Friday, June 30, 2006

my maa is better than your mom!!

your mom:
She's 40, doesn't look it, sexy, in a motherly kind of way, soft-spoken, and has 12 kids. And her tummy is flatter than a pancake, or a witch’s tit (whichever).
Her idea of good parenting is love, understanding, guilt, spontaneity, and "talking the talk" when the time is right.
She had been wanting to bear a dozen children since her highschool days. Career is “in”, because she is "a today's mom" (and 12 unruly, obnoxious children don't come cheap)... ... but, spends 75% of her time cleaning after her conceited, self-absorbed, needy kids, and feeling guilty about ever wanting to have a career. The rest of the 25%, she continues to love and understand them more.
Her husband is some ugly, old... umm... person, who thinks she’s irresistible, and their love-life is hot, hot.... hotter than the horniest of jackrabbits (hmm... ). The kids throw food around breakfast table, and set the neighbour's house on fire. But, hey, as long as they have each other (and can keep laughing at the neighbour's expense)... it's all good!

my Maaa:
She is this once-pretty, over-weight, middle-aged lady with charm and grace. Her tummy is... umm... always covered with the aanchal of her designer sari. She is a home-maker, and has always dreamt of being one since her elementary school days.
She has two sons. “Chhoto poribaar, shukhi poribaar” (trans. small family is happy family and this is south asia). Her idea of good parenting is telepathy and "a mother's instinct".
She spends 60% of her time sitting and moping over her two sons, 20% of her time fake-frowning at her husband, 10% of her time polishing her baubles stashed away for her future daughter-in-laws, and 35% of her time praying… with a thali (plate) and diya (candle) in hand. No, that didn't sound right. Actually, 120% of her time standing with a thali and diya in hand.
Her husband is "pati parmeshwar", her God. They have a playful, romantic relationship, where romance is "implied hand-holding" when the children are not around. She is loyal and respectful towards him and shuts up when he tells her to.

Strange Encounters on the Web (SEW)

BUDGET FLIGHTS. This is easy – don’t take them. Whatever you do means nothing if you just fly aimlessly around the world. Take the train, boat, whatever, but stop the weekend dashes that cost you less than a meal out. If this is a sacrifice – make it.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

A bit Woody in the KJ World

Ever watch Kal Ho Naa Ho? I did, partially. The first hour of it. Didn’t bother with the other two CDs. Anyway, I noticed something which hasn’t quite panned out into any deduction as yet. KJ actually bothered to thicken and inhabit that wall between his perfect botox worlds – those plasti-icky interiors and the gaudy exteriors. And so, the porches received butts, the windows a peek or two, and the streets…well, some disco on taxis. It was as though Woody Allen had moved to Jersey (it is a bizarre world we are talking about, after all!) for a day. On the other hand, KJ overstayed his welcome…and the rest of the time it was all about [to] love…
…is to suffer. To avoid suffering, one must not love. But, then one suffers from not loving. Therefore, to love is to suffer, not to love is to suffer, to suffer is to suffer. To be happy is to love, to be happy, then, is to suffer, but suffering makes one unhappy, therefore, to be unhappy one must love, or love to suffer, or suffer from too much happiness… I hope you're getting this down.
(W. Allen, Love and Death)

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

... life is a lemon, and I want my money back!

Two youths, high on life, go on a tumultuous road trip, with an agenda to explore the abundance and vastness of their juvenescence, unmistakably initiating with the carnal. One woman plays the catalyst. A life-altering adolescent episode forces them into adulthood. There are no lifeguards on the shore when the tide finally recedes.
"Jealousy knows more than truth does"... a wise man once said. The “dynamics of three” miserably fail, because we are sensitive and possessive creatures after all. And best friends turn into cordial strangers.
... aaah... Gael!

Alfonso Cuarón's "Y Tu Mamá También

the Goddess in me is my greatest aphrodisiac…

Worship me for my power, that of creation, and that of destruction, that of generosity, tolerance, kindness and forgiveness, that of beauty and wisdom, and that of rage and cruelty.

I am Aphrodite, Persephone, Minerva, and Bellona. I behold the essence of Kali, Durga, Lakshmi, and Saraswati in my soul… and I am Gaia, the Mother Earth in my being. I tolerate and forgive you for being naïve, greedy and self-absorbed, pamper you with love and kindness, and guide you through the joys and pathos of life... in return of your utmost devotion. And when I am wronged, I can destroy you by taking it all away.

alas! my KJ moment:

Luisa suffers from the classic “Mother Earth” syndrome, wronged by her cheating husband. She desires to acquire the empowering role of the giver, to be worshipped in return. Why justify her actions with a medical condition or a terminal disease? She, like any other woman, is capable to switch over to her goddess self, regardless.
Alfonso Cuarón's "Y Tu Mamá También” (And Your Mother, Too)

Sunday, June 25, 2006

the inconvenient truth

...of how i learnt to love the earth [ in time ]

1. Plan an expedition

2. Say your goodbyes

3. Get a jeep

4. And the ladies

5. Take a walk.

6. And the sights

7. And a break

8. Meet the locals

9. ...but carefully

10. End the day with fireworks.

taubah! taubah!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

[e]the_real nothingness, but with something happening.

after the Ether and nihilty (june 19, 2006)_The nonfeeding stage between the larva and adult in the metamorphosis of ...?


anjali: a_pathetic introvert

rahul: charismatic yet weepy class bully

aman: the sanctimonious sacrifice

tina: the gifted ...ummm...???

Monday, June 19, 2006

the Ether and nihility, part-II

“… and Hoshino grew up too fast. Too rapid growth. Early shedding soon. But the world around us doesn’t allow the precocious among us to shed their skin so easily. A fully developed pupa can only slowly rot…”

The Ether is a world of 'tranquility lost' parallel to the physical and never intersects . Liliphilia, the online fan-club, a pseudo-mythical domain of modern cyber pop culture, eludes to bring the angst-ridden sociopathic adolescents together, only to capture the desolate, dehumanized vacuum they are drowned in. Something very fragile and beautiful is at risk.

The pupae:

yuichi: the apathetic, classic introvert

hoshino: charismatic, over-achieving class bully

tsuda: the innocent sacrifice

kuno: the gifted pianist

Sunday, June 18, 2006

the Ether and nihility, part-I

All About Lily Chou-Chou
A Shunji Iwai Film
2002 Japan; Genre: Drama

The 14 year olds:
Yuichi Hasumi, Shusuke Hoshino
Yoko Kuno, Shiori Tsuda

Friday, June 16, 2006

borrowed from a stranger

"... Learn to love the fool in me---the one who feels too much, talks too much, takes too many chances, wins sometimes and loses often, lacks self-control, loves and hates, hurts and gets hurt, promises and breaks promises, laughs and cries. It alone protects me against that utterly self-controlled, masterful tyrant whom I also harbor and who would rob me of human aliveness, humility, and dignity but for my fool. "
Theodore Rubin

Monday, June 12, 2006

History part dos: Bollywood + 1914 = 1962

Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyay's 1914 Bengal is “hard work”. 1962 is rather easy. The 1960s Bengal serves Bollywood the necessary exoticism, glamorous backdrop, and all the spicy masalas for this tender love story of Parineeta to unwind and unfold. 1962 has made 1914’s Parineeta glamorous and sellable.

The photogenic Kolkata (Calcutta), ‘The Paris of the East’, the “city of chaos, kindness and class”, is at its best with wonderful panoramas of the Howrah bridge, the Victoria Memorial with paanipuri stalls, the vibrant city life, snail-paced trams, and eccentric beggars. The avant-garde females play 3-cards, wear seductive sarees, sleeveless/backless blouses, and throw provocative, coy looks at perfect strangers. Songs, songs, and more songs ... for the moulin rouge, the drunken soirée, the risqué cabaret dancer and her redder-than-red pout (1914 was kind of moronic that way). Songs, songs, and more songs ... and love happens! Arteesh hero Shekhar, is in designer-clothes, has a huge-ass piano, a guitar, a cigar, and Elvis soundtracks. The dadd-ee’s girl has a friggin' hinglish accent. Songs, songs, more songs… make the beefy, middle-aged Girish, with receding hairline, dance and prance to Bollywood tunes.

The recipe sells. The sixties does wonders for pocketing that poor rickshaw wala’s hard-earned 5 bucks. On a side note, we must agree to overlook some small shortcomings though… such as, how the famous Tagore song “phuley phuley dholey dholey” was transmogrified beyond recognition into some incongruous medley… a khichuri nobody in 1914 would’ve dared to think of. Or how the garden fountain became a tool for breaking brick walls, rather than just being boring and keeping the birds happy.
P.S. Sharat babu, I sometimes feel they would just leave you alone.

History part uno: 0-1939 is the dark age and I am scared!

Hey! I admit. History was never my forte in school, and I absolutely empathize with the attitude Bollywood has towards “period movies”. I know how plain jane it can be! I get tired of facts and figures, and the lectures are like lullabies to my ears. Now this is my take on history as it went down for the Indian Subcontinent, ranging from the Himalayas to the Bay of Bengal, and the Hindu Kush mountains to the Andaman sea.

There was the pre-Anno Domini times, when emperors used to stomp around in their territories in garish costumes, living melodramatic, fascist, extravagant lifestyles (Asoka). Or there were peace-loving skin head monks propagating Buddism/Jainism, meditating skinny, hairy Sadhus preaching Hinduism, or white bearded Peers propagating Islam, who came from distant Arab on the back of fishes. (Hmm… we do have a piety hang-up, don’t we?). But, these are mostly based on unverifiable, disputable records, and my wild, exotic imagination helps to fill in the blanks.

Then came the post-1940s, when the subcontinent started breaking apart into smaller countries, tasting independence from the British, through revolutions, riots… and all the while taking shape in my head through colorful, graphical depictions of blood and gore. Remember those wonderful story-telling moments sitting on your grandparents’ laps, right before nappy time? This history is home stretch, on familiar turfs… recorded, verifiable and unquestioned (most might agree).

What happened in-between? Good question. That was a “grey area” when people used to wear depressing monochromatic colors, used banyan leaves for utensils and led way-too-predictable lives. The Moghuls (1450-1650) or the Marathas (1650-1750) are exceptions though, for their influences are far too powerful to ignore and thus get the pre-A.D. treatment in my head. Well, at least I am curious about my past!! I want to learn more. I have told my mother I will become a fashion designer when I grow up, and specialize in the evolution of historical costumes through different dynasties. That will be my homage to history! I am a creative and emotional person you see.

Todo, Shekhar, Todo

How to put a hole in a brick wall, in under five minutes: courtesy “Parineeta” (2005). Directed by Pradeep Sarkar. Executive Producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra. Screenplay by Vidhu Vinod Chopra. Starring Sanjay Dutt, Saif Ali Khan, Diya Mirza, Raima Sen, Vidya Balan, Sabyasachi Chakraborty and Rekha (special appearance).

Friday, June 09, 2006

just live and just breathe...

probabilities against possibilities... essence of randomness against choices. Thoughts ran wild across my mind. It is not possible to choose where or when to be born, neither how or when to die. Our births are random occurrences, and so will be our deaths.
… and nothing can be more precious than life itself. Every life is “priceless”, but we still put price tags on our lives and sit down to count the worth of it. This movie made me breathe a little deeper, and appreciate a little more the gift that life is.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

sentimental [his]stories

As with all things, it is natural for us to seek a standard of taste in Period Movies; a rule, by which the various sentiments of viewers may be reconciled; at least, a decision afforded, confirming one, and condemning another. Merchant-Ivory – 10, Asoka (see Api's post of May 18th) – well, maybe 4. Okay, 5.
In defense of the PMs that timidly put “inspired rather than [f]actual portrayal”, the difference, it is said, is very wide between judgment and sentiment. Among a thousand different opinions which different men may entertain of the same subject, there is one, and but one, that is just and true; and the only difficulty is to fix and ascertain it. On the contrary, a thousand different sentiments, excited by the same object, are all right: because no sentiment represents what is really in the object.

Monday, June 05, 2006

"trust in me... just in me..."

I was wasting my sunday evening watching some celebrity-couples show on vh1, when Tom Cruise started gloating over how he proposed to his fiancee on top of the Eiffel Tower.. because he loved her so. And then it suddenly struck me. Is it the smile that makes it so sinister? That over-confident grin, with that unflinching stare, and the dead-pan conviction in his eyes... ... made me wait with bated breath for him to break into a muhahaha laughter any moment.

Once I carried these snakes around my neck for a stage show at a zoo in Singapore. And there was this one snake, a yellow anaconda, which kept darting for my face. I swear it had a smile on its face, and a hypnotic fixed stare. Strangely I wasn't scared (suffocated though, with all that squishing), because I knew exactly what that smile meant. It was the predictability of a one-track mind.

When it comes to the crux of it (political or otherwise), Kaa is still my hero... George Dubya looks far more convincing and believable when he doesn't have that silly smirk on his face. I wish TC would try bungee jumping from the top of some gorge without the chord tied to his feet. One less psycho in the world. I ask you, since when has it become so hip to wear one's heart in one's sleeve? Ok, now I am just rambling on... maybe I should call it a day.... or stop watching vh1.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

...but the biscuit is a legend.

and how the cookie crumbles ...

A good lazy afternoon ritual I had, with a brewed good cuppa hot black tea (the real one) and the "petites madeleines" ready to be dipped. And this ‘madeleine’ was rare, almost perfect. The look was pleasing to the eye, the double surface texture intact, ridged versus smooth. The exquisite buttery, lemony treats awaited softening in hot tea, … almost perfect, I thought... ... until I dipped one. The morsel broke off, leaving me fishing about in my teacup for crumbs with a spoon. No fun, this spooning around. The 'crumb factor' ruined my afternoon treat.
Rang de Basanti turned out to be a baking "don't"... a little too parched for my taste. It digressed. The fresh power talents, the energy, the intensity, the fast pacedness, and the wonderful wonderful cinematography woven in powerful diverse background scores, and the promise to stand out.... it had it all. But before it could touch my palate, it became a misshapen blob and immersed into the hot liquid.
A soggy toast this... but I am not giving up. This cookie crumbled, but it still looked scrumptious!!

Friday, June 02, 2006

A new form of desperation

Uh-oh. It feels subversive to distance myself from something, which in the first five minutes embraces me (rather tightly). Yet after those initial moments (rather long and pleasant moments of the first half), I find myself squirming to get a little room from Rang De Basanti – but the struggle leaves me bruised in weird shades of purple. There aren’t many places one can go to, once you have established that there is no place worth going. It is a convenient trap, because then there it is, as if magically the Shangri-la… that place out of the trap. Gratuitous?