Monday, November 24, 2008

as john abraham and abhishek bacchan kissed each other with a petite pretty piggy chops looking over indulgently in dostana on screen, a very poignant realisation hit home.
 no , i aint talking of the homophobic gay bashing theme of the film . the three odd hours of the running time of dostanaconclusively divided the indian movie going populace. a new partition of the indian viewer reached its finale witht his latest offering form the brash brave bold new bollywood.

 hindia cinema , or bollywood as we ever so lovingly christened it , has gone elitist in every sense of the word. a new wave has swept thru the film industry back home. technological advancements, new legitimate money, some good talent behind th escenes, and a sharp astute pr machinery have made the standard friday release a sleek svelte affair .( never mind the fact that much of the story telling is still appalingly immateurish and unoriginal, some habits die hard).

the advent of multiplexes add to this making a movie outing a very very ultra-glamorous event. you, me and the likes have neer had it so good. yet are we the only ones who watch the hindi film? ot by the fartherest leap of imagination. for there still exists outside the glitz and glam of the mall-multiplex, a huge chunk of an audience that still sees a hindi film at a single -screen dingy nondescript theatre .that expects a paisa-vassol entertainer of 3 hrs. that searches for a voice to speak out for its plight int he real world. that looks upto a hero who speaks their tongue ( and not hinglish ) and vanquishes the villians of their real lives , if only on reel.why do i feel that the mumbai dream machine has disowned them ?

with increasing upward mobility in a small percentage of indians and a real threat from hollywood ( in even in regional dubbed versions ) hindi films today cater exclusively to these handfull, who anyways look else where for entertainment and look down upon desi he process bollywood has ceased to reflect the aspirations of those who actually made the heros and heroines demi gods on the roads. so while live-ins, gay couples, hi-flying fashion glamour worlds , futuristic sci-fi and superheor-wannabes form the crux of our stories on celluloid these past few years, hindi cinema no longer has the pan indian allure it once boasted of. the hero is a selfish rich guy, cozy in his state of the art perfect bubble ( just like much of the 200rs and up paying captive audience watching the hero) who has no idea watsoever of what life is like for the rickshaw puller whom he used to represent not so long ago. his interests concerns his everything are a world apart from the masses .

the only missing link of sorts between old and new bollywood perhaps is the heroine who still nothing mroe than an object of lust. yet even she no longer is coy about shedding clothes at the drop of a hat, alienating a considerable men with her in-ure-face such a case why is ti a surprise then to find the ravi kissens and manoj tiwari's take centre stage in the big league? the vacucm created by bollywood is being filled by its poor cousins from patna raipur ludhiana and the a cash rich bollywood confidently dispense off the mass viewer as an irritant , regional cinema of the commercial kind , led by the bhojpuri industry, has stpped in to provide the complete masala package in the lingo understood by and loved by the masses, depicting a life that bollywood hitherto celebrated.and with a ready audience fresh from the betrayal at the hands of hindi films, merrily has joined in th eparty at your nearest theatre hall.

but then , what happens to our good old hindi film? almost extinct i guess save a stray delightfully oldworld welcome to sajjanpur. indians , the majority that crowds outside a mall not inside it, have a new cousin in town to thealien english flick, thedesi hindi film! no matter how priyanka ties the saree , she can never be the desi girl of the common man on the road anymore.

Monday, November 10, 2008

obama has made history by winning the polls in the big apple! his win has kind of brought the dark-skinned minorities in america into the mainstream , though how different would his presidency be from bush is what only time can answer, given the fact that bush has mangled american policies beyond recognition! while the whole world is rejoicing at this groundbreaking turn of events in the land of immense opportunities, india, the superpower in themaking, is busy analysing whom can it count upon to be her own obama. well , we ape everything from americans, so we ought to have our own version of obama for sure!
now to find our own obama, we need to first understand what he represents. as an afro-american, he represents those millions of immigrants who reached american sopil in search of a better livelyhood and life, in the hope of freedom liberty and equality that amercia promised but seldom deliverd. in this respect , india is not very different. for she too has a large populace who stayed on or came hoping for equality and yet have been marginalised in teh society. by this yeardstick, looking for an indian obama would possibly yield results if we looked at our immigrant communities. first that hits my mind is sonia gandhi. an italino-indian, marginalised in herown family while ehr hubby and mom in law were alive, sidelined in her own party while kesari and co ruled the roost, and now the power behind a turbaned buffon , running the reigns of the nation by proxy thru knee jerk reactions to huge problems . in her i guess not only do we have a minority leader, we also score on the women's lib bit! but sadly i guess while obama latched on to the opportunity that life gave him, sonia missed the bus the day she sacrificed at the behest of that now famous voice of ehr inner soul.
that leaves us with the other fav immigrants down south. the tigers! tamil beacons of hope finding empathy with alomst everyone living in the indian territory of the language.savef romt he glitch that they assasinated one of our pm's, the tamil tigers stand a huge chance of giving us our own obama.(they also gave srilanka her own osama u c, they are dependable).

moving on in our search , its highly recommended that in view of indian vastness and diversity, we include many others in the probable lists of obamas. this needs us to look at the other side that obama himself embodies. a minority enslaved and the recieving end if deep seated racial hatred , he has to overcome many odds to reach the white house. so should an indian sc/st/obc not be equated with him? we dont kill for race, we kill in the name of caste. and so we have the likes of kanshiram (had he known obama wud dothis he wudve postponed his demise am sure) , and now mayawati fit the bill this way. rich now, poor yesterday, illitrate then the same now, powerless then , powerfull to the point of arrogance today, and a woman. what more does india want in her answer to the black american prez?!
a muslim pm did anyone say ? now tat i think wud be a very interesting scenario. for undoubtedly muslims are a minority that has been much neglected in the nation. but who woudl have the couraget o accept this? whih political outfit would actually publicly accept that muslims were taken for a ride by them and a\do ammends by iomplying the sacchar committee report? none! and so its next to immpossible for us to dream of a muslim obama. not only this , obama himself once in teh hot seat would develop the hatered that white hosue has for islam sooner than later. and we being strategic "partners" we cant have a muslim head of state!
that leaves just one name in my mind who can eb india's answer to obama!! and tat is rakhi sawant! she was poor, marginalised( all indian women are per se ), illiterate(she still is), oppressed( on account of her well-endowed assets) , jeered, ridiculed (out of sheer jelousy ) and ofcourse a controversial past ( tats our indian pre requisite to make to the natons top office). and whats more , we win femeinst brownie points for having both a lady prez and a lady pm ( now wudnt tat be awesome, both together watching balaji serials while the nation goes to dogs? am sure the jobless prez of ours must be looking forward to this). yeah i am sure rakhi is the IT girl( in other terms too) . india need not look too far for her own obama! albiet we should now call her obami!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

i write this with a heavy heart. as i type these sad words, an eracomes to an end. a vrey integral part of my life, for the past 8 yrs,has come to an end. and as is with most partings, its a heavy hurtthats left in my mind as i bid good bye to this very cherished thing,for ever.

yes dear frends, the daily soap kahani ghar ghar ki , has ended. thelast episode was aired tonight at ten pm. the time that was synonymousfor me with teh serial for the past 8 years , will no longer be thesame for me.

it all began 8 years back in 1999, wen i was in tenth , and star pluswas still a new hindi channel , with some basic nonsense in the nameof programming gluing ever faithfulls like me to the idiot box. and incame the adds, a diya burning, and two hands rshing to hold it as awind blows past the burning diya in front of a ram idol. 

and stunnedwas my mum , like millions other houswives were, with the sheerbrillinace of the idea and concept of wathcing the daily bickering ofsaas - bahu on national television. so started a relation , rishta intele-speak, tat lasted for 8 long years.parvati , om , trishna, and the rest became like family to us. theybecame names that were taken in the smae breath as those of closerelatives, as if we lived with them each and every moment of ourlives. talk shows , news , gossip, parvati and her saas were all over.

an epitome of sita, of durga and the real indian stree, she ruled trpsfor like forever. in the process, taking the form of goddess laxmi forstar plus and ekta kapoor , that master mind behind the serials withk's all over them.

it was magical , characters died, got reborn , died again and resurfaced like a pheonix from ahses. men , for once were reduced tomere caricatures silently watching their ladies wage wars in thekitchen. scheming , smart, witty villanous ladies all, who knew how toavenge their sindoor and do paisa vasool justice to the dowries theygave before marrying their respective useless hubbies! women-power wasat its peak , if only on television.

and now , its all come to an end. many were seen rejoicing here, forsome ti was like diwali came a lil earlier this year ( last heard theall indian dukhiyaari-pati-andolan has called of fits fasting andannounced a national celebration in all its city branches in thecountry)but for many it is a serious loss that i guess will never becompensated for. 

ten pm each nite from monay thru friday will never bethe same again.may parvati find peace in her after life.

(p.s: for the severly addicted, star utsav is still running the reruns of the series, and  om  still has to get his third rebirth in the serial there, )