Monday, December 24, 2012

Who is to blame?

In recent turn of events, when people swamped streets in protest against violence against women, has taken nation and media by storm. Govt as usual remains unfazed by whatever people want. It took 7 days, 2 more days after Rahul Gandhi made an appearance (still looking for answer to the question, WHY HIM?), for our esteemed head of state to feel the pain after strongly condemning the issue. Yes this time a little more strongly than previous, I am sure potential molesters are shivering with fear somewhere. Delhi CM repeated, in tears this time, she has no control over police or public. No one seemed to know the answer to where was all that water coming from in middle of water deprived national capital.  Oh yes, govt were truly protecting your right to protest. They started by shutting down metro station, applying sec 144 and then using tear gases. Till the time of writing, people in power had no clue as to who ordered these decisions.
 Even our national journalist Darkha but(t) felt the pain deeply and raised questions about victim’s and women’s condition in oh-so-madern national capital (counting only the total square feet area occupied by malls and multiplexes in Gurgaon and Noida and discounting everything else). Although she had her doubts weather these protests were secular or not. Please feel free to reply to her on twitter when you find an answer. Police were brave and quick in action against people who were trying to get to president to come out and talk to them. still confused if we still follow normal voting procedure in electing govt or does present house runs on self sustained power and whose money is it that they are getting salaries with? But I might not be secular enough to ask these questions so never mind me.
 Let me clarify by saying I didn’t go to protests because of office commitments, also because I am depressed with, I repeat DEPRESSED with the present govt and don’t expect anything good to come out of their decision. but these people were those who still had hope that govt will listen. Kudos to men and women who braved the cold, water cannons, tear gases and deaf govt to make their point visible.

  But talking about the reasons, and I am probably going to take a lot of flak for this, shouldn’t we be looking at ourselves instead of blaming the police or govt for not policing us properly? Aren’t WE the problem? Who are these people passing comments, whistling, groping women in public places? How do they do it despite knowing they will return to face their mother/sister or daughter? Although there are good men who won’t touch a woman without her permission, those who offend are certainly among us. I personally know some men who think it’s manly to stare, follow women. Just because they are standing outside a disco means there character needs judging. Won’t allow their sisters to even talk to other guys but it’s ok when they are flirting with random women. Have opinions on weather a woman should work after marriage or not. And the moment any logical discussion is about to start, we start shoving tradition, culture and values in the face of counter point of view.
  So maybe, just maybe, the problem lies inside us and deep rooted in the way of life, which tells us its ok to treat women as second-class citizen whose every decision in life should be ideally governed by ‘what society will say’. What good is a culture if it prevents us from celebrating the act of giving life? YES I AM TALKING ABOUT SEX. Let me say that again SEX. SEX. Uncomfortable? Made you turn in your place? Precisely my point. If we teach our son’s to respect women and ask before touching or invading their privacy, maybe we wont need to remove tinted glasses from cars and shutdown pubs/kill nightlife in a city. And rape is NOT about pleasure, it is more about exercising power because a person dared to question your point of view.
  But that’s just me. People are justified in their anger against govt for not acting, and trust me I share your anger in more ways than one, but as far as women are concerned, somehow introspection is more required than pelting stones at rajpath. Mothers, talk to your kids. They know more than you think they do. Tell them, it’s not ok to touch a woman without her permission. As a society, we owe this to women. There is a reason men cant produce life, women are empowered with it. respect it.
  Agree/disagree? Feel free to comment \m/oO\m/

Saturday, December 8, 2012

#freeandopen: why you should care

‘if you want to test a man’s character, give him power’ – Abraham Lincoln

Being a blogger, you are expected to be politically correct and subtle with your humor because here’s the thing about power, it doesn’t encourage mocking. Sarcasm gets away because not many people are able to see the underlining pun and even fewer find it funny. So in a country where subject such as how many cartoons should kids be exposed to, makes it to national newspaper’s headline after being debated furiously in parliament, I found it odd that arresting people over posts on social networking sites/blogs came as a surprise. Furthermore, when a search engine is forced to tell you that govt’s are planning to gag internet to suit them, it brings up a huge dilemma.

  Internet is and always has been free barring some pseudo democracies and countries feeling too good about themselves.  World Wide Web, in its earlier phases, was supposed to be paid according to rumors but the guy who invented it decided to give it up for free. Millions of data transfer and invention of iPod’s later, apple fans please pay attention; people realized what a boon that turned out to be. Egyptians can elaborate here. People across the globe could make their voices heard. Every opinion mattered. If you have an internet connection, you could make your voice heard. Similar minded people joined hands to make something as basic as peer-to-peer exchange, a big industry. Newspapers began to break news on their online portal in real time because of large readership. Comment threads were opened for discussion and turned out people who seemed pretty content earlier had an opinion too. Secret wires between diplomacies were put up for the world to see the dialogues between closed doors.
  But like every good thing, some people took the power of anonymity along with the ability to express themselves independently and used it to voice their extreme opinions. When I say extreme, I mean the inability and refusal to hear and/or acknowledge a counter view. like in real life, people began hijacking discussions forums and comments section were strictly moderated because there can be no limit to what you can say when you don’t have to say it face to face. Govt’s understood the need to monitor and make laws, which governed Internet. But there lies the problem.

How much policing is too much?

Google's initiative

 Which brings me to my post, is government right is trying to enforce laws that prevents us from looking at certain pages because they think its not right?  Isn’t government, by suggesting that we can be tried for something that so much as even causes ‘Discomfort and annoyance’, taking away the right to speech in some way? More importantly, how and why do you plan to filter communications between citizens of free country? Is a post on some social networking site worthy enough to get you detained? 10 years before today, this might not have created such uproar but now, when every second marks a new breaking news and the 24-hour news channel thing has actually started to make sense (talking in terms of quantity, quality on the other hand leaves much to be desired).
  Talking about the illusive democracy we live in, Mr. Sibal has been defending government’s action continuously by saying they don’t want to curtail free speech and are in favor of citizens having opinions. Well I trust Mr. Sibal because he is in a position of power and for the well being of my extended family, I cannot afford to afford to disagree with him. But if Google is anything to go by, and I don’t see why they would want to lie about it, there seems to be some misunderstanding somewhere. Because we are number 2 in asking for details about citizen’s browsing details and asking for shutting down sites. Plus, those two Mumbai females did not have a very good experience for having an opinion online, and her doctor uncle will vouch for that because his office got ransacked by some guys who disagreed with said lady’s comments and were not able to find a dislike button on the networking site in question, nor did that unknown guy from Pondicherry for causing displeasure to a certain MP. Let me specify explicitly, for obvious reasons, that I don’t necessarily agree with either of these school of thoughts but these cases could have been handled better. And I am not even going into the way the north-eastern fiasco was handled in recent times.

  And shutting down every channel/medium, which disagrees with government, is certainly not the way to go forward. Agreed, people need to watch their words and verify sources before making claims but going all ballistic on netizens because they don’t make too much difference in polling number game is not a very smart move. What makes government’s claims even more absurd is the way Internet is treated when used in general discussions. Considering how it has turned every user into an activist of sorts, we, as citizens who voted them to power, need to ask governments, what exactly is that they are afraid of? Why would they want to shut down a page?  Because I still believe that something, which connects people and makes them audible can only help in growing democracies if dealt with wisely.

 Buckle up leaders, the world is watching

Agree/disagree, have something to say? do share \m/oO\m/

Friday, November 30, 2012

‘Life of Pi’ is no ‘Cast Away’

  Didn’t update blog for a while because I didn’t have too much to say. Plus i LOVE my govt/A regional party/their Leader(s) and don’t want to get arrested. Well, you get the picture. Speaking of picture, this post is about what I could make of Life of Pi.

*May contain spoilers, NOT a review. Viewing advised before reading*

  I just caught late night show of ‘Life of Pi’, which left me speechless. I had my fears because of the reviews, which suggested that god connection which filmmaker wanted to establish was a hit and miss. I have not read the book and believe that written fiction always surpasses whatever can bedepicted on screen. But for me the movie does so much to get that wow feeling by it’s ending that you just don’t want to get into good or bad debate. Hence, the post.

  Movie is your regular shipwreck story about the lone survivor who finds himself on a lifeboat with a tiger named Richard parker along with a hyena, Zebra and a rat and how instincts guide him to his survival. I suggest you catch the movie with the other dimension because you wouldn’t want to miss out on the gorgeous CGI. The part I found most interesting was the connection protagonist establishes with something that threatens his existence and he should ideally fear. The tiger actually helps him stay alert and think for the entire period. People might find traces of Wilson, the plank, from Tom Hanks’s cast away here but unlike the later; Richard parker is not only a carnivore, but also a hungry one at that.

Pi and Richard parker

  The fact that movie features Tiger in a supporting role, which is silent most of the time in the movie, turns out to be the most riveting part instead of being a handicap. What is intriguing about the fact is, and I keep stressing on the fact, that these two make an odd pair to be together on a stranded boat in a survival story. Throughout I felt, and I may be wrong, it was more the connection between the two and less about the struggle. Although parker does try to kill him once but then it adapts to the situation, i.e. accepts the fact they have to be together in this. Pi writes in his journal that the fear of survival from a Bengal tiger keeps him thinking and stops him from going insane.  There is also an intended god connect part which is left open for you to interpret. What I could figure out was, it was when pi decides to accept whatever fate has thrown its way was when he is at peace with himself.

  After the end credits started rolling, I was silent and didn’t quite put a finger on what made it such a great watch. And even after so much time, I am not sure why I found it so calming. This feeling was nothing like the epic-win feeling after the thunder-ish escape scene unfolds in Shawshank Redemption or the pity at the ending scene in Cast away because hanks’s character was supposed to die and by having survived he has just upset the regular state of being. Or maybe I was just relieved that Pi managed to live a normal life and start a family, in short start all over again, despite loosing everything dear to him and surviving a near death experience.

  Not to forget, this is a work of fiction. But like Pi says in the end, a story is as real as you believe it to be. It’s your choice how you chose to interpret. I saw it, as fictional as it might be, as a journey where life teaches you to have faith, accept things the way they are and never lose hope no matter how harsh the circumstances are.

Grab a loved one, preferably the one that doesn’t have too many questions or doesnt fit the stereotype between the movies and see it for yourself. Thank me later.
Saw the movie? Liked/disliked it? Have something to add, please do. \m/oO\m/

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

5 films you shouldn’t have missed

I generally avoid passing judgment of a piece of art because good or bad, it was a vision which couldn’t take the desired shape. Also, I have nothing to write. If you like watching movies and follow salmaan khan religiously, there is a (mamta banerjee dislikes cartoon) % of chance that you have missed these movies. These are only some of the movies which deserve to be in the hall of fame but for some reasons, bodyguard being one, aren’t. Anyhow, read on:

1. Being Cyrus: a debutant director teams up with a brilliant cast to make a commercial-crossover movie about a edge of your seat homicide plan. The story is narrated through the eyes of cyrus and how he discovers about the plan he is played into. The reason I am recommending this is because it has nasiruddin shah and boman irani playing their supporting actor part par excellence. Not your average hero-beats-everyone-to-pulp story, the ending is sure to blow your mind
2. Jaane bhi do yaaron: kundan shah directed venture is an epic movie just because of the sheer amount of run and re-run on television. And if you had doordarshan in your homes while growing up, you will recognize bits and pieces of this movie. The story basically of a corrupt builder played brilliantly by Pankaj kapoor and his plans to cover up a faulty bridge construction in a fight with a newspaper editor(his ex-flame) and two amateur-ish pro photographers caught in between. If your stomach isnt aching from laughter in mahabharat meets ramayan meets mughalai drama scene, you need to get yourself checked

3. Kabhi haan kabhi naa: you might have your own reasons for not liking shah rukh khan (not counting dilwale dulhaniya le jayenge in the discussion), he has done 2 movies (this and swades) which kind of balance it all. Kabhi haan kabhi naa is the story of a loser goan boy sunil who falls for aana played to perfection by suchitra also stars deepak tijori in a weirdly likable role but you are secretly rooting for aana and sunil to walk in oblivion. It’s not every day that you find yourself rooting for a looser guy to take the girl. Find it on a dvd or catch it on tv. One of few films in which shah rukh actually tried to act. watch it for sunil, who tries to make it all work. more like talking barfi

4. Paanch: for those of you who like Anurag kashyap brand of cinema and were blown away by Shaitan(2011) (yes, the 'khoya khoya chand' one), THIS IS WHERE IT ALL BEGAN.also, if you don’t agree with my opinion of shaitan, well BOO-HOO. The biggest tragedy of this movie: - it never got released. Nonetheless, find it on ‘you-know-where’ or come find me, I have a good enough print. I am not going in details about the movie except it is first movie of Mr kashyap. Turns out, he made movies even before DevD Gangs of wasseypur, which were equally awesome.

5. Gunda:  now this one is the best of the lot, ‘cult’ if you might say. This is one of those movies where you don’t need to, i repeat; DON’T need to use your brains. It has mithun (HAAAINNN) and some 30-40 bad guys where mithun da plays a railway coolie AND, hold your breath, a trolley supervisor at the airport. And it’s just the beginning of facts you don’t have to dwell upon. Villains talk in poetic language while threatening each other. This film recently bagged the golden kela award for being what it is, EPIC! watch out for all the dialogues between bad guys. not everyday there comes a movie whose dialogues get printed on T shirts (IIT-Roorkee), becomes a case study in b-School(IIM-A) or becomes part of daily lingo(IIT-Kanpur). check out reviews here 

Although i said only 5, but do try Rocket singh, if you havent. Because it deserves it, thats why.

feel free to suggest similar movies in comments section \m/oO\m/

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The great indian Face-Off and after-effects

*What you are about to read is written in all seriousness and contains no joke whatsoever. If you find it funny, please leave your IP address and twitter handle in comments section (cc: Govt Of India)*

During past weeks, the whole incidents related to people leaving states to go back to their own (north-east in this case) have captured nation unlike any other in recent times. Ironically, this came barely weeks after Mary kom and Devendro (please Google them/their place of origin and consider shooting yourself) took the whole nation by surprise by displaying the unseen fighting spirit, literally and metaphorically on the biggest sporting arena in this world. Every north eastern guy was beaming with joy, because frankly speaking, how many of us can actually locate imphal, dispur or agartalla on Indian map, and more importantly, do you smell what I smell?
  But the whole phase was short lived and before any of them knew what happened, SMS started circulating in south Indian states, including Maharashtra blaming them (yes yes, all north eastern states same thing) for something related to Bangladeshi immigrants and some violence in Assam and asking them to leave the city/state and go back to their home state, whichever or wherever it may be. Some of these guys also beat up policemen and media persons because THAT totally makes sense. Wait this gets (I am going to hell for saying this), better. Our govt, as efficient as they are, did what most citizen friendly govts would do. They provided as many trains as were required for north eastern guys to flee while also trying to co-ax them to stay promising to ‘protect’ them because our national need to be secular beats the shit out of common sense any day. The ‘National No Shit Sherlock’ dept, also known as police dept in some parts of country according to unconfirmed reports expressed complete cluelessness at the turn of events and promised to take action against Pakistan by providing them with ample proof. Pakistan responded by banning ‘Ek Tha Tiger’ and was condemned all and sundry for the hideous action.

  Meanwhile, SMS’s and photo tagging was in full swing at the public wedding hall also known as face-book. It was when a tibetian guy (long story, they blurred it in rockstar) was stabbed with a knife and was warned to leave before the date that panic spread. But the problem with our PM is, he exhausted his entire madam approved speaking quota for the month on Independence Day itself and strongly condemning an action can very easily be done by secretaries as well. So, he ordered*(citation needed) that twitter shut down all his parody accounts as well (some word limit thing). Our govt swung into action again and, in between all the ‘they made money in auctioning coal’ ‘oh my god why is PM selling coal?’ ‘When will Poonam pandey take bath again?’ ‘Look, unicorn!’ ‘PM MUST RESIGN’, our all knowing, aryabhatta devotee, Mr. Kapil Sibal did what any rational thinking person in power would have done. He ordered to block twitter handles of random people because apparently you can’t shutdown internet, because lets be honest. People hell bent on killing each other, do keep tab on what people are writing on twitter and…. WHAT DID YOU JUST WRITE THERE? I AM GOING TO KILL MY NEIGHBOUR! Twitter started with blocking account of IT minister, to which most of government employee’s reaction was ‘don’t believe in rumors, we have no such ministry?’.
  At the time of writing, Apple is yet to announce its new phone and Suhel Seth & kargil ‘you-know-who’ journalist have whole-heartedly supported the decision. Mahesh Bhatt could not be reached. Arindam choudhry was quick to jump to bandwagon and wasted a lot of ink in the process of; you wont believe it, writing. Last heard, Rahul Gandhi was having lunch with a BPL family, the exact co-ordinates of which has not been revealed due to security reasons. If you are wondering how this helps distraught people in Assam or any of northeastern people, raise your hand. Now take that hand and try to make a 5 finger imprint on your cheeks.
  I would have commented on the turn of events and made an intellectual joke but sadly, I am yet to be a verified secular ideologist/fundamentalist/ left-right- east- west wing. 

I love my government. RAHUL GANDHI FOR PRESIDENT, oh wait.



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