How time flies! Just five years back I had written a blithe article about ‘How to stay (happily) Unmarried’. I was young(er!), at college, enjoying the process of academics and marriage was the last thing on my mind. The usual things that we discussed in those days were who got hitched with whom, who was having a fling on the side, and who will (are they that serious really?) tie the knot.
Saturday, 30 November 2013
Wednesday, 27 November 2013
A book is a lot more than just a book. Everyone has his perceptions and his choice of books. Your choice of books reveals a lot about your personality and taste. The books which you find at the Kashmiri Gate ISBT are targeted for a specific audience and those kept in a lavish coffee shop in Connaught Place are targeted for a thoroughly different set of audience. So, it is pretty difficult to give a set of reasons for a choosing a particular book. Everyone has his own reasons! Still, we tried figuring out a few of them.
Monday, 25 November 2013
Social network has become the outlet for rants which can be shared with at least 500 odd friends and get little solace and peace. However there has to be little control on what and when to post. There were many social network crimes or cyber-crimes since the advent of Facebook , twitter, Myspace and many more social networking sites in to people’s lives.
Saturday, 23 November 2013
“In a good bookroom you feel in some mysterious way that you are absorbing the wisdom contained in all the books through your skin, without even opening them.” ~Mark Twain
I could not have agreed more to it. I cannot imagine a world without public libraries, a world without beautiful books all piled up systematically, waiting to be sniffed, felt and read. My earliest memories of childhood are of a 5 year old me with my nose into an Enid Blyton book I found in my father’s bookshelf. I can still remember how I used to stand outside my school library as a kid, waiting for the lunch hour to strike so that I could get free access to all the books inside. The day I got my membership card for the local public library was perhaps one of the happiest moments of my life.
Wednesday, 20 November 2013
"Kidhar utarna hai? Door kyun block karke rakha hai?"
"Zara sarko bhaiiya, fourth seat pe baithna hai."
"Khaalipeeli machmach nahi karneka."
"Thoda push karo, jagaah ban jayegi."
"Dus ka paanch, gaanvti santra lo!"
Mumbai local train is not called the lifeline of the city for no reason. It is the heart and soul of the city echoing the most common phrases used almost every day by almost every commuter. The train journeys aren't just from Point A to Point B, but are journeys in one's lifetime from youth to the ripe years. And through these journeys, many commuters make friends for life.
Monday, 18 November 2013
The term “hijra” is very widely used term in Hindi (and a few other languages). But when it comes to finding an equivalent term in English, it is a tad bit more complex. Terms like transgender, transexual and asexual all refer to a set of people with a non-specific sexual identity but are not exactly equivalents of “hijra”. A simpler way of defining them would be to say that they are a set of people who do not fit into either of the two genders that are officially accepted in most countries, male and female.
Sunday, 17 November 2013
Light on pocket, heavenly delicious and highly addictive, street food is like a magnet that attracts every foodie. And when it comes to street food, I bet India offers maximum possible variety. The umpteen Bollywood songs using chaat in the lyrics are testimony to the popularity of these irresistible food choices.
Remember the Coolie No. 1 song featuring Govinda and Karishma Kapoor?
Main toh raste se ja raha tha, main toh bhel puri kha raha tha...
Saturday, 16 November 2013
This poem was written by me on the women’s day when I felt absolutely nothing after seeing the gung-ho bunch on face book. If someone wrote something as a tribute to woman, some other clicked a picture. Everyone tries to project their respect towards women but do these people outnumber those who wait for an opportunity to pounce on women? It feels so helpless to think about the sad state of affairs. In midst of all the crimes against women I saw a sudden havoc among few groups who tried to suppress a woman’s voice against a woman’s crime. They bullied a blogger who was empathetic towards the victim and said that every man should be away from the baseless feminist and called her names which I cannot mention on this forum. If calling a criminal “a criminal” is an objectionable crime, I am sure it is a futile attempt if we try repairing their minds. Do read my poem below!
Friday, 15 November 2013
Kashmir, the land of eternal beauty nestles picturesquely in the lap of majestic Himalayas. This land of lofty snow clad peaks and verdant valleys , of sparkling rivers and serene lakes , of stunning gardens ,stately chinars and flowering meadows was rightly regarded as the ‘paradise on earth’ by the Mughals. Its pristine beauty has inspired artists, musicians and poets since time immemorial.
According to mythological legends, Kashmir was once a large lake. Rishi Kashyap drained off the water of the lake and the beautiful land of Kashmir emerged.
Thursday, 14 November 2013
Wednesday, 13 November 2013
A common man actually represents the nation. He may not be a connoisseur of politics or economics but it is the common man that makes the nation. No king or government can afford to eschew the voices of a common. History speaks it aloud that whenever the voices of a common man have been left unheard it has brought detrimental consequences. As the famous Latin maxim says, “Vox populi, vox Dei” which means that the voice of the people is the voice of the God. It is the common man who brings glory to the nation; it is the common man who works in the fields. The contributions of a common man to the nation are numerous and immense.
Monday, 11 November 2013
“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint’, then by all means paint, and the voice will be silenced. “
- Vincent Van Gogh.
My first introduction to this world was Monet’s ‘Water Lilies’ sitting elegantly in a frame of the movie ‘Titanic’. Few moons later, it had struck me, with all its radiance, hence sparking a light to the quest to hear more than I could have ever seen in the gamut.
Wednesday, 6 November 2013
With festivals around the corner one thing which we Indians cannot resist is binging on all the delicacies endlessly. We worry about weight but postpone the worry to the end of December or may be New-year so that we take the new-year resolution to reduce weight only to break it later on in the year when festive season starts :- ) :- ). Jokes apart, the first and the foremost thing which people in India miss when they move to abroad is the food here. Street foods are lavishly spread everywhere in India. Street foods / fast foods are pretty famous in India as they are tasty, economical and comprise a wide variety including local , regional , national and international cuisines.
Monday, 4 November 2013
India has always been a land of ardent food lovers. People in India love eating like anything. Albeit, the concept of becoming health conscious is getting prevalent these days but the number of food lovers has not seen any abatement either. In this era of lavish restaurants and coffee chains, people are missing the experience of the great street food culture of India. When you love food, it is always on your priority. As the great George Bernard Shaw said- “There is no sincerer love than the love of food”. You can gauge a lot about a person by this eating habits and the choice of food he prefers to eat. Street food also plays a key role in helping us increase the immunity level of our body.
Friday, 1 November 2013
There was a time when the thing in newspapers I was most eager to read was the movie review section. To me, the reviews then represented a true and infallible assessment of a movie’s quality. I even used to argue the merits and demerits of a movie with my friends based on the reviews I read. *Coughs* Sometimes without even actually watching the movie. *Coughs* But then I grew up. Two things slowly started to become clear. One- movie reviews and box office performance had little correlation with each other. Two- a movie review was hardly an indicator of whether I myself would like or dislike the movie. Although, I must add, I still check out movie reviews. Not so much to assess the quality of movies, but merely because I find it interesting to read how other people judge a movie.
Anybody and everybody can have an opinion on a movie and in today’s age of blogging, micro-blogging and other forms of social networking, anybody and everybody can broadcast that opinion to a wide audience. How much of that opinion is valid? After all, opinions are subjective things. Someone might find Chennai Express a lovely entertainer. Someone else might dismiss it as abominable crap.
The same goes for movie critics who get paid to write in recognized media- like newspapers, magazines, online reviews etc. Most of the reviews I have read till date just state an opinion. They just state how a movie has titillated or disgusted their entertainment taste-buds. How many of these movie critics are actually versed in film theory – the actual art of making movies? Do any of these critics realize the amount of painstaking labor and care which goes into creating a simple shot? Some of them might. Some of them might not. I, personally, prefer reviews which delve into the technical nature of things. That way, I have the specifics. And not a string of meaningless adjectives. And delving into the technical side of things means the critic has to know movie-making.
I understand, of course, that the knowledge of technicalities is not an essential requirement for writing a review. If that were the case, most reviews and critics would immediately be rendered meaningless. And obviously, most of us realize a review might have little bearing on how we personally rate the movie.
The above realization raises another question though- the validity of reviews and critics in today’s context. There are academic movie critics, of course. And as long as movie-making is recognized a subject of study, these academicians will continue to be relevant.
But what of the reviews and criticisms we are flooded with in popular media? Reviews on radios, TV, newspapers, blogs- are any of them really worth paying any attention to? There are no clear-cut answers to this obviously. I personally think they still are. A lot of movies would probably never have got noticed had it not been for good reviews. Take ‘The Hurt Locker’ for example. Or our very own ‘Hera Pheri’. These are movies whose success got buouyed through positive reviews. The depressing thing is- a lot of reviews are probably bought. So that again casts a cloud of suspicion on their validity. I guess I can’t blame the movie-makers for buying reviews.
Bad reviews have sometimes spelled the doom of a movie. With so much of money riding on a movie, who can blame them? All said and done, I don’t think I’m going to give up on movie reviews soon though. They are amusing in their own way. More than the movie they sometimes provide an insight into the reviewer’s own mind.