-A window ajar is a prelude in building to the joy of being limitless! That uneasiness of being familiar somehow, sometime, somewhere.......

Thursday, December 27, 2007


It was Time back in May which first let out the whispers of Benazir Bhutto’s possible power sharing alliance with Pervez Musharraf and their secret meetings in Abu Dhabi.
Right then we knew.

We knew , each and every one of us, that she was walking back not to her country but to her grave. And deep down, I suppose she had known as well, yet one cant be sure whether it was patriotism or power or a combination of both that compelled her to go back. But whatever it might be, no one can take away that she was brave. Something her killers arent.

Now, Pakistan would be in shards, and soon in splinters when Musharraf would be a victim of his inevitable fate. If things don’t resolve quickly ie if Pakistan doesnt accept it as an inevitable event without much bloodshed, as they have done before we might be looking at the first UN troops deployment there in the future. The year's not over yet. Not in Pakistan. It must be feeling like being in a videogame there.

Reminded me this extract from Micromegas by Voltaire ; this is a conversation between a Man, a gigantic inhabitant of planet Sirius who is visiting the earth and a tellurian philosopher. Although it does apply in many contexts, it has never been more apt.

“O ye intelligent atoms, in whom the supreme being has been pleased to manifest his omniscience and power, without doubt your joys on this earth must be pure and exquisite; for being unencumbered with matter, and--to all appearance-- little else than soul, you must spend your lives in the delights of pleasure and reflection, which are the true enjoyments of a perfect spirit. True happiness I have nowhere found; but certainly here it dwells.”

“We have matter enough,” answered one of the philosophers, “to do abundance of mischief…. You must know, for example, that at this very moment, while I am speaking, there are hundred thousand animals of our own species covered with hats, slaying an equal number of their fellow-creatures, who wear turbans; at least they are either slaying or being slain; and this has usually been the case all the earth from time immemorial.”

“Miscreants!” cried the indignant Sirian; “I have a good mind to take two or three steps, and trample the whole nest of such ridiculous assassins under my feet.”

“Don’t give yourself the trouble,” replied the philosopher; “they are industrious enough In securing their own destruction. At the end of ten years the hundredth part of these wretches were not survive…. Besides, the punishment should not be inflicted upon them, but upon those sedentary and slothful barbarians who, from their palaces, give orders for murdering one million of men and then solemnly thank God for their success.”

~ Micromegas, Voltaire

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Taare Zameen Par- Shaandaar

Between meals, gifts and other festive things somehow managed to watch Taare Zameen Par.
In terms of art per se it isn’t as good as it is extolled to be but given the context, the subject of the movie, the endemic attitude where in it was made, it is exceptional. The sincerity of the effort is evident in every frame. Acting is superlative and can hold on its own on any level. The music works well with the story but during the first half I thought it was used a bit liberally, esp. the background scores, when silence would have been more powerful. Overall could have done with a bit of polishing but thats just a cringe by someone who has watched too many movies for his age. More importantly the bar has been raised high from the screens of bollywood and high enough to be a flagship of cinema for an international projector .

The movie reached its glorious peak, to me, when aamir and ishaan exchange their paintings and nod at each other, both of them moved from their depths to reach a sense of mutual regard and understanding which I am sure even the greatest of the cinema reviewers cant be able to reflect on paper. And that dear friends is what makes cinema, well at least to me. Undoubtedly, it is one of the most powerful scenes in world cinema I have seen for a while.

And finally, in terms of child or child centred cinema, probably, Taare Zameen Par might not sweep the world into a hanky as Cinema Paradiso did in late 80s but the story is not just of any typical child or childhood, it is a special story of a special boy. And for that effort all credit should go to the man who deserves every molecule of it.

Ladies and gentleman, please take off your hats for Mr Aamir Khan.
May be there are better cinema-men in India , but I have not seen one.

PS :

  • I might have troubled a few of you for the Urdu word for splendid-- it is ali-shaan or more popularly shaandaar.
  • Sometime back I had put up the post Cinema Child, this would the newer, edited version.

    Cinema Children

Byproduct of a movie conversation….

8 must watch movies on childhood, in this particular order…

~Les quatre cents coups, (400 blows)
François Truffaut, France

~Nuovo cinema Paradiso
Giuseppe Tornatore, Italy

~Pather Panchali (The song of the road)
Satyajit ray, India

~Zamani barayé masti asbha (The time for the Drunken horses)
Bahman Ghobadi, Iran

~Taare Zameen Par (Stars on Earth)
Aamir Khan, India

~Mitt liv som hund (My life as a dog)
Lasse Hallström, Sweden

~Fanny och Alexander (Fanny and Alexander)
Ingmar Bergman, Sweden

~Ivanovo detstvo (Ivan’s childhood)
Andrei Tarkovsky, Russia

The latter two are not exclusively childhood movies, but still make for child centred cinema.

Thursday, December 20, 2007


Quite long back, we had returned from the premier of Lagaan , one of the only three bollywood movies I have watched in a cinema. A casual conversation in the campus made me jot down how we are witness to a monumental change in the history of bollywood thought. The scrap of paper found its way onto the canteen wall and subsequently, thanks to a friend into a magazine, earning me quite a sum. All I said in essence was to watch this Man.

After almost decade the time has arrived . Never have I hoped for the success of any movie like today. Good luck My Man!

PS- The intial responses have been promising. One of them, from someone valued being an easy academy nomination?

Dame Helen Mirren Joke

Its the hot joke now on every christmas meal. That Helen Mirren was made to turn around like a slave in a market, which traumatised her. That she felt like a piece of meat to remember it after forty long years, and sometime just about when her book was released in the market.

The Joke is a generation old. Im sure Dad and Uncle would have laughed at this while watching Age of Consent. That: Young Helens were saggy but very kind on us all.

And Here's Falstaff sharing his esteemed thoughts and making our day.

Meme Machine...

Here is the new meme. It is simple, easy and gives no room for whining one usually associates with a meme. All you have to do is select and upload one photo that you have clicked this year that is special to you. Could be anything...aesthetic, technical or personal. Also, put in a short note why it is special.

Here’s mine:

This one is special because it opened worlds for me this year. We were driving towards Lucerne in summer. I was reading on the famous Lion of Lucerne (Löwendenkmal) when J asked me: If I knew who described the monument as the most moving piece of stone he has ever seen.

Robert Byron? Eric Newby? Oscar Wilde?
It was Mark Twain.

Later , when I stood before the monument, I was mesmerised. It was exactly as Twain had described it. Before this, I have never believed that a stone could be made to express such a primary human emotion of despair.

The lion is stabbed in the back and lies dying in dolour and with deep anguish of betrayal amongst the broken sovereigns and symbols of the French royalty.

The monument is dedicated to the six hundred Swiss Gaurds who lost their lives guarding the Tuilleries and Versailles palaces and their royal inhabitants during the French revolution. It was designed by the talented Dane Bertel Thorvaldsen. The Latin means: dedicated to the loyalty and courage of Swiss.

I observed how concise Twain was with his eyes and ink, hence dug up all his great travelogues, much to the shock of J who could never bring herself to believe that I hadn’t read them.

The Tramp’s Abroad
The Innocent’s Abroad

And the wonderful...Following the Equator (reading)

It has been a great find. Paul Theroux, Tony Hawks, Ewan McGregor, Bruce Chatwin, Bill Bryson, Stuart Maconie , Michael Palin I have read them a few adventurous travellers this year but No one has enriched me as much Twain has.

Here are the next, Thanks.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Six Degrees of Joyce to Bourne

James Joyce wrote a splendid short story called The Dead which was made into a movie by John Huston in 1987, who also made Moby Dick the famous 19th century novel by Herman Melville, who was the great grand father or great grand uncle ( different sources cite differently) of Richard Melville Hall fondly called Moby, who sang the title song Extreme ways for the Bourne movies whose amnesiac protagonist is Jason Bourne.

James Joyce

The Dead
John Huston
Moby Dick
Herman Melville

Jason Bourne

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Schneemann and My neck is thinner than a hair

At Tate, DLA Piper, 20th century art:

Carolee Schneemann

We walked through regarding everything as if we were watching the back of our palms. For that, all credit should go to this fruitful venture and the two souls, Elle and Kay.
It was great to finally catch up with some Bonnard's original nudes, merci. Also, caught up with Mike Nelson's work which I had missed earlier due to travel.
My neck is thinner than a hair (below) is an interesting history of the car bombs of Lebanon between 1975-1991.

We came back to see the car clamped. Bloody ticket machine it seems had given a two hour token instead of three for which I thought I had originally paid. Ended up paying a fine of sweet sixty quid. Plus the one the machine had gobbled. Wondered that meant a offseason airticket to Austria, (Ah! Innsbruck) , not to mention a dozen books I could have bought. Damn!
Well anyway, for the cost of sixty one quid, I am writing a letter explaining my helpless situation, not that I think anything positive would happen but just to try out all the new words/phrases I have been learning lately.
for instance, The machine, it appears likes to be a frondeur at times. At least the use of French should make who ever that reads to check it isnt an abuse.

Yellow Journalism...

Well, this is such a shame! The only soul in India who is striving to expand consciousness being interviewed by a haughty, useless journalist.

I think this is a journalistic reference of how not to conduct an interview.


do not emphasise( You mussst knnnnow that!)
do not interrupt
do not attempt to disregard
do not announce you are a moron (take your time)
do not gesture your hand into the personal space of the interviewee
do not crack cheap jokes
laugh yourself like a cretin
do not talk in between
do not utter a bye while shaking hands
and finally
please, do not forget to thank the interviewee.

in short do not make a fool of yourself

as i said, these are the basics i picked up on one viewing. Im not at all getting into quality, coherence, flow, social-sense, intellectual regard and other miscellaneous trivia (Christie is outsold only by Bible and Shakespeare).

Thank God the man had the patience to bear with her, if it was someone else (imagine Galloway), Im sure she would have been traumatised for her life. If it was me, I would have slapped her after the second minute and politely told her what i thought of her, that she is not only an imbecile with a room temperature IQ but also a hopelessly ugly creature with an unforgivable dress sense.

Can someone put her on pension and relieve her burden.

PS Notice the transcript of th interview which has been sanitised on the website, and would give a totally diferent impression of the interview which is not remote from my experience of bloggers good on paper turning out to be first rate morons.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Joyce 2 Bourne?

The last Six Degrees I devised was perhaps in 17th century. But stuck in crawling traffic had an Arthur Koestler moment and, out of the blue, came this connection.

Leaving it open here for a few days for anyone to connect:

Six degrees between James Joyce and Jason Bourne ?

I shall post my answer next week.
I think my answer is easy, lets see if there are any other ways to do this?

James Joyce
Jason Bourne

Monday, December 10, 2007

Death by laughter and American Gangster

I was reading Alok‘s posts when I came across those comments there. It has been a while that I had read such indianish comments and now ended up choking on my ceaseless laughters. We dont grow up, do we?

Also, caught up the much awaited American Gangster. As expected, it is classy. The acting department especially, is perhaps the best for this year to come out from Hollywood. Check out the talent oozing out in the scene during the conversation between Russell Crowe and Denzel Washington , easily the two gifted actors around.

Btw, taht reminded me to get on with the post of favourite actors to watch for.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Fornication Under the Consent of King

Late week surge, a 55er:

Having sex with words...

What do most humans tend to do when they are pushed to a corner, made indignant, disconcerted and helpless? It is invariably found that they resort to eloquence. Fuck you is the most commonly used, and probably because it manages to convey the profundity of the love than other phrases of wisdom, like Fuck-off or Motherfucker.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Mammaries of the Welfare State

~Mammaries of the Welfare State

Monday, December 03, 2007

Types of Women...


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