Tuesday, December 30, 2008

slumdog millionaire (spoilers warning!)

So I finally saw this movie in the theater. Friends visiting for the weekend was excuse enough to go watch a movie.
The first half hour of the movie was so depressing that I was almost ready wait outside the theater for everyone. In fact, I would have done so if I was sitting on the aisle. I spent at least ten minutes closing my eyes. More so because none of background they showed was totally unbelievable, except for the first bit where he jumps into shit. That utterly gross!

Anyway, as the movie progressed into a fantasy mixed with reality the tone changed. No more gory scenes. It was still sad but the worst was over. The dialogues were funny, especially bit about Taj Mahal being a hotel and the king dying before any of the rooms being built :) Fully points to all the actors and even for the casting directors. The character roles being played by bollywood veterans did the trick.

Street children talking in english was a little wierd at first but after while it just felt like a movie in english, thats all. All the hindi usage was indiscreet and at least not noticable to me..but then again they didnt put in subtitles very often. So am not sure how the non hindi speaking people liked it.

In the end, it was a well made/written fantasy tale of rags to riches.

The only thing is it probably had a sum total of the bad things that can happen in India to the poor. So not a fair representation of the reality, but neither is the commercial indian cinema anyway. I walk back home thinking at least I cannot point my finger at anything in the background which was untrue.

Final Verdict : Worth a watch.. with a strong heart...

Friday, December 19, 2008

my point of view

We were talking about healthcare system in the US at lunch the other day. And someone was telling me about the argument against having the government take care of it. One of it was it will become like DMV and my response was maybe I am used to standing in lines in India so I find nothing wrong in it.

But then, it occurred to me later, if that was the flimsy argument against it then I am not sure privatization is the way to go either.
Think about any non-essential companies like cable, phone etc... I have had to spend hours on the phone to order, cancel, fix any service I have had. Even though it might be in their interest to keep me happy, if they are the only company providing the service they won't care.

I know its not an argument for having the government take care of it...but I just had to mention it. Actually I my experience at the DMV at recent times has been quite simple. I have never had to wait more than an hour for anything. It was quite systematic last time I was there. For the amount of people they cater to, they do a fair job.

I have one more argument against the logic that private is the way to go. In all honesty, ever since I have come to this country, I have stood in lines to get coffee, to get food, at the checkout counter and, I have learnt to become patient.
Everybody seems to take their own sweet time to do things. I had always thought that its in the businessman's interest to get these lines cleared up quick. But no! you can stand in line for 20 minutes to get a cup of coffee, to check out your groceries..

Then again, I have never really tested out the health care system in this country and I am thankful for that. So I have no way to verify any arguments for or against government.
All the same, I hope the next decade brings new ideas, open mindedness, gives the "government vs private" a rethink.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

my main man..C H A R L I E

I had completely forgotten how much I loved this movie when I first saw it. I saw it probably for the nth time yesterday, after a break of some years and, I sat engrossed the whole one hundred and thirty three minutes of it. I was supposed to be working alongside, but what can I say? I never got to my backpack to even open my books!

The Rain Man starring Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise released in 1988. You can read more about that here .

I cannot quite remember when I saw the movie first, because I probably saw the movie in pieces initially. However every scene made an impression, Hoffman and Cruise walking together out of Wallbrook, walking out of the airport, riding down escalator in las vegas, the drive ...There just are so many.

There are scenes in the movie I never quite forget. At that note, after contradicting myself in about 15 lines I recommend you watch the movie and then perhaps this is not a contradiction.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Don't you care?

I got early to class today to teach..and my students were talking about which part of the country they are from.. and suddenly I felt real ashamed.. Ashamed to say that I am from Bombay... Mumbai..

I used to be once so very proud of this city which was a complete representative of our country..where no language was considered higher, no race given preference..it was anything but what it is in the news for today.

Do we not have a conscience anymore ? Will we use any excuse to beat up another person and even kill? If we are not that person..who are we? the ones do not even stand up for our fellow human beings.

I can understand the fear of the mob.. 12 hitting 4...but what about the 100s who could stop those 12..

If we know this is wrong..how come nobody seems to be vehemently voicing our opinions? I find it hard to believe that a speech about how mumbai belongs to marathi speaking people but location is reason enough to let someone be murdered.

Is there no law and order? I didn't think we had a very good law and order..but where is the mumbai police ? Can anyone kill anyone just because they speak a different language.. I can't think of any other part of the country where this can happen...!

If this is the ideology people believe in..they should never move..! live and die in the same house they were born in. Never walk to the neighbouring house either..after all if we start dividing on basis of language, caste, religon.., why not generalize it further and realize that its every man on his own..
Sounds extreme...? but what about those people are drawing these lines of boundary ?

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

but of course

they should pay me to write movie reviews. I watch at least a movie a day. I notice tiny details in the characters, and sometimes even get so engrossed in the movie that I am at one with them.

so I think they should pay me to write this..as I tell you that definitely maybe is a must watch for all those who like the mush with some common sense and sensibility. I could predict most of the story and yet it surprised me and some and most of all made me feel good at the end of the day! and best of all got me to write (even if this post is full of and's)

fiction should be like that..running parallel enough to real life that you can imagine." hey this can happen to anyone" and yet manage to sort out the difficulties in a non-earth shattering way so you come out of the theater (or in this case the living room) feeling content that you spent your last few hrs sorting out some virtual life!

and this is partly addressed to my dear friends (if they ever should read this post since they think that this blogger has vanished for good!), fiction does not have to be inspired by real life. More often than not, its a tiny incident which triggers a train of thought, a wave of emotion, a burst of imagination all expanding to a dozen paragraphs of often rosy prose.
and the game that meghana plays in "jaane tu kya jaane na" namely "whats this?" is all it is.. really. you see a banyan tree she sees a witch with flying on her broom stick !

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

of idols and idolizing

My friend was complaining about Aditya Narayan, once of "chota baccha samajh ke mujhse naa takrana" fame,now the compere ( I really cannot spell the word) MC of
Saregamapa. He sings ok but not enough to be idolized.

I realized in todays world ...with internet anyone can be idolized..or infamous..or famous..
Like Ms South Carolina was it? Her slip up in Miss America spread on internet like wild fire.
Or the desi guy in American Idol who became famous for his bad singing!
Or the stars of various song competetions..Especialy if they are from small towns..they become the talk of the town real quick.
If you check online..there is a fan club for anyone who is remotely famous. Tehre are already at least 20 communities on Orkut raving about Ishant sharma.

My Plan? If I really get nowhere in proving my theorems in math...then prove that anyone (and really anyone) can become the rage of the town on the "internet " :)

PS: I should not forget to mention my TV idol..Since am more into reruns and watch old seasons of tv series on DVDs..For the past two years its been Ms Lorelai Gilmore.. what can I say..she has the "TV life"

Monday, February 11, 2008

more and butter milk

What is it about us humans ( and I am generalizing this a fair bit already..so not including all living beings!) that we always want more?

We are happy but we want to be more happy (as if we could really quantify it..but maybe that is the point!) We have money but we want more. We have freedom..but it just ain't enough. We have love but god forbid if we were ever satisfied with it.

Ok..there is an argument in life that if you don't want things..you will never achieve. So if you had been just happy with fire ( and by you I mean B. Franklin) there would have been no electricity. If you had been happy with mail.. and again..I really mean G. Bell there wouldn't have been any telephones. ( At this point I sincerely hope that there were mail carriers well before Mr Bell arrived on the scene!)

Alright so I buy that argument and say that maybe one should not want more of what we already have..but want different things. Except at this point..one of Mahatmas (and I do say this with all due respect) arrives and preaches that we should not want anything. That the whole purpose of life is letting go..etc etc..

And my argument against that is, well why live a life trying all your life not to live it? Why try new techniques when you happy already.. ? Why give up what you got..instead of making it better.. ? Why want something else? At this point I realize I have a come a full circle with an argument. If I had really known any better..I wouldn't be here blogging instead of working on my thesis..in fact..I would be here at all.I would be a Swami.. or Gyani..or something like that! Either making tonnes of money (most possibly that!) or living in Himalayas..on alms..

Right now I am amused that whatever word processor blogger is using recognizes Swami
and Mahatma:)

About the buttermilk ..so my ABCD cousin was at a wedding reception in India. He had had a cup of this amazing Tamilian filter coffee. So, he went to the cook and asked for "more". The nice man poured him a glass of buttermilk and gave it to him.

Moral? So when have you ever gotten anything you asked for?