Friday, July 30, 2010

Pressure or no pressure…

This is inspired from reading the newspaper this morning. (Perhaps it’s one of the ways of overcoming a blogger’s block!)

Well, it was about the ongoing SSC admissions that have finally begun after an eternity of waiting. A whopping 13500 students scored 90% or more this year compared to Karnataka’s 7000 odd whereas UP and Bihar have 2 and 4 students scoring more than 90%. Andhra Pradesh leads the pack with 140,000 students crossing the coveted threshold. During my school days, there wasn’t even a single student in 15 years who had breached the 90% mark but now the smarty’s list at school is inundated with ninety percenters. This is so reminiscent of the ‘.com’ or the 'stock exchange’ bubble. This is also a bubble waiting to be burst.

While the parents of the super kids would be gloating over the success of their kids, little do they realise that their kids might find it very difficult to end up in colleges of their choice despite having scored so heavily in the examinations. One can’t blame the Kids for that because it seems that the entire state is scoring in the 90s now-a-days. By the time the kids get a grasp of what’s happening they are already past school and doing something they don’t want to do.


What’s more ironical about this ‘90% era’ is the increasing number of protests about the pressure of studying in a school or the weight of a school bag. When we were in school we used to carry the same number of books and the teachers used to spank as well. And the State hadn’t started the much anticipated dumbing down processes as well.

However, there is no denying the fact that there is more pressure on the students now than ever before. However, the source of this pressure is rarely due to a heavy bag or a ‘strict’ teacher, it is more often than not the Parents themselves. Nowadays, kids are enrolled in everything possible right from Hindustani Classical Singing to Salsa, Cricket and Acting classes. Mostly, just to assuage a wealthy Parent’s ego.

Rarely do we see kids chasing butterflies. Or dreams. And that’s the real problem.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Interview Room

As the title suggests, this is about an interview room. Generally it so happens, that at an interview one gets to see all kinds of people wearing a multitude of expressions. I feel very content to observe them from a distance. Tired by the waiting, this group of interviewees formed a circle to share their miseries and while away time.
Like every group, this new assortment of individuals too, had those stereotypical members - A garrulous know-it-all, a wild party animal, his sidekick,  a petite bimbo and her loyal buffalo.
The Party Animal started the whining, ‘I heard this place has no good pubs or bars around. I doubt if I would survive here for more than two months.’
His sidekick nodded faithfully.
‘I heard this job required knowledge about Servers and all.’ Wailed the Bimbo. 
‘Naaah! This job is a cakewalk’ Said the Know-it-all, ‘Literally a       c-a-k-e-w-a-l-k’
‘I have done my Majors in Computer Science but I don’t even have a clue about computers.’ The Bimbo continued pitifully.
‘Bah! I have worked in this process all my life. All they might ask you is about the OSI Protocol or something about DNS.’ He replied with such pompousness that the Queen would’ve been humbled.
The Buffalo joined the party, ‘I have only worked as a receptionist in my previous company and I have no clue as to what am I doing here.’
The Bimbo in an attempt to allay the Buffalo’s fears said, ‘If I get through, you’ll get through too, savvy?’
These wise words somehow seemed to placate the Buffalo.
Then the Party animal took over. It was a colossal monologue about how his previous job was fun and how they did everything except work and yet commanded an obscene salary. The Sidekick played his part to perfection by nodding fervently at all the right time.
Throughout the monologue, the Buffalo’s eyebrows kept on rising and at one point, I feared it might hit the ceiling if he did not stop at once.
Finally it began and the interviewer called took them in one by one.
The Bimbo came out first. Her expression gave everything away.
Still, The Know-it-all asked, ‘How was it?’
She gave a pitiful smile.
He prodded further. She replied, ‘He asked me many questions which I couldn’t answer. He finally asked which OS do I have installed on my laptop. I said it is ‘Window 2007 version 8’. Then he looked at me incredulously to which I said that I have sufficient knowledge about computers but just don’t know the terminologies.’
The Know-it-all laughed cruelly and said, ‘He was so impressed by my resume that he didn’t even dare to ask me a technical question. So I cracked a joke, made him laugh and walked out.’
The Buffalo seemed so tickled by this that all the adipose tissue on her body started heaving up and down as if she were sitting on the bonnet of a moving tractor. She then added, almost apologetically, that she didn’t fare too well in her interview either.
           The Know-it-all then, true in the manner of those self-professed intellectuals, told the Buffalo that she would definitely find a job somewhere and left the sentence hanging midway as if it was upto her to figure out that some companies in the world still hired cretins.                                                                                                          The Interviewer then came out and said that out of the five, only one had cleared it. He then looked at the Bimbo meaningfully who took cue and left. The Party Animal and the Sidekick had left already. And then true to the manner of the cruel twists of fate, the Interviewer looked at the Know-it-all, who was by now grinning ear to ear, and said that he too, has been rejected on technical grounds.

Now it was his turn to look at the Buffalo incredulously. She replied coolly, ‘I am Bimbo’s classmate. I too, Majored in Computer Science!’

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Natarang – Mesmerising, charming..


Natarang released on the 1st of January 2010 and I have been a fool to have missed it for such a long time. While I watched overrated duds like ‘Lalbaug Parel’ and ‘Mee Shivajiraje Bhosle Boltoy’ on the first day itself, I somehow missed this movie despite the fact that it starred one of my favourite actors - Atul Kulkarni.

Atul Kulkarni plays Guna, a poor labourer who barely manages to keep the food on the table for his family. He is enamoured by Tamasha     (Folk Art) much to the chagrin of his father. Tamasha was considered to be an immoral form of act in those days. When his only source of income is taken away from him,  He goads his friends into starting a theatre troupe. He assumes the responsibilities of a writer/lyricist. Soon, they realise that their Tamasha would not draw crowds unless they have a female lead. So,they scrounge into the nearby villages for a female lead and finally manage to convince a dancer. The Dancer puts forward a condition that the troupe should also have a Nachya (A Pansy character) who will provide comic relief and also will be a crowd puller. Nobody is willing to play the character fearing the consequences and due to the stigma and the social taboo attached to eunuchs.

Finally, a reluctant Guna, has to play the Nachya and he takes it up as a challenge. Then follows his struggle to gain acceptance in a society which identifies actors with the characters they portray.

             Atul Kulkarni’s transformation from the heavily built Guna to the slim and slender Nachya is astounding. It is said that he gained and lost 16kgs in 42 days for the role. But what is more noteworthy is the ease with which Atul Kulkarni switches from the rustic Guna to the graceful and elegant Nachya. He pumps the testosterone levels in the first half and then drowns everyone in oestrogen in the second. He captivates you and while you’re still gawking at his physical transformation, Atul Kulkarni moves on and mesmerises you with his acting.


Kishore Kadam is also brilliant as Guna’s manager, Pandoba. Sonali Kulkarni is also charming as the female lead. Guna’s wife, Darki has a half baked character and she complements it with an equally listless performance.

The musical score is simply outstanding especially “Atta vajile ki baara” (It’s midnight) and “Apsara Aali” (The Celestial Nymph has arrived) which make you want to get up and dance.

This is a must, must watch movie. I rate it as one of the very best of the Marathi film industry and it easily makes into my list of recommendations..!!

Take a bow, Mr. Kulkarni..!! :)

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Litterateur’s languor


A Writer’s Block is supposed to affect a writer. I am, at best,  a Non-Writer. I have a blog and I like to think that I am blogger. So, I surmise I have the ‘Blogger’s Block’ then because I no longer contribute to the poor creature.

I was always pretty regular with my posts in the Blogosphere. I never scrounged for ideas they just came to me. But for the last few months, I have just not been able to type anything that’s even remotely sensible. Not that it has bothered me too much, blogging was always just another hobby but somewhere deep down, I guess it matters. The bar on the right hand side which shows the number of posts per month reveals a drastic downward curve and leaves little to the imagination.

Still, I have so many ideas and they all just fail to manifest and become a post. The drafts section has about 18-19 incomplete posts with some being very stimulating to be the mind, they just don’t make it to the blog somehow.

The fact that I haven’t done anything in months that could be termed as ‘activity’ is one excuse I can offer. I haven’t stopped reading though. On the contrary, I have been reading some seriously ‘serious stuff’ off late almost as if to make up for my lack of contribution to a very relieved blogosphere.

I have been thinking of writing a mean review of some of the landmark movies that have released this year or perhaps about some book that I have read recently. Or perhaps, rant about politics or just fume over the ‘Blogger’s block!’

Or write trash, which comes naturally!! :D