Saturday, November 20, 2010

Difficult to speak, impossible to be silent.

"An event has happened, upon which it is difficult to speak, and impossible to be silent."
~ Edmund Burke on the Impeachment of Warren Hastings, 5 th May 1789

I write this in complete and utter desperation. In my 19 years of existence, I have never felt more hopeless when it came to my country.

The last few weeks have spelled nothing but disgust in my heart and mind for the one's who run this country and I feel sorry for India and for millions of its citizens like me.

First, I would like to apologize. Apologize to my nation and to my ancestors and to my descendants for not being able to do anything as a bunch of hungry mongrels ravish this piece of flesh called India.

I switch on the TV news or I read the newspapers or I listen to the radio or I log on to the internet or talk on the phone or listen and take part in discussions in person and nothing but anger and shame engulfs me.

2G scam, the Reddy brothers, the sham called Naxalism/Maoism/Crap-ism, Adarsh society, CWG bullshit yada yada yada...

Reading the above (never ending list, it seems...), what and how do you feel?

I felt hopelessness of the worst kind which propelled me to watch news and cheer on discussions which bought the culprits of the above crap-fests in the dock and then...then the following happened...

The media lost all its credibility, morality, professional ethics, reputation and their whole 'holier than thou' perception - all of it - when they blacked out the Barkha Dutt-Vir Sanghvi tapes released by the Open Magazine (Barkhji ki baatein - Vir Sanghvi's transcripts - recently, which have them virtually acting as 'dalals' (middlemen) for various political parties and corporate houses, hence completely and irrevocably damaging their whole image as "free and fair" journalists.

And what does the other sections of this "free and fair" media do? Black out this raging piece of information and go on with attacking other people, peacefully blind to this black spot on their own community.


So does the 'independence, freedom, fairness etc etc etc' that the media keeps on howling about in ALL other cases go to HELL when their community is concerned?! Does the 'right of the people to know' gets eliminated when the said knowledge is related to one (or in this case two) of their own?! Is it only the country's responsibility that the media gets all its freedom and right to report but nothing is required on behalf of this very media that they show the truth and not curtail the people's right to know when the news is not exactly in the favor of their own selves?!

These are questions demanding answers...can I expect them or will I continue to stare into this blackness?

Anyway, lets evaluate what exactly are we facing today as a are the people/community being questioned presently in various issues -

1. The PM (WOW, again.)
2. Politicians (No writing this is and should be one very sad thing in itself but well who the HELL cares in this time and age, right?)
3. Army (Trust you me, this one is actually painful to write...)
4. Bureaucracy
and the grand edition to this list of who's who (quite literally...) -
5. The Media (sorry...the 'free and fair' media...)

Last question, who can be trusted?

(PS - Till now, I have seen the report on the media crap in only two Indian print media publications - Mail Today and Outlook...still waiting to see it on the 'idiot' box...)



Tuesday, November 2, 2010

And it all started because I did not feel like writing my paper on Schumpeter...Why?

I am supposed to be writing a paper on Schumpeter’s take on the classical doctrine of democracy but as it quite evident I am not doing that…


Because I don’t feel like doing it…


Because I am not able to get myself to read his essay on it…


Because I am too lazy to get my ass to my room and get the essay and then to get the laptop and continue from where I left it…


Because I seem to be stuck in front of this screen and seem to be lost in a virtual world…


Because it seems to me that the virtual world is a better place than the so called real world I am going to be forced to be a part of every second of my life.


The real world is fraught with weird problems which seem to have no solution, which seem to be a jumble of shit spun over a lot many years with no bloody sensible solution coming out at all! At least virtually I can manipulate myself into believing that someone cares and actually talks about it...(this someone includes myself)


How the FUCK am I supposed to know that? What I know is that I am 19 years old and India has been independent since 1947 and the human world has been in existence for I don’t even know how many years and still we can hardly say “This (anything AT all) is alright.


I am in my car and I see children, who should be in school, begging at streetlights.

I am at my home and I see that douche bag (one among many others) blatantly being engaged in CWG corruption.

I am anywhere and I have to endure constant India bashing which most of the time seems to stem from half baked idiotic notions and the other times is genuine but leaves a bitter taste in the mouth.

I am in the metro and I see people getting up to offer a higher middle class lady with a young kid a seat but the same chivalry is not extended to a poor woman with a baby or her young son.

I try to get off at my stop but the completely and unbelievably stupid people on the station think it is just right for them to barge in pushing people left, right and centre.

CWG shit happens and for that the citizens of the city are indirectly told to stay in their houses on the opening and closing day cos NO bloody market would be open AT all.

CWG crap seems to be only for foreigners because if you’re an Indian citizen, then you may be standing in line for 1 hour but you still wouldn’t get the damn ticket because some ‘mehmaan’ will be made to break the Q and get it.

The Naxals, Maoists or whatever crap they prefer to be called will spread violence everywhere and then defend it and people will actually agree! Please explain to me how beheading cops, harassing teachers and marking students is linked to their so called revolution.

Modi, Sajjan Kumar and the likes will march on unharmed by anything after committing the crimes that they have.

A good enough side walk will be broke, remade and then broken again to be made the same way as it was originally.

People can be unlawfully hanged for the heinous crime of loving.

Among MUCH more.



Monday, June 21, 2010

Hmmm…This seems to be the right way!

Well last Friday I watched the season finale of a hatke show and well I behaved a little hatke after that…but sadly that isn’t my topic matter…
The show was Mahi Way and its hatke because the protagonist is –
  1. Not ‘perfect’ in a physical sense.
  2. She isn’t the moorti of an emotionally intact in all-possible-situations person.
  3. She does not act like the brightest tube light in the world at all possible times.
  4. She is normal. Yes, normal like a normal person…with quirks of course…but that’s what normal is – just like you and me.
  5. She does not get a makeover at any time.
  6. And she is independent just like most of us girls are – in the sense that we may be living with our parents and soliciting their advice and all but we still have a mind of our own and a decision making mechanism which actually functions.
She makes mistakes and she pays for them and she learns from them – just like any of us. There are awesome people in her life and there are the not so awesome people in her life – just like our life. She acts like a complete moron at times and she acts completely selfless at times – just like us. There seems to be no incongruence between our lives and the life of Mahi Talwar, albeit the problems may not be the same but the character traits – all of us possess them.
What I liked about the show (other than the above and in continuation with the above) is the fact that I can connect with her, I can hate her, love her, be amused by her, be livid because of her and at some corner of my heart know that all these emotions of mine may very well be directed towards that person in the mirror and I do not have to necessarily feel horrible while facing these feelings.
Mahi Way’s other characters too leave an impression on you – be it her quirky Dadi, her weird Mum, her awesome Dad, her sometimes annoying brother, her khatti-meethi sister, her pillars of support – her friends, her not very nice choice of men and Shiv – her ‘chaddi buddy’ whom we all want to see as her significant other.
The show provides you with an outlook of life and people and how easily we judge them or take them for granted. For example, I for one hate Ishan but in the last epi…I did feel sorry for him and questioned by dislike towards them – sure he did some wrong stuff but maybe he really changed and I was not willing to accept it – maybe that shows what’s wrong with me – I don’t want to trust him again till the very last moment and then too just as a passing comment. Or maybe I took a Shiv for granted somewhere in my life and well…I may be missing him/her but my ego stops me from calling out to them again…hence Mahi Way steps beyond just being another show and makes you gently question certain things, reflect on some things…
One more thing I love about this show is that there was no makeover which resulted in Mahi transforming into a Kingfisher model! This kept the theme real and did not mislead the viewers in the sense that they started off believing that physicality is not the only consideration in life and its your nature which attracts people to you but were actually at the end of it slapped in the face with the story that well physicality matters over everything else. For this I am eternally grateful to the writers of Mahi Way. They did not make up a sense of personal comfort in their viewers just to shatter it later on.
Coming to the acting aspect – the whole cast was brilliant and very aptly selected. Pushtiie as Mahi Talwar was fabulous, confused when need be, unconsciously something akin to vicious when required and cute, adorable and helpless when there was a demand and unbelievably headstrong and fearless when the opportunity arose. Viraf Patel as Shiv Desraj made a place in every girl’s heart, whatever be their age. He seems to be the perfect choice for the sweet, selfless, adorable and supportive dream that Shiv is. Waiting and hoping to see him in a new show very very soon! Siddhart Karnick as Ishan was again excellent. He made the viewers sufficiently loving and sighing and angry and disgusted and confused and finally sorry towards and for his character. Monica and Mark as Mahi’s friends were awesome! Sufficiently quirky, supportive and sometimes as irritating as required…audiences shall remember the awesome twosome for a long time! The other people were great too! Amrita Raichand as the sister was extremely lovable (at times) and hate-able (many a times! Lol!).
The production values were beyond excellent and the use of actual Delhi locations made the Delhiite in me very happy!
In conclusion, I would like to thank Sony Television and Yashraj Television and the whole team of Mahi Way for giving us this one great show in which the values it had started with did not change in the end, instead it made us richer than what we, as audiences, started with. And heres hoping that we shall see a second season of Mahi Way soon because 1. I want to have some sensible Hindi show to watch on TV with good production values and real characters and 2. The romantic in me wants a proper end to Mahi and Shiv…And heres also hoping that we see more shows such as this one which enrich our thoughts and attitudes without being preachy!
Mahi Way

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Shashi Tharoor - the 'new age' politician

Mr. Tharoor received the NDTV New Age politician award amidst much appreciation and applause and perhaps he deserved it if 'New age politician' means being completely irresponsible about what leaves one's mouth, media savvy to the hilt and having a sense of history not going back to more than five years (and that too seems a stretch).

He is Minister of State for External Affairs but the only place where he 'brainstorms' is Twitter and there too its mostly about the various incidents where he was misinterpreted or misquoted or even both. The amount he has been misinterpreted makes one stagger in disbelief but then the fact that he is actually holding that post does not really help matters much in the first place.

The Honorable Minister, it seems, believes that India and its citizens will follow his verdict even when it overturns sixty years worth of Foreign Policy maybe because he has an easy smile and apparently is pleasant on the eyes...sometimes it seems to me that Mr. Tharoor is a classic case of good looking models who open their mouth just too much to take even if as just a joke. Why? Because Shashi Tharoor seems to take everything as a joke which one must tell him that the majority does not really get but then they are the 'cattle class', right Mr. Tharoor?

The PMO is said to be deeply 'unhappy' about Tharoor's newest case of verbal diarrhea and is considering matters...but that does not really leave you with a bright picture of the future because for some absurd reason Tharoor is too much of a dear to the high bosses and why not?! Hes handsome, brilliant in English, a Stephanian and he was in the UN! The perfect bio data!!!! So one should not hope much because it may be disappointing but as many say without hope the world wouldn't run...and if not of a bright future, we can at least hope of some more misinterpretations to make us all agitated with the sodden state of affairs once more....

Monday, January 11, 2010

A long absence and a myriad of thoughts part 1

First of all a huge apology for the long absence but quite truthfully i tried to write a piece on Aamir (the film by Rajkumar Gupta) but could not bring myself to watch it in such detail as I had watched RdB...perhaps thats the power of the film...the fact that it is difficult to watch it again and again...

I am just thinking aloud on this issue so please bear with me...why couldnt I just stand outside this film and watch it and write on it...maybe because it is not a film which can be viewed passively...the issues it deals with are staring right in your face but the aspects that it raises are something that we do not readily ponder can terrorism function so well in any society? Can it just be the case of certain people being responsible or is it a much bigger picture? This movie shows how common people are in a way a part of this terror scheme. (It should be kept in mind that the film is taking an example of Islamic terrorism but the content is directed at every form of terror) Aamir shows how it is the common people who fall prey to this message of hatred and believe themselves to be actually 'providing a service' to the cause which they have been wrongly educated in...

The guy on the phone, and the seemingly boss of the whole scheme (although one can be fairly certain that he too is a pawn of the larger scheme), tries to teach Aamir, the hero, the same hatred through making him come into contact with the pathetic conditions in which his 'fellowmen' live but his tries fail. Aamir raises an important point that one should try their level best to succeed through hard work because no one can tie you down forcefully.

However, a question that can be raised here is how far is this view held by Aamir true and to what extent is it just a rosy picture? My one answer would be it is akin to a glass filled half with water - depends on which way we want to see it. Is one justified in perpetrating terror because of the conditions in which he exists, the fault for which may lie with anyone? Is terror the answer?

I will continue later but I would love your views so far...