Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Oscars, Get off the high horse!

Every year, I have to tolerate this nonsense, this fuss about something totally foreign and irrelevant to us. Newspapers waste reams of paper, gushing TV anchors go all eloquent and some of you out there start moaning about the lack of such excellence in our country. Friends, my blood boils every time I see those pretenders indulging in this yearly ritual.

By now, you must have realized what I am talking about. Oscars..What else? The same ceremony which is nothing but a celebration of western supremacy and arrogance along with a generous dose of skin show. Fine, let them run around naked with phallus like trophies in their hands, I have no issues with that. Its only when some of my fellow countrymen start insulting our movies for not being nominated for Oscars, I feel obliged to give them a fitting reply.

Firstly, what is wrong with our movies, eh? They have songs, so what? Does the presence of songs diminish in any way the brilliance of the movie “HAHK” (“Hum Aapke Hai Kaun” for the uninitiated and unfortunate), the prowess of the actors or the cerebral vision of the director? Hardly. Can one imagine the movie “3 Idiots” without that loser singing “Give me some sunshine” before committing suicide? Nah..totally out of the question. Is there a better example of spontaneous acting than Govinda breaking into vigorous pelvic thrusts at every given opportunity? I can go on endlessly here. Songs are an integral part of our movies and it has added a new dimension to the art of movie making. And by the way, Hollywood has been copying us for long now. They too have movies with songs which they call musicals. But when it comes to our movies, they wrinkle their noses as if they have stepped on dog shit. Bloody hypocrites!

Story and direction wise we have top class stuff made in bollywood. You can take any genre, be it action, drama, comedy.. bollywood has given us gems on each of these. You guys go ga-ga over “Saving Private Ryan”. Faggots, all of you! That is why you prefer a sissy whose hands shake every time he sees blood to a lion like Major Kuldeep Singh in Border who badmouths an entire Pakistani tank regiment for half an hour without any one of them even daring to move an inch. You post dialogues from “Jerry Maguire” on facebook walls, but did he have to go through such trials and tribulations as Rahul aka Shah Rukh Khan did in those look alike feel alike Karan Johar movies? And if twisting your face by abnormal angles can be termed as comedy, then yes, Jim Carrey is good. I prefer Ritesh deshmukh though.

Our movies are good enough. Now why they don’t get nominated for Oscars is anybody’s guess. I know that some of you are already mouthing the name Satyajit Ray. Kancha Cheena’s mom had asked Ray to ‘stop exporting poverty’ long back. I have nothing more to add to this. Yes, shit happens sometimes, but does that mean we should portray our nation as a shithole in front of foreigners just to win an award?    

And that brings me to the second question, why the heck do we need an Oscar? I don’t understand this strange fascination. Is it imperative to be recognized by the academy before being considered as a great filmmaker or an actor? I will leave you with a statement made by a superstar, clenching of whose jaws was once enough for baddies all around the country to piss in their pants—“Indian cinema has always stood first, stands first, is the best. If they wish to give us an Oscar they can do it...if not, it would be even better”. Well said Shahenshah! Buddha Hoga Tera Baap!

So, chill! Screw the Oscars. We can still win awards. What are Filmfare Awards for? 

Friday, February 24, 2012

Dogs and Indians

During British rule, the entrance gate of the Pahartali European club of erstwhile undivided Bengal bore a sign which read—“Dogs and Indians not allowed”. It riled a 21 year old woman so much that she, along with few others, attacked that club and in the process lost her life. Pritilata Waddedar is still remembered as a brave revolutionary in some parts of Bengal. The British rulers had, understandably, branded her a terrorist.  

There are obviously no such signs anywhere in our country now. The foreign rulers have left.  We are the biggest democracy, haven’t we heard it every now and then? We are a liberal country, our citizens have equal rights and what not. And our GDP growth, boy, isn’t that impressive?

We have progressed by miles since the days of Pritilata, so much so that in a city like Bombay, one has difficulty buying a property if his/her name ends with a Hussain, Rahman or Ali. In some states, one’s mother tongue prevents his chances of getting registered in the state employment exchange. In job interviews, people’s surnames are enough to get their candidature cancelled. Sometimes, such candidates from other states are beaten up mercilessly. Women from the north east are raped in the national capital because, well, they look ‘different’, wear jeans and speak a strange language

But you won’t find any signs on any doors. The signs are in our heads.

And after all these, we complain about terror and terrorists.  We are lucky that some of our fellow countrymen have a tolerance level which is unusually high. We wouldn’t have existed till now otherwise.
Hatred is a term we use often. It is what Pritilata had felt towards the British rulers every time she saw that sign. We have compelled some of our countrymen to feel the same and the target, sadly, is us only.

Miley sur mera tumhara…indeed.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Why I need to order a Chetan Bhagat novel

Today I went through another article ridiculing Chetan Bhagat’s novels. This particular author compared the massive popularity of Bhagat’s novels with the advent of apocalypse. This was an extreme reaction, but most critics do seem to have a problem with Bhagat’s language which they say is pedestrian and only slightly better than the likes of me.

Hmmm…I am yet to read any of Bhagat’s works. So, though one ad says so, I still don’t know whether reading his books is better than sex. Bhagat’s reaction to criticism has been typical. He has termed his detractors elitist. He has assumed that most Indians do not know proper English and projected himself as their sole literary representative. He surely does have the numbers going for him. His books have turned out to be bestsellers, his language skills or the lack of it not withstanding.

So, does that mean Bhagat is right? It is interesting to note that Bhagat has never boasted of his language skills. The logical inference would be, and Bhagat has himself implied this in some interviews, that most of our domestic readers are not competent enough to be bothered by the lack of his language prowess. It seems Bhagat is the best an average Indian reader can hope for and they are quite happy with him, judging by the sale figures of his published works.

It seems nobody, even Bhagat himself, is ready to give credit to the stories he is trying to narrate through his novels. May be his plots are so awesome that people just love them like anything. May be  engineers could identify with the characters of Five Point Someone so much that they didn’t give a damn about Bhagat’s English. May be his Revolution 20-20 was released at the right moment, at a time when corruption occupied the centre stage of Indian politics.

A few days back one of my friends recommended a Mrinal Sen movie. I had watched quite a few of the great director’s works and liked them immensely. So, I watched the movie my friend recommended and didn’t like it one bit. The acting was excellent, the angles were top class, the background score was somber, but alas, I didn’t enjoy the plot one bit.

When I was a kid, I watched Godfather which was being shown as a serial in doordarshan. I didn’t know anything about acting, direction, photography or background scores then. I couldn’t even understand all the dialogues. But I loved it and continue to do so. Guess what, the story was/is too good.

May be the critics are right, may be Bhagat is a pretender or who knows, some of these critics might have been extremely jealous.

I need to order a copy of Revolution 20-20 and experience it myself. 

Monday, February 20, 2012


Whitney Houston died and how did I come to know about this? No, not from newspapers and news channels, the later have blissfully forgotten that UP elections is not the only thing happening around this world. I came to know about Whitney's death from the numerous RIPs posted on facebook. And that reminded me of the first time I came across this term. I don't actually remember when, but sometimes during my 10+2, I saw this poster of a long haired person playing a guitar, a cigarette dangling from the edge of his lips. On the poster, it was written "RIP, Kurt Cobain". I hadn't yet been introduced to rock music and had no idea who this guy was or what the term RIP meant (Guess I am of the slow type). But the poster stayed in mind and I asked one of my hip friends what the term meant. The friend, if you could call him one, gave me a look which convinced me that I sure had committed some grave mistake. He did however told me that RIP meant 'Rest in peace'. However, I was overjoyed to discover that even he hadn't heard about Kurt Cobain. I didn't know it at that time but the line of the moment was--I am not the only one. It was not until I met another long haired guy from Karnataka at my engineering college, did I come to know about Kurt Cobain and his songs.

That is why I feel a little embarrassed every time I use this term because it reminds of my friend's pair of eyes looking at me condescendingly. So, i don't use this term often, certainly not in cases where I hardly ever thought about the person when he/she was alive.

Kurt Cobain was/is different. I think about him often, rather he makes me think about things regularly.

RIP, Kurt Cobain!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

A God that fails

On my way to office today I came across this sticker on the back of a school bus which read—“God Never fails”. And that got me thinking, what if it is true. Won’t it be pathetically dull and boring never to fail?

Imagine that you are always successful no matter how little you try.  You don’t study, but still get top marks, you don’t work out but still have six pack abs, you don’t even try to fall in love, but the hottest chick would die to hold your hand and kiss you, you don’t apply for a job, but still Bill gates has called you a thousand times asking you to please..please..join his Company . Even Team Anna has agreed to the Lokpal bill you would draft, never mind the fact that you have turned down both Anna and the Game Changer. I can go on but the list of examples is endless. In short, you would achieve everything without a sweat and won’t it be fun!

Or will it? Would it be fun if you knew beforehand a game that you would win for sure? Would you ever feel that ‘corridor of uncertainty’ before proposing to someone if you already knew that he/she would accept? Would you ever wait with bated breath at an awards ceremony if you already know what the declaration would be? Quite simply, would you ever feel proud? I guess not.

I don’t doubt what was written on the sticker. God never fails and that is why he has stopped trying. There is no challenge left for him. That is why he is bored stiff and gone to sleep. In the mean time, here on earth, Godmen have taken over. Unlike God, they fail quite regularly and hence enjoying their job to the hilt at our expense.

A god that fails occasionally would probably be better for us.