Monday, March 27, 2006

Gandhi and Cyrus

The two movies I saw this weekend were both very well made movies- but neither deserves more than a couple of lines from me.. so here goes

Maine Gandhi Ko Nahi Maara: Extremely interesting subject, wonderful performances from all involved, would have preferred more emphasis on the implicit murder of the father of the nation. Brought back fond memories of Hindi literature - especially this man.
Must read some Hindi stuff again.

Being Cyrus: Celebaration of what we in India now call the "Multiplex Phenomenon", made in 36 days, a slick debut with an insider's view of Bombay's decaying Parsee community, with a Jeffry Archeresque twist in the tale. Reminded me of "Star Bestsellers" that used to run on Star Plus on Saturday nights. Some of those made for television- one hour tales were actually better than this - though i guess they lacked the packaging. Lay's anyone?

Friday, March 24, 2006

Blank Verse

I do not usually write in blank verse, because it is a form i don't quite understand-especially what is the difference between broken phrases of prose and what can actually be classified as poetry. The theme may appear juvenile , but comments on that are not invited. Would rather like to discuss about the technicalities of form, and since a lot of literature students have been reading my blog recently - wud love to receive their inputs on the 'science' in it. One comment from my end, is that i tried to minimise the use of punctuations, coz this 'poem' (if it is actually one) is almost like something said in one breath. Also in some places if you regroup the lines they would convey a somewhat different meaning.


here he is
this boy, this
almost man
I try to understand
in a way that
only I can
Why he says no each time
my silly heart
wishes he would
make me a part
of his dreams
his life, his
silly ways, his
mind, body and
the soul that speaks
to me when I am asleep
and tells me I must
stay, each time he
asks me to go away

here he is
this boy, this
almost man
I try to love
in a way that
only I can
yet he cannot see
and does not feel
why I am scared to
let myself be
why I defend my passion
from his arms each night
why I am scared to
let him out of sight

here he is
this boy, this
almost man
I try to care for
in a way that
only I can
By staying away
when he needs me
most, so he may
become someday
the kind of man who holds
not just the secret
to my smile
but the key to a happy life

Monday, March 20, 2006

At the risk of sounding foolish..

These guys seem to have a good idea. I know it isn't practical, and probably will never work out. But i believe unless you try to make something work, you have no right to criticise that it doesnt. For if all the people who doubt become believers then there will be no opposition.


These are some of my thoughts on the matter - might sound foolishly idealistic - but this is what they are:

I believe the root cause of the dissatisfaction that the people of the nation, especially the urban middle class have with the 'system', can best be explained by their lack of understanding. Insufficient knowledge has compounded into apathy, and the true spirit of democracy and participative governance has been lost. People have forgotten that the system is not something outside of them. They are very much the makers of the system and as much responsible for it as the people entrusted with governing it. It is this awareness that is needed today and the greatest task at hand is to communicate this message to the educated people of this nation, so that they utilise their intellect not to criticise the government, but instead to construct it.

I have been an active member of several student organisations in school and college that were involved in social work. However, my learning from them has been that what India needs is not charity - but social awareness. What sets India apart from the other 'emerging' nations of the world is that even today, the government of this country is not ready to 'sell out' and develop certain areas of the nation while ignoring others. I believe though it may not be considered 'correct' through economical or social theory, there is an identity we share as Indians - an identity that has its roots in certain fundamental beliefs. One of those beliefs is our unity in diversity. While most political parties have chosen to concentrate on religious and regional divide, I believe that the economic divide is the most important one. We cannot build ‘world cities’ when our farmers have no food. Yet the measures taken by past governments have not been sustainable. Reservations and benefits can cause only more divisibility and animosity. Unless the ‘privileged’ realise the advantages they enjoy, and voluntarily accept to participate in the government’s initiatives to uplift the disadvantaged, this nation’s progress will forever be incomplete. This is the mission that I want to achieve."

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Crash!Boom!Bang!

Last weekend I ended up watching two movies - both at Sathyam Cineplex which is by far the only decent place to watch movies in Chennai (unless you go to Mayajaal which is way ouside the city). Anyways, normal weekend crowd in Sathyam, ensured that the only movie we could find tickets for was 'Malaamal Weekly'. None of us really wanted to see it, but we guessed it would be Ok, timepass.

Maybe it was the low expectations we had, but the movie was actually quite fun. n typical Priyardarshan style, oft repeated PJs were presented in a way that they still evoked the audience to respond favorably. The ensemble cast delivered - and how! Paresh Rawal, not at his Hera Pheri best, but brilliant no doubt - proving once more that he is India's best comic actor. Om Puri, Asrani, and the rest (lets please leave Riteish Deshmukh , however he spells his name, out of this) were also good. I did wish that Rajpal Yadav had better lines. He has real talent and this movie did not quite do justice to his potential. Arbaaz Khan in a bit role is competent - but is this how far his career will ever go? Probably, in the better interests of the viewing public, that is how it should be.

After that light Saturday evening, I set out on Sunday morning with my parents to watch this year’s Oscar Winner Crash. Had heard so much about the film from DD, that even before it won the award I had read an extract of the script. The movie is good, but no brilliant in any aspect. Must watch the rest of the nominations to find out why they gave it the award. Paul Haggis played out the story well on screen; and despite the ‘violent’ and inflammatory issues it talks about the movie is very soft and eerily quiet. Am reminded of a chat with Pico where he was talking about the pre-reqs for a movie to win an Oscar these days:

“yeah... to win an oscar... the film must have the foll. quals:
1. make it in hollywood
2. give it the theme of "hope"
3. make it either "up-close-and-personal" or "grand epic"
4. incorporate some songs sung by gown-clad husky-throated women (or dolly parton)”

Which category does Crash fall into? Well #2 definitely. Though a lot of good and bad things happen, somehow the weak are always protected through the film. I don’t want to say anything more now, because I’d like to avoid spoilers. The movie transitions smoothly between the different story tracks, and the sense of time moving through the two day period comes out well, at just the right pace. At the end of it, you end up ‘feeling’ for the characters, but apart from that the movie doesn’t linger in your mind after you leave the theatre. In fact as I write this, there are hardly any sights and sounds of the film that are coming back to ‘haunt’ me. Maybe I should see it again, just to remember.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Cricket- or something like it...

Sunday evening.. someone sends a message - "Australia raped SA - they made 434/4".

Initial reaction: Shocking.. but then its Australia. I mustn'e be surprised. Still, I logged into CrisInfo to see who did the damage. The name of Ricky Ponting, and the score of 164 didnt leave a good feeling in my stomach. The Aussie captain is not one of my favourite cricketers.

I stayed logged on and watched the SA innings progress ball-by-ball. The lack of a set-top box, kept bugging me - coz i knew that in any other place in the country i could be watching the match. Damn Chennai!

Anyways, caught the last five overs on Star News (god save them, despite all the 'sansanis'). Am not here to proclaim how this was the greatest ODI ever - and how the close finish just made it all the more special. aussies sure miss Mcgrath and Warne.

I do however agree with Tony Greig, when he said that the single taken on the 4th ball of the 50th over was probably the most important moment of Makhaya Ntini's cricket career.

It was surreal.. ten years back 300 runs was unheard of in odis.. are we entering the 400 phase now? where will this go? Is slogging and hoitting the ball out of the park, the future of cricket? is it now just a batsmen's game, with the bowler's being happy to sneak in the odd dot ball??

Well, all this and more, just makes test cricket so much more relevant. Where there is an even battle between bat and ball. Am not a purist, or a prude.. but yes, I would enjoy more 'runs' scored than boundaries; where innings are crafed and not just built on hitting the ball over the boundary.

It was a wonderful match - I agree.. but like someone i know put it - it was somewhat of a fluke.. lets hope it stays there. More power to the bowlers!

'Holi'day

Hey, Happy Holi .. to whoever it is that still reads this blog..

Haven't written a general post in a long long time. By general post I mean an update to what I am doing, what is new in my life, and interesting sights and sounds.

Firstly, me moved to Chennai from Delhi - mega change as far as lifestyle is concerned- still trying to figure out the implications. One of the good things is that I have net at home and so will blog more often.

Among other stuff have finally freezed on a plot for my book - will start writing n full swing post April. Still finalising some tiny details on how to tie up some loose ends.

Couple of things I wanted to blog about - the greatest cricket match of all time and two movies that I saw in quick succession - Maalamaal Weekly and Crash.

Since today is a 'Holi'day shall hopefully find time to do both..

So watch this page for more

tada!

Monday, March 06, 2006

Of Poetry.. or something like it..

My favorite poet - by far - is Vikram Seth.. simply for his simplicity..

Today I stumbled upon this chap.. Do check it out.. it'll make you smile..

A sampler:


IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN

A poet should be of the
old-fahioned meaningless brand:
obscure, esoteric, symbolic, --
the critics demand it;
so if there's a poem of mine
that you do understand
I'll gladly explain what it means
till you don't understand it.