Sunday, February 22, 2009

Why India should be ashamed that Slumdog has done well.

Yes! if you are from india, chances are i think you should be ashamed with the success of slumdog millionare. Before you think that I am one of those people who is unhappy with the way 'India has been portrayed' let me make it clear that you are mistaken. I loved the movie, i thought it was charmingly simple and well made. The way poverty was depicted was 'real' as it shot on location rather than in sets. At some level the disturbing truth of poverty was easier to digest than trying to believe fancy designer clothing, imported cars, and private jets that so many other Indian movies embrace in their attempt to establish the reality of their story. Although it lacked complexity of character development of its peers (The Reader, Frost/Nixon, Curious Case) it was delightfully entertaining with a smart narrative.

My title for this post is due to the fact that I think the saddest thing about Indian cinema is its audience, and a sad audience allows for sad movies to become the norm. (by sad i mean bad).Which is why it takes someone from another country to read a book written by an Indian author to find that there is enough material within the cultural context of India to make such a movie. We will never know what other Indian directors might have done if they came across this book, but I have seen instances where books were thoroughly destroyed in their movie avatar by Indian directors. Most recent case in point that I can recall is the movie 'Saawariya', which in my opinion shows how absolutely pathetic every aspect film making can be in India. I am in danger of letting this become a post on why i hate most Indian films.. but ill save that for later.

So why do i think you should be ashamed? Considering that the underlying idea of the movie was from india, the reality of the story is in india (at the heart on india - poverty), much of cast were indian, I am left wondering how and why the movie turned out a lot differnt. Sure it was not made by indians, but I think the core reason for why it was made the way it was is because the film makers (read everyone involved in the making - not just the director) did NOT MAKE THIS MOVIE FOR THE INDIAN AUDIENCE. It was not made for you (if you are from india).

Continuing along this train of thought, I wondered what if movie makers and actors in india (who seem rather intelligent when they are not dancing around) made movies for the global or at least western audience? How would indian movies turn out to be? My guess is that they would be far more superior (think of bend it like beckham, the namesake) that the bullshit we see spewed out today. I think we have the technology to make smart movies we have great actors and directors but the worst audience. The indian audience appreciation of movies is analogous to teenage fascination with fake wrestling. Something as mindless as WWE exists as an escape for people, and indian movies exist as a form of escape. The next time you see one of those typical bollywood movies, remember you are displaying the same lack of sense as someone cheering wildly for "Triple H, or The Undertaker", and for that you should be ashamed. You are the reason why film making in india is the way it is. So instead of feeling happy that slumdog won many awards, or Rahman won awards you ought to wonder how many good movies you prevented from being conceived by pledging continued allegiance to the mind numbing rubbish that we call bollywood.

Monday, January 19, 2009

take mtv off the air

OK! when was the last time some one saw a full song played on MTV? Can we chill with the reality shows please... i mean please!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

preoccupation can be good.

A few weeks ago i attended a stand up comedy show by Paul Varghese... and he was really funny. Lot of the things he spoke about were things I felt I observed too. So I figured maybe someday i could do a lil something like that too.
I'm going to use this blog to write jokes that I can come up with. Of couse stand up has alot to do with delivery, timing, how dumb/smart the audience are but anyway.. this is a start.
And I think my style will involve obscenity and lot of curse words... The people I find most funny have a caustic, incisive edge to their jokes, so I guess I'll be aiming for that.

so the next few posts or many posts will be ideas for jokes in a stand up scenario.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

health conscious

Why don't they print a nutrition label on beer? they have them on bottled water for crying out loud!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Relativity and Exercise

Time slows down proportional to speed setting on the treadmill.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

hey there! do you have a moment..

Coffee is a excellent way to do nothing. Its sad that people these days drink coffee while doing stuff, e.g. while driving to work, working on the comp etc. In fact it appears that (from the coffee shop near my workplace)the people who buy coffee leave right away with their cup, while those who don't buy anything laze around on the couch reading, or chatting. Well, this introduction was just to say, I am (on occasion) a static coffee drinker. The "get a a cup, find a seat with a decent view and spend 10 minutes doing nothing" kind of person.

The other day when i was at borders doing nothing but looking into the street with my peppermint house coffee, i noticed two guys. I could tell they were one of those people who'd stop you when you pass them, and ask you if you have a minute to save the environment. They had brochures of some sort, possibly about their plans on how to save the environment. Anyone who exhibits zeal to walk up to stranger for a cause, interest me. I tend to feel sorry for them. They are like door-to-door sales people, except they don't do it for money (i hope). Both get about the same number of rude responses on average.

I was watching them, while sitting outside, observing their plan of attack on some unsuspecting soul walking by the busy intersection on the sidewalk. It was funny how they float around after they spot a target from quite a distance. They wait once they position themselves in the most probable path of their target. Sometimes their target notice them early too.. and immediately steer clear of mother natures petitioners. Urban cat and mouse, its just fantastic.

In their process of kindering love for the environment, one of petitioners strayed near where i was sitting. He locked in on another regular business guy walking on the sidewalk.
"Hey there! how are you doing today!" their tone is very similar to door-to-door sales persons.
"aa.. umm good"
"Do you have a moment to support gay right's sir!", hmm so i was wrong about saving the environment. They were saving gay people. I guess volunteers for saving the environment and saving gays took turns.
"mm no im sorry" the business guy picks up his pace, he has now learnt that when you slow down you are easy target to the volunteers.

No worries, being turned down is something the volunteers are very familiar with. With a big smile he greets the man good bye and continues accosting other passers by Sometimes a person would stop and listen for a while, flip through the brochures/ magazine that the volunteers gave them and then leave.But usually the excuses were lame, I heard a lot of plain "no sorry", or "i'm busy", or "not today man".

I figured I should say something that is more engaging, if i were stopped. I thought i must come up with a good excuse in the least. I thought something like
"gay rights.. well i know lot of gay people and they are perfectly fine with their rights "
or throw some Borat attitude " The Gay!! ugh.. aye will crushh gaays!, in Kazakhstan we tie them from a tree and throw eggs on them.. is verry fun"
Then i though nothing so extreme is nice.Should I actually listen to what he is talking about?? I guess it is pretty logical, but i quickly dismissed that idea.

May be something to challenge him. "no I have no time now, but I am going to start a gay rights meet up group would you give me your phone number and email address?", oh yeah that would sure startle the guy. That would be funny. But all he needs to do is give a 7 random numbers after a state code, faking a email address is easier. I would just look stoopid noting down his phone number and email. Gosh, this is rather tricky i thought. My coffee is getting over, and I have to walk by that same path. Got to think fast, what is some thing annoying that all these people do? oh of course- money! They all want you to make a donation, buy something or worse still sell something. That's it! I am a poor grad student with no money. If i had money I would pay the cover charge for every gay guy who wants to get into a gay club in phoenix. I love to help gays.. but I have no money.. perfect.

I walked up to throw my cup in the bin, confident i'll be able to face the volunteers with the grace of a smart liar! Then it struck me.. why should I apologize for not wanting to spend my money.Isin't the most important thing awareness and sensitivity, tolerance and respect?? So I just have to say "I am aware and sensitive to gay issues, and that I respect gays" if questioned, and that "I am a cheap ass who couldn't care less" if questioned further. Sensing that my thoughts were bordering paranoia about being asked if i have a moment for gay rights, I decided to stick with my last answer of respect and sensitivity. I probably gave more thought than even those who stopped and listened to the guy.

So I bought myself a scone at the counter, and began walking out. I had a little arsenal of response to choose form in case i decided to go impromptu. I soon can in the firing path. noticed the volunteer was drifting around, trying to judge where i would be in about 10 seconds...I was sure he was going to go "hey bla bla.." but i was ready, smiling in my head.

"hey there, do you have a moment for gay rights today"

I let out a big grin,"ha .. I well..", but before I spoke out any further I realized something- was he looking at me? I quickly glanced back, it wasn't me he spoke to, he caught the attention of this pretty looking girl, who smiled back at him and began conversing. damn it!! I would have been less embarrassed if I was a gay guy in a south Indian wedding.

Quick look around, no one noticed. Good...walk fast.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

A story I remember

A family went to a Zen monk, on the occasion of the birth of a new baby. They asked for the blessing of the monk,and also for a little piece of wisdom. They wanted the monk to write for them something that might help give them strength and happiness when times were hard.

The monk obliged, and returned to them an envelope enclosing what the monk had written within it.

Later, when the family did face a tough situation one of the members opened the envelope to read:

"Grandfather dies, father dies and son dies. "

Friday, August 24, 2007

Chat Status

If it says your "idle" in your status message, doesnt that prolly mean in the real world (understand as opposed to Virtual World) that you are doing something?

Considering the time people waste beacuse of their computers today, i propose a slightly different status message protocol.

When ur off the computer, instead of "idle" it should say something like
option 1 - "Probably doing something useful"
option 2 - "having a life!"

When you log back on
option 1- "has nothing else to do"
option 2 - "twt mode" (time wasting tactics)
option 3- "looking for distraction form other bored people online"
option 4- "nothing good on tv"

when ur online for a really long time
option 1 - "idle"

Monday, August 20, 2007

What are you rebelling against???

... well what have you got??

Friday, August 03, 2007

Yellow car

So my last day at Red Bank is here. I took the day off because i need to pack and prepare to leave. Its 9 am and my roommates have left for work. The house is absolutely silent(except for the noise of me typing).The increasingly familiar feeling of 'leaving' fills me up. I ought to be thinking of so many things, my thesis, or updating my resume... but instead i cant help remember all my taxi rides to work.

"yeaahllow car" the call attendant at yellow car taxi company i think had a heavy southern accent, and sounded perpetually high.
"Hi we'd like a cab from crowford, to 307 middletown linkcroft.."
"yewokay, 10 to 20 minutes hun" it freaked me out in the beginning, 'hun' is only used by middle aged white women.
"ok thanks"

sure enough, we'd hear a honk in 15 min. Cab guys actually got to know us lil and so began to be very talkative. There was
" so you guys are like computer programmers?"
"yeah, we are interns" i would say sometimes or other times id say working at avaya :)
" oh alright ... u guys know computers programming and stuff"
" yeah a lil"
"that's cool man... i really like computers man" now there was something about "liking computers" that made me so freaking condescending to the poor dude, but you got to admit, liking computers is similar to saying " ohh technology is great these days", things that bored stay-at-home moms talk about when they see something they dont quite understand on the discovery channel.

" Im trying to build a website, for a gallery.. like put up painting and stuff" my cab guy continues.
"that's cool"
" yeah.. been working on it for a while.. say do you happen to know how to include pay pal into my website?"
"I want some forms in paypal filled up you know.. when i click on some button.. you know"
No i did not know. I had never used paypal leave alone building an web application that does billing, im sure its not hard but its one of those you either know how to or dont.
" yeah sure, sounds like u need more than just a html page. You might want to see if you need some javasript logic embedded in the site that communicates with the paypal server to automatically fill stuff out" , i almost felt guilty talking crap that i know nothing about.
"well.. aaa.. im using dreamweaver" obviously my half ass jargon confused the guy.
" why dont you try googling dreamweaver and paypal" best advice you can give anyone - use google. I had done my good deed for the day.

A week or so later we had the same guy drive us back from work.
"Thanks man, i almost got that thing to work. I called up the paypal guy.. he was saying something similar to what you had told me", Aha! see maybe i dint talk all crap last time around.
" you mean about the javascript" i enquired feeling pretty good about myself.
" ah no.. about the google thing".
" oh ok".


Once, a really doped looking cab guy was playing some music. I dont know if i was really tired or something but the stuff was sounding really nice. The sound was familiar yet not something i could put my finger on. Had a R.E.M feel, along with a dream theaterish thing happening.
"Is this on the radio?"
" ahh no man.. its me"
" whats that?"
" its me.. on the CD.. im singing in this one"
God dayum.. the dude sounded nothing like it when he talks, but the music was something I instantly liked.
"thats you?"
"yeah its my band..."
" yeah we're trying to make it big you know"
" it sounds really good man.. you guys got a record or something"
" not yet .. hey you wanna go ahead and give me you email.. we like creating a mailing list and stuff" so i wrote my id to him.
" this sounds good man.. reminds me of R.E.M and dream theater."
"thank you, we trying to be ourselves... the other singer in the band he sounds lot like the dream theater guy.. hehe.. he drivers another cab here.. and so does out lead guitarist"
"haha.. thats cool man.."
"the problem with dream theater is that are all soo fucking talented.. soo classical doesnt always appeal to most people,.. well they got a base already so what ever they do sells you know.." every now and then he look back at me while driving..which scared the hell ou of me, i prefer his doopy eyes to stay on the raod.
" thats true i guess"
" we like simple music man... the power of simplicity" hmmm i thought i herd that line in a commercial before .. but its a good thought :).
"you guys sound good man.. i like the sound." they really did.. it was absolutely not like those teen garage bands who make noise in the hope of making it big.
"thank you .. add us on myspace.. we're called 'Bipolar'.. haha.. you know what that means"
"mmm yeah opposites right?"
"no man.. its like crazy.." he looked back at me for what seemed like 5 minutes while doing 35 miles, " we are all crazy you know.. like the whole world" well .. i guess he had a deep philosophical side about him.
"oh ok"
So he played like a few songs of his, before we got him. I still can't find his band on myspace, there are a few named bipolar.. but i could not find him in the picture of the band. Now i kinda forgot who he looks, and dont quite remeber the songs too, except that they were really good. They dint mail me about the album he said they were trying to make.

I hope they make it big.

There was also a cool cabbie who loved horses.. and he even took detours to show us the stables and stuff.. but ill tell about him later i guess.