Posts

Showing posts from January, 2011

One With God...

It is a widely accepted fact that music has the ability to soothe, calm and make a tensed person relax. Medical sciences have referred to it as a therapeutic way of reducing the impact of stress in our daily lives. It creates a relaxing atmosphere for any type of activity. Creative expressions such as art, literature, music etc. have the ability to cut across manmade boundaries and unite people.

It is one of those frozen moments. In the space of a few years we seem to have lost most of the artists who shaped a national cultural consciousness over the past six decades. Artists who drew the very contours of musical traditions, theatrical and performative practices and visual lexicons. And now, with Pandit Bhimsen Joshi's demise, over eight flourishing decades of the Kirana Gharana initiated by Ustad Abdul Karim Khan and Ustad Abdul Waheed Khan has finally returned to "sama"(tranquility). An entire musical legacy has folded into itself.

To the people who do not listen classi…

Kamzor Pratidhwani (Feeble Echoes)

The newspapers recently carried stories and pictures of veteran character actor ninety five year old AK Hangal. I must admit I was shocked to see the condition he is in. It feels really sad to learn that he has to literally now choose between food and medication. In his days, he has played everything from an uncle to a grandfather in the staple Hindi films of the 1970s and 1980s. For a man who entertained us as the unforgettable Rahim Chacha in the blockbuster "Sholay", it is unfortunate that he now leads a life of penury.

It is always been disturbing to read and learn of such occurences. There have been enough number of instances in popular culture of individuals who were idolized and revered in their prime and now remain stuck in the catacombs of anonymity. Life's stories have been overloaded with vivid descriptions of unfortunate circumstances. Well, life as they say, has the ability to equate the powerful to the level of a common man. There have been cases where circ…

The New Lifestyle Problems

We live in a world where change is a major player and change is rapid. It is happening in and around us by making our lives more interesting and challenging. I have, over the couple of years, noticed many interesting things that have arisen from this continous change and some of it is definitely worth sharing. So, here it goes the list of top six lifestyle diseases:

* Mobile-ites: Mobile-ites is a disease that has knowingly or unknowingly inflicted a large majority of the human population across all ages. The symptoms of this lifestyle disease are fairly recognizable and evident... constantly looking at the phone, the itch to dial and to text.. it's endless.

* Twitter mania and Status Message Generation: There is surely no denying in the fact that we are citizens of the "Status Message Generation". It is a double whammy. It is more like a virus that spreads rapidly and we're most definitely not immune to it. The virus-cum-obsessive compulsive disorder takes over the b…

Reality Bites: No One Killed Jessica

No One Killed Jessica, the first movie release of 2011, is a film that unleashes a myriad emotions in you. The hard facts of modern India's most written about case are well-known by almost everybody but the director Rajkumar Gupta's dramatic handling of the crime, the criminals, the crusaders and the victim creates a storm.

The film makes you feel angry, sad, frustrated, bitter about the umpteen flaws in our administrative and legal machinery. But more than all this, it fills you with hope and confidence. No One Killed Jessica reaffirms the power and the efficacy of the ordinary man who can--and must--make the difference in a dismaying world. Unlike superhero sagas, the film doesn't just showcase two feisty women--Sabrina (Vidya Balan) and Meera (Rani Mukherjee)--who take on the might of the powerful. Instead, it throws light on the fact that the whole nation came together, joined the "Justice for Jessica" crusade and displayed how power actually resides in the h…

Sedition Scam

We have to hand it to the Indian government. Cocking a snook at critics who have accused it of being a soft target for terror attacks and insurrectionary militias, the government and the laws have demonstrated just how tough it can be when it wants to. It has struck a mighty blow for democracy and in one stroke symbolically put paid to the so-called Naxal menace which reportedly has affected over 160 of the country's 600 districts. The Naxal menace been described by the Prime Minister as India's biggest single threat to national security, more so even bigger than the Pakistan-inspired terrorism.

The Indian government and the judiciary achieved this by arresting and giving a life sentence for sedition to a frail, ailing, 61 year old doctor-cum-social activist who has dedicated all his life to the welfare of tribal communities and other marginalized people who are too small and insignificant to be noticed by the Indian from the remote and lofty perch that it occupies.

Despite app…

News We Can Use

For the Indian media, the past year 2010 has been almost Dickensian: it's been the best of times, but also possibly the worst. A Chief Minister resigning due to media pressure, a Union Minister stepping down, senior politicians being raided: when was the last time the Indian media could claim so many "victories" in a single year? Yet, just as we were rejoicing at the return of hard, uncompromising whistle-blower journalism, along came the Niira Radia tapes to throw journalism into a new spin. A couple of months ago prior to the year end, the media was being congratulated for taking on the political establishments. Now, it is being accused of cosying up and being co-opted by the power elite. The truth, as often is the case, lies somewhere in between.

In a sense, the rise and fall of the Indian media was almost inevitable. Over the past two decades, the Indian media has grown exponentially. In 2000, the government cleared just one news channel. Today, there are now more tha…