Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Merit must prevail.. Its pure drivel..

Since everyone has joined the bandwagon of the dichotomous issue concerning reservations in higher institutions i feel piqued and so here is my opinion. Almost all the students are opposing this decision by the UPA government. AIIMS students have infact gone on a fast and making bandh calls. This leaves the lifes of the patients hors de combat.. In these strident and quite stentorian protests many things are being kept under the carpet. Its age of disclaimers. Anything and everything which is remotely perceived to be controversial, be it da vinci code or smoking on screen, needs a disclaimer. So first things first, a disclaimer.

The views over here are not mine.. And please dont think of me trying to be eccentric because if ur a regular reader of my blog then u will come to know that i loathed RDB, defended kaavya vishwanathan, i find salman rushdie sexy. I really felt in that way.

So, heres my missive to all my readers(306 when i was writing). Lots of furore is being raised that even the savants and mavens(euphemism for meritorious) may not get through to the prestigious institutes if the reservation is implemented. Any country-including nepal- aspires for social equality. Lets get our facts right. 85% of india consists of OBC's, SC's,ST' s. That leaves us, technically speaking, with 15 % upper castes people. Moreover, merit is not the patrimony of the upper castes people. Lots of backward-lets say deprived- students fail to make the mark in the entrance exams due to their academic background. In a country which thrives on english language lots of these deprived ones have been through only their colloquial language. The upper caste students have access to far better education than the deprived ones. Now, let me clarify that in the last few sentences i have been only talking about the "upper castes" but not the creamy layer of the "backward castes". Those sentences apply to them also.

Why do the protestors miss a cardinal thing ? Reservations are only to get these students through the admission. They have to appear for the exams to get the degree. An AIIMS placard had the slogan that "why should i suffer for goverment's incompetence".
Well dear, it took atleast 90 years of hardcore fight for freedom. And when all the things were set right we were setback by another 30 years. Now, the government has realised the need that social equality is a must. And moreover, the sarva shiksha abhiyan, more and more navodaya vidyalayas will certainly buttress ur primary education facade. As the ground will be set firm the top floors will slowly and steadily be tapered off.

Most of the slogans being raised are that the goverment's ulterior motive in doing so is to strengthen their vote bank.
Really ?? These people are so much immersed in their protest that they have forgot their facts. More than half of the indian population currently is of students. And no government would dare miss that fact and leave itself imperilled in the next elections. So, we need to appreciate this endeavour of the government. Many "meritorious" students say that the deprived students cannot compete. So, heres my anti-thesis on that. Its a saying in brij bhasha

"karat karat abhyaas jadmath hoth sujaan" (Rigorous practice will turn a boob headed person into cerebral one)

The mere motivation at that level will see them through the rigorous studies. Anyways, the usual students who get through the general category are usually the part of the "brain drain" team. Leta take the example of sharath babu. He is an IIM alumnus who passed out this year and mind you he is a "Reservation" candidate. He got a job which would fetch him 8.5 lakhs per annum. Inspite of that, he has ventured into catering business and he is going to provide livelihood for some thousands. Sharath babu was lucky to get government's backing in his fledgling years. But wat about those many "deprived" children who top in the 10th and 12th but fade into oblivion later.
Some say that the reservation must be on the basis of income rather than castes. Oh yeah ?? huh.. Nowadays if a student deserves the seat then the banks give loans without any collateral. Income should certainly not be a criteria and leave those 2539 commmunities lurch in the middle. Some suggest increasing the number of seats. That wont do because increasing the size of the cake does not necessarily mean that all the fingers will get into that cake its just that those 3 fingers will get more cream.

Monday, May 22, 2006

How kaavya got famous, got caught and got embarassed ??

Sanjay gupta, more famously known as sanjay dutt's crony, is hailed as the most technically equipped director of indian cinema. Despite the fact that he brazenly copies the tarantino n korean movies. And neither do the original sources raise a whimper. But recently kaavya vishwanathan has been humiliated to all ends because of a blog(the harvard crimson). The blog says that kaavya's debut novel(how opal mehta got kissed.got wild and got a life ??), which is a bestseller, has many passages-40 to be precise- from megan mccafferty's sloppy firsts and second helpings.

Before haranguing kaavya lets look into the three cardinal issues regarding such controversies.
1) WHY ??
2)WHEN ??
3)HOW ??

LEts look into the first question,WHY ??
Kaavya secured a 5 million $ advance for her novel. And she was initially inveighled and later on chivvied on by her publishers, little brown in this case. Creative works need lot of freedom and thats the reason why even kiran nagarkar came out with his lates work,god's little soldier, after 11 years. But in this case the deadline was set and she had to work towards that. For god's sake this is not a mudnane software job. But whos gonna tell to those publishers.
Still she manages the book to be a taut and engaging one .
But it seems that when she reached that "creative block" she must have plagiarised it(remember mc cafeerty was kaavya's fav). This in no way vitiates the content of the book. Infact those passages are at most inconsequential to the plot.

The second question, WHEN ??
We are missing a clue in this jigsaw puzzle. And its the most important one.
Who knows kaavya might have written her own manuscript but the publishers might have wanted more of a chick lit kinda novel. So, the moot point is, were the passages plagiarised initially or after the publishers wanted something kitschy ?? Remember,
there have been instances of the publishers tampering with the content.

The third and most important question, HOW ??
Kaavya did not copy the passages as it is. She, if the proofs are to be believed, rephrased the sentences. And still shes being humiliated. I am an engg student and even though its incumbent on me to give paper presentations i have never done that.
But many students do give them. They shamelessly copy the content from google and brandish as their own. Ctrl+V and Ctrl+C are the only two commands they use and they win prizes also. Even the Phd's are offered on such cut,copy and paste basis.So that effectively means that "if you copy from a single source then its plagiarism and if its from multiple resources then its research !!". No one is blaming the publishers but i feel they are the real culprits. They should have vetted through the whole thing before its getting.

Somewhere down the line one can sense personal vendetta between the publishing chaebols namely little little brown and random for the book to be removed from the shelves despite the fact that kaavya agreed to incorporate original sentences. Ostensibly, due to the intellectual property infringement. Now lets get to the humiliating part of kaavya's controversy. One of her school teacher claims that kaavya was not a good writer during her school days and she was amazed that kaavya got such huge advance. MODERN DAY TEACHERS !! Instead of commiserating at kaavya's plight this teacher apparently wants her share of glory. Her articles in the harvard journal are also being verified.
Dan brown was really lucky. Even though his da vinci code was partly plagiarised he could not be acquitted because there might be an iota of truth in his superb blend of fact and fiction.One man must be elated that hes spared of the whole fiasco atleast four times. SANJAY GUPTA !!

P.S: kaavya's novel is not a travesty of mc cafferty's novels. I personally liked it very much and its a must read considering the fact that a 17 year old can pull off such a laugh riot. Do spare her for those last 40 dragging pages. I only hope she finds a better understanding publisher not a mercenary for her second novel.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Wats so interesting ??

The oxford dictionary gives the following meaning for the word interest

a)A state of curiosity or concern about or attention to something.

b) Something, such as a quality, subject, or activity, that evokes this mental state.

I tried to broadly classify interest into two
a)personal interest
b)public interest

A recent example of personal interest occurred recently. Dayanidhi maran, in his status as an I&B minister, tried to armtwist tata by forcing them to provide the whole 3g spectrum to the sun network. Now this is a pure misuse of power.
Lets take the example of public interest. No matter which team the indian cricket team is playing the prasar bharati tries to barge in and asks for it share of the pie.

Ostensibly, its termed public interest. And this same public interest fades away when india is playing in azlan shah cup or for that matter ranji trophy. When zee sports bagged the ranji rights prasar bharati did not even raise an eyebrow. The loser in this whole fracas has been ten sports.It has lost crores of revenue and the reimbursement amount is mere peanuts. The apex court also for some obscure reason supports the government owned prasar bharati. So apparently public interest means enjoying the antics of the cricketers and will atleast a minuscule percent of this public be interested in the rajya sabha n lok sabha proceedings !!! The answer is a big NO.

Let me cite another example. We all know about the controversy in which narmada bachao andolan has been shrouded. It found a crusader in aamir khan. It seems he was going in his benz(remember he prefers tht) via jantar mantar and found this shamiana of NBA. And he suddenly heard a clarion call and he strived for their goals. Now thats public interest, right ?? NO, WRONG. It seems like a gimmick to get into the limelight since his movies usually take three years to complete.

Has he been in any way a bit flustered when a condom was found in a sealed coke bottle. Did he,in the view of public interest stop endorsing coke? No, the very next day his new coke ad - thande ka tadka- was on air. Kya kya hota hai interest ke naam par.

When lakshmi mittal got unceremoniusly chucked out of the arcelor deal it wasnt tony blair who cried foul about it but the commerce minister kamal nath who was commiserating with him. He says that guy dolle is jealous that an asian is making a deal.Whereas the reasons given by dolle are perfectly acceptable considering the fact that mittal steel is a family owned company and the shareholders may be at risk. But kamal nath thinks otherwise despite the fact that mittal steel is not even listen in BSE. Did u say why ?? Because lakshmi mittal is the golden goose whose eggs will propel india's GDP. Thats what monetary interest is but its coined as public interest. How hypocritic..

So, as we can see that the difference between public and private interest is, slowly but steadily , getting blurred. Thanks to the recent decision of the apex court this time the whole of west indies series is gonna be exclusively shown on ten sports. So still theres some sanity prevailing and that line is still holding itself finely.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

A must watch for all movie buffs

I am a very ego-centric person and very much passionate about movies. When someone hits out at my passion i first try to get acquainted with that. One such incident occurred recently when the now showing host rajeev masand said that
"if you are a movie buff and still dint watch nuovo cinema(read it as chinema) paradiso
then dont claim to be a movie buff"

That was it. Those 3 minutes of sneak preview into the movie made me determined to watch that one. Since the cd libraries in my part of the world doesnt even have a pather panchali or a ritwik ghatak work expecting cinema paradiso is as preposterous as kavya vishwanathan claiming that she plagiarised unknowingly. So thanks to bit lord i found its torrent file online.

Cinema paradiso is an italian flick. I am a kind of person who fervently feels that movies have an universal appeal and language is no barrier. Enough of my personal homily i guess.

Nuovo cinema paradiso(released in 1989),set in a small italian town called giancaldo, is about a small boy named tito who adores movies and has a movie operator named alfredo (portrayed extremely well by philip noiret)as a close buddy. Their scenes are the most cherished moments of the film. Cinema paradiso pays homage to cinema and its audience and more importantly to the people in the operating room.

Since the downloaded file did not have any subtitles i found wanting over there. But the brilliant fotografia by blasco giurato made up for that. His lens captivated the beauty of giancaldo. It was as refreshing an experiene as watching wyoming hill in brokeback mountain. The musiche by ennio morricone elevates the mood of the film. My stand out scene where the violin strings literally uplifted the mood of the film is when a boy on cycle traverses from one theatre to another.

Due credit must be given to giuseppe tornatore for showing the machinations and proceedings in a theatre. Be it the gasps of the bishop at watching a smooch or the sly breast feeding of an infant or children masturbating while looking at a love making scene or the covert tit pressing or the novel way of censoring by playing a bell whenever a smooch appears or the crying of an elderly gentleman while looking at a mawkish scene. Some of the scenes may appear outrageous but no one can deny them.

The movie shows the paradigm shifts occuring through the aging process of the boy. A small boy first plays the black and white version(considering the fact that the movie is based in 1954). Then the young tito gets to operate on an eastman color reel. When his mother avers that the job is no sinecure he reluctantly joins military. And when he comes back to his roots the whole town changes but only superficially.

But the director keeps the best at the ending. The scene where the grown up guy(quite a sturdy one) watches all those edited kisses gave me goose flesh.
Well people , if your life is screwed up really badly and you need a job pretty desperately then this movie is a must watch. The whole process of playing a movie on that machine is so intricately explained that you can make a living by playing reel.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

I am proud to be "regressive"

Theres an insipid dialogue in the boring "mistress of spices"
"If roots are too strong, then they will start strangling your neck"

How wrong tilo was ? Yesterday naushad saab died. He was 86 and it was more of "when" rather than "if". He left a legacy of classics behind him and he made such a great impression on my mind. Be it the brij bhasha's mohe panghat pe or extremely romantic mere mehboob mujhe or the naughty nain lad gaye hai or the enigmatic chalte chalte or the inspiring duniya main ham aaye and the list just goes on and on.

My dad is an old hindi songs admirer and he used to make others listen to revive the old yet golden ( zeugma intended)
tracks. One day in the saloon when the mere huzoor songs were being played a guy came and told " stop playing those jesus
christ songs !! ". My dad felt embarassed, not for himself but for rafi saab. We are so neck deep into the westernized tracks
that we no longer care to appreciate our real treasure.

I mean just listen to the following lyrics
"mere mehboob tujhe meri mohabbat ki kasam phir mujhe un nargisi aankhon ka sahara de de"

They are so transcendtal. Naushad was a man of many firsts. He introduced the background score. He introduced to us the two kohinoor - md rafi and lata mangeshkar. I can vividly remember the background in mughal-e-azam when madhubala
confronts prithviraj kapoor. The mere sarangi in the background and the segue gives the whole scene a poetic silence.
I still tap my feet whenever i see bharat bhushan swinging in that brilliant "tu ganga ki mauj main jumna ki dhara". No one could explore lata's potential than naushad. She sang her heart out in "jab pyar kiya to darna kya".

Naushad hailed from lucknow and we miss that tehzeeb in current trend music. The lyrics werent functional. They conveyed a lot. I am not against the remix culture but lets try to hear what is our "own".

All i can say is a line from mere mehboob
"mera khoya hua rangeen nazara de de"

May the man's soul rest in peace.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Hi.. I am.. Move on.. 3mins up

A few days ago while going through a magazine i read an amazing article about speed dating in india(jee haan bharat desh main !!). This agency is in bangalore. They take 1500 from a person and pit 10 girls against 10 boys and give them 3 mins each to interact with all the ten people of opposite sex. Not to forget of course the piquant cocktail. If they find comptatible then they can go on a lonely date. But the glitch is that each person can talk with the opposite sex for only 3 mintues and then move on. Did u say ridiculous ? Me too. But the psycholgists aver.

They say that when two people meet they form an impression in the first 30seconds. This reminds me of oscar wilde's quote

" There is nothing like good or bad in this world. Its either charming or tedious"
Touche sir.
While calculating the permutations and combinations atleast one pair will be of a shy guy(like yours truly !!) and an equally demure girl. Literally speaking it will atleast take more than 3 minutes for that guy to break the ice(i dont know if pun is intentional or not !!). And god help if its a shy guy and a girl with oodles of chutzpah. He will either look at her toes(who said swarg pati ke charan main hota hai !!) or the surroundings but most definitely not at her face. And by the time he counts the number of fingers(who said abacus is the simplest form of counting) in her feet 3 minutes will be up. God forbid !! If the girl is a drop dead gorgeous(if she is does she need a date !!) one then the guy will take the whole 3 mintues to gorge at her beauty.

The other day i was watching mtv super select(god knows whats super except the two new commodes) and the effusive nikhil chinappa was in k.j.somaiya and he chatted with girls over there. HE asked them what is the first thing that u look in a guy. The answers left me quite befuddled and increased the disquiet in me. One of them said muscles. Thats the reason we see salman and john topless..

The other one said fashionable clothes. I dont want to hurt anyone's sentiments but girls usually like overtness. And some guys(including me) like subtlety. Thats gonna increase the friction. Another gal gave a prompt reply that she wants a guy with intellectual eyes. I have tried to look at the eyes at people of both sex but all i could find was a black or brown or blue ball on the cornea. Girls are really inscrutable(Mr.anurag mathur u made a BOO-BOO).

Whenever an eccentric book or movie or music is released the artistes claim that their works have their own target audience and all they need to do is to procure that audience. In the same way these dating agencies will help any guy or girl to find their perfect dates. But my only grouse is that a person will be counting those damn 180 seconds !!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Screw the bloody chauvinists !!

I had some exams to write so thought of giving an unwavering attention to them but alas result will be the same(extremely low marks !!)
Anyways before i write this article.. Let me issue some caveats(Aww.. yet again !!)

1) Im a pucca feminist but if i hurt the feelings of the ladies please know that its purely unintentional.

2)This is a really long article and i will be digressing here and there so please give ur undivided attention.

3)The most important one is that my article is in no way condoning heinous crimes like rape but im trying to ascertain the reasons why a rape is committed.

The other day i saw some statistics on tv. It said that every one hour two women are being raped in india. That set my brain ticking. Why is it that only in india do we see the rapes being committed at such a large scale ? I have tried to bring out my own thesis.

India is predominantly a male chauvinistic society and its provenance lies circa ancient age. Women have always been seen as a derogatory thing and a child producing machine. And it took the indefatigable spirit of some of the stuanch feminists to change the ante-diluvian mind of the society. This has not pervaded into the society but atleast some sporadic movements took place and women demanded what is already theirs.

This irked the chauvinistic fraternity. From then on men started to perpetrate these heinous crimes on women. Lets know one fact that rapes are not performed(is it a stage or a circus !!) by sex starved people or the sozzled up guys. They form a minuscule percent. Its mostly the chauvinists who try to assert their masculinity.

If a guy is sex strved then he can easily access a prostitute(read it as call girl !!). But a chauvinist wont be having paid sex. Indian men try to break the vulnerability of a woman. If its a wham-bam-thank you-mam kind of girl a chauvinist will feel hollow from inside. He needs to pander to his already inflated ego. But some women remain doughty even after a rape. And this is when the chauvinist starts abuses her. He will do so until she succumbs and pleads to him.

The kolkata high court was supposed to have given a watershed judgement when it sentenced dhananjoy chatterjee for death penalty but did it have any effect the exponential increase in the number of rapes. The answer is a big NO. The simplistic solution is to castrate all the men in the country !!

The statistics also reveal another depressing fact which is that among every 5 women raped one of them is a child. So wat about child rape ? Well, lets know that when a chauvinist is desperate to assert his supremacy all he needs his vulnerable face. Because lets be very clear about one fact that a chauvinist commits a rape only when hes been confronted by a flinty woman. Unable to face her he starts looking for options elsewhere.

Some say that provoking dresses worn by women incites the sexual hormones of men. Its pure bunkum. Statistics reveal that most number of rapes are done in villages where women cover themselves from head to toe. The rampant illiteracy in villages is one major factor in developing chauvnism. Why does guys have to take mms of their girlfriends and make it public. Thats just to get their ego flattered. They can talk at lengths about their carnal shenanigans. Did u say how sick ?? IT IS..

Even the society doesnt give woman her due. The skewed sex ratio corroborate this statement.
A couple of months ago at the audio release function of shaadi ke pehle mallika sherawat, in her very own inimitable brazen style, said that "my mom and brother are happy that at last im doing a U certificate movie".
It seems her mother moves in a burqa while shes out. Thats beacuse to avoid the glare of passersby. This is just an example of how a mother cant even be happy that her daughter is most wanted sex symbol. This might look like a perverse example but chauvinism evolves from perverseness.

A few days ago all hell broke loose and the whole bangalore was on fire. That was because the kannadigas most revered person rajkumar died and his fans are not getting a chance to give him a last look. This is one kind of chauvinism- linguistic chauvinism. Take this, if amitabh bachchan dies(i hope he never does) apart from a concerted memorial nothing much will happen. But in this case rajkumar represented the kannadas- and only them. He reperesented kannada language. In this age of predominantly english speaking people how else can mayhem happen ?

Well, rajkumar represented not those urban people but the villagers who think that kannada is the supreme of all languages. And mind you, their numbers far outweigh the urban population. Even the brilliant karunya lost to an insipid sandeep in the indian idol competition due to the language chauvinism factor. The andhra people wanted a guy who could sing in telugu not the one who could reperesent andhra at a global stage.

We have to change our parochial nature and until then no matter how many FII's are pumped india will still remain backward.