21 Feb 2009

must watch this kala bunder

I've always liked movies to be sort of loosely based on escapism, something that exports you to a new place and a new set of mundane problems which are solved with a few songs. that's probably why I like Dilwale Dulhainya Le Jayenge, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi...... all far-fetched fairy tales which leave you with smiles. But Delhi-6 is the sort of movie which is quite bizarre, almost crazy but leaves you thinking about it days after. here there's no place for escapism, face the harsh reality but through this really crazy, entertaining way.

its NOT a documentary, the sorts you are forced to watch at school, obliged to keep your eyes open inspite of yourself. no, its NOT a documentary, its very close, personal....like a diary full of colours, smells, people, layered with symbolism, themes. I'm not very sure if our audience will receive the movie like it should be received, whether they'll understand the symbolism, whether they'll appreciate it, whether they'll think its too preachy, too superficial, whether they'll realize that this is what is happening around them.....exactly this......we dismiss wisdom as being 'too preachy' and leave everything to God 'uppar wala sab thek karega'. We don't want to do anything, change anything but simply say that God will see that everything is okay [and which God, from which religion are we talking about anyway?] is exactly what Roshan [Junior B] says.

A perfectly peaceful neighbourhood [except for minor undercurrents, family strives] where Hindus and Muslims co-exist amicably is disturbed with the entry of a kala bunder [black monkey] which creates a scare making them fight over the religion of this monkey and for which god he could be working for. how petty! yes! the kala bunder is 'invisible' and people keep adding their own versions of him further forcing the communities apart. the kala bunder could stand for a number of things.....terrorism, political tensions which causes repurcussions amongst the common man, the fear of superstitions, of appearing god fearing which create petty biases, or perhaps the fact that we make a mountain of a molehill, exaggerate every trivial issue to make it into the sensation [courtesy, the media also portrayed hysterically here]......the fact that all these issues are faceless, don't have a religion, that we have to unite to face these problems, FACE them and not escape. there is a dialogue where the Muslim head and a rich Hindu moneylender are relieving themselves on the same street and they wait for each other and walk together [during the riots] saying that the root cause of the whole problem was the kala bunder.....exactly!

then there is this so called 'mad fakir' who keeps trying to show people their face in an old mirror, saying that God exists in everyone. Mehra doesn't want to anger his viewers, or make them feel so ashamed of themselves that they berate the film. so there is an element of the fact Indians are intrinsically good, but their biases can divide them almost instantly......we are warm people, but also keep the kala bunder within us ready to take over anytime.....the fakir says we're all the same.

i read a few reviews in the newspaper today and most of them had to say that there was too much of symbolism, an overdose of it in Delhi-6. this is probably because most of Delhi-6 was so perfectly put, critics like me find it difficult to put it all into words. we can't just summarize it because it won't do justice to its themes. of course there were many themes, the most important one being communal riots [sorted out in the joint pursuit of the kala bunder]. the minor ones included family tensions [sorted out in the joint pursuit of the kala bunder], a pigeon symbolic to a girl with dreams trapped into family obligation 'tradition', both set free at the same time [while the family decides to use the kala bunder excuse to avoid insult in their community].

so....hmmmm......there were many themes but they were all connected to the kala bunder.......while it was the root cause to all their problems, people used it to solve their problems, even for escapism.....so people use their kala bunder within them to justify their actions, to do exactly what they want to do [they can tell 'god' that the 'kala bunder' made them defy 'his rules']. the most ironical thing to this theme of the internal kala bunder was the ram leela performance, relevant snips of it shown throughout the movie. the lessons inferred from the ram-leela performance was exactly the opposite of what they did as a part of tradition, 'god's orders' [the caste system bias] which is merely their interpretation, Hanuman doesn't kill Ravan, but just sets fire to Lanka [ they don't kill the kala bunder intially, but its just used to confuse and anger the communities further]. hmmmm.......curious.....Hanuman was a monkey, a bunder too.......

of course all this isn't put as a preachy prattle but an engaging narrative.....the ram leela sequences act as foreshadowing techniques, the songs are fantastic [courtesy, A.R. Rahman's composition] all of them, from Ghenda Phool, to Kala Bunder, to of course the song which is topping the charts in almost every radio channel 'Masakali' [courtesy Mohit Chauhan's fantabulous voice]. Junior B was quite natural and fitted his role to the tee, Deepak Dobriyal as Mamdu the jalebi seller had such queer mannerisms and a scarily human character [many shades to him] which he did justice too and definitely deserves praise for! the whole cast fitted in perfectly except Sonam Kapoor.
before you come after me like I'm the kala bunder, let me justify.....yes, she's beautiful, has an excellent wardrobe, lovely eye make-up etc, etc.....but the way she walked down chandni-chowk, the way she spoke to people it seemed like she [and not Roshan] had landed from America......her mannerisms were so NOT that of a middle class Delhi-ite, instead more of a Bombay girl, according to me. the heaven sequence which had Amitabh Bachchan in it was completely atrocious and not needed for such a wonderful movie like this, but I'll let that slip by because the end, where each of them looks into the fakir's mirror was SO cute.....each of them preening, looking proud, with that beautiful song 'maula....maula' playing in the background was so touching.....it made me feel like.....we aren't that bad and we can make things better together..... a mirror just shows you your identity, not your religion and this is our identity....we are Indians and CAN be a country whose unity is a force that can't be broken or swayed......

15 Feb 2009

hari's tryst with girls

well, i'm not going to write about valentine's day, except for the fact that EVERY restaurant/cafe we went was teeming with couples- skinny girls with a slick side fringe covering their eye nibbling at a piece of cake somewhat reluctantly, unhealthy looking boys all shocked that the girl had actually agreed to go out with someone who looks like that [i'm not being mean, that was the look on their faces]. mom and me were having our regular girls-day-out [we always do don't we? even when i'm hundred i'll be watching movies, eating, drinking, travelling with my mom], we had valentine's day cupcakes so that we'd have a reason to be silent [a reason other than pure chagrin] and the icing turned out to be so bitter, the bitter,creamy feel still makes its way up my throat a day later! *shudder*

ok......stop......why does food ALWAYS seeps into my columns, discussions, everything......god! and this column is not meant to be about valentine's day, food, couples, whining, jealousy, the ram sena, pink chuddies.....ae la! now i really don't have a topic do i.....especially after you took away food and whining ;)

well.....i could talk about this big flirt i know......Hari....he just about ignores men and boys or just gives them an obligatory smell down and walks away. he looks up to my big brother siddarth like some sort of god, waiting for him in the night while he packs and doing him A HUGE FAVOUR by not stealing his socks. but with girls.......he'll climb up on the jhula with them, run around with their handbag, try to pull of their rubberbands, look at them with this look of utter admiration staring right into their faces and then giving them this ultra huge wet slobbery kiss right from their forehead to chin and cheek to cheek....that million dollar kiss can cover the whole of india!

he has this weakness for pretty girls. i thought dogs were almost blind and had this strong sense of smell.....but its the opposite for hari......he spots girls, little puppies and rats but can't find me when i'm hiding in the living room right BEHIND him. well, so if a gang of girls walking down our lane......he'll walk his famous flirty lion walk with his tail all high and proud and his ears going all funny and then run behind the girl who squeals the most. once there was this lady who was going for a party looking all decked up and pretty and mom and me causally commented that she look pretty.....hari in the meanwhile sat in the middle of the road staring at her while she walked from stretch to stretch and wagged his tail with so much vigour he could supply mumbai all its electricity and then he looked incredibly dissapointed, his ears going all low again and his tail forgetting its position in the skies when she didn't even spare him a look [forget about falling for him].....

well......he didn't get any valentine yesterday, but he isn't moping or whining or complaining about bitter cup cakes. all he was worried about was that we'd go galavanting again and desert him oh! that question mark look on this face, a slight bend with his tongue sticking out, ears cocking in that alert signal, eyes going all huge and pleading.....ready to attack, turn, dive whatever the situation demands.....

oh hari! here's a valentine tribute to you <3

8 Feb 2009

a good laugh

i wrote these alliterations in a fit of boredom a few months ago......half of them don't make sense, but could probably extract a guffaw or too......

The agonizing aunt ambled around an American anteater

The breathless Bengali babe buttered buckets and bathed with bread.

The crippled cat caught a curious chauvinist counting the calipigous asses by the cot

The devious drunkard dressed up distressed dog.

The European elephant etched eleven elves this eve

The frumpy falcon finished a full falooda

The grumpy gorilla got his groin grated

The hoaxed hummingbird hummed a hiccup

The ill Indian illicitly ironed an ice-cream

The juvenile joker jolted and jittered

The king sized kangaroo kicked a karela

The luminous leech let a limp layman lie low

The monstrous mangoose molested malicious Mogambo

The naughty nincompoop nets a nitwit

The opera Odyssey is older than Othello

The pompous puffed pancake patted his potent patella

The querulous quarter-foots were quietened with quinine.

The rounded rump gathered a roaring rumpus

The stuttering sailor shot a starry stare at the stumped stewardess

The teetering tiger gave tottering tweet

The ugly underwear undermined the umbrella

The voluminous vicar vied his villainous vices to ‘vanvas’ with vases

The woeful walnut wailed at the wicked welter.

The Xerox x-rayed himself with xenophobia.

The yacht yelped at the yawning yam

The zebra grew Zamias at zenith.

3 Feb 2009


well.....what does unite the world? globalization? bah! too commercial......well suffering and compassion? nah! too phylosofical [never mind if the mucked-up spelling reminds you of floss, you get what i mean right?] hmmm...... cruelty.....ah-ha! now you're talking......actually no.....whining!
the world's too big, my pants are too small, its too cold, its stiflingly hot, my boils have turned green......whine, whine......the more sophisticated term is bitching....nah-ah! don't you deny it, we all LOVE doing that don't we?......especially whining stuffed with sarcasm through poker-straight faces which does become funny. well, this column is getting nowhere! i was going to write about the manglore pub incident....but thats going to take a lot of time [BECAUSE MY 'FEMINIST RIGHTS' SPIRIT IS FLAMING] and i'm living on borrowed time. chill! now don't go dropping that 'puja ki thali' like tulsi and parvati.....i'm not terminally ill.....i've just borrowed time from my mom, 'break time' i call it to take a break from all those useless formulas flowing through my nose. yup! you guessed right! i have my mock exams going on [RHEAA YOU HAVE YOUR MOCKS! GET OFF THE NET THIS INSTANT!]. i'm done with my pre-mocks and my 'break-between-mocks-tadpole-tests-and-projects' and all that faff.....so much preparation.....geez, we're not going to war! talking about slow torture, it really doesn't help having ten million papers in each subject....orals, listening, writing, walking, sleeping, mistake-finding......and what's cruel about this is that its during a time when we're terribly restless [harmonal changes I reckon] so that really doesn't help guys.....
in the meanwhile i'm craving to read a new book, preferably 'the last lecture' or 'Q and A' [oh shut up! so what if i haven't read them, i've read some books you probably haven't even heard off].....most of dave barry's american humour is going over my head perhaps because I DON'T LIVE THERE AND DON'T KNOW WHAT THE SHIT HE'S TALKING ABOUT.....and i'm binge eating, i can't sleep, i'm tired of the same songs on radio, i can't stop fidgeting, i don't want to watch anything......i don't know what will put my restless spirit to ease......

P.S: does anyone have a straight jacket i can borrow?