Friday, January 30, 2009

Article From The Dawn


Yes, son.
Are we going to have a war with India?
Oh, goody. We will thrash them, right? Like we did in 1857!
It wasn't in 1857, son.
Oh, okay. But whom did we thrash in 1857?
The British, son…
And the Hindus too, right?
Well, not quite - we were on the same side then.

Did Qaid-I-Azam fight in that war along with Muhammad bin Qasim and Imran Khan?
No, son. The Qaid and Imran were born much later and Muhammad Bin Qasim died many years before.
Then who ruled Pakistan in those days?
There was no Pakistan in those days, son.
But there was always a Pakistan! It has been there for 5,000 years!
Who have you been talking to, son?
No one. I've just been watching TV.
It figures.
Daddy, why are all these people against us Arabs?
Arabs? But we aren't Arabs, son.
Of course we are because our ancestors were Arabs!
No, son. Our ancestors were of the Sub continental stock.
Never mind. You seem to like wars, son.
Yes. I like to watch them on TV.
But real wars are fought outside the TV, son.
Really? What sort of a war is that? Never mind. Daddy, you look worried.
Of course I am, you little warmongering punk!
Daddy! Why are you scolding me?
Because TV is talking rot and so are you!
Daddy, are you supporting Hindus?
Daddy, have you become a kafir?
Keep quiet! No more TV for you! Go watch a movie on DVD or listen to a CD.
Can't do that.
But we have so many DVDs and CDs, son.
Not any more.
What do you mean?
I burned them all.
I burned them all.
I heard that! But why?
They are all Bollywood trash and spread obscenity.
Oh, God. Son, go do your homework. What happened to that science project you were working on?
It's almost complete.
Good boy. What are you making?
A bomb.
A bomb.
I heard that! But why?
Because I am a true Muslim who hates America.
But only last week you wanted to go to Disney Land.
That's different.
How come?
Mickey Mouse is Muslim.
No, he isn't.
Is so. He converted when he heard azaan on the moon.
On the moon?
Yes.......Daddy, do you want to see my science project, or not?
Gosh, that bomb? But your science teacher won't like it.
No, she wont.
Yes. I plan to blow her up as well.
God, what is wrong with you? Go call your mother!
She can't come.
Why not?
I've locked her in the kitchen.
But why?
I will not let her out until she covers herself up properly!
But she's your mother!
She's also a woman!
So she should be hidden.
Hidden from whom?
The whole world and Tony.
Yes, Tony.
But Tony's a dog.
Yes. But he's male.
Son, have you gone mad?
No. By the way, I've made sure Kitto starts covering up as well.
Yes, Kittto.
But Kitto's a cat!
Yes. But a female cat.
But she'll suffocate.
Oh, she's already dead.
I said she's already dead.
I heard that! But how?
I buried her alive.
You what?
Yes. To avenge Tony's honour. But now I will behead Tony.
But why?
To save mom's honour!
Oh, God!
Don't say God. Always say Allah.
What's the difference?
Daddy, do you want to be beheaded too?
Do you want to be stoned to death?
Do you want to be flogged?
Do you want to get your arms chopped off?
Then stop asking silly questions. By the way, I won't call you daddy anymore.
What will you call me then?
Whatever that is Arabic for daddy.
I don't know any Arabic, son.
That's because you are a kafir.
Who the heck are you to tell me who I am, you little fascist twit!
What's a fascist?
An irrational, violent, self-righteous mad man!
W... aaaaaaa...
Why are you crying?
You scolded me you kafir.
Okay, I'm sorry. You have to be tolerant and rational, son. Now be a good boy and go read a book instead of watching TV.
I have no books.
Of course, you do. I bought you so many books.
I burned them.
But why?
They were all in English.
It's a non-Muslim language!
But we are speaking English, aren't we?
W... aaaaaaa…
What now?
Zionists made me forget my Arabic.
But you never knew any Arabic, son.
Yes, I did until you and mommy gave me the polio drops
Okay, tell me, can you do me a favour?
Sure, dad.
Can you blow up something for me?
Oh, goody! Of course, dad. What should I blow? A hospital, a hotel, a barber shop...?
No, no, something a lot more sinister.
Mom? Tony?

No, no…
What then?
The TV set!
Blow the TV set? But why - I don't want to do it, mom won't like it too.
Just do it!
Uh... Dad?
How come you're so undemocratic, we outvoted you 2 to 1!!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Image Obsession, That India Is

India is talking only two things these days - The Mumbai terror aftermath (like whether Zardari speaks for Govt. of Pakistan or for Talibanistan or both) and the Satyam fiasco. But the Hyderabadis are focusing on just one thing these days - Satyam and just Satyam.

The pride of Hyderabad (forget India's for a moment) has truly been hurt. This was one of the locally grown wonder that had Americans run scared for their jobs and for more than a decade, this company and all those who followed had been India's pride and the envy of the West.

Fine, I am not going to analyze the fraud once more. It has been analyzed, counter-analyzed a thousand times and there is nothing much a 'not so smart' guy can add to the already written rot. But what has been written but not analyzed much is the constant rant about 'India Inc's image' being badly hurt by this. There is no counter to this. Everyone seems to be agreeing to it.

Well, I am not. I mean, yes, this is indeed India's biggest corporate scam ever. One of the top 5 ITES has actually scammed their investors! That's indeed bad news and is definitely not going to go well with future investors. But why should the India Inc. image be affected? To be precise, my question is especially because the Satyam debacle is proclaimed to be India's Enron.

Did you(I mean the corporates in your country, yaar) stop trading with US after Enron? Yes, Enron did affect the American economy to a great extent and investors were duped (just like the Satyam investors were this time around). But nobody talked about the American Inc image being affected.

Why is that? Because we are seen 'third world'? After more than a decade of dominating the world IT services sector, should India still care about its image being affected by one incident (no matter how grave like this?)Satyam was a scam - Does this automatically mean TCS, Infosys were all scammers? Technically, any investor, no matter which nation he is from would respond negatively to this. So that is case by case. So why are we crying about India Inc's image being affected!

I would have finished my post here if not for a reiteration of 'the India image' earlier in the day. Part of my job is to make partnerships with product manufacturers in the US for marketing on my company website. There is an automated procedure to do it. My application to a few manufacturers was automatically declined though my website would be a huge strategic fit for them. The reason I heard later was 'Many manufacturers do not accept applications from India and a few other countries which they perceive as Scammer-laden'.

Hmmm. This stereotyping and all...

Photo Courtesy

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A must watch for everyone!!!

              I spent the entire Sunday afternoon lazily watching re-runs.I managed to squeeze in Memento as well. You can call it the Ghajini effect. The English version was a million times better. Somehow, we lack the subtlety to make/ re-make a movie like Memento.I saw Mumbai Meri Jaan for the fifth time that day. This movie is a very intelligent take on the 2006 Mumbai train blasts. The movie is based on the aftermath of the ghastly attacks. It traces it’s path through five common men.

I loved the characters in the movie. Tukaram Patil (Paresh Rawal) is a policeman who is due for retirement in a week and has done little in the 35 years of his career. He colleague, Sunil Kadam (Vijay Maurya), is disgruntled with the system and is frustrated at his helplessness and ineffectiveness in bringing about a change.

Kadam’s leave is cancelled because of the blasts. Maurya is paired with Tukaram Patil for the routine patrol following the blasts. They come across a bar that is operating beyond the scheduled time. Kadam marches into the bar and orders the patrons to leave.

“Aaj Shehar main bomb phootey hain aur tumlog ko beer peeneka hain? Chal nikal!” Bombs have exploded throughout the city and you guys want to drink beer?

Tukaram Patil calmly walks into the bar and demands a  bribe from the bar owner. He asks the owner to give the money to Kadam. Kadam storms out of the bar.

“Patil Saheb mujhe ek baat batao, yeh shehar main Bomb blast hota hai..mera chutti cancel hota hai.. lekin sahab ko raatko beer bar chalu rehta hai, voh chalta hai?”  Sir, they (his superiors) cancelled my honeymoon plans because of the bomb blasts yet allow the beer bars to operate beyond the time limit, is this fair?

Paresh Rawal answers, “Abhi Bomb Blasts ke baad tum yeh beer bar bhi band karega, toh Mumbai main ‘Spirit’ kidhar se aayega?” After the bomb blasts,if you close down the bars as well, where will Mumbai get it’s ‘Spirit’ from? (Pun intended)

                 It was one of the most memorable scenes in the movie. Apart from Soha Ali Khan, the movie has some really terrific performances by Kay Kay Menon, R. Madhavan , Paresh Rawal and the best perhaps, Irfan Khan.

Irfan Khan plays a tea vendor in the movie. Personally, he is unaffected by the blasts but the feeling of being left out by the city’s elite, he find a way of retribution by making hoax calls to the Police. His Tamil-accented Hindi is a revelation and though he does not have many dialogues, he is the most expressive in the movie.

                 I frequent malls a lot. We shop, dine at malls. Until this movie, I never gave thought to how left out an ill-educated, tea vendor would feel in a mall. Irfan Khan did that with a few incoherent mumbles.

In the end, Paresh Rawal says, “Mumbai ke mills gaye, hartal bhi khatam ho gaye. Aur ab toh, Mill ki zameen par ek bahut badha, alishaan mall khada hai. Par kabhi kisi garib, bechare aadmi ko uss mall main dekhta hoon na, toh lagta hai ki uske mann main toh yeh hartal abhi tak chaalu hai.” With the mills, the workers’ agitation also died. And today, there is a luxurious mall in it’s place. But whenever I see a poor man in a mall, I realise that he still agitates, silently.

 The movie depicts the human side of the cops and it ends up endearing a much maligned lot. As the proverbial stone thrown upon an anthill, the film depicts the aftermath of the incident, traversing individual journeys of five worker ants, amongst the millions that belong to the colony, towards normalcy.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


Cast: Amir Khan, Asin, Jiya Khan
Dir: A Murugadoss
Rating: **

I did not plan to watch this movie. I had an uncanny feeling what this is going to be like. I have never been a big fan of south Indian movies. As i have always felt they lack the finesse which I am looking from films. And woo hoo, I was right. I saw Taran Aadarsh giving a whopping four and a half rating out of five to this flick. I am sorry Taran. You have lost it this time.

Lets see how this one fared in my own yardstick!

I would not give this one more than a mere 2/5...The story was an interesting one and the script does not do justice to it. I was told by my Tamil friends that original ghajini was a mindless flick (though a hit) and it doesn't make sense to remake it in Hindi.. I now totally concur with them.

the weak points of the movie are:

1. the weak dialogues. This movie has got real poor dialogues. especially those by the villain. was a pain.

2. A villain totally notwithstanding this era of movies. He could be a villain of 80s or 90s...not lack of charm or horror. this guy can only shout and not act. he never instills that fear that you need him to do to justify the horrifying memories Aamir bears.

3. Song sequences: Many of the songs fall in to the movie out of the blue. There was no sequence for that Lattu song(an item song for the sake of an item song total rubbish), bachchu song (put in to introduce Asin), behka(to show amir falls in love)....and guess what all are dream sequences...apart from lattu.

4. some important scenes not given importance. Like the scene where asin tells amir she loves him. And amir gives a dumbfound look. He clearly was clueless how to react and so must have been the director. i mean a girl tells you she loves you, u just don't look at her back with that deer caught in headlights look. thats rubbish. another scene is jiya khan comes to hospital to tell amir about ghajini. Amir shouts in agony but where is that agony. all i could see is the round eyes, his egg-head, and jumping in adrenalin. there was no emotion there... there was no fucking drama.

5. Story. well this is the fucking age of Internet you moron. you wanna kill a guy, you don't just go looking for him. you search for him, you google him or you at least look in the go to his house...anyway even if we decide to take that crap in, the story is loosely bound. That's why there are actually three scenes where that diary of sanjay singhania is read...

6. Amir himself is one of the weakest links in the movie. He has built a stupendous body. hats off to him for that. but so much of muscles has surely not done much good to his brain. the brainy and classy aamir whom we can see even in disasters like mangal pandey, has gone missing here. in places he shows his brilliance. but mostly totally absent.

7. Song shooting. The videos can liven up a movie experience. The way behka behka song was shoot i was really expecting something breathtaking to come as Ghuzharish was still left. But that disappointed me. A classic example why breathtaking locations is not enough to make a music video. The chemistry which cud be found otherwise among amir and asin, was not there in this video. most of the scenes amir is walking, asin is walking...totally unlike Suraj hua madhyam which was shot in a similar location and was shot in the best possible way. again oye bachchu was a okay type song...lattu was a crappo which started brilliantly but then the song is not on screen for more than a minute...and i totally hated that item girl/ med student idea of jiya khan!

8. The plot was fucked up. nothing more i want to say.

Then you may ask what are those two points for if I absolutely hated the movie?

1. Trying to do something different will earn 0.5 points here.

2. Asin will bring a 0.5 points. She looks natural and apart from one or two scenes she's done justice to her character. she's stunning in more scenes than one...and i completely fell in love with a mature yet so kiddish girl. most importantly she doesn't look that sweet sixteen (which she's not obviously) and gives an image of a more of my age girl...which makes the sex appeal ever so great for at least people belonging to my group.

3. In some places amir and asin make a great couple. I want them to see in a better movie. for that 0.5

4. More importantly, although the action scenes were good, they were shot without the emotion. but comedy at places were real good and charming. especially those scenes involving asin.for those action and comedy i gave 0.5.

now then amir fans, wanna give me some blow?