Thursday, April 22, 2010

Working Class Suitor.

People usually say that once you’re away from your roots, by yourself and trying to grow up, even the busiest and most alive of cities where you have 5 different people to share your last meal of the day with, become lonely and those 5 people become images projected through rays of light. You can see them, probably even interact with them, but can’t touch or feel them, because they reveal their hollowness once you come too close. What’s left is your finger poking through that image of light crystals, which ultimately only cause distortion, leaving no sense of touch to your hand.

Well I’m away from home and trying to make something out of my first name alone. It’s not exactly a whipped cream cakewalk, but I guess baking the cake yourself makes it more appetizing eh? Anyways, I was annoyed cause of a bunch of reasons, and I was dining late, by myself at the local dhaba opposite home, which I frequent, well mostly cause those guys like me and serve me well. (And no, I’m not asocial to eat by myself, I was running late.) Another man and I were the only two people there, both waiting for our food. Hunger makes you think about strange things; college hasn’t exactly been the most co-operative body, my jeans were really loose today, well that’s cause my faithful Lee belt gave way yesterday, I need 3 people to chip in for new earphones man, I can’t walk around college with my spare ones, looking like a call centre entrant. Also this place needs new cutlery; bloody bent fork. I was aimlessly waiting for my egg fried rice; I think the guys noticed my being in a bad mood. What I heard next only compelled me to actually discreetly listen to more, and slow down my pace of eating, which is usually gluttonous. That only other man seated at the next plastic table, was actually pulling his hair, shrieking on the phone. I don’t know what triggered him. Whatever I heard implied his talking to the woman in his life. It only gets gory here on. I am forced to quote him or it loses impact from his life and this ramble. He went on to say things like “Saali tujhse pyaar karke bahut badi galti ho gayi mujhse”, slammed his hand on his forehead, hard enough for the man at the counter to get up, but not do anything yet. He sobered down a little, rather went frail, only to continue “Jab tu ek missed call maarti hai, tujhe pata hai, main ghar se bahar daud ke tujhe call karta hoon”. “Pooray family se jhagda karke tujhse pyar kiya, aur tu saali mujhe dhokha de rahi hai?”. “Nahi karegi tu mujhse, tu mujhse kabhi pyar kar hi nahi paayegi”. Soon his tone and volume mellowed down, and he weakened beyond just a fall in volume, “Mere acchayi ka faayeda uthaya tune, aisa kyun kar rahi hai tu?” His posture became a slouch, his head hung low as he continued talking, struggling not to show her how weak he is, but in vain. Just looking at him for these many minutes, I could see how much more he wanted to say, but he just couldn’t find words that would make her un-do whatever she did. He looked like a simple man, in fact the area under his right arm at his white shirt was torn, not like he had been in a scuffle or something, anyways that’s not the point. He just wanted schezwan sauce with his chicken lollipop man; sadly they were out of the spicy garnish. Funnily it all fit so perfectly; he had his chicken lollipop in front of him, waiting to fill him up, but that sick sauce evaded him, while that’s the simple thing he wanted to end his day. He went on further to curse at that woman, not with angst or malice, but struggling really hard to contain himself; he just couldn’t help but breakdown on that red and white checked table cloth. Never have I seen a man go so weak where he is toiling to keep the respectful man inside him awake, while talking to the woman who probably was the one who made him that formidable in the first place, who was now withdrawing everything so unpleasantly and the vulnerable and helpless person who needed out. He was snivelling by now, wiping his face every now and then, still wanting to tell her so much more; but all that he managed was shuttling between curses to the entire female species, and reiterating what he’s got in return of giving her everything he had, monetarily to morally. This was genuine. I don’t know, I maybe wrong but in spite of making it clear to her that he’s not going to answer her call, that’s exactly what he did, the next 3 times, she called back only to hurt him more. I can’t possibly quote him more, not because it would be uncivilised of me to do so, or because the language is too crass; it’s just not right for me to talk like that, and also it might offend certain people of society who still indulge in denial, and live with the notion that every girl is the Nirma girl, holding her frock, on which there never shall be a dirty stain. Damn it, the entire frock, is stained. Red. That girl today has probably lost it to some rich f*** and cannot take your call now cause she’s in the midst of filming. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t believe in generalisation. Not all woman kind is like this. Nor am I saying men are saints; I’m merely stating what I saw. This rant is only for that sect of the fairer sex, who does this. Not once, Not twice, repeatedly; still believing that they’re in the right, living their youth. Man after man, loses his faith in this emotion that is supposed to be “beautiful”. Screw being beautiful. Is she even capable of making one evening memorable for him, rather than it being the other way around? Forget an evening; make a bloody phone call memorable, where he hasn’t lobbied for her, with her notoriously making her fingers swivel with command and hegemony, smiling cheekily thinking it’s all in jest. Her concept of jest hurts. It kills. Does she even think about the amount of pain she’s causing? Leave the heart out of this, darn we don’t even have proof that we emote from the heart. Play with his head. Keep playing. Continue playing. He takes it, thinking there’s something worth it at the end of this gravel laden road. How he doesn’t know, it’s a fucking cliff; and he’s going to be pushed. Straight down. No harness. Finally what happens? That simple man, who knew nothing about mind games and ulterior motives, has so abruptly and harshly been shown her reality that now he’s too scared to move from the hospital bed. Yeah. He survived; when she pushed him. He did. What’s the use though? He’s too dead from inside. Surprisingly his limbs and bones are intact, I really don’t give a rat’s ass about the heart, until there’s enough proof that cupid actually aims for that pump. You know what is broken beyond repair? His thinking. His expectations. His bloody way of life. His mind. Feels good? She should move on to her next target no? Don’t you think? Isn’t that how these parasitical women live? No? They have a conscience? Really? Shocking.

Remember the whipped cream, self-baked cake I mentioned? Yeah well, we dumb-folk still think it tastes better when you have someone to share it. Why? Because even after all this what we uphold above everything, is very different from what she was holding “under” everything last night. Her smile. Her eyes. That time she opened her hair. When she tied it again. When she waited for a moment, smiled and ran. I should stop here. Even though I thought I had grown, I’m getting into this fairy tale stuff again, that doesn’t really exist. A sincere request, finish with him properly- that working class suitor/ admirer, whatever. Have that much courtesy, before moving on to the next one who’ll click more pictures of you and decorate his house with them. Well, “Tumhari toh jaat hi aisi hai”.
To all the respectful women whom I may have hurt, I’m sorry. Such people exist. I saw it today.

“See the liar that burns within,
It's more than just words: it's just tears and rain.”
- James Blunt.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Love is Blind, you say? What if Radha cheated on Krishna with Jesus? What! They were not married!

My take on Inter-Caste Marriages: -

To begin with, I would like to introduce our readers to a term; I’d like to call “Social crime”. It is only slightly different from social evil or injustice. A stark similarity is that the “criminals” in question here do not get punished. Now, old social evils would be Sati, Female infanticide, etc. The crime I’m talking about is a prominent one plaguing our nation largely; compared to other developing countries, even in 2010, the 21st century!

Okay, a scared daughter writes this note to her mother:
I’ve tried subtly hinting to you about this since almost 6 months now. You laughed the seriousness in my attitude towards this, as adolescence even when we got done with college. You know him, Maa. His name is Hussain. He’s been home so often, you’ve served him tea; he’s helped wash your vessels after our family sitting with drinks. In your words, you liked the sweet chap. If all that is acceptable to you maa, then why so much malice towards our relationship? I love him; you know that. And so does he. After what happened last night, you leave us no choice. So, we’re officiating our alliance without your blessings, Maa.
I love you.

- Pooja.

One day later the girl reads in the local newspaper that her parents have disowned her.

YOU decide. Is it right on my part to call such an incident a crime or not? If yes, then who has committed a crime? The daughter? Or the mother? Either no one today knows the answer to this question, or no one is brave enough to stand up, only to be shunned by society. Your guess is as good as mine. Okay, so I am going to continue using the term “crime” for such a social evil. I am not going to tell you how the notion against inter-caste marriages has ruined or degraded and damaged society, because we already know that. I am just trying to rationalize with that sect of society who believes otherwise.
Now I am going to divide society into two parts.

1. The Foolish: who have been made to believe due to their being uneducated and illiterate, that successful marriages are only possible if both individuals belong to the same caste and religion.

2. The Even-More Foolish: who in spite of being educated people with apparent thinking minds, living in urban setups, still believe that successful marriages are only possible if both individuals belong to the same caste and religion.

Finally people today have started realising the importance of compatibility, co-operation and compromise over differences in praying mannerisms, idol worship colour and shapes. “Pooja” is happy with “Hussain” today because they understand each other, adore each other, and not because Lord Krishna and Allah have blessed them separately. People long so much for compatibility these days, that the result has been the mindless “”, and its other versions. I am not crediting our generation for this, but I am crediting the overall change in mindset. If Emperor Akbar could have a 4 foot blue idol of Lord Krishna in his personal darbar (at least according to Ashutosh Gowariker) in 1605, then why can’t we today, in twenty-ten, just remove this sick, regressive mindset and try taking society forward. No, but what will the neighbour think of us? And what will our neighbour’s neighbour talk of us? This is what stops us right? Always longing for the validation of others. Our people need to remember one thing. We are the eyes of this hypocritical society we live in. If we shut our eyes and (literally) blindly keep taking rounds around fire, we are eventually going to be inflicted with vertigo and fall. Society will fall. Just widen your view frame, look at a marriage from a larger, more practical perspective, and not like a cumbersome, forced setup and the marriage will be more than just 4 special wedding days. Then nor Pooja’s Krishna will come down to earth and felicitate you, and nor will Hussain’s Allah grant you salvation; BUT you will be happy, so will your family and friends, and so society on the whole will progress. If everyone thinks like that, then the question of validation from others does not even arise. It’s as simple as if everyone stops littering, there will be no garbage on the streets. Adding to that, if marriages are made in heaven, then I am sure that there is one big “Matrimonial Table”, where even Jesus is allowed to sit.

Marriages are regarded as the most important social custom and hence, were viewed as the best means to remove the barrier of caste system. Films like “Ek Duje Ke Liye” and even the very recent “Jodhaa Akbar” actually propagate that. Education has broadened the periphery of thinking and helped people develop analytical powers. It has not only altered their perception about life, but also about social concerns such as marriage and relationship. Inter caste and inter religion marriages serves as a beacon light for social equality and I always compare marriage to communism. They're both institutions that don't conform to human nature. In order to break the perils of caste-system, it has becomes incumbent that there should be inter-caste marriages.

“For two people in a marriage to live together day after day, is unquestionably the one miracle both, the Vatican and Jesus have overlooked.”

- Bill Cosby.

Lights? Camera? Not much Action? 2009. The Year That Was. The Hindi Film Industry.

Two Thousand and 9. A good year you say? Not so much for our infamous but yet loved Hindi Film Fraternity. It’s funny how this industry is called a “fraternity”, because a fraternity is a brotherhood, that signifies unity; but here people seem to behave otherwise. Anyways, I’ll touch upon that a little later; now let’s just see what kind of a year we had with regard to the films this industry churned out, last year. Cinema in India is less of an art, more of an entertainment source, which is completely fine; and so, the films have never really faced a lull or a depression since Dadasaheb Phalke started with the trend of full length feature films in 1913. The reason being that, Indians use cinema as an escape; more of an alteration to reality, and less of an addition or mirror to life. That’s why, if a person if a little under the weather, they’d watch a movie to lift their spirits. If business is bad, and times are tough, to take a break, they’d watch a film. So this industry never really faced a lull; it is something like one will never stop reading the newspaper.

But the industry saw one of its worst years in 2009, purely monetarily speaking. It was a disastrous opening as Delhi-6 and Chandni Chowk to China, both big budget, banner films tanked 2 days after their release. This is one thing I dislike about the new “multiplex” culture. The fate of the film is decided in the first 2 and half days of the movie’s release itself. With pressured distributors and screen owners, and the sneaky critics, breathing under your neck, the film is barely given its gestation period for the audience to watch it. Now everyone goes with pre conceived notions or expectations into a theatre. Although the multiplex revolution has done more good than bad, opening a gamut of new film genres in India and the promotion of independent cinema in India, but it is the industry’s economy that is getting affected, indirectly snatching a film of its respect in the very first 12 screenings all over the nation. Then the industry witnessed one of the largest legal feuds even to have occurred in the entertainment sector. The Producers v/s. Multiplexes strike. The producer’s guild of India had a tiff with the multiplexes over the percentage of profits shared between them, so they pull the strings of all the releases for the next 2 months, from early April to early June. The dry spell was broken by Sabir Khan’s Kambakkht Ishq; which did amazingly well at the Box-Office, but failed to create any cinematic magic, due to its shallow appraoch. The only explanation I have for this is if you present a waif on the street who cannot remember the last time he had a square meal, with bread crumbs, he is going to jump at it. Such is the mind of the Indian mass. Other films like Billu, London Dreams, Dil Bole Hadippa, Jail, Blue, What’s Your Raashee, and Kurbaan, which were touted to be magnum opuses and super grosser, failed to strike a chord with the masses, nor with the bank. They sank without a trace, probably even going to losses. There were a few Average grosser at the B.O., and they purely made it halfway due to sincerity in film concepts, unlike other larger than life banners, who somehow manage to be at the helm of the industry, in spite of their products being mutated versions of Hollywood DVD’s. (Hint, hint). Anyways, the average performances were, Paa, Roket Singh- Salesman of the year, Wake Up Sid (its actually very good to see a big banner like Dharma outsource a youth-oriented crew, plunge further into plain production and come up with a product as simple and honest as this; commendable decision Mr. Johar. I just hope he was really behind it), Luck By Chance, which is another sincere, under rated film, that did not get its due in terms of box office success; and Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani. To see a film maker like Raj Kumar Santoshi (Andaz Apna Apna, Legend of Bhagat Singh, Khakhee, Lajja, Pukar) come up with this, makes you want to cringe, and the worst bit being, he is sort of successful with goofy junk like that. These films just broke even with their budgets. Now, the only 5 films that managed to make an impact both, cinematically and at the cash registers, in this disastrous year would have to be (in order of highest grossing), 3 Idiots (318 crores) (salutations to the cast and crew; who are probably having the last laugh right now at the cost of the infamous Chetan Bhagat), and then the simple and sweet Love Aaj Kal (85 crores), Imitiaz Ali continues his lucky streak, followed by Boney Kapoor’s Salman Khan starrer, Wanted (83 crores), which surprised everyone at the collections’ table. Then arrived the ruthless Kaminey (67 crores), not much that can be said about the genius in Vishal Bhardwaj; followed by Dev D (24 crores), (I maintain that Anurag Kashyap is one of the most well-thought and finest film makers this country will see for a while, he can be compared to the likes of Satyajit Ray and Shyam Benegal, and fits into the Bhardwaj and Bhansali bracket in this age; it would not be fair to write just 2 lines, so another article some other time).

Well, all we can wait for now is a good year ahead, with Anurag Basu’s “Kites”- May 21, Prakash Jha’s “Rajneeti”- June 4, Mani Ratnam’s “Raavana”- June 18, Vipul Shah’s “Action Replay”, Sanay Leela Bhansali’s “Guzaarish”- November 17, Farah Khan’s “Tees Maar Khan”- December 24; and many more.