Archive for February 2009

Masha Allah

February 23, 2009

AR Rahman and Pookutti are our boys. Though I have heard and enjoyed better music from Rahman, I am happy that our boy has won. Just as how I would condemn watching (and ofcourse playing) cricket in srilanka when thousands are being killed everyday, and yet not feel unhappy when India wins the match, I have mixed feelings.

The movie got undue accolades, and ofcourse undue criticism. The beauty of ugliness portrayed did irk spotlight mongers but my grouse was not about the shit of india shown on screen. The very fact that this movie moved the viewers so much that all the liquid that filled their eyes with pain or pride, sympathy or sarcasm made their vision narrow, makes me rub my own eyes in disbelief.

The film many say is about a poor man winning against all odds in life. The subtext is that he wins not through hard work but by fluke- the only way a ‘slumdog’ can! I was unable to see a poor man struggling and winning in life, I just saw a simple story which talked about a male and female childhood friendship developing into a crush and cinematically climaxing into a song and dance! The simple story did not even become a cinematic experience that simple stories are capable of creating. Changeling was more intense in portraying the spirit of one who fights against odds. Benjamin B was a more tricky story to script. But we have to sing ‘jaiho’ just because the movie was shot in India!

There is nothing Indian about the film. If this is the way an Indian can win his dream girl and his fantasy bungalow at the beach, the only ones who are going to win finally are the organizers and sponsors of TV shows. I always hope that India wins in every encounter. I even sometimes pray for such things. But this is not India. And, this film is not about hope. It is just another empty rhetoric that asks the youth to dream. Air-conditioned dreams without the sweat of toil are bubbles that burst when dawn breaks. Best-selling writers and highly-paid speakers are the only ones who win by peddling such parables. Do I resent the Oscars that came to India? No! I simply wish that there was a truer representation of this great country that won. The composer and the sound engineer were Indian brains- let us be proud of them, but the film and the hype,was about the brainlessness of India.

Rahman deserves honors for his musical mastery. It just happened that Allah smiled at this pious soul this day and in the blessings showered on Rahman the rest of the crew got sprinkled with prizes. To what else can I attribute the eight Oscars of SDM?

This is just another proof that God exists and blesses. Just as how some innocents get caught in God’s fury at the evil, so do some undeserving get wet with the blessings that he showers on his favorite.

Empty quiver

February 23, 2009

Emptiness of the quiver is known only to the hand that reaches into it.

I like to write on the best of topics- not because they would interest the one who reads them but primarily because they would interest me enough to write to finish  The best of such topics sadly reflect the worst in the society. I would have been happier writing about the two (rather three) Oscars that Indians have won. I would have been happy writing about some wonderful books that I have recently read. I would have been even happier writing about my idiosyncrasies. But I am forced by my own sick ‘fate'(?) to write on the recent tragicomic events of law and order and the leader!

The stunning but sick visuals of police chasing the lawyers and the stone throwing lawyers daunting the police were giving me an odd surreal feeling. I was one of the mostly-law-abiding citizens of the country who believed that law would defend me if I was legally mistreated! If lawyers have to pick stones and hurl in defense, I may have to build my biceps and triceps further in anticipation of an alarming eventuality. The police too were in my opinion vigilant and kind enough to see to it that the car I may park outside my house is not damaged by some goon. Now, I think I have to employ a security for my car in the event an angry policeman goes past it in a foul mood. Well, such things happen. Just as how I always believe an election would give me a better government, so do I continue to repose my faith on these two custodians of the social fabric. But my leader!

I had concluded long ago that whatever karunanidhi does will not surprise me. But this time he did it. He has surpassed himself. The ‘great’ leader of Tamils, now has gone gandhian (not SoniaG but MKG) in his declaration that if the lawyers and policemen do not come to a compromised peace accord, he would fast unto death! I am afraid that if the comedy is enacted I would be the only one to die, though in a fit of laughter.

I have been led to believe that the chief minister of the state has control over the police. If they had not cared to inform him of their anger and intended/unintended outburst in the high court, I am sure he has the experience, knowledge and power to discipline and or punish them. He may not have much to say to the lawyers for he too needs them when after his term is over he is sure to be slapped with a string of cases. There are some sycophants amidst the lawyers too whose help he can summon with a simple flick of a finger and infiltrate the ranks of the protestors and cause sufficient rift amongst them to make the strike a failure. He does not want to do anything like this. He wants to go on a fast.

If he believed that fasting – even if not unto death, would change whoever it is that does not listen to his wise counsel or heart-felt prayers, he should have done it earlier. If his affectionate congress president had seen him fasting she would have made her henchmen in the government take immediate steps to stop the merciless killing of innocent masses in Srilanka. But then if tamils were dying for or with or because of the LTTE, a fast unto whatever would have shaken his government. Now he can fast. He is being monitored by some of the best doctors in the country, so it will never be death due to fasting. The lawyers and or the police have to relent and come begging to make him change his heart and live for the upliftment of this country! We cannot, they are expected to say, allow the wise leader to suffer for our sake. None shall even in dreams say this is another script by the man who has earned his early riches by writing. We will soon see vinyl printed monstrosities of the grieving old man with a gandhian backdrop. We will all get ready to vote in the next election. The shame of it all is that we have to chose between him and jaya! Which one is a deadlier fire and who is the more evil of devils is a fifty-fifty choice! Only the coalition wary comrades would make the best choice and talk their way into it!

The grand old man of tamilnadu politics is perhaps running out of ammunition. Perhaps his quiver is so transparently empty that his mock gesture of picking up a sharp arrow to shoot does not evoke awe or admiration in us. Mimicries no more evoke any memories or emotions.But more than that, I think we have run out of all arrows to shoot at silly and scheming politics that attempt to mock at our meekness. The more we become aware of the emptiness of our quiver the more ready we shall become to sharpen new tools- in self defense.