Thursday, February 26, 2009

Blogger Be Aware..!

Aha!!! Totalitarianism has arrived, finally!! Yesterday, the Supreme Court, in a landmark judgment, said that ‘Blogging is not a private domain and that Bloggers will have to face libel and even prosecution for the views expressed online.’

‘It is going to change the ground rules for blogging in India.’ Said The Times of India.

It is a major blow for the champions for ‘Freedom of Expression’ as the ground beneath their feet is rapidly shrinking. Blogging was perhaps the last bastion for these champions and I, for one, never thought that this would happen in India. I was pretty proud of our Judicial system.

Alas! It has happened and ‘Freedom of Expression’ is only a sham now. A blogger can still express his uninhibited views upon almost everything, but will have to face the music later. I have exercised my ‘Freedom of Expression’ fairly in the past, but now I wonder if I should clean up my blog so as to not ‘Hurt’ Public sentiments. 

                  So reader, say goodbye to those hard hitting blogs, those caustic comments and those heated debates. From now on, let’s act dumb and pretend not to know anything.

And I’ll get back to cleaning up my blog...

Heil Hitler!!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Zari waale neele aasman ke tale...

It’s not an Indian movie, it’s a British movie. And we should stop coveting the Oscars, they are nothing but Hollywood’s version of Filmfare. I convinced myself.

Yet, I was up at 6.30 AM for the Oscars. 

             Slumdog Millionaire bagged almost all the awards and I was elated, to say the least.

     “This is not an award, but history being handed over to me!” Said Resul Pookutty. Though I still fail to understand the importance to the Oscars, I was proud of the fact that we were on the global stage.

A.R. Rehman was the star of the show and I loved his acceptance speech. Nothing over the top and no long winded list of people to thank, he accepted the award like a professional and like he always says at the end of every acceptance speech, he said, “Ellam Poghulam Iruvanke” (All praise is for the Lord.)

For me, I loved the movie and not for an instant found it to be an ugly portrayal of India. Every city has it’s underbelly and Mumbai is no exception. I hated Anil Kapoor in the movie and I guess that speaks volumes about his performance.

Anil Kapoor


But the real stars of the movie are the three musketeers. Ayush Khedekar, as the young Jamal, is the most convincing among all. The young Salim (Mohammad Azharuddin) and the cutie pie, Latika (Rubina Qureshi) have delivered splendid performances. Latika was the cutest of the three and her role, albeit miniscule, was pretty powerful. Her silhouette haunts the movie. I wish someone recognises these three gems and felicitates them, their performance was so heart warming, yet almost unnoticed. 


It was a British movie. But the formula was very much Indian. I felt that this movie was more Indian than Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi simply because of the brown starcast, the brown hero and that customary song at the end of the movie. I have seen better movies from Hollywood and heard better music by Rehman, yet why did Slumdog Millionaire win so many awards then?

I guess, it was written!! :D


Saturday, February 21, 2009

Pakistani Music and Shivaji...

Last night, I was scourging the internet for some songs that I have been too lazy to download.

It was Strings’ “Najaanay Kyun’ and Atif Aslam’s ‘O re piya’ that I wanted to download. Yeah, it’s only two songs but I can get real lazy sometimes!

I ended up downloading a whole lot of songs from a website recommended by a friend. It was an awesome experience, playing songs softly at 2.00 AM. I was also looking for Atif Aslam’s ‘Kuch is Tarah’.

I never loved Pakistani songs more. “Sajni’ by Jal, ‘Laree Chootee’ by Call were so amazing. A special mention for Atif’s “Meri Kahani'”. I could relate with the song instantly. Sometimes, music transports you to another world. Sometimes, you get a high when you listen to certain songs. ‘Meri Kahani’ was one of them. ‘Chup Chup’ by Jal is another song that induces the same feeling. And as I am writing this, ‘Arziyan’ from Delhi-6 is playing. Ohh! I love this song...

I wonder when we’ll stop fighting...


I was wandering aimlessly with my friends this morning. I was in the backseat, lazing. I saw a motorbike overtake us. A pretty young guy was riding it. What intrigued me was the message he had on his number plate. I asked my friend to get a little closer. The message on his number plate said “Lashkar –e- Shivba.”

                  If translated literally, it means “Shivaji’s Army” but it was not written in that context. In an apparent reference to a terrorist group by a similar name and in a bid to show where his loyalty lay, he ended up defaming one of the most towering icons of India. While the Great Warrior had assembled a rag-tag army to take on the might of the Mughals back then, this modern day Lashkar uses mighty bombs for rag-tag civilians.

We’ve played our part too. We managed to reduce the Great Warrior to ‘A Hindu King in Islamic India’ or a ‘Maratha Warrior’ courtesy petty politics.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Election blues...

“How is it possible? I even have a voter’s card!”

I was in my school, to register to vote in the upcoming General elections. I was waiting in the line and ahead of me was              Mrs.Braganza, whose name seemed to be missing in the voter’s list.

Stepping in your school after a long time is a surreal experience and I’m sure everyone has experienced it. You are transported to another world. I could see myself, running around and playing as a kid, shouting in squeaky voices. 

“It’s simply not possible. I even voted in the last elections.”         Mrs.Braganza explained to the volunteer.

I was in the classroom meant for the polling activities. I was to register my parents and my sister for voting as well. One had to find his name on the voter’s list and then register to vote with the serial number mentioned alongside it. I was still in the queue, behind Mrs. Braganza, chatting with my teachers and some old friends who had come to register to vote as well.

              “My name is not on the list. I was very eager to vote.” Said one.

“Someone has already signed in my name. I don’t understand what has happened.” Complained another.

I explained the guy to check with his neighbour as they might’ve signed next to his name by mistake.

Mrs. Braganza was still squabbling with the volunteer. 

“Aunty, aapka naam nahin hai. Tehsildar ke paas jaana hoga aapko.” The volunteer explained. Your name is not on the voter’s list. You would have to go to the Tehsildar’s office for this.

She was adamant. The volunteer was not too keen to help her. I intervened.

“Her name is missing and she has to go to the Tehsildar in Thane to get her name in the list.” The volunteer said.

I asked Mrs. Braganza if she had voted before.

“Of course Son, I have. I even have the Voter’s ID with me.” She replied.

I took the list in my hands and offered to look it up for her. She was very old and frail and was visibly flustered with the day’s happenings.

11.35 AM. My class was at 2.00 PM.

It took me the better part of the next 2 hours to locate her name. Finally, I exclaimed  “Here it is!! Rosemary Braganza and Caesar Braganza!”

She mumbled her thanks and left. The list is in Marathi and maybe that was the reason she couldn’t locate her name.

I sat down to locate mine. Very intelligently, I went through the names in my building, I saw my mom, my dad & my sister as well. I was the only one missing. I had missed the first lecture, I hoped to finish it off to be in time for the second one at least. 

Finally, I found my name. It was a good 500mts from where I live. I was mentioned among the new voters as “Ayyappan Pillai, Swami Samarth Chowk, No Address”

I still don’t know where ‘Swami Samarth Chowk’ is...