the Gajni's of our times. I remember having seen some of the hand-painted posters of the movies from 60s through the 80s, all stained with paan. Be it then, the colourful and yet crowded posters, with every main character on it, for Mera Naam Joker or the sole strong face of Amitabh Bacchan dominating it for almost all of his films in the 70s. The hindi movie posters have indeed come a long way. 

When I was a kid, it was an awaited event for every thrusdays. When with my friends or cousins, I would take the most famous galees where the new movie posters would appear for the three cinema halls we had in our town back then. We would wait a minute or two staring at them, soaking in every detail, and only then would we continue our walk to see the same poster again in the next lane. Finally, we would come to decide on a day for watching. 

Now, when I am in hyderabad, a friend reminds me of those posters in a casual conversation, and in my 23 km drive from my house to my office, my eyes search longingly for a single movie poster in one of those forgotten  and wretched walls. To my surprise, the only posters I see are for the recent Telugu movies. Most of those are more like hoardings hung on huge billboards. I am forced to talk to my cab-mates about my fond memories of Amitabh, Mithun, or Govinda staring out of the old posters like Greek Gods, suited only for Indian fantasies. I remember, some of my girl friends staring longingly at them. Alas! I have to admit, the era for not just the hand-painted posters is gone, but so also the era for posters on every obscure wall is gone. Sadly enough, I only realized it far too late. I wonder, why such gradual disappearance, so sudden I surely can't call them?

Various answers flash through my head, may be too many TV advertisements for the upcoming new movies, internet bookings, various resources we now have to find out about the new releases. But could it be also because of the changing spaces we live in today. Who did these posters cater to? Who were their audience...? The general mass....

Has there then been a disconnect then in what constituted earlier the general mass?Perhaps yes, we can now divide the mass of any metropolis into - the Urban and the not so urban mass. The urban, looks at the multi-plexes and the internet for movie information and perhaps the not so urban mass is fast catching up. But how about the telugu movies, I grudge them for having the very boisterous posters, though not so appealing to me, staring out and making me all the more nostalgic about my lovely old hindi film posters. Why do they continue having them, and not just posters, but hoardings too. Who is the then the audience for these films? Do they still remain the naive youngster or rather the teenager that I was a decade back? Apart from innocence and such facades that I just used for my past, I think, there indeed is a serius disparity between the masses that watch the telugu and the hindi movies in Hyderabad. Because, just like the telugu posters, back home we still have these occasional hindi movie poster being stained every minute.
I think, merely for the fact that I choose to live in a metro-city, I will have to say goodbye to those celluloid moments, captured for eternity in a frame and live sulking with the glossy, rich multiplex posters.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

For Bubloo & Tukun Da

Ankhon mein masti sharab ki...
kali zulfon mein ratein shabab ki
Jane aayi kahan se tut ke
Mere daman mein pankhudi gulab ki, haye....

Chand ka tukda kahoon ya
Husn ki duniya kahoon
preet ki sargam kahu ya
pyar ka sapna kahu

Sochta hoon kya kahoon
is shokh ko mein kya kahoon...

Still remember the room, the red bucket, the bottles, the voices, and all that is ours...

Sunday, January 11, 2009


UG came over the last thursday to my was a nice night of conversations and revealations. On second thoughts, conversations ofter lead to the latter. For me, it lead to a lot of re-revealations of me...

1. For me 'I' is very important, much much more than I have seen it in anyone around me.
2. I have lived alone for far too long and I guard my space like a treasure. Sometimes, accomodating people in it is a pain.
3. I realized people who enter my realm are only those whom I allow, that too very restrictively. 
4. I have a conscious habit of being extra careful while placing two words next to each other....many times it shows. But most times it looks beautiful as well.
5. I was reminded of my mother's teaching once again, "never say or do things consciously to hurt others..."
6. I can be a good listener when I want to be. 
7. I can choose to keep the real me hidden for a very long time, till I feel the need to or otherwise.
8. I love talking  to UG.
9. I adore the way serendipiduous writes and I love its content too.
10. I am a snob in my own way.
11. I wish to write more.
12. The world is much much more that I ever could anticipate in my dreams.
13. I am so thankful to Tukun da for those times when he read the endless pages my register and corrected me.
14. I love him otherwise as well.

All these and much more. But thoughts as with anything else is I could feel just something altogether different in another such nights where we talk...