Friday, February 27, 2009

Eyes Wide Shut

Ram Sena- are they hypocrites or simply misguided fanatics? All their recent 'moral' policing has evoked a lot of outrage and indignation but in the midst of it all, I find that the crucial point is missed...by all parties. The whole 'Pink Chaddi' campaign reminds me of the hindi movie ' Asthithva' of which I whole heartedly disapproved.
The movie disgusted me because of the moral it was trying to preach and the justifications given by Tabu for her perfidy and the expected sympathies from the audience towards her. I could see a whole bunch of other reasons to feel sorry for her but not the one point which formed the crux of the movie. Her extra-marital one-night stand was preached to the world as a pardonable offense. The reason? Simply that a man is pardoned for the same indulgence. The point the movie failed to make was that the act itself is unacceptable irrespective of whether a man or a woman performs it. One cannot justify the morality behind any offense stating that someone else is being allowed to perform it.
Ram Sena as well as the ' Pink Chaddi' supporters are in my opinion manifestations of the same hypocricy and badly reasoned arguments. What is Ram Sena actually opposing? Drinking itself or just women drinking? The later is obviously a hypocritic cause while if it is the former I would still find them objectionable. My reservations are against their methods no matter what their beliefs are. Let them make speeches or print booklets or host TV shows to reach to people. I doubt if modern men and women will be swayed by any of this but what have the Ram Sena achieved anyway? They may have provoked fear but not reformation. As for my objection towards the 'Pink Chaddi' brigade...well, I have already explained why I found Tabu's arguments inappropriate. Each of those women who said their cause was 'women liberation' or 'equality of men and women' could have donated 20 or 30 Rs or the cost of a pink chaddi towards the education of a poor village girl than indulge in this immature and pointless response.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The (non) Terminal Spirit

This is the first time I am writing about a movie I watched but "The Terminal" was so rejuvenating that I feel the need to share my experience. The entire movie is shot in the International lounge and terminal of the John F Kennedy airport in New York. The first 20 minutes of the movie made me wonder if I really needed to watch something so sad and spoil 2 hrs of my weekend. I felt sad not because of on screen tears or terrors but because of what I anticipated from the rest of the movie. How wrong I was!
Tom Hanks in the lead role instead of stirring sympathies with his plight (which the audience would have readily given) through his actions gave me food for thought. His unbeatable spirit and his unwavering sight on the purpose of his life is hard for me to expect from anyone I know. At the end of the movie, I questioned myself how I would have reacted to every situation this man faced and had to accept the hard truth. I have an uphill climb towards high spiritedness.
My reaction and my co-audiences reaction to the movie also reinforced my belief in a fact of life. The reactions that one gets from friends or people around depend to a good extent on how the person handles situations. A show of self pity and bad tempers can evoke only ridicule or rebukes which will in all probability pull down one's self confidence even lower. On the other hand, any display of a fighting spirit bring more people to lend their moral support in appreciation of the true effort one is making. This encouragement can take a person 10 times farther than they would have originally done so.
A very thought provoking and highly enjoyable movie. If you havent watched it in all these years like me, then I highly recommend it!

And The Oscar goes to...The Mozart of Madras?

Tomorrow may well be one of the biggest and most important nights to my favorite music composer, A.R. Rahman whom other writers of wider reading audiences call the Mozart of Madras. I am not sure if that title is entirely deserving considering that there have been other musicians in the land of Tollywood who have produced immortal music too. I am not sure if he is going to win anything tomorrow, though the chances are quite high(2/3?). I am not even sure if this is the best music he has ever produced ( I am no authority on music). All I do believe is that this man most definitely deserves to win.
He has most definitely made some revolutions in modern Indian music..or should I say was the cause for the phrase "modern Indian music" to be coined? I know there are a whole lot of people out there who think this man has no creative talent, but we all know , and they do too (deep down) that they only say that in order to appear different from the band wagon. He has not been afraid to experiment although I have noticed that his experiments are fewer in bollywood unlike in the southern films. I somehow associate that with the stereotypes who rule the national film scene than attribute that to his faults. (Or it may just be that he is more comfortable with music in his mother tongue?(nah..I don't really believe this :) ). Ok...I am digressing...I really think this man is a genius.
The fact that you can recognize copied music implies that this man's music was original. More endearing is his humility, enthusiasm and the roaring fire within him that critics cant seem to douse. I really hope he wins tomorrow, not because I think that the Oscars necessarily decide right who the best among everybody are...but because most of the rest of the world seem to think so. I adore his music and want it to be put on a pedestal. I adore music and this award would reinforce my belief that music itself has no barriers.