Thursday, January 2, 2014

In Retrospect..

Every Beginning has an end, every end has a beginning, but it’s what ensues in between is of most importance. My husband thought that I should be writing about the year gone by, all the good things that we experienced, the new skills we learnt, whether it’s going back to the hobbies we had or new ones acquired. My husband and I are naturally attuned to remembering all the good things which we experienced, conveniently bypassing uncomfortable moments. He recently told me that people have stopped ‘forgiving’ and its disturbing. I also learnt that something’s need to be ignored and they are not worth getting affected due to these little, insignificant things.

We learnt what it is to be a family, how to stick together when in dire situations and when to let go. We learnt that grudges are best resolved when there’s open and direct communication and that it’s better to confront rather than keep wallowing in your own doubts and complaints.

We learnt that our life is ours to decide which path we want to choose and what shape we want it to take. Life throws many options at you and people around you try to dump their unfulfilled wishes on to you, it’s important to know what’s closer to your heart and stick through your decisions. We learnt to always listen to our intuitions, that initial judgments are almost always right!

We learnt the importance and the sheer fulfillment which hobbies bring to our lives, the sense of accomplishment when you do the thing you’re good at, the ability to create something which people can appreciate, which you yourself can appreciate is absolute bliss!

Hopes, disappointments, loneliness, confusions, triumph, celebrations, accomplishments, like every year this year too had its highs and lows, what matters now is how we move forward from here.  Life, we’re ready to face you head on, and with the people in our lives, things just get a tad bit more interesting!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Review of "Supermen of Malegaon"

Supermen of Malegaon is a 2012 Hindi documentary film, written and Directed by Faiza Ahmad Khan. Superman of Malegaon was intended to be released for a Singapore TV Channel.

Malegaon is a small town in Maharashtra, surviving on power looms and is fraught with poverty, communal tensions and hardships. This movie traces the existence of the parallel film industry thriving in this small town, which we are not even aware about.

It follows the story of a certain “director” who is making a spoof of the Hollywood series of Superman and captures the trials and tribulations, the ups and downs in his ambitious project. “Ambitious” is the key word here because the most striking aspect about the story is how he succeeds in following his dream in spite of limited resources.

The theme and the plot of film is simple, but what is striking is the fact that these are real people, with real dreams and aspirations of making it big that we are made to experience during the course of the movie. The film is not sermonizing yet strikes a chord somewhere. There’s a part in the movie which has a beautiful, tragic poem about the poverty and strife in Malegaon, with striking images of a child smoking bidi, however, it immediately snaps out of it to the project at hand- the making  of “Supermen of Malegaon”.

What stayed with me after watching the film besides the fact that it was downright hilarious, is the sheer zest and love for movies which the characters display and one cannot undermine the small but significant contribution to the entertainment industry which “Mollywood” has been making. 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Its difficult being Gyppie

Yesterday 7th June 2013- Gyppie passed away after suffering for almost a week of Juandice. It all happened so fast and so all of a sudden. When I saw him 3 days back, I sort of had the feeling that he will not make it, but yesterday, he was doing much better! We fed him some dog food suggested by the doctor which he ate willingly and also did not throw up. We were so happy that he’s showing signs of recovery and was even responding to us, like he always used to. But at the doctor’s clinic; he suddenly collapsed…

Gyppie came into our lives out of the blue. This nagging thought remains at the back of my head and seems to be unanswered every time- What are the odds that a pet enters the family without anyone’s will and makes a place in the hearts of not just the owners but so many more lives. Such was our Gyppie! The maids of our house, dad’s work colleagues, neighbours, friends and every single person connected with us has some story to tell about our Gyppie.

Well Gyppie passing away is an incident, a major incident, in our lives and over time, we will come to terms with it. But I do not want to get over it, I don’t want to get over what he meant to us, what he stood for. I want to remember Gyppie, not just as a pet who won our hearts and entertained us. Gyppie stood for so much more and there are so many lessons to be learnt from him-

All dogs are loyal, but our baby was something else. If all of us are even 30 % as loyal as him, we can lead such great lives. Gyppie did not even eat if one person is not in the house! He loved everyone around him and everyone loved him, but he knew who his masters were and no one was more important to him than them.

Gyppie owned property. His leash and his bowls, that’s it. He was proud of his belongings, flaunting them and took care of them too. Such modest needs and so happy they made him. He was the epitome of simple living, we gave him toys, he shunned them, we gave him a bed, he hated it and slept in all other possible places but the bed, we gave him expensive dog food, he ate that only in dire times, mostly eating his boiled chicken and roti with pleasure. He did not like his leash being thrown around and would pick it up and place it gently and appropriately. And that’s the key, being materialist is good and when you have lesser things, you value them more and really take care of them too. Such a simple lesson, yet so important.

Gyppie greeted everyone with the same enthusiasm and vigour every single day. Even if he saw it happening every day. Couples go to work every day and come home at a fixed time every day. What would happen if spouses and children greet each other, hug each other and are enthusiastic about this event of homecoming and express this so openly every day? Just imagine!

Gyppie did his work of guarding the house diligently every minute. He enjoyed no weekends, no lunch hours, no coffee breaks, his duty continued even in his sleep. So many times he has woken up in the middle of the night, barking, hearing the sound of someone entering the gates of our house.

He was expressive, he brought joy in our lives, he was funny, oh! really funny, he was clean, he was understanding and he was smart. Indeed its difficult being Gyppie! People who knew him will know what I mean, also most will dismiss this as being over sentimental. But the fact of the matter is that although we will miss his presence, it’s these thoughts that I don’t want to let go of since this is what keeps him alive within us.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A Movie Named "Amu"

Watched a movie titled Amu. It stars Konkona Sen Sharma and Brinda Karat. The movie was released in 2005 and was a critically acclaimed art house cinema.

In the movie Konkona is a shown as being raised in America with a strong sense of belonging to her roots and a longing to discover her past.  
The best part that I liked about this movie is the way in which the director took one character, who was linked to a gory event in Indian history to bring out all the many facets of that event, the causes and the outcomes of a man-made destruction and its impact on the lives of many. The possibility of many people and families been afflicted by such incidents cannot be overlooked, so many untold stories of sadness, separation, death and longing that makes you question the motive behind all that happens around us. What could be the driving force behind making people suffer so much and knowingly so? What happens when tens and thousands of people in a mob, collectively lose all sense of judgment with a single motive of killing, looting, destroying? What force is so strong that everyone loses their conscience to not even spare children and women?

As we see today relationships getting more virtual than real, only time will tell if this is for better or for worse. Will this weakening of bonds lead to complete disinterest in the ‘other’? Will it weaken enmity as it has weakened friendships too? If it is so, I would rather opt all interactions being confined to the distant, the virtual. One can voice ones feelings and views but not hurt someone physically, so brutally.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Lucky Women!

Recently watched a Malayalam flick called 22 Female Kottayam or 22FK. No, this is not a review of the movie. This movie stirred something in me. It was a hard-hitting flick on a Woman’s Vengeance.

We exalt women on being strong- willed, for their endurance, for their ability to hold their ground and their families during the most trying times. Of course, women are all that and more, but I often wonder why do women need to go through something bad to realize this? This whole concept of the ‘caregiver’, the one who adjusts, the ‘Mother –India- figure’ is skewed! Can’t a woman be strong and happy at the same time, and why is she made to feel guilty if she is. I don’t say that all women and all families are the same, but women need to stop putting others before themselves all too often.

Naina Lal Kidwai, GM and India Head- HSBC, in an interview said that while choosing a profession, women can be more creative and do the things which they ‘like’, since they mostly do not have to carry the economic burden of their families which the poor guys usually have to. These have exactly been my thoughts always! The poor men hardly have the luxury to follow their hearts, to do stuff even if it doesn’t pay the bills, whereas women, mostly, can afford to do that. And that needs to be appreciated and celebrated by us women. Let’s stop pretending to be martyrs and concentrate on being more selfish!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Review of Ek Thi Dayan.

It takes a lot of gumption to make a movie about the unknown, the dark and sinister world of the supernatural. It is one thing to make a movie which portrays a world comprising solely of Vampires or Zombies or Werewolves (like the Twilight series) but to be able to create a world where the supernatural is as real as reality itself, to blur the edges, is something else. Ek Thi Dayan is about this milieu.

The movie centers around Emraan Hashmi playing the role of ‘Bobo’, a world renowned magician. His girlfriend and him who have been together for almost a year are planning to settle down and adopt a child of their own, but his childhood memories get the better of him and he is convinced that a certain ‘dayan’ is back to haunt him.

I really appreciate Emraan Hashmi here because for once he played the role of the victim J ! On a serious note, the plot builds up wonderfully with its portrayal of the relationship between the young Bobo and his sister Misha. Bobo is interested in all things quirky and magical and his most loved audience is an old paralyzed man in his building whom he loves showing off his magic tricks to. Bobo as a child is shown as reading old manuscripts about dayans under the sheets with a torch, his sister in tow and strongly believing that every building has a hell which can be reached by pressing 666 on the lift! This amazingly detailed and wholesome character – building of the young Bobo leaves viewers thinking if Bobo’s beliefs about Dayans and the like is real or just a figment of his overworked imagination.

Konkona is amazing in her character and there are some really spine – chilling scenes which literally made me jump off my seat. It is horror when you least expect it and it works!

This is the first part of the movie. And then comes the real disappointment- the second half of the movie. The second half lacked the finesse and the detailing which was created in the first part of the movie. The presence of characters like Dr. Ranjan Palit, Bobo’s psychiatrist with his heavy Bengali accent, is barely noticeable and if you expect that Kalki Koechlin has done some major breakthrough acting, you’ll be saddened to learn the opposite.
A magician with a name like ‘Bobo- the Baffler’ was baffling enough to baffle me. However, there was still hope whilst Konkona was on the screen. Midway through the movie, I yawned twice and was more interested in the food we ordered, still anticipating some major revelation. And then before you know it, the movie comes to an end! It felt like the makers of this film themselves were in a hurry to pack up and leave.

For anything its worth, I’d give credit to Ek Thi Dayan for unleashing extreme emotions within me – ranging from extreme fright to extreme boredom. And if you like the feeling of being left insatiated, wanting for more, you must go watch this movie.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Commando Review- Dabang meets Rambo!

Watched Commando- The One Man Army. The movie is about an Army officer (Captain Karanvir Dogra), trained to be a Commando who ends up across the border in the Chinese territory during a training regime and is captured by them as being an Indian spy. When this is brought to the notice of the Ministry of External Affairs, the Indian government does not stand by him and decides to sweep matters under the carpet. As it turns out, the Commando escapes from the hands of the Chinese and is left to avenge himself by fighting the system singlehandedly.

The movie starts off on an interesting note where you feel that this might just be a revelation into the blinding nexus between Politics and the Armed/ Police forces in our country. However, this merely fades away into a ridiculous show of chivalry by the commando trying to save a girl (Simrit) from Himachal from a local goon (Amrit Kanwal Singh)!

I think that if one has to go watch this movie it has to be for Vidyut Jamwal playing the role of Capt. Karanvir. His entire demeanor spelled COMMANDO in capitals. And although I’m not a huge fan of heart racing, blood pumping action scenes, this one caught my fancy and of course was a welcome break from all the Rohit Shetty action that’s thrown at us these days.

Pooja Chopra who plays the role of Simrit goes way overboard with the concept of the damsel- in- distress. She emerges in pretty frocks and shorts in every gripping scene. Capt Karanvir, in an attempt to save her from the villain makes her jump off tall bridges with him, climb tall trees, gives her ayurvedic tips on surviving mosquito bites in the jungle and strategic tips on how not to leave shoe marks on the ground. Inspite of all this it does not strike her to ask him even once as to how he knows all this. And way towards the end of the movie she gets all doe- eyed and asks him “Tum ho kaun?”  Duh!! She was just ridiculously trying to emulate ‘Geet’ from ‘Jab We Met’, which is suicidal.

Oh! And here comes the most hilarious part about the movie- the Villain. Yes you read this right. Amrit Kanwal Singh calls himself AK47 for some strange reason. He plays Angry Birds on his cellphone , reads silly Santa- Banta jokes before killing someone, which is a desperate attempt at inducing comedy into the script. And there is too much unnecessary flashing of his eyeball- less eyes after every ten, no, five minutes.

Commando to me was okay as a one -time watch. The background scores were sloppy with some chasing scenes given comic scores and Dabang style cowboy music for the hero. Not Again !

But personally this will remain a landmark movie for me; reason being, in the midst of the movie the sound went mute due to a technical glitch and for the first time, I saw a movie being rewound in a Movie theater and played again. It sort of reminded me of the childhood VCR days when someone goes to get a snack from the kitchen and then makes a Rewind request to watch the scenes being missed!