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Showing posts from February, 2009

Train Rides

In my childhood, it was almost a cliche listening to the fact that I must have been a motorman in my last birth. Hopefully, that explains my childhood obsession for trains. I don't remember how many evenings I must have spent seeing each train and waving goodbye to every motorman in the rear compartment of a local train.

The long metal caterpillars with their crown like pantographs and their fluorescent lights, the grinding noise of the wheels--all appealed to me so much that it continued all through the 1990s and today, the thought seems so stupid waiting at the railway stations to see trains passing by. I remember making the diagrams of trains with soap boxes, drawing them with pencils and I have even played with them in the form of toys.

In my childhood, there were only two things that I was really obsessed about: double decker buses that used to operate in and around Chembur back then in the 1990s and trains. On a particular Sunday in the late. 1990s, I got my ultimate thrill by…

Movie Review: The White Balloon

The films made in Iran are magnificient. These films are made by exceptionally talented filmmakers with each story, the editing, the cinematography tell so much about the lifestyles of people living in Iran. Recently, I had the opportunity to watch two back-to-back Iranian films on UTV World Movies. These films largely stand out because of their artistic superiority yet commercial viability.

Razieh wants a fat goldfish for the Iranian New Year celebrations instead of the skinny ones in her family's pond at home, because the fat fish looks like it's dancing when it swims. After several attempts, she and her brother convince their mother to give them her last bit of money. Between their home and the fish store, Razieh loses the money. She finds it, but it is temptingly just out of her reach. The money has fallen through the grate of the entrance to a store which has been closed for the New Year celebration. Razeih and her brother make several attempts to retrieve the money and r…

A Tribute To Smita Patil

Two long decades have passed but the tears just refuse to dry up. Despite this, Smita Patil seems to have an astonishing presence--that still keeps lingering on, refusing to vacate the minds and hearts of her fans. Undoubtedly, Smita did have a talent that has left a void left in the film industry that is yet to be filled..

Her death was as shocking and horrifying as Madhubala's death. Despite of her untimely demise, she has left behind a rich haul of work through her social and intellectual movies. Reality being the soul of Smita's films and hence, Smita's art is truly timeless. Today, when I see an art movie getting critically acclaimed and striking gold at the box office, I just cannot forget Smitaji's contribution towards Indian parallel cinema. It really seems a little funny to know specially when Smitaji lived in an era when the Indian parallel cinema was in its grass-roots level.

I happened to watch Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na nearly a year ago when there was nothing gre…

Movie Review: Osama

A 12 year old Afghan girl and her mother lose their jobs when the Taliban closes the hospital where they work. The Taliban have also forbidden women to leave their houses without a male "legal companion". With her husband and uncle dead, having been killed in a skirmish during the Soviet Invasion and their civil wars, there are no men left to support the family.

Unable to leave the house without fear of arrest and torture, the mother is left with nowhere to turn. With no other choice, and inspired by a story her mother tells about a young boy who went under a rainbow and became a girl, she disguises her daughter as a boy named "Osama". Osama manages to secure a job at the local tea shop. "His" effeminate ways quickly arouse suspicion among the other boys.

Eventually, in a drive to collect soldiers, the local boys including Osama, are taken from their homes or workplaces by the Taliban to be trained as soldiers. At the training school, they are taught how to…

Pubs or Culture?

For the first time, I am ashamed to admit that I am an Indian. As I was watching TV the other day, a curious mix of shock, horror and utter disbelief in how a bunch of stupid Sri Rama Sene "activists" took to the streets and shamelessly assaulted the innocent women chilling out in a pub in Mangalore.

It truly pains me when I hear our impotent politicians (who allegedly represent us) making regressive statements like, "We will fight against liquor and the pub culture promoted by the last government. We are against the malls where boys and girls go hand-in-hand". With the Mangalore incident coming into light, dating, PDA, even holding hands--pubs and clubbing join the long list of activities that are supposedly "Anti-Indian" according to our politicians. What is wrong if two people walk hand-in-hand? No one is imposing to hold hands and the people who shop in malls don't have problems then why should our politicians have so much problem?

It is truly lud…