Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sarcasm becomes the savior

A spoof alteast is one good aspect of a bad product, some say. But it isnt just that, isnt it? To watch a spoof of a horrible movie, to see exactly all the points that made me cringe , made fun of provides me an immense relief. Almost a revenge for taking you on a ride. Thank god for some one else's sense of humor.

When I flipped the last page of Chetan Bhagat's Five point some one, a single word came to my mind a- Masala. I always have a sense of disbelief when a book/movie lets me down this badly, was that really true? can some one really take me for a ride this way? I mean,did i miss something or was that book/movie just that. Couple of years later, therapy came in the way of this link. Dont miss lol with this link if you havent read it earlier. IMHO, it would have been wiser on our part if we had some how passed the 2$s on this blog than Mr. Bhagat. Atleast you get a few laughs.

Look, I have always cribbed about how indian writing tends to be monotonous. It is almost as if there is unwritten rule that Indian authors should have a Pathos theme. Some light reading would do us good. I understand Chetan Bhagat comes in that space but I just hope it wasnt this cliched plot stitched together so hurriedly that it didnt provide any joy at all.

And when I read blogeswari's comment section for her Kandasamy review, I realized this feeling of relief through sarcasm isnt just mine. Some of the anon commentators over there sound like they have specifically logged in to read others thoughts and get an outlet to pour out their frustrations. See, what I mean?

** wee bit of digression, for once I didnt get conned by the tamil mega release wave. Unlike my last loosuthanam, I didnt catch Kanthasamy. In the process saved 16$, some headache. As an aside, a friend of mine who doesnt watch tamil cinema much decided to catch this specific movie - fate, isnt it?***

The last on this link list isnt a book or a movie, it is an annoying act. But it resulted in this honest rambling. One video that gave me relief from all the annoying acts of the jobless politicians with a notion of protecting our culture. This was apparently shot in the sets of Virumandi.

** a bit of background, Virumandi was initially called Sandiyaar, some political leader opposed as it was a caste name. These same politicians have been annoying the hell out of actors for one reason or the other. Cinema is one of most popular mediums in India esp. more so in Tamil nadu and the politicians get a free publicity by raising useless issues. ***

I know quite a few of you would be put off by Kamal's language here. But if you ignore that , he makes a lot of sense. Culture is indeed an evolving phenomena and people will be surprised if they knew the history of several elements that is considered sacred. The drunken speech is still funny. Atleast some one is mad in a sane sense!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Getting lemons

If some one gave amma lemons, she would make pickles. Mostly. If it is summer she might save some for lemon juice. She might make syrup and keep it in the fridge - that is something R uncle's family does. But mostly she will make pickles.

I would put them in the fridge, spend couple of hours, reading various recipes with lemons in indian food blogs, drooling over the pictures. At the end of it, I will be too tired and hungry and get take out. The lemons will eventually rot and be thrown into dustbin. I would feel very guilty about throwing them and promise myself I will never do that again.

Friday, September 25, 2009

About movies coming to a theatre near you

Spooky is the word that comes to my mind. To see Kareena Kapoor's expressions on Tamanna, her costumes, Shahid's Dialogue uttered by Bharath - seriously 'original piece' in tamil? get the madras tamil equivalent, please. And even the locations! 'E adichaan copy' is the ideal description. I know its an official remake. But I think the movie deserves to be internalized more. It can be done and will be such fun.

Sigh! I think of all the other times people throw words like copy casually like nayagan is a copy of godfather(inspiration would be a better choice), ET for Anjali and so on. Inspiration is fine when done well. I couldnt get Rashomon very well what with language and so on but loved Virumandi.

Hindi Cinema cant seem to make the distinction between Childish people and young people confused about their life Paths. Why else would Hrithik and Ranbir act all Juevinile. Hrithik looked like he was suffering with cognitive disabilities(I am PC, got it?). I think its unfair not just on viewers.

And Konkana is overrated. She acts well but considering she is portrayed in the space of Smita Patel(who I love), Tabu(Who I love again) and Shabana she is a letdown. She comes with similar expressions and I think that aspect isnt going to change. With Tabu, you would never feel it is the same, you will be too busy empathizing with the character. Just registering my lone voice of dissent.

I liked her in Mr and Mrs Iyer and that was that.

And seriously, one more south bombay boy confused about what he wants to do, I am not too amused. He has to be shipped out pronto with just a 1000$ in pocket without a return ticket at 20. He will learn.

Ranbir is cute.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


When people hated Kamal's work based on the fact that he was divorced, had a live-in relationship and was married twice, it was easy for me to say that was his personal life . No point in judging his professional work based on that. Years later, the same went for Aamir Khan as well.

But these days when I come across a name like Roman Polansky, I feel uneasy. I dont want to watch his works based on what I hear about his personal life, however great a filmmaker he is. Same goes for Woody Allen.

It appears to me that all along I might have always let personal life facts influence the professional work and in case of Kamal and Aamir, I didnt judge their choices. But with offense as severe as Roman Polansky's (one I hate the most), I cant bring myself to watch his movies.

The childhood idealism of evaluating a work just based on the work alone still makes sense. in theory At the same time, the hatred for a person, especially for some one like this guy, makes me feel it is almost criminal to even acknowledge his existence in any good way.

What are your thoughts?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

To be born as an Idiot

Dear Lord,
If anybody has to be born as an Idiot, let them born in the Nehru family(preferably of Sonia - Rajiv) lineage, that is the only way they can succeed.

Thanking you very much,
Yours sincerely,
'Politically ever correct' Sachu Kichu.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Maximum city by Suketu Mehta

For someone who within in a span of couple of years had met Ajay lal(the cop who solved the bombay blasts'93), bit of bollywood, a cross-dressing dancer, RSS local chief, Chota Shakeel, mumbai bar dancer so on and had detailed discussions with them, Suketu Mehta writes very little in terms of his own inferences or view points. But in the few instances he does, he sounds so juvenile against the mammoth of experiences he has just had, I was glad of all the other times he didnt.

Maximum city is pretty much a transcription(obviously selective) of his interactions with several personalities of Mumbai. Quite truthful, it is almost as if you meet these people. It isnt a well written book but is rich with details that is enough to keep you engrossed. He doesnt give you his conclusions. So you still have the wee bit of uneasiness about Ajay's relatively affluent life style on a government Salary. At the same time, you know Ajay is an efficient cop. It is upto the reader to draw their conclusions or not even draw one.

At the beginning of the book,when Suketu, an NRI talks of this experience as an exercise in finding his roots, I yelled BS in my head. I have always found this roots business quite pretentitious unless one is an Alex Hailey. In any case, this is hardly Suketu's roots. It is more of sure money making exercise. Nothing wrong in it if only he had been candid enough.

But he has done work that is worth the money. While trying to befriend an RSS small unit chief, they ask him along for nature's call. It is also a way for them to check out if he is truly a hindu. Suketu is one but that just describes how fanatical these people are and how close he has gone to the edge.

He was also a close confidante of Vidhu Vinod Chopra for those couple of years. The highlight of that episode was when Vidhu, sitting in Amitabh's house after a short interaction with Big B himself asks Suketu, "Do you think he wears a wig?". That was the same question Dad had asked me few years ago after watching Kaun Banega Crorepathi. Must be a men thing, atleast my Dad has enough hair and going by his family genetics will always have, still he observed the wig. I think Amitabh wears a wig except he doesnt wear the usual goundamani or the tamil actor's generic one. He goes in detail describing the nexus between the underworld and bollywood, the underworld in lot more detail, tracks in particular few people, quite a fascinating read.

I found the whole ending with the Jain Merchant renouncing the world, too cliched.

The parts he explored in the Mumbai are present everywhere from New york to even our own Madras except there is very little chance of us, the middle classy, suburbian people realizing it. Every city has a book like this.

Monday, September 14, 2009

A job is a job is a job

"It is not work when you enjoy it so much". "My work is my passion".
"I am lucky you know i am doing something that i love, so it doesnt even feel like work. " Often peope say it. I like my work, it is not a rocket scientist job but hey, i am not one either. it works for my pea-sized brains.

But it is work. As long as it comes along with strings called salary, deadlines, promotion, career it will always be work. It is work because if I dont do it, all these knifes hanging above my head will make my life miserable. I am perfectly capable of feeling miserable even otherwise, dont need an added misery.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A real coconut

It is strange when our age Indians refer to their Parent's Generation as the hippy generation of 70s. Unless you are Protima bedi's daughter, your Parent's memory of that era would have been more likely that of trying to make a living in difficult times, emergency, Rajesh Khanna, Amitabh Bachchan or their regional equivalents.

A month ago, during dinner at Santana Row, conversation with an acquaintance turned to share prices, the companies which we work for, rivals in our case and so on. A Phd working in the start-up of this decade mentioned how we have slipped into usual geek topics. Leaving aside the fact that table was filled with engineers half of them with master degrees and the other half had Phds(traditionally un kewl), I want to know what cool meant. were the girls in the show "The Hills", kewl? musing/questing for a boy friend constantly when most of the time there isnt one and if there is he is one hell of a psycho, using 'like' 1000 times in a conversation with cameras surrounding you and broadcasting your real life. that def. didnt look anything even remotely interesting.

I personally think being yourself is cool. But perceptions are different, quite a few people think doing certain things is cool. Those hills characters were definitely not cool. They were silly and insane. So now I just want to know what makes people cool in the popular perception sense.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Solution to worldly problems

women's liberation, world peace, poverty removal, food for all, roti kapda mak(k)aan, all diseases eradicated, no discrimination, no racism, equality.

- look guys i have said all the right things, problem solved.

I have got Vijay TV now. ** Yeah, removed star plus**
They have some kind of talk show, for women by women ofcourse.
Day before yesterday, it was about whether it is essential to have a male sibling.
Yesterday the debate was about giving loans - is it good or bad. (transliteration, people, adjust madi).
Today, it is about whether a woman needs to take care of her beauty after marriage.

When I conduct the show it will be about the whether to season or not to season Sambar, Rasam.
- my vote ofcourse is no.

You are welcome to contribute your choice of topic as well. I am no sexist, so...

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

National geographic channel on expressways

Every single time I see the Black & white Cop car alternatively called Mama car in desi lingo, approaching an 'innocently' speeding car, I get reminded of the Tigress chasing the prey on national geographic channel. They ambush, these traffic cop cars, behind bushes, in parking lots and in all the places you cant guess and before you know there is the siren followed by a "License and registration, please"

These tickets seem to come in batches at least in south bay. I remember very well when a number of my friends got tickets within few weeks. I got lucky that time but not in the second wave.

After that there have been times when I thought if another traffic cop stops my car, I am going to hand him my keys and license and walk out. That would be better than insurance premium increase(first ticket in most states can be taken off the record by taking an exam).

What is more annoying is, once you get a ticket, while you will take all measures to keep your car within the speed limit, other cars will get annoyed with you(for sticking to the speed limit in the 3rd lane) and zip past you. Where is the mama then, is the million dollar question.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

PDA for population control

" Things change when we go to india. The whole urge just goes up", She said.

I nodded wondering whether it was sight of children bringing in the whole urge or some such roundabout psychological phenomena.

" You will understand when you get married, suddenly it is all so restrictive, you cant touch, hold hands and so on amidst all the people, so ..", she explained.

When another friend pitched in the same phenomenon, I wondered if this restriction of PDA is the root of population spiralling out of control.

If TV can be introduced for population control , why not PDA.

But then just late night TV can have different consequence, one couple's PDA can be..