Monday, February 25, 2008

The country everyone loves to hate....

When I was in school i used to be really really impressed by the US. First man on moon, weapons, fighters This country was just amazing. The kind of confidence Americans exuded on the world stage was sumthing that struck an impressionable teenager like me. Millions liking me in India look up to this great country as of the nearest thing to utopia.
It was the great concepts of America..freedom of Individual , Enterprise, Equality, ..and yeah Hollywood and Baywatch ..which made me think i was born in the wrong country. And most of my peers also thought on the same lines ...! It was always me comparing the pot holed roads of my street with the manicured SuperHighways of US,the great universities lawns vis a vis the derelict main building of my college ..etc etc. Everyones living dream was to migrate to US .

Even now one will find a vast majority waiting for the golden ride...

Anyway as I grew up my priorities and my idea of America changed. It had nuthing to do with Economics. It had more to do with being exposed to the truth about this great country. I dont deny that what this country has achieved is stupendous..but I wudnt want India to be America. Not in any way....Not ever. Why?

The main reason is that after visiting and seeing 11 countries in my woefully miserable life ..i have realised that there are much stronger things in India which will take thousand of years for america to develop.
1. The fabric of Liberty that America is based on is actually not liberty ..its scant regard or concern for a fellow being. We in India are too much into each others much so that a country which prioritises individual freedom becomes a messiah in our eyes ..! But if we look closer we will realise .. its not respect for freedsom ..more so its a total lack of concern.

2. We assume that Americans are total Rationalists . They believe in Religion Of Science. Nuthing could be farther than truth. The Victory of George Bush(II) was highly attributed to severe Right Wing Politics(our Viswa Hindu Parisad ,equivalent). When u hear MrBush say "god ordered me to send troops to Iraq" ..u realise that we are better off here. Just Imagine Mr Manmohan Singh sayin" Wahe guru ne bola hai ki Reserve Banks ke rates bada do"...

3. America is a comparatively safer place. Yes there are amazing health care facilities and the police are well paid and trained.But to assume that its a safe place is a fallacy assumed by ppl who have never been there. Try strolling alone for a golgappa or a chat ..after 7 o clock in the evening and for all u kno u might be killed for ur watch or ur sneaker.

4. There is equality for all. Well thats again a myth. Blacks are severely discriminated against and sometimes even basic medical facilities are not made available in name of color of skin.

5. Although most business principles of management and trade have come from America, the ethics behind them are highly questionable. Its a quick quick way without any thought . Ask any management graduate ...and u will realise the hollow foundations on which these business practice stands..

6. The social values and culture of America is non-existant. Ppl are good but in absence of a structure the society cant sustain change or mould itself..

there are many a small points...too numerous to mention here that have undermined my desire to make India , America...!Put in a nutshell I now have the impression of America as a dazzlingly packaged , low standard cake , sold at an exorbitant Price. When I have the option of the healthier version of it made at home (albeit shabbily Packaged) ..I wud go for it.

There are lots we shuld learn from America. But i feel all the knowledge we want is already with us. America can teach us very little. Unless we want to be the most hated country in the world....

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Mithya- A Review

I have seen Rajat Kapoor on the NDTV show..Lounge. I was actually surprised to hear that he was a director and that too of "Bheja Fry" of my all time favs.Recently his film "Mithya" was launched and I saw it on my lappie .

I feel that any review of the film ..any film ..shud not mention the storyline. Its irrelevent to the fact wat the movie does to u. Any great movie should be like an eagle flying and soaring in ur conciousness ..and u tryin to hold on to its legs in order to get a glimpse of the higher sky its flying to. Mithya does manage to take off but I found it letting me go at crucial junctures..!

The story is a dark take on "Don"...! Both hero and heroine die at the end. Thats it.

What actually stands out in the film is the desperation of a low time actor brought out by Ranvir. one can see the fleeting shadows of a man clutching at the last straw of hope amidst total rejection. Ther is no glory and joy but the struggle to just live on in hope of some thing bigger while not denying the gutter of the prsesnt is at the same time uplifting and depressing.

The other fact about this particular movie is that it does not shy away from darkness. There is no romanticism in the shadows of this film chiaroscuro effect emerging from the shadows. One can almost smell the rotten fungus in the shadows of this film. And the film uses them to create an effect of a vile and foreboding ..and real. There were a few scenes which i thought would end in a witty dialogs ... but ended in the brains being blown out with an automatic gun.Bravo, Rajat...

Its no doubt a brave film ...But somewhere i found the film faltering in trying to be something its not. There were very few scenes like that but they were there. There is a scene where the relicated Don, "Raje"( Ranvir as the replaced don) plays out the "failed underpaid actor" bit to a builder...or the "to be or not to be.." scene with his wife. Not required. Its like trying to put in a bit of Soda in a glass of wine.

Neha Dhupia, my my that girl can act . No, really..her big butt not withstanding the lady CAN SERIOUSLY ACT...! Ms Neha if u are reading this ..please stop shaking that booty and do some serious films...U dont have a figure to be a bimbette but u are a boon for serious acting.

A very mature and understated performance by her ..Esp when I had seen Rama Rama Kya hai ye drama ...a day before. She compliments and enhances Ranvir in every possible way.

Cant say much abt Naseeruddin Shah, Vinay or Saurabh Shukla..They are excellent as usual.

I wish that "Mithya " having taken me on such an awesome "eagle Ride" had not dropped me at few places..What the hell..even with those drops the View was awesome. Highly recommended for sum intelligent viewing.

"Saas Bahu " and "romentick" ppl pls do the movie a favor ..Stay away!!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

"Its just a remote"

I guess i can be teased a bit abt being a mama's boy(not exactly but never mind)...when i write this but if u think i care a damn abt that think again.

When ur mom comes to stay with u one thing u can count on is that ..u may be 40 but u will get shouted on for not getting up early morning or being too much on if the time between ur school and IIT never happened. Time is relative ..especially for a mom. Anyway that being the case ..
Few days ago my mom lost the TV remote. Not exactly lost ..but i suspect she dropped it in the dustbin by mistake and the garbage bag obviously got thrown out. The remote is pretty expensive and its definitely a thing that cant be done without..! But wat i was surprised is that my mom was genuinely sorry to the point of being apologetic about it. She was like really really sad that she put me in such a financial crunch....! She wud clean the house thoroughly every day for four consecutive days .. thorough means rite from the kitchen shelves to the bedroom find the remote. ..and at the end of the day when i wud come back she wud say that till now she did not find the remote.I cud see that remorse on her face writ large..
Its just a shitty remote . Things get lost ..not an issue. I was just thinking of a time when i was arnd 6 and i broke my dad's AM transistor(i was always destined to be an engineer). I was shit scared . I ran to my mom and told her
"maa..i broke the radio" ...

"Wat radio?"...

"u kno the black one ..the one dad hears the news on?"

"i was opening the screws dropped from my hands and broke..i dont think it can be repaired"

I remember this incident because i was genuinely scared ..i had tears swellin up in my eyes...and to tell u the truth i was truly repentent..i shudnt have touched it.

My mom hugged me then and said with a smile..

" arrey ..nuthin has happened ..its just a radio..atleast u did not break naa..ha ha "

I think today i think will say the same thing to maa..

"its just a remote maa...atleast u did not get lost ..he he "