Monday, July 20, 2009

This is all the heart wants

A second helping of the dessert,
After a seven course meal
Five minutes more of sleep
After an eight-hour lay-in
Two licks of his ice cream
After devouring my own cassata

One more rainy day
After a monsoon spell

This is all the heart wants.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

'Rakhi Ka Swayamwar' What Are We Stooping To?

And so it has begun, the kalyug, declared my grandmother. Men will now romance men and women, other women. However, even the High Court order making gay sex legal had not scandalized the 75+ lady as much as the news that 10 men had decided to prove their love for the item bombshell in the show Rakhi ka swayamwar. With a sigh she declared, while Rakhi has found 10 suitors, my granddaughter doesn’t even have a boyfriend. Not one to be bogged down by such comments, I was quick to divert the topic and said, it is a progressive show. Look, finally the goal of women emancipation is turning into a reality. She is calling the shots and men, who in another world, in a different time zone would have easily been suspected of committing heinous crimes, are today dancing, walking on coals and making complete fools out of themselves for the chance to marry Rakhi.

Is the show authentic? Well, I am no gaon ki gauri to believe that for a moment. But accept it or not, it is catching eyeballs and how. The show scaled to the TRP rating of 3.5% in cable and satellite homes of the Hindi speaking market in the first week itself. The sensible person, living in some dark corner within me nauseates at the idea of majority of the Indian viewers watching the so called dramatized swayamwar. But lets face it, the girl who, after making 4 pages and reading 5 pages, driving through the manic traffic of Delhi, arguing about innumerable things with acquaintances and strangers, would not like anything better but to see 10 men making complete fools of themselves for Rakhi Sawant. This makes me wonder, are we as a society becoming voyeuristic in our tendencies. We love watching Bigg Boss, Sarkar Ki duniya and Roadies. We claim it is for the tasks… but lets admit it it is as much for Palak’s abuses and Ali’s attempts to woo women, who were his fellow contestants.

I know this issue is not as serious as the unrest in Iran and China, the soaring prices of veggies, pulses and petrol in India or the delayed monsoons. But it is something to think about and certainly something to worry. Especially since majority of the people in this room, me included, are just plain sadists, who love to see others do in reel life, what we hold back ourselves from doing in real life.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

After A Three Year Wait

The stories about my obsession with punctuality are famous far and wide but I have rarely done anything at the same time when the rest of the world was busy doing it. Therefore this stomach-ache is well deserving. When Omkara had released, some three years ago, I had refused to watch the film saying that I cannot bear so many abuses. Regardless of the fact that my close friends wanted me to see the film, some seniors almost ordered me to watch it and film critics cried hoarse trying to convince me (so what if I believe that the whole of the TV industry is catering to just me and giving its best just to seek my approval), I refused to budge and see, what some called a masterpiece by Vishal Bharadwaj.

If you think I am stubborn… you are wrong. If you think I am stupid… you are wrong again. The reason for refusing to see the film was that I am a staunch believer that I want to come out happy from a cinema hall. The day I come out of a cineplex angry, I would ensure that everybody around me is miserable. Not that there has been a paradigm shift in my belief, it is just that I had been abused way too many times over not seeing Omakara. So without breaking my vow of seeing a film that would keep me in a disturbed state of mind in a cinema, I bought the DVD of Omkara and saw the film finally.

Fortunately, I was mentally prepared for the truckloads of abuses, they did not bother me much. Infact the sepia tones that the director used throughout the film was a welcome change for me, a die hard Aditya Chopra scheme of colours’ fan. His extra long shots impressed me as he managed to focus on details, which are generally lost in such compositions. The direction was crisp and the actors shelled out performances, which deserved several accolades (OK! So they already got them from all the people that matter and more, but since this is my blog… I too will praise them albeit belatedly).

Naseeruddin Shah, Konkana Sen Sharma and Ajay Devgan, as usual gave performances of the level that we expect from them. Kareena acted surprisingly well, blushing at the right moment and looking like an innocent (or foolish) girl where required. Even Vivek (no idea what spelling he is using as of now) Oberoi dished out a decent performance, though I confess I cannot stand the guy. Saif Ali Khan took me by surprise. I had seen the promos, had seen him dancing to beedi jaleyle but his performance, dialogue delivery, gait, look, expressions oozed the ruthlessness that his character demanded. However, Deepak Dobriyal, who essayed the role of Rajju, left at the altar groom of Dolly (Kareena Kapoor), impressed me the most. I could see he was heart broken, when he spoke of Dolly jilting him, he was conniving, when he went to congratulate Langda Tyagi, helpless when pushed into the water, foolish when he went to kill Kesu. He was brilliant with his expressions, mannerisms, accent and the look.

I cannot but appreciate the way Bharadwaj used the eagle dropping the snake in the haldi (turmeric) as a bad omen, or the scene when Omkara smothers Dolly to death. The sounds of that scene are sure to haunt me for days, if not months and years to come.

The music is soft, vulgar, sensuous according to the demands of the script. Gulzar saab proves he is the master of the pen with o saathi re and jag ja. Bharadwaj has picturised these songs so powerfully that the imagery stays with you for a long long time.

So in short, if I was not the only Indian to have given the film a miss for the last 3 years, I suggest that you too watch it. It is a masterpiece. However, sick as my mind is (over the dining table today my boss suggested I be given electric shocks!) I could not help but wonder what the film would be if Karan Johar directed it.

Lessons to be learnt:
Harass me long enough and I will relent.
A good film is timeless and will be liked even if watched 3 years after the release. :-)

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Free At Last

Another Drabble

So it happened. Finally the memories seemed hard to come about. They lingered no doubt, but the frequency had reduced drastically and sometimes details were hard to recollect even after a lot of concentration. The moments, which had almost threatened to define life and happiness, had without making a noise slipped through the clutches of her heart. It had become hard to remember the glint of his eyes, the curve of his lips when he smiled or scowled and the texture of his voice when he whispered at night. She was glad. She was free at last.