Friday, February 24, 2006

Much ado about nothing PART-1

One day i saw anil ambani addressing an audience and the first lines of his speech were quoted from shakespeare "There is nothing like good or bad in this world. Its what our mind decides what is good and what is bad". I pondered on these lines from time immeroial and i came up with this exposition.

Whats good ? Or whats bad ? Let me recount my personal experience. Theres this phenomonally cliched question which is asked in our college and to the interviews that "What is your ambition ? ". And an equally phenomonally cliched answer from my friends(thank god i was spared the ordeal) is "To settle down in a good job." I used to wonder are these people mud who are going to settle down under water and remain stagnant. And the more wondrous question popping up in my mind is
"What the FUCK is a good job ? ". I mean since my friends are not killers or smugglers(which are also not bad professions) so the most remotely "bad" job left in the world is a blow-job(was that a "bad" joke !!). So where the HELL does a bad job come into the picture.

Another "bad" thing is corruption which we all abhor but is it that "bad". We have seen the recent sting(which unfortunately still contains a lot of venom) operation called "pay-for-questions" where the mlas accepted money to raise questions. And it has gained such a mileage that they have been suspended. But have they really done a "bad" thing ?? I meam when we dont get a ticket for a movie we happily pay 50 bucks extra and watch it in black. When the cylinder is finished ahead of the month evern our mother - who says corruption is bad et al - pays a 100 bucks extra to get the cylinder. So when a common man is inured towards all these things why should the "representative of a common man" face the brunt.

We say that the colonial rule has kept us suppressed for 200years but thanks to the English rule over us that our cities are properly constructed and the education system is in a strategic fashion. If it would not be for english, our own mumbai, would have submerged under the torrential rains which occurred in 2005. They gave us the victorian code of morals . So are the English bad people ? By any yardstick the answer is a big NO.

Sceptics might say, where the hell then rape,bestiality, ad nauseaum fit into the "good" scheme of things. My answer is they are EVIL. And theres a definite demarcation between bad and evil. Because right from our childhood we are taught that - incontinence,drinking,smoking,dating,nudity,pre-marital sex,co-habiting,homosexuality- are "bad" things. Now they are "good" things but our social mores made us perceive them as "bad". Theres going to be a sequel cos this has already extended its length.

P.S: Well the title given is a famous shakespeare play "much ado about nothing".
I came to know that shakespeare gave this name because "nothing" is a
nomenclature for female genitals and something is nomenclature for male
genitals. God knows what he means by that !!
I will be back with part-2

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Touche rana dasgupta

Due to my extended holidays in college i am on a reading jamboree these days. Whenever something like young achievers list is given in a national magazine i just give a cursory look and muse to myself that this is where a coterie of supporters can come handy. But this time since i was at leisure i went through each of them. One such guy is rana dasgupta who wrote his single but brilliant novel "Tokyo Cancelled".
In the magazine, this canterbury born delhi settled drop dead gorgeous writer quoted something which was really a very apparent quote in this current ubersexual age.He said "Everythin worth beautiful is already finished. So look for ur future in unpromising places". How so apparent and true !!! Looking at the current social scenario cliches,bromides and platitudes became blase for current generation.
Or why else gayatri ganjawala whos an IIM-L student instead of plunging into a plump corporate job do crooning for hindi films ? Its these virgin territories which hold lots of potential in future. Currently my friends are after the IT boom but clairvoyance suggests that the future is going hold potential for nanotechnology but its the "virgin" tag which is stopping them from taking the step. Who knows may be the services sector may provide more jobs than the IT and its allied services job. When all the players of big states failed to make a mark on international arena ,the national selectors got a guy from jamshedpur and an another one from baroda. And lo behold they became the new pin-up guys.
In the literary front, amitav ghosh went back to his roots and he came with a spellbinding book "the hungry tide" with all the trappings of a winner all the way. When everyone was after the punk,rock,roll and jazz ,phat phish records had the gumption to take on the less trodden path and signed on rabbi shergill for his sufiana andaz and he took the world by storm . Even pankaj awasthi is not lagging much behind with his nine a runaway hit.
Even the businesses are following the dictum which richard branson endorsed very well by utilising his underdog status to the hilt. ONGC has gone to syria to acquire oil fields. Last year's thought provoking movies like black,my brother nikhil and hazaaron khwahishein aisi endorsed the least talked subjects and in due course of time they were applauded. Even the media has undergone a sea change. At one time second by second reporting was "in" but it has become a passe. Now its the sting journalism and all thanks to tarun tejpal and his motley crew. Bungee jumping will be a cliche and zorbing is going to be the whiff of fresh air in adventure sports.
Everything is undergoing a sea change but not the mindsets which hav been parochial and continue to be so. Otherwise the other day my friend was distressed because he dint have a valentine. Lets hope the real concept of valentine's day is ingrained to our minds which is that this day is a day of love. So give your mother,sister, anyone u like or meet on the road, a hug and a rose.
As of now let me give rana dasgupta three cheers and this time when i visit a book store i am gonna buy his "tokyo cancelled". Thats for sure.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

A reference for mr.gibson

The most excruciatingly painful movie i have ever seen on screen was "the passion of the christ". The movie was so detailed that even a nail was dug into jin caviezal's feet and it was evened out.That was one scene i can never forget, and that was non-fiction.

I hav recently read maximum city and cant help but feel that if mel gibson ever wants to obliterate himself he can make a scene by scene depiction of maximum city, and believe me mr.gibson its worth it and to top it all, its non-fiction.
Writing on a city like mumbai can be very dicey considering the fact that it needs to include everything-shiv sena,underworld,bar dancers,eunuchs,cross dressers,politicians,vada pav,chawl,bomb blasts,encounter specialists and of course BOLLYWOOD- and suketu manages quite well to do that. The only grouse for a mumbaikar may be that the siddhivinayak temple did not even get a mention. And of course sachin tendulkar also does not find any mention.

Had he kept fictitious names it would hav vitiated the book but suketu mehta had the gumption to write about everyone right from bal thackeray to the D-company to the encounter specialists to the machinations occuring in the bollywood to the plight of bar dancers. And he manages to do that with an undercurrent of subtle humour.After the book got released the author lost a good friend like vidhu vinod chopra but its still worth it. After all dont u remember the famous baazigar lines : "zindagi main kuch paane ke liye kuch khona padta hai aur haar kar jeetne wale ko baazigar kehte hai". Suketu is a true baazigar.

This book is a must read for all mumbaites who may be quarantined from the murky things of mumbai and even more must watch for non mumbaiites because its simply unbelievable that so many things can happen in one city whose population is more than the continent of australia. This one is easily the best non-fictional book an indian has ever written . May your breed grow suketu.

Be4 signing off 4 lines on mumbai from taxi no.9211 sung by the inimitable bappida

lakh lakh log roj aake bas jaate aate hai
is shehar se dil laga ke phas jaate hai
sone ki raahon main sone ko jagah nahi
shola hai ya hai bijuriya dil ki badariya mumbai nagariya

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Love is in the air( Oh is it ??)

The other day i was talking with one of my friend who fortuitiously happens to be a girl.She asks me "what are your plans for this valentines day ?"very much aware of the fact that i dont have any such friend whos a "girlfriend".But she knows that i am going to ask her the same question.And when asked she laps on to it and goes into a homily and my phone bill escalates.
She says "u know im very much happy being single and looking at my friends with boyfriends who fight and reconcile i feel being single is being and exciting".I asked myself is she being true or a chance for me to try my luck(just kidding !!!). One of the character in maximum city says that "A mothers love is pure because she will never think that this boy got first rank and so i want him as my own child. Not my son whos last in the class." Can we say the same for a girl ?? Ofcourse not.
But how many of us celebrate mothers day ? Thanks to my school i atleast gave my mom 3 or 4 cards during those days.Once after adoloscence mom is a non-existing entity and a "sweetheart" is an asset.At the risk of sounding idealistic and a gandhian which im not let me look from a general perspective.
Valentines day really reached this euphoric hype when the shiv sainiks ransacked the discos and shops selling valentines merchandise.And then the "lovers" even in jhumri thalaiyya got to know that they have another excuse to "enjoy". These same shiv sainiks who have separated from "The tiger or the remote control(whoever)"
are now saying that valentines day is permissible until vulgarity doesnt happen.
This is the height of hypocrisy ; Raj thackeray needs those student votes to survive and so valentines day is a solemn occasion like marriage. Lets see a general valentines day routine of a couple. The guy gives her roses and the girl a kiss on his cheek (shes no mallika or meghna). After that a movie and then to a secluded place to think bout their future and then a candle-lit dinner. More adventurous ones will propose for a marriage. This is a normal valentine routine and to splurge money anyways do these people need a valentines day. Ofcourse not.
If this day is celebrated by heterosexuals let the "people with different tendencies" also come out of the closet and get entrance into a disco which is for "only couples".This will atleast serve some purpose. Other than for the MNC's who rake in the moolah.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

And the sexiest man award goes to.....

A couple of years ago i read somewhere shobhs de quoting that older men are sexier than their younger counterparts.I was naive enough all these days to think that "sexier" means well toned bodies and having energy to take zip and give two whips at the back as and when required and that too without using VIAGRA
After reading Shalimar the clown salman rushdie indeed is the sexiest man and no wonder that his wife(who wont be more than the age of rushdie's daughter,that is,if he had one)preferred over so many "hunks".This is no encomium for rushdie but after reading shalimar the clown i have to .
"My father's murderer is my mother's husband"
This is not ur typical bollywood meange-a-troise. Rushdie pulled it off so well that at once he creates contempt for shalimar the clown and emapthy towards ophuls and boonyi which dont exist at all.This is the kind of magic the book casts on the reader.Weaving a complex plot with only 4 principal characters needs lot of intense detailing and rushdie does exactly that.
Agreed that he is a kashmiri but one needs to consider the fact that hes hardly been in kashmir. However the description of kashmir and demography will instantly qualify as a tourism brochure for kashmir.The Strasbourg episode might make the reader a bit useless but just at the time of squirming the reader is brought into the world of boonyi which is easily the best part of the book.
For me at once verbiage was a good word,more so, because rushdie has used the vocabulary in a befitting manner. Agreed that a normal reader might have to keep dictionary beside while reading the book but the situation demanded those words.
Coming the sketching of characters it was as usual impeccable.Outstanding character is the eponymous one.The shades attached to him are make this book a must read.
Skeptics may argue with the title and say that khushwant singh and garcia marquez are the forerunners but these two people gratified sex as passion and rushdie showed it as emotion and thats where he scored the brownie points.
What ?? Did someone say upamanyu chaterjee ? After his sublime english august his latest one sucks like anything.
I will back with the reivew of MAXIMUM CITY.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Oh Lord !! Let there be a DRACULA

In the olden days every vyjayanthi mala movie used to have her inimitable dance. Nowadays every emraan KISSmi(read it as has hashmi) movie has the guy locking his lips with almost every hottie in the tinsel town.
It used to be gratifying for people like me and many others to see a guy who has the gumption to smooch an unknown girl in public(tumsa nahin dekha) or else he asks the girl
"mere liye kuch bhi karogi"
The girl says "haan"
And he says "Toh phir apna top utaro"(aashiq banaya aapne)
The climax of aashiq banaya aapne made me feel that at last we have a guy who is not being hypocritic and doing what any normal guy would do.

When someone asked him about his smooching capabilities.He said
"Im not a DRACULA to go and dig my teeth into a girls lips.I only do if the director asks me to". Touche .

But dont know wat happened to Indian cinema's real hero but he says that he wont be doing anymore kissing scenes. These so called conservatives must have damned him and in the process Bollywood loses a voyeuristic and perverse actor.
God knows wat will happen to Bollywood after the dwindling number of the likes of shakti kapoor and emran hashmi.
Oh Lord !!! Please save the DRACULA

P.S. : The initial lines of this post are direct rip off from a review of subhash.k.jha.