Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Outward Bound

Nothing has romanticized populace more than freedom. Yes, that shining beacon of civilization. And then, nothing quite has been subjected mutinies and tyranny as that same freedom. Want for freedom is that universal emotion that transgresses boundaries. Physical, political and mental. That pendulum trying to swing past its projected path, defying its stated purpose of periodic rise and fall. That child on the swing, taunting the pusher to go higher, and higher. Sky bound. "We are often too afraid to become, what we envision ourselves to be in our finest moments" said somebody. That hero of our day-dreams is more of a possibility in just dreams. For, to realize that hero in real life would mean changing direction, and being somewhat of a renegade. That’s just too much damn work. This cocoon of familiarity is just too cozy. So, that hero revels in our psyche and we smother him with material possessions and self-defined victories. But the calling never fails. For this same hero inside you, raises its head above water for one last gasp of survival, and manifests itself as the Oprah-publicized 'Mid Life Crisis'. Its time to let that hero free. In an increasingly permissive world, he can survive. Time to break free from the shackles of predictability. Freedom is after all, a state of mind. It is not granted and it does not just come about. It has to be affected into being by individuals. You and me. We are simply guinea pigs in this light-year old experiment of Evolution, creatures to test the effects of life in order to improve future generation. And, as with any experiment, results are not found without testing under various conditions... And, as with any experiment, results may vary!!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Form-idable

Many interpretations to this one here!!
We spent the first significant years of our childhood simply sharpening those motor skills that make u a tangible person from that flailing lump of flesh we all started out to be. Once in control of our bodily movements, we set about using them to form things...used them in a handshake to form bonds with fellow sapiens. As a corollary to this, we formed, in our minds, impressions of these people. Some of these impressions transgressed their appropriate territories and formed themselves as prejudices. Prejudices notwithstanding, we formed our own individual attitude and personalities. Formed peculiar habits. I’m guessing these peculiarities are what formulated our moves. And carelessness, procrastination and scapegoats are just forms of apathy. No wonder then that I paid so dearly for my exam forms. (14K+) So did Dhruv with his CAT form being rejected!! But, so did Ganguly when he lost his form!! Form ICL and Kapil gets in trouble. Form an opinion and extremists thirst for your blood. Form a nuclear deal and communists strangle you. Form a government and you sit on a chair with 3 legs, each a bit unsteady. Form a drug habit and you are down from ramp to rags. (A beggar in a corset and skirt!! Now that’s new). Forms spell trouble...

* form a blog and suddenly everyone's a free lance writer!!

Vidhu Vinod Chopra – “I’m constantly saddled by a viewer who’s cinema illiterate. It’s like trying to talk Shakespeare with Khem Bahadur, my Nepali cook. My fear is that through constant simplification and trying to talk Shakespeare with Khem Bahadur, I’ve lost the ability to discuss Shakespeare with people who know Shakespeare”.

Arshad Warsi as ‘Circuit’? Or Arshad Warsi as the SSP in ‘Sehar’? The underplayed, but more real to life role played by him in Sehar has virtually gone unnoticed in the market. So the question arises, is the Indian audience ready to embrace real-life portrayals as such? The producers’ mind still battles with these questions, of portrayal of the over-the-top hero who comes in and makes everything glossy against the real life trials of a man who is good at heart. And after all said and done, economics weigh in on the intelligence quotient of the film. Why do we still find the need to have a protagonist with absolutely no flaws? One can understand the period of political and economic uncertainty which gave rise to such characters, where after spending money and three hours of time you needed to come out of the hall feeling optimistic. But now that we are in an age of rapid development and competency in the global market, do we still need such idols, all white and no grey? The hero curse has prevailed through years, not only in film making, but in everyday life too. A perfect man with no faults or fissures in character, whatsoever. Our concept of a social worker is a man who gives up wearing jeans to don a khadi kurta. We refuse to identify with a person who does good, while making a living for himself. It’s this xenophobia and lack of respect for money making that prevents a lot of people from actively participating in social justice. Our Nehruvian roots of economy have always emphasized on wealth distribution, all the while conveniently forgetting the precursor of wealth creation. The populace can starve to death, but the moment it is offered two meals a day in exchange for 8 hours of work, we speculate exploitation. The National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme simply offers crutches to a man who, with a little help, can walk on his own. We compel Bajaj to continue production at a factory that it deems unviable. It is about time we stop opposing for opposition’s sake. There is bound to be collateral in this process of moving forward. Darwinian Theory dictates the survival of the fittest. Those who cannot keep up must perish in order for new initiatives to sustain themselves.

Indians are not good tinkerers, says Gurcharan Das in India Unbound. It basically stems from our divided social system, a general contempt for manual labor, and where to move up the social scale, knowledge was the one and only option. While it justifies India’s exceptional Knowledge Based Economy, it also binds a person's choices. Our education system rarely allows room for foray into diverse fields. Trivial, as it may seem, one thing made me realize this lot. When we, as students, learn Newton’s theory of Gravity, we are forced to accept it as the only and correct explanation for objects being attracted to earth. The onus is on learning, not on thinking. The distinction between a theory and a law is never made clear. A theory is liable to challenge. Thus begins our rote method of accepting everything printed in the book. A stifled mind can never be a ground for invention. A friend’s brainchild about a professional quiz firm was thus a refreshing change. We can safely lock up our pasts in the closet. The days of job insecurity and economic dictation of career is behind us. Gone are the days when medical and engineering formed the core career choices and arts was left to the unfortunate low scorers. As the day and age provides us with that soft cushion of IT and ITES jobs, it is becoming more and more important that we venture out into the market beyond, to rise above our label of the global back office. IIM’s have already started the trend of entrepreneurial initiatives. Sabeer Bhatia, in an interview with Reader’s Digest said “Silicon Valley is the only place where you can walk into a bank with just an idea and walk out with a $100,000 loan." Hope the trend catches on. Here’s wishing Rohan all the best!!

Monday, September 10, 2007

What type are you??

Countless characters of the human mind. Outcome: countless forms of lovers!! So you have the quintessential studly bad boy who treats his mate like doormat. Oddly revered by men, frowned upon by women (although sometimes secretly admired). Then there’s the personification of the age old poetic cliché “I’d give my life for you”. Successful in the long run, where stability makes a compromise for immediate eye-candy effect, but always the substitute shoulder in short flings. The territorial nature that our wild forefathers left for us in our genes creates that ever so jealous partner who shoots from his eyes, anyone taking a peek at his mate. Now he is a person I pity for he is in that ever lasting conundrum of having a mate who is strikingly gorgeous, but who one doesn’t attract leering eyes. My best guess is he settles down at around 50 when he can take a sigh of relief in the fact that his mate is still pretty, but not appealing anymore by the sheer reason of age. Some, still carrying the momentum of the "poorna swaraj" call, settle into more convenient "open" relationships. Like I said, characters and love styles will be infinite. but the ones that take the cake are the fully Bollywood inspired type, who feast on Karan Johar flicks, then confuse reel life for real life, put themselves in SRK's shoes, and although spontaneous orchestras are difficult to arrange, try to make the relationship as dramatic as possible. Encore, I say. My balcony seats to such a show were worth the hassle. She doesn’t eat, he doesn’t eat. She cries, he cries. She fights; he stands on a road divider in the rain and shouts out her name in a public display of catharsis. A 102 degree fever, two days of starvation, a handwritten letter (composed by plagiarizing 50 love songs, one cliché at a time) and a whole lot of heart broken looks later, the happy couple is back. Intermission. This is the cue for you to go relieve yourself, get your popcorn, samosa and coke, and prepare yourself for climax after climax after climax. Not the Viagra kind, though!!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Of Rain and Mobility

rain ain go away..starts the nursery rhyme.little johnny might have had his wish come true, but we certainly didnt..rain brings out a certain character in everybody...be it trees, birds, animals or just a group og testostorone glands like us.. we thrive on mobility... 7' o clock in the clock may not stir up emotions in people, but that cave man craving to get out of the den takes over us... past six odd years, we have followed the routine without fail.. so much so that our biological clocks are intune with that...lungs crave new air!! bike bellows to be saddled.sensory perceptions heighten for even a whiff of that fabled and elusive SHIKAAR...the road, like the proverbial doormat screams to be treaded upon...and i guess after such a set routine the happy lovers on the lake side too wait, to bask in the jealous gaze of by-passers...with that ultimate compliment of someone giving his girl a cat call...sheesh, people can find validation in the most uncivilized of acts...
but then the rain god decides to break this seeming monotony...possibly the old indian rain dance has been answered.. n now suddenly we are paralyzed with the fear of wet underwears!! so now we scamper around and pull up our sources to look for that saviour, that white knight in shining armour who would ride upon his chariot of the indica,wagonr or ikon make, and resuce us...but now there is that added problem of finding a new palace..that sureity of knowing where to sit our asses down is no more..and the quarrel ensues like a six headed beast.economics, geography,history of chic sightings, all come into play along with a pinch of ideological clashes and a dash of "if he goes left,i go right".
and then there is the road trip..one survey of Road to Heaven, with some experimentations of wheel traction on various kinds of surfaces..and that punctured tire..all problems set aside by constant stream of gibberish from everyone..and of course, shree's every confident "koi problem nahi"
time well spent,people...no harm done..none