Sunday, October 31, 2010

Rakta Charitra – Movie Review

Ram Gopal Verma once again proved that he is a rebel in the Hindi film industry. Rakta Charitra is one more rebellious attempt from him in many aspects. First, it is based on politics in Andhra Pradesh. Second, it has changed the definition of violence which is presented in its ugliest form. Third, barring a few actors, all the rest are from the South film industries.

If you expect anything more than the excessive brutality in the movie, you will be disappointed. The protagonist’s father and brother were killed in a political scenario. He comes back to his native village and takes revenge from the killers. Later on, he decides to come to politics with an intention to gain power and before you come back from a loo-break, he becomes a minister. And then, he warns all the goons of the state to quit their illegal activities. And the movie ends.

Acting-wise, Vivek Oberoi has nothing new to offer. He has been made to show the same two expressions throughout the movie that he has already exhibited in many of his previous movies like Company, Kaal, Yuva, Omkara and Dum. Shatrughan Sinha acts like a South Indian Superstar. Too slow dialogue delivery and those signature styles - that you expect from the South Indian lead actors - from Sinha force audiences to yawn.

After being disappointed from many fields, you would expect some good punch-lines. Fine, there are only a couple of lines that would make you feel good. Otherwise, the rest are repetitive. What is the most irritating part of the movie is the voice-over narration. It makes you feel as if the film-maker has underestimated your intelligence. This might have been introduced as an attempt to compensate for the weak screenplay.

Finally, just as the violence in the movie tortures your brain, the camera movements torture your eyes.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Something Wrong with the Way So Far

Harmony and security – both are above any religion. Some train passengers in Mumbai proved it by showing extra courage and standing for the truth. Sorry, if you want to know more about this, you have to contact my friend “Aditya” who is the eye-witness of this incident. What I can tell you is that he told me that he witnessed a shocking incident in a Mumbai local train. According to him, on October 18, a man (Mr X) who was not handicapped was travelling in a coach meant for handicapped people. Mr X found that a traveller was offering his evening prayers in the same coach. As the other fellow did not belong to the religion that Mr X belongs to, the prayer tortured him and hence he started abusing the earlier. Gradually, he raised his voice and also expressed his anger by exhibiting his expanded vocabulary of obscene words. Falling prey to the situation, the traveller was also getting angry but was helpless. Getting worse to worst, it got on the nerves of even the other passengers in the coach and in the neighbouring coach as well.

As they say every action has a particular reaction, when the train stopped at a station, some people who witnessed the nonsense happening from the neighbouring coach through the window got down, entered the coach of action and started beating Mr X. Surprisingly, the accused shouted saying “I am a police man”, inviting even more criticism and shame for himself. It was also found that Mr X, who was later thrown out of the train at a station, was drunk.

The incident raised two issues – one positive and one negative. The positive issue is that some of the people who beat Mr X may or may not belong to his religion. Justice was the religion here, which was served. However, we should bother about the negative issue more than just to rest on the positive one. We need to ask ourselves “when can we be able to FULLY accept differences and diversity?” We need to understand and make people understand that this is what forms our “composite” culture. There is definitely something wrong with the way so far even after more than 60 years of achieving independence from FOREIGN RULE. Real independence seems to be far away from us.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The very basic of Social Relationship

Similar to philosopher Aristotle’s statement ‘man is a social animal’, to talk about social relationship is to talk about human beings. Because the most basic definition of society would be a group of people living under a common set of rules. So if you follow all the rules established by the society, you will be considered social. Otherwise, you are anti-social, which means you are involved in any of the anti-social activities such as stealing, burglary, violating or misusing the citizen rights, hurting others’ interests, etc. None of these anti-social activities are approved by the society.

Having a healthy social relationship is what makes life simpler and more lively. You come from home and go to school, college or work place. If everyone who meets you on the way greets you with a genuine smile, it makes a big difference in your behavior and mood. On the contrary, if everyone ignores you or looks at you with hatred, this will reflect in your nature as well.

You can have a very healthy social relationship by following all the etiquettes established by the society, e.g. how to behave when you meet a person for the first time, when a guest comes home, when someone appreciates or criticizes, when someone advises, when you get rewards, or how to treat parents, friends, elders, etc.

However, only following the established etiquettes would not be enough. As many people together make the society, you also have to ensure that everyone or whomever you come across follows the social norms. Inspiring others positively should be considered as a very essential part of the social behavior.

Keyboard is mightier than sword!

Today, I asked my six year old niece to type ASDF on my laptop. She was thrilled with the opportunity. As she typed the alphabets and saw it reflect on the screen, I could see the exhilaration in her eyes. This was like an achievement for her. However, she did not get this chance easily. She had to pamper me for more than a month. She had to tell me that in school, she is also taught about computers, that she now knows about the use of a mouse, that her teacher asked her to use a computer whenever she gets a chance, and (the height of exaggeration) that her tution teacher told her that I should let her use the laptop. I had realized her keen interest, but what made me keep her away from the notebook was the fear that she might lose interest in writing with pen and paper once she gets used to the keyboard.

Anyway, it was perhaps more exciting for her than to hold the pencil for the first time. With the pencil, she might not know what is the use of it in her life at that age. But with the laptop, she knows that she is going to use it very often in the future. However, what about her hand-writing! I feared it would get worse if she doesn't write with pen and paper. End of the day, she is not going to get a laptop to write her exams.

All this made me realize that if students get a chance to use computers in examinations, maybe the issue of getting less marks due to bad handwriting will be solved, provided no technical crisis is associated with the opportunity. Availability of numerous jobs where computers are used as unavoidable tools can be given as an argument in this case.

The statement “Pen is mightier than sword” seems to be old now. Now it is “Keyboard is mightier than sword.”

English makes it simple to describe western life-style

Once my friend Karan said, "Ganesh, what's special about relationships in Mumbai that If you like some girl and she is engaged, don't worry. Wait till she breaks up with the guy, which is bound to happen. Till then, have patience and be just friends." I asked, "How are you so sure that a break-up is the destiny of every relationship?" "Hmmm.. I know my statement is not 100% correct, but yes, in 90% cases I am right, my friend", said Karan while keeping his right hand on my left shoulder with full confidence. I didn't understand the actual meaning of a break-up, so I enquired. He said, "That is what happened with my relationship yesterday. Jagan is the witness.", he said and went to the bathroom. I asked Jagan, "What happened?" He said, "Leave it, man. Let's eat something. I am hungry." After some time, all three of us left for dinner. My doubt remained a doubt.

Break-up seemed to be a very popular word in Mumbai. So I hesitated to ask the meaning to anyone. After some months, two of my friends were talking about someone's break-up. I asked, "What happened?" They said, "Some couple have parted their ways." I gathered some courage to ask, "Ok, is this what they say 'break-up'?" One of the friends said, "Yes, break-up is a mutual decision of parting ways." "Is it necessary to fight during a break-up?", was my next question. "Depends upon the couple", was the answer.

Now, I also understood the meaning of the term “break-up”. However, it didn’t take me as much time as it took me to understand the meaning of “Dating”. When girls were followed, teased, passed cheap comments in my hometown, I used to feel very bad. One of my old friends used to tell me that he was falling for a girl. But, what I observed was that he passed nasty comments whenever he saw the girl. I asked, “What kind of love was it?” He said, “This is the way the communication will start. First, I will pass comments, then I will follow her, and then she will notice me. Gradually, we will talk to each other.” I said, “What the fuck?!” That day I thought there should be some norms for starting communication where a relationship is considered. “Dating” was the word I got as an answer in Mumbai after two years of being hit with the question.

These are just two of the numerous English words which I learnt in last four years. And I am sure that communication became smoother after learning the words. Truly, western culture can be described the best only in a western language.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Jaago “Viewers” Jaago

I was scanning through the TV channels as usual when I came across two different programs in two news channels. Just giving you an analysis of both.

Channel no: 27

Program: A discussion about a reality show.

No, I won’t mention the name of the show here as I don’t want to give any free publicity to the program. The issue was “why certain people were allowed to be part of a show?” I was stuck with the channel for 15 minutes. The anchor asks why the tainted participants were being made celebrities. Another participant in the discussion supported this. Someone else was talking about certain controversial behaviour patterns and mannerisms of the participants.

Channel no: 29

Program: Kho Na Jaye Ye! – A discussion on Child Abuse in India

This program gave all the shocking data of child abuse in India. It mentioned the reasons, advised on preventive measures, and also warned about the social crisis it may lead to. It’s enough. I don’t need to mention anything more to describe the importance of such programs in our society.

Difference between the programs

The first talks about the redundancy of a reality show, but makes it more popular by mentioning the name and discussing the content again and again. This reminds me of one of my friends who posted his Facebook status advising people not to watch the program by giving 7 to 8 reasons, making people even more excited to watch it.

The second program proves that the channel understands its responsibility. It brings forth the truth and forces people to think how to solve a serious issue and make the world a better living place.


We should promote the programs, which we think are relevant for the society, in every possible way we can. At the same time, we should refrain from even mentioning the name of anything that is creating nuisance.