Monday, March 16, 2009


Gulaal is a story about power.Where there is power, there is loyalty, obsession, betrayal, helplessness, revenge and of course love. Gulaal is the story of all these and many more characters, all colorful, all earthy, all full of pithy language.The director intersperses all of them beautifully with some striking poetry and presents an appetizing palette of reality. An angry film and anger oozes out in every frame.

Not a tinge of Euphemism… Anurag Kashyap presents a crude reality in its crudest form. Euphemism blurs the starkness… cheekiness delivers!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Black is the new White!

“Fair, slim and beautiful bride wanted”. This is the pre-requisite for marriage. Our obsession for fair skin is not new. America finally got over its racial fixation, but when will India get over it? India is not a fair-skinned country. It has its share of color tones. As we move towards the south, the white Aryan tone gradually varies giving way to wheatish Dravidian shade. Our chromatic convictions are pretty room for debate. It’s an axiom that white is better than the black. Many times I have had friendly arguments with my grand mom on this issue and she did believe fair skin was a bonus.

A few days back, nani’s friend happened to visit us. My nani was super-excited to meet her. It was delightful to watch them chirp like pony-tailed teenagers. I happened to overhear their conversation or you can call it unintentional snooping…Now who doesn’t like gossips? Some uncle’s wife’s cousin’s daughter was trying to get married but it seems her dark complexion was playing the villain! Then the friend, to my utter contempt, said, “Even your grand daughter is dark…how will you marry her off?” .Though slightly offended, I waited for my grand mom’s reaction. My nani brightly quipped, “Don’t worry Gita, Obama is the new president and black is the new white…you never know when people would start looking for intelligent dark women like Michelle as potential life partners.” Her friend’s ‘bowled over’ look was indeed a Kodak moment!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Be the change you want to see!!

“War on Mumbai”, “Taj in flames” and the most recent “Mumbai Fights Back” headlines are dominating the media. Amidst the horrific tragedy coverage, they managed to give unnecessary footage to the outrageously trivial issues like Achuthanandan’s dog remark, the lipstick-candle march retort and of course RGV’s visit costing our honorable chief minister his post! Oh did I forget the famous rather the infamous “bade bade sheheron mein aisi choto choti batein tho hoti hi rehti hain!” remark.

Have you ever wondered why our politicians are insensitive and irresponsible? Why is our bureaucracy so vulnerable? Why are our security forces so insouciant? It’s we who are solely responsible. It’s time to stop the blame game and spend some time in retrospection. It’s a cliché but democracy is a government made of the people, by the people and for the people. Here it’s definitely made of the people but I am very doubtful if it is for the people and by the people.

It is a system of governance which allows extensive representation and inclusiveness of as many people and views as possible to feed into the functioning of a fair and just society. But do we to vote? Even if we did, do we bother to check the credibility of the candidate we vote for? Are we justified in blaming the politicians? We are the ones who placed such huge responsibilities on unsuitable shoulders. It’s we who were asleep and are angry at being woken up so catastrophically.

But where are the suitable candidates? None of the suitable candidates are in politics, whom do we vote for? Do you know iff a voter has dislike to all of the candidates competing there, then he can show his dislike to all of them by registering for 49'O.According to Rule 49-O of the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961, if an elector whose roll number has been entered in the register of electoral rolls in Form 17A, decides not to vote, a remark to this effect shall be made against the said entry by the Presiding Officer and the signature and thumb impression of the elector shall be obtained against such remark.Now, if the number of 49'O count is larger than that of the winning candidates total vote count, then a re-election is called there. The political parties would be forced to select a suitable candidate. Now if winning election becomes a challenge, suitable candidates would automatically get attracted to politics. Slowly and steadily the entire political system would get revamped and would no longer be ‘dirty’ politics. But this is possible only if we decide to change.

Instead of organizing candle marches and anti-politician discussions, it’s time to spread awareness and take ownership of the mistakes we knowingly committed. Let us not let democracy crumble under the pressure of terrorism. Our freedom fighters fought valiantly for the freedom we enjoy today. The same kind of feverish patriotism is the need of the day.

Six months from now, we have elections, let’s elect a suitable candidate and make sure our democracy wins! Let’s not limit ourselves to candle marches and signature campaigns. Friends, let’s rise above the situation and make this happen!!!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Poignantly Numb

I still remember the first time I went to visit The Gateway Of India and was awed by its grandeur. But what caught my instant attention was the beautiful Taj Mahal hotel. The heritage building with its delicate and intricate architecture facing the violently surging Arabian Sea left a lasting impression.

The place for me is a symbol of opulence and grandeur. It is not just another passive structure to pose for photographs. It represents the spirit of lakhs of Indians who come to Mumbai with nothing but a dream. It instills in them the confidence to dream big. It’s the only place which is ardently adored by both the elite and the indigent. It has always been a dream for me to reach a level when I can proudly go inside the place. It epitomized the celebration of my fulfilled dreams.

But today, when I switch on the television and watch the images of the place up in flames, coldness grips me. It makes me numb. I can no longer relate to it. The sense of insecurity and uncertainty overwhelms me. It’s like my paradise is in flames. Strangely, I feel guilty too.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Our Epics- Are they Logical?

Stories do play a very important role shaping our moral values and principles.

As a kid, I read a lot of books but nothing came close to the popular stories aired on television. Mahabharata, Ramayana and later Arabian nights, potli baba and Sinbad ki kahaniyan were some of the memorable ones.

But Mahabharata used to be ‘The Sunday treat’! I still remember the excitement in the room when our TV used to croon, “Maahaaabhaaratamm”. For the next half an hour every Indian with a TV set in his house used to sit transfixed…pin-drop silence was mandatory. Even now parents feel that their kids should know Mahabharata and Ramayana stories.

But I wonder what kind of moral values do these stories provide. The epics have crossed the lines of mythology and assumed the status of history. But are these stories worthy of our adulation? I am not an iconoclast but I do disagree with many of the important events described in these stories. Some of them are out rightly illogical.

Mahabharata’s main cause was Draupadi's insult…She was a trained warrior princess not a naïve lady. To humiliate the princess, Dushasana ordered his guards to strip off all her clothes. She ould have protected her dignity by fighting him but she chose to call Krishna for help. Why? Gandhari, the ever-faithful wife of the blind king Dhritrashtra, chose to bandage her eyes. Instead she could have helped him see the world through her eyes. Rather that negating her husband’s weakness, she chose to aggravate them!

Krishna guiltlessly flirted with women even with married ones? If Radha knew that she was the twin soul of Krishna, why did she get married in the first place?

In Ramayana, Sita is forced to give agnipariksha and Ram is not even doubted? The saddest part is even today there are people who think Ram was right and follow his footsteps. Ridiculous! What kind of moral values do these epics teach our kids? I believe it’s high time that we modify these stories suitably rather than provide them with fake justification! What do you think?

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The Brutal End!

“I have always loved watching the sun set behind the cluster of mountains, sink into the bottomless oceans, and disappear behind the unreachable horizons but watching it fade behind the super tall glass and steel structures was a welcome change. It was just another perfect evening. The sky was alive with hues of red and orange smeared immaturely. The colossal structures in grey and steel punctuated the landscape belligerently. What a stark contrast they presented! But the sun appeared sad today. I felt she was reluctant to go; I don’t know the reason though! Finally she disappeared and I felt like a mother sending off her daughter. “ Nevermind , she’ll be back tomorrow,” I told myself and welcomed the moon with open arms.

The moon seemed discontent too. Or is he sick? The brilliant shimmering lights that welcomed the moon everyday didn’t accompany him today. Is that the reason for his gloom? Or is it the devil that has spread its wings across the sky? Oh Yes, it is…I can see the devil swelling its viciousness out of those tall shining chimneys. My poor moon!

The devil seems to have bigger plans and I can smell it. The nauseating odor has left me longing for some fresh air…Usually a whiff of fresh air comes to my rescue but today it seems busy. I am out of breath.

As I struggle to catch some air, my parched throat craves for water; but not a drop of liquid around. I feel weak but not a sympathetic soul to hold me up. I wonder how can things go wrong so fast? Or Was I painlessly slipping? A wave of relaxation and agitation wrapped into one grope me. I feel agitated because my end is untimely and relaxed because I would be finally free from the earthly agonies. My flesh is cold and my soul lifeless; but my heart is burning. A devastating fire is razing me from inside. I can feel the heat spread and bloat me. I am like a bubble ready to burst. My skin is cracking but I am helpless. God, do I really deserve such a brutal end?”

Mother Earth exploded and a thousand pieces flew across the Milky Way! All that remained were memories of a green and blue life nurturing planet!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Random Retrospections!

Four Golden Years….An amazing campus life…Wonderful friends…What more can I ask for? But if you ask me, what is ‘the’ thing that I would miss the most….Undoubtedly my friends!

At this point of my life, I seem to realize their importance more…Partly because I was lucky to be friends with some amazing individuals and partly because we are parting our ways. Yesterday, one of my closest friends P left for Delhi and later had plans to go to US to pursue her master’s. She was my first best friend in college. The thought of not meeting her for 3-4 years made me feel uneasy. Way back home, countless memories flooded my mind. I can still recollect the first paper presentation we did together. After completing the entire paper, we realized that the contents were primitive and not even close to the kind of standard mandatory for the competition…lolzz…the entire session was exhausting yet enjoyable! She is level headed, highly ambitious and a well read individual. Interactions with her always inspired me. We never got exhausted of topics… our ‘out of the box’ dreams, our aspirations, philosophy, time machine (weirdly, I want to own one now)...the list was endless!

It was only through P, I met my other closest friend T. She is an authentic gem! Her presence makes you feel special and wanted. I would terribly miss those lunch breaks when we would rush to P’s hostel canteen and chatter nonstop while devouring the tasty canteen food (specially the hot and spicy manchow soup)! And how can I forget her Hindi heavily garnished with south Indian accent (mind you…she’s is a true gujju)….It sounds so cute! She’s a proficient shopper…she checks every little detail patiently…bargains effortlessly…and come out of the shop with a satisfied smile…It’s a pleasure (and a learning experience too) to watch her shop. Though many would disagree with me on this (How can it be a pleasure to watch someone shop?!... ;) ). In a nutshell, she’s blessed with an exceptional combination of child like innocence and a mature head-set.

How can my group be complete without M. Her beaming smile and expressive eyes lightens up the air. I don’t remember how I was introduced to her. But we chatted like long lost friends even then. I could trust her instantly. The unforgettable night-outs, our insights on how an ideal life, relationship or career should be (We can write a book on that...lolz ), criticizing profs, discussing our latest crushes, giggling over stupid jokes, playing pranks, the Rose day, Horizons…I would miss all of them!

I have learned that swinging on a swing or playing the sea-saw or perching on tree branches was no longer immature! Donning funny hairstyles or singing kindergarten rhymes in chorus was no longer crazy! I came here for the reason most people go to college. to find the part of myself I never knew was there. I have been here only a short while, yet so much has happened. There are times I still feel as if I don't belong here, and other times there is nowhere on Earth I'd rather be. Oh! It was beautiful. These cherished memories would remain permanently etched in my mind! Love you P, T and M.