Bollywood Romance redefined

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The ameer-gareeb class divide, the curious case of a love triangle and an age long family rivalry, Bollywood’s romance has been flirting with one of these plots since ages. Stereotyped but successful. Not just these plots have entertained us as an audience but they have inspired us. Whether it be DDLJ’s Raj whose love gives him courage or the devastated Devdas who drowns himself into self condemnation, be it Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’s Anjali who finds love in her best friend but is unable to express or the iconoclast Bobby who breaks societal shackles for her love, we all have one character we identify with in our romantic lives. We tried to be them.

But times have changed it seems.

The time has taken a flip turn.

Now we don’t have to be them. They are more of us. The exuberant outspoken and babbling Geet from Jab We Met, the confused goal oriented practical Jai from Love Aaj Kal and (sadly) the clammed up Veera from Highway borrow traits from our lives rather than lending to us. The plot has changed too. It breaks the stereotype of romantic scripts. Depiction of love has changed with it. It is more modern and subtle, yet sublime. We don’t see hammy assertion of love and melodramatic display of separation anymore (I am not talking about Aashiqui 2). This change, which is so unbecoming of a Bollywood movie, is magical. And this Magic casts out from the wand of one man who in my ordinary wisdom is the new King of Romance in Indian Film Industry- Imtiaz Ali. Image

A star studded audience drawing caste, an extravagant foreign location, an out of the blue song sequence in mustard field, an unrelenting father and dialogues deifying love, his film has nothing which a bollywood romantic film must have (except good music). Yet this eccentric looking director who could have been a scientist if not a filmmaker (for his looks) quite emphatically stimulates your emotions when he tells a story.

Coming from a school of thought which believes in sensibility in cinema (like Anurag Kashyap) his characters are both commonplace and unique at the same time (Jordan in Rockstar) and his idea of love is casual rather than exceedingly formal. The emotions are intertwined with dilemma and are thus realistic and his expression is colloquial than poetic. The humor is organic not punchy and the story in all is innervating.

Therefore, when the complex stories where the protagonist,s inner self is the antagonist itself are so easily told by him with the help of engaging music and refreshing real locations they don’t actually leave an impact but stay with us and we have an aftertaste of his character’s experience on screen. This is why now, when we think of losing something we cherish we feel like missing a train. Truly he is changing the definition of love in Bollywood and in life (at least mine)

एक गुज़ारिश मेरी भी

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ओ बूढ़े बाबा सुन लो
एक गुज़ारिश मेरी भी,
तोहफों Imageकी एक गठरी यहाँ ले आना
बाकी जाना चाहें कहीं भी

ये गाँव है तुम्हारे काम का,
मुज़फ़्फर नगर नाम का
यहाँ बड़े बूढ़े और बच्चे हैं,
खाये सियासी गच्चे हैं

उनको तुम थोड़ा फ़ुसला दो,
चेहरे पर मुस्कान खिला दो
कि उम्मीद यहाँ घुट न जाए,
यकीं खुदा से उठ न जाए

कुछ ऐसा जुगाड़ कर दो बाबा,
इनकी झोली भर दो बाबा

Apprehensions of a Heterosexual

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Majority of us may be indifferent about the Supreme Court’s decision upholding Section 377 and re-criminalizing homosexuality because it does not affect us. Majority of us may be sorry for or have pity with 2.5 million LGBTs who are directly affected by the  decision

because it is totally unfortunate that they are how  they are. Majority of us  may think that the issue is just getting hyped by the media and its just ‘much ado about nothing’. But at the same time majority of us may be affected by lack of awareness.

Not that I am a gay right activist or something, nor I have done some research on this issue. I am just a commoner who is as averagely informed as somebody might be, it is just that there are few things with this whole issue which disturb me and which I discuss here below.

1. Racism: ‘In 1861 when America was fighting civil war on the issue of slavery, India was passing Section 377′, said Dr. Amartya Sen in an interview. Isn’t it ironical! Because what this decision of the Supreme Court has largely done is that it has reduced the whole issue to ‘us’ and ‘they’. Even as I consider this issue  affecting a wholesome ‘us’, there is a majority that does not think so. And the reason I am using the word ‘majority’ again and again is that the Supreme Court verdict has created a new minority. The people who are affected, now feel oppressed and unite to fight for their rights while most of us act like onlookers of their protest.And much to their woes, this new minority is not a potential vote bank which could attract immediate action from the law makers.

So India, which brags about ‘unity and diversity’ and where secularism is a major issue and whose constitution forbids any discrimination on the basis of caste, creed, color, religion and sex, gets a new community classified on the basis of sexuality.

2. Human Rights: Those who are following the news debates and newspaper editorials on this issue regularly must have had enough of the Human Rights stuff on this. But my apprehension is quite different from what has been said so far and to understand that we need to have a basic knowledge of what section 377 actually is.

The Section 377 of IPC actually says, “Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.”

So, it actually does not mention homosexuality anywhere, but this section criminalizes homosexuals because it is considered to be an ‘unnatural act’. But for my reader’s kind knowledge I shall bring out that it is not the only unnatural act mentioned in the constitution. Actually any sexual act which is not a peno-vaginal penetration is an unnatural act. Hence oral sex and anal sex also come under the purview of this section.

Now, talking of human rights, I feel offended. Not because of the inanity of our constitution but because the depth to which our law can get into our private lives. It would be rather better to have a procedure of ‘court monitored sex’ than having such pervading laws.

3. Misuse of Law: We all know that there is hardly any law in India which rules out the possibility of it being misused. Talking about 377 of the IPC, I would like to cite an example to prove that it has the ability of being misused not just against homosexuals but also heterosexuals.

According to a Mumbai Mirror report- ‘About ten years ago, a women in her twenties and barely an year into marriage maintained a diary to keep a record of each time she had oral sex with her husband. Soon she filed for divorce on the grounds of cruelty.’

Hence Proved, I suppose!

4. Affect on the society:  Those who talk in favor of the Supreme Court decision talk about the India’s culture, its tradition and the adverse affect of homosexuality on the society. I have an inverse view point on this. I am more apprehensive about the affect this decision would have on the society.

Even if you suddenly criminalize 2.5 million people, they would not change their sexual orientation just because the law says so. They are going to stay as they are. So legally speaking they would stay criminals. Now these criminals are liable to be exploited by the police! And when such things happen to a person the most common outcome is that he stops believing in the system of law (unless he is a Gandhi of 21st century). And this I think is the actual threat to the Indian society, its culture and its tradition.

Imagine  2.5 million people rejected, ignored and mocked by the society, on the top of it exploited by law! Where would such anger and frustration vent out! Remember, “All oppression leads to war” some one has rightly said.

:p Love Marriage illegal, prostitution legal: SC

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Supremely Bizarre Court of India

Supremely Bizarre Court of India

India  is just about to earn the sobriquet ‘country of Ironies’ . After Marital Rape has been justified in recent amendments while Gay Sex declared illegal by the Supreme Court, Faking news has now learnt that while hearing different petitions the apex court has declared Love Marriages illegal and ruled Human Trafficking as a non criminal act.

Much akin to the eccentricities of the Indian judicial system, these two new rulings have come as a shock to thousands of Indian citizens. But the apex court judges and the beneficiaries of these decisions have their reasons ready to rationalize the judgments.

“Love Marriage is against the age old traditions of all the religious communities and it was also unconstitutional during the times of Aurangzeb and Mohammad Bin Tughlaq, hence it should be illegal in the modern Indian society too’ said Mr. C Katana representing the khap panchayats which have filed the petition in SC against love marriages.

Whereas Kah Ke Lunga representing the Brothel Association of India who is the beneficiary of the verdict legalizing prostitution told us, “Its a milestone verdict. It will grow opportunities among the youth, increase India’s revenue and attract tourism. This would benefit the economy, the exports and the foreign currency reserve of our country.” On being asked whether he doesn’t find the flesh trade unethical? Mr. Lunga replied, “No its not unethical at all, it is just consensual sex two people have.”

 

 

 

Just Kidding :p

Who deserves self bashing more, we or the Media?

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Fiver years ago on this day, we sat in-front of our television sets watching live pictures of Mumbai under siege. The news channels and their reporters worked hard in the newsrooms and on field, even risked their lives to bring those pictures to our drawing rooms unaware of the fact that the same pictures were watched by people sitting in a war room in Pakistan, making strategies and passing orders after drawing information from what they saw.

But after the siege ended, we saw a series self bashing prime time debates in the media, much alike those we saw in some news channels yesterday after the CBI court’s verdict in the Aarushi murder case.Many believe our media is still immature and sensationalist. Some have even called an ailment and named it the Breaking News Syndrome. Some ask – When will the Indian media grow up? Whereas, I ask- Who really needs to grow, we or the media?

“The public have an insatiable curiosity to know everything. Except what is worth knowing. Journalism, conscious of this, and having tradesman-like habits, supplies their demands.” ~Oscar Wilde

I know it is an over-stated statement that ‘Media is just the reflection of the society’, and I do believe it is just partially true, for media is not ‘just’ the reflection of the society but also an emphatic opinion maker. I also believe that media just not includes the news channels and the news papers but every medium that helps in communication with the masses which includes social media, cinema, music etc. Now with that widened perspective let us reconsider the statement- ‘Media is a reflection of society’. Can we deny it is not?

The media has always walked with the society, since ancient times it has done that- reflected about the society. Remember the stone age cave drawings we read about in our history books? What purpose did it serve for the historians to read and decode them? It told them about the kind of society in those times. And do we remember the cinematic image of a drum-beater pronouncing the kings order in-front of the masses. It was the ‘media’ of those times which tells us that in that society a king was in control of the public opinion and opinion of the masses mattered least. And today, what does our media tells us about? Same, the kind of society we are living in.

So now, with this point of view if we look at the kind of stories that are flooded in the news channels we can easily deduce what kind of society we have ‘grown’ into. Do we have enlightening thoughts discussed in the media, or are our movies based on mind awakening philosophical quests? No they are not. Even if a few of them are, they are lost in obscurity. What does that tell us about ourselves? Simple, that we are not the kind of people interested in enlightening ideas. We like titillation of senses and that we are served. Our cinema is filled with violence and sex and so is the news. I would obviously not agree to the argument that this is what is happening all around all the time, of course these aren’t the only things happening in the society, there are better things taking place too. But we as society don’t take pleasure in them.

We as society also have a habit of outward thinking- of watching, hearing, feeling and speaking. Therefore the information or ideas we demand for are also such that they just satisfy our demands of watching, hearing, feeling and speaking. Honestly,how many of us spare ourselves some time for inward thinking? How many of us spend time imagining some thing, estimating ourselves, how many of us prefer common sense over the five senses?

It is simple economics of demand and supply. What we demand for, is given to us. What we don’t demand for becomes a commercial flop and vanishes. It is indeed a game of TRPs and Box Office collection. But it is not interminable. For the power to change lies with us, the media would change with us. Remember, not without us… because, since ages our media has walked with us, hand in hand. So the media which from the cave drawings have developed to a 24 hour HD news channel or a three dimensional cinema would also serve us intellectual content, when as a society we would demand for it.

November to be renamed ‘Sachember’ after Sachin

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 sachin_tendulkar

Keeping up with the tributes and good wishes pouring in from across the world for Sachin Tendulkar, and much similar in fashion to the Government of India’s announcement of Bharat Ratna for him, the World Calendar Association have decided to honor Sachin by renaming the month of November after him. The eleventh month of the year would from now on be called Sachember.

A few hours after the news of Bharat Ratna to Sachin came in, the president of the World Calendar Association talked to us and told, “We have decided to name the eleventh month after him, its our way to honor him. No doubt he is the most important person of the month right now and also this month would always be remembered as the month he retired. Therefore we dedicate this month to him which from now on will be called Sachember.”

Puttilal, one of Sachin’s great fans tells, “November is not only the month when he retired but also the month Sachin was selected to represent Mumbai in Ranji trophy in 1987, also he made his test debut against Pakistan again in November. Not only this, it was only in November when he made the record of scoring 15000 runs in test cricket and now it is the same month he is announced Bharat Ratna. Therefore, I on behalf of all Sachin fans, thank the World Calendar Association for naming the month after him and honoring our hero.”