Monday, November 2, 2009

My City Weeps

Watched 'Mumbai Meri Jaan' today. Its about the aftermath of the serial train blasts in Mumbai in 2006. Realized that a city has a soul, a spirit, and an ethos. It has a life. It has emotions. It has flesh and blood. Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta, Chennai - these great cities are such vibrant symbols of modern India that my heart wails to see them falling prey to such cowardly acts of terror as bombings and shootouts.

It seems that we really haven't learnt any lessons from history. About a hundred years ago, this nation was made to kneel down by Imperialists who played on the divisions between various kingdoms. These divisions still exist in different manifestations. Be it communal violence in Ahmadabad or regionalism in Mumbai, its these divisions which surface open threads in our fabric for anti-social elements to seep into. When a city's own people start hating each other, the whole fabric of the city comes tearing apart. The city weeps. Is it really that difficult to build a city of dreams in our motherland ?

रोके नहीं रुकते
आँसू मेरे शहर के ,
कैसे रोकूँ
इस खून खराबे को ,
कैसे तोडूँ
इन नफरत की दीवारों को

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A Peck on the Cheek

Saw Kannathil Muthaittal (A peck on the cheek) this evening. Its a Tamil film by Manirathnam about a 9-yr old girl whose biological parents were snatched away from her by the ensuing civil war in srilanka. She is brought up by an Indian couple in Madras. When she is told about this fact, she is adamant to meet her biological mother. Her step-parents try to fulfill her wish amidst the war-torn areas and bloody shootouts.

Very moving and overwhelming at times. Did Make me cry. To be honest, there is a sense of relief when I cry for it tells me that I can feel someone's pain. But something Amudha (the girl in the film) said made me realize that its a different thing to feel the pain than to live it. When she is finally able to meet her biological mother after a series of narrow escapes from bombings and strike zones, she begs her to come to Madras. When she tries to convince her "There is no war, no army in Madras", I tried to imagine how much hatred she might grow up with towards her own country's soldiers. Its that same Army, the same soldiers and their same martyrdom which all grew up not just respecting but worshipping. But for Amudha, it might not be the same. Her hatred towards her soldiers might be an inseparable part of her pain.

So, may be I will never be able to feel her pain the way she does. I don't know if its for good or bad but it bothers me. In the end I am just left with the question "Does no one have an answer to this Political violence ? " again & again.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

In defence of Delhi 6

Buy your opinion ?? Why should we buy your opinion, Mr. Critic ! Had we gone by your and your word alone, we would have missed the Fight Club or The eyes wide shut and so many other movies which we are really glad to have watched.

First of all, see the many wonderful things that Delhi 6 made us see. The magical camera of Binod Pradhan did much justice to the charisma of the magical city. The specifics and the meticulousness of the direction is also to be much appreciated. I never found a Ramleela so interesting and artistic that I think I watched it without a blink. The way the khaan-paan was put into limelight speaks of the research and passion to bring out the soul of the city. It felt as if the khaan-paan itself was a character which touches the lives of every other character, brings communities together and of course makes the elan vital of Delhi's life.

Yes, 'Delhi 6 is too much to fit in just one movie'. Yes, the 'director seemed to shed light on more than the audience could digest'. But isn't that what Delhi is actually about? Too less space, too many people. Too little opportunities, too many aspirations. Too few resources, too many dreams. Small mohallas, so many houses. Narrow roads, so many cars. Just one city, so many manifestations.

I agree that it would have been greater still if Mehra wouldn't have gone for that supernatural ending and would have kept the movie consistent with everything so realistic otherwise. I think he should have just finished the movie when Abhishek is shot at and left it open ended. Cause Mehra's task pretty much finished at that scene. He had conveyed his message and should have left it to audience to make whatever of it. He did not :-( well, thats OK. Just ignore that small part! Come out of it and look in totality. What I got from that move is so much worth those last five minutes of boredom.

What we should realize is that when a man or a woman is passionate about something, they strive to go deep and deep into it. And when they present it to you, they can't help but try to give u the picture in totality. They just don't want to summarize that journey to you. Cause every bit of that journey was so dear to them. What an intelligent audience should realize is that this was likely to happen. But they should also realize that its only from a work of passion that they can hope to see stuff which is authentic, real and hard to find elsewhere. Rakeysh Mehra had a passion for Delhi. He just missed on being a 100% professional about it. But I give it to him !

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

You are my Song

When lots need to done at Office tomorrow and sleep doesn't even come. When lying down on your elbow you have only one hand free to type, you pen down some words in haste and waste and let your mouth do the rest.

you are my song.wav - Aman Rathi