Monday, August 21, 2006

The countdown to cha cha cha....

One hour to go for shutting my workstation....half an hour to get ready and then one more hour to reach the venue...half an hour more for everyone else....oh my god....I just can't wait!!!
All right, I take a big gulp of breath...and slow down.
After all, it will be my dance performance on stage after six years...a group dance at that, which makes the gap eight years...and that too choreographed by someone else which increases it to tweleve years....
Why am I counting time? First hours, then years...ok..just to stay calm. But this is sheer adrenaline....more intoxicating than smirnoff or even chevas regal...more addictive than books and chocolate...even....sometimes sex (blushing).
All right, I'll be off soon...and I wish I could hold this moment forever....this moment of unadulterated passion and nail-biting tension...towards a finale of ten minutes, at most.
To all those who think this is too much energy spent on something as inane as dancing, try substituting that with your office presentation, or your marriage...or...ok, substitute, think, feel...and understand.
I'm off for now...ciao...

Update 1:
It was over too soon. To quote from an sms sent by another one from the team, who was all of her fourteen years:'Dang...its over...crap dis is so shitty...'
We planned to meet, we planned to join the next batch, whenever that starts, we planned to keep in touch.
I was surprised and relieved to find that whatever be the attitude of people during our classes, we were all equally excited that evening. And we were all emotional when we knew that we are leaving.

Update 2
The bad news is no cameras were allowed in the hall, along with no audience except the no photos of our presentation.
The dance by the SPB (loosely translated as specially picked batch, as i have forgotten the actual one) was superb....they were pros...but they had been training for 4 years.
The good news is that I met one of the SPB-ians near a lift at a restaurant, and she managed to recognize me, smile and point out which dance i was on cloud be noticed among 20 people!!!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Those Amrikan NRIs and the movies-shovies....

What's with these NRIs and their holier-than-thou defensive attitude? Esp those who stay in US?
Aseem Chhabra, assumedly an NRI who resides in New York, takes great pains to point out in his KANK review that 'KANK has nothing to do with New York.'
He explains:
'Johar and his crew camped out in our city for a few months and so I began to believe that the film was a tribute to the desi New Yorkers and our adopted hometown. KANK was about our lives and it was our movie.

So I have a word of warning for the New Yorkers and other NRIs who still have not seen the movie..................KANK has nothing to do with New York. Yes, the film was shot here and there are some stunning scenes of Manhattan...But KANK could easily be set in London, Sydney and definitely in Mumbai. Infidelity and adulterous behaviour -- the main theme of the film -- does not come naturally to desi New Yorkers.'

He then proceeds to point out other differences between the movie and reality in New York.

Now, what's the big idea?
Since when have movies, especially candy-floss ones like the ones made by KJ, been taken so seriously and referred to for authentic information about a place?
Did any Mumbaite take pains to point out that though Munnabhai MBBS focussed on Mumbai, all hospitals around the country have the same problem with queues to fill up forms during admitting a patient? Or that, it's not only in Mumbai that you find rich-spoilt kids a-la-Dil Chahta hain, but that they were found everywhere?
So, why do NRIs in New York jump up at the first instance and start proclaiming that they are not 'natural infidels'? Seems like the classic case of 'Chor ke dadhi me tinka'?
It could have well been said Aseem is a stray incident, had I not chanced upon the comments section of the same review and found him getting ample support from other New Yorkers who say:
'I have lived in USA for a long time and I know how Indians live here. Infact kids who grow up here are fed more Indian values...'

On a parting note, Mr. Chhabra seems to have had an arranged marriage, because he gets very irritated with Karan Johar for his observation against the seemingly weird concept:
'As the young filmmaker explained in the liner notes of the film's CD...there are three types of married people in the world - one, those who have an arranged marriage (and Johar displays his arrogance, ignorance, and lack of life experiences, by saying he just doesn't understand why people do that)...'

I am still wondering if he would have rated KANK higher if it had showed New Yorkers, esp NRIs having a totally blameless, exemplary lifestyle...but I'll stop before another NRI from Australia starts clarifying that unlike what they showed in 'Salaam Namaste', NRI girls in Australia do not live-in and pregnant by their boyfriends....makes me want to give credit to Kunal Kohli for basing 'Hum Tum' in so many countries so as to confuse them all...

The tagged one...

All right, this is a long pending be done as tanu had tagged me...but bouts of illness had kept me from venturing into the hitherto known turf before here goes:

Sunny beaches and roasted cashews.

something to someone some years ago...(don't we all?)

Go on a holiday and read loads of books with deep thoughts and happy endings.

I could write for days at a stretch....with nothing to distract me.

I HEAR my sanitized cubicle....except my own fingers on the keyboard and few whispers.

If I am deaf or whether everything is really this quiet...and how a talkative girl like me manages to work in such silent harmony.

no decisions in my is so much more interesting that I would take those decisions again!

I AM...
a budding novelist, a struggling software engineer, a pretentious philosopher, a confused woman...

pretty welll and to the perfect rhythm...and often, when I am alone, and with no apparent music playing except for the one inside my head!

when I am happy, or when I want to try singing a difficult tune which I have heard, or when something plays on and on in my mind.

I CRY...
pretty easily...too easily for those who know me to get moved by my tears...

serious and honest!!!

gestures when I speak...which captivate people.

all the helps me live...and speak out.

myself....with my warped sense of logic and tendency to argue both sides.

to loosen up sometimes...and let things be...and not stir them up.

There that's done...not too bad I think...

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

A KAN(K) of worms or just hot air?

On 12th Aug afternoon, I noticed an SMS from one of my friends:
'Watching KANK. Re-inforcing stereotypes'

Damn, I thought, KJ is at it again like he shaped up the character of the righteous arrogant father in K3G, or the tomboy-turned-feminine female who finally managed to hook the guy with her saree tantrums in KKHH....
I was wrong...very wrong...and then realized that stereotypes were better than confused, self-pitying individuals. At least, they either endear or anger the audience....and not confuse or frustrate them and spoil the rest of their day.
Also, the tag line - For those who have loved and should rather be 'For those who have married and might be contemplating divorce' or something like that. Saying this because the group of guys in the row before mine stood up at half time and said,'Just can't understand what's wrong with abhishek and preity that their spouses want to leave them'. Apparently, the director wanted to show that even two wonderful people can have a unsuccessful marriage. However, most of the audience, esp the unmarried ones can never understand and appreciate the concept of compatibility, and the director makes it even more difficult by making the respective spouses even more gorgeous, funky and filled with highly-caffeinated-energy than the straying partners.Most people who have not been in marriage or live-in relationships will need a stretch of imagination to realize that 'gorgeous and happy partners' don't necessarily translate to 'happy relationships'.

So, the intentions were good, and I am happy that the respective spouses of those who 'strayed' outside their marriage were not shown as incarnations of vampish-Bindu or cynical-and-psycho Arbaaz Khan.
I was also happy that the loose characterisation left space for different people with different nature to interpret the characters in their own way. Over the Indian blogosphere, I found people giving different adjectives to the characters (for e.g. some thought the leads were losers, and rani was a fool to not like someone as charming as abhishek, while personally I found abhishek good for being a son, friend, lover or co-worker, but as husband...naah), and for a KJ movie, which usually has strongly defined characters, with no room for interpretation, this was different.
However, what put me off was the characterisation of the 'straying partners'. Two people, who were unhappy with their spouses, come together, and remain unhappy, except, maybe, at the last scene, where I could barely make out a smile on SRK and Rani's face and one tiny scene where SRK brings Rani flowers and they talk over the phone.
What's the use?
The intention now seems to be that as extramarital affairs are a sin, the ones indulging in it can never think about being happy. All right, point taken.
But if so, then why portray them as great lovers and star-crossed soulmates, and try to manipulate audience reaction by showing the last scene at the train station where Rani tries to locate SRK, and the train slowly pulls out of the station?
If love between them was not great enough to overcome the guilt and unhappiness, then how great was it?

Is this film a love story? A moral preaching? A thought-inducing film? Or simply exhausting?
I was left confused, exhausted and frustrated at the end.
As someone who admits openly that she thinks too much, it is very difficult for me to pin-point why I am feeling the way I in those times, I turn to my husband to be led by his unerring clarity of thought. This time was no exception. My husband, on replying to my query about the movie, said, in his limited vocabulary, that the movie was SICK. For a while I wondered if he was alluding to his condition for the last ten days, when he was in and out of fever, cold and allergies, but he repeated the word when he found me staring at him - SICK!
Sick - because Rani was behaving like a glorified sweeper who only wanted to weep, sweep and keep house, and then blame herself some more, and weep and sweep...ok, you got it.
Sick - because Shahrukh was a person who can never be happy and can never make anyone happy with his grouch and big ego.
Sick - because Preity had massive swings of priorities depending on the situation - now career, now family... and also a nice chip on her shoulder as to how it is difficult for 'ordinary' people to meet her, etc.
Sick - because however suave, hunky, madly-in-love Abhishek was, he really was an oversized kid....who seemed to bulldoze over others opinions, except his dad's.
And finally....
Sick - because of Bachchhan's characterization.
My husband is a HUGER than HUGE fan of AB sr., and had taken his screen persona in this film pretty badly. And what put him off more was AB's talk about missing his wife and also, later, advising Rani.
(Pssst....I enjoyed it, he provided the only relief.)
So, that was it....Sick...according to hubby.

According to me? Well I would prefer to say - every way.
And that's including the remaining evening's conversation when we discussed the movie and also including the way my nose ran due to the high AC in the movie theatre.

As an afterthought - Ms. Zinta's red gown was mmm...delicious...wish I had it. Wrong - wish I could fit into it and look as good. Is my hubby listening?

As per general consensus, mostly girls, Abhishek was a great model husband in the movie. Overheard by my friend in the office shuttle:
'Abhishek was too good yaar - handsome, well-dressed, rich, brought her flowers, loved her madly....come on what more did Rani want?'
(How about Rani being in love with him? Clothes, looks, flowers and love doesn't always beget love, right?)
However, guys have not been that forthcoming about Preity's character. A case of the male ego put off by a highly successful woman? Or is it simply that Ms. Zinta is not attractive enough?

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Of movies and opinions...

It is really weird and pretty irritating when a movie website, which claims to be unbiased, lets one of its reviewers ram his views down the readers' throats.
Yeah, TOI comes first on this list but I am not talking about that right now.
I am talking about and Raja Sen.
Agreed each one has a different opinion about a movie and reviewers can only be human....but isn't it the duty of a reviewer to remain slightly (to say the least) unbiased and let the audience decide whether they really want to see a movie or not? It was fine till last year, though Raja Sen did mention that he thought 'Hazaron Khwaishen aise' as the best movie of 2005. and also he thought 'Darna Zaroori Hain' was interesting (that adjective is very tricky though).
But this time, I definitely don't like the way he has been promoting 'Omkara'.
First, he wrote a column on 'Why we need Omkara'.
Thankfully, they kept him away from the review.
And now he writes a column on 'Why Omkara blew my mind'.

Yes, I know - to each his own....but that would have been ok if he had kept his views to himself and not aired them as if he is the last word on movies, and also, his columns, fit for a blog did not find a place in a leading movie website, which actually pays him for the columns.

The bottomline of this ramble - personal agendas, opinions and self-indulgent columns should go into a personal blog, websites touted as being unbiased should contain a healthy balance of opinions and a larger picture of any issue rather than lopsided arguements, and shameless promotions.