Thursday, February 18, 2010

Hey! I am back!

It’s been quite a long time since i posted (i go by the fact that I forgot my blog address when i had to type it on my desktop since i am so used to one click on my bookmarks in my laptop). From ill health to being busy with work, lots of reasons for my absence. The world moves on though.

Meanwhile, a lot of news items caught my attention and set me thinking. Surprising because i am not a news person at all! Newspapers are a waste of time and too big in size for comfortable reading and there are better things to watch on TV than news. This seems like masala for a separate post, catch you there!!!

First of all, what left a sour taste in my mouth is the whole political arm twisting about the release of My Name is Khan. (decided not to watch it at all). i mean it’s just a movie and has to do with the personal profit and loss of the people involved. Should the government have deployed over 40,000 policemen (some of whose leaves were canceled for the extended weekend!) to ensure a safe release of a movie just because Shah Rukh Khan, the businessman (not the actor) happened to mutter a sentence related to his business?? The level of manoeuvring involved threatening the Sena big bosses that their men under custody would be treated as criminals. The theatre owners were forced to showcase the film or they would lose tax benefits leaving them no way out. i have a problem with the degree of the government’s involvement in the whole issue. If a movie is a threat to the peace of a city, just stop the release. If our respected Chief Minister were to act so promptly in matters that require urgent attention, we would probably not be spending millions on Kasab’s security. I don’t remember any such action being taken to ensure successful screening of better made films on better on important subjects where the creative freedom of the makers was at stake.

i hadn’t got over this when the news of blasts in Pune filled the TV screens. What else can we expect when our dear rulers are busy protecting the personal interests of a few influential people? The lapse is unpardonable since this was yet another classic case of intelligence failure. There was intelligence as early as November 2009 that German Bakery was in the radar of attacks. Wasn’t it the duty of the government officials to prioritise saving the lives of innocent people by stationing their armed forces at a sensitive location like this than at the theatres of Mumbai?

Talking about the country as a whole, Maoists were also given easy access to killing innocent lives in Bihar despite the officials being informed 3 hours in advance about the attacks. In Amethi, the bastion of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, a dalit woman was brutally beaten up by the upholders of law to make her confess murdering her husband. (I thought the world was celebrating the liberation of women, sic!) Such is the extent of human apathy in today’s times that a woman constable remained a mute witness to the heinous act. Though what takes the cake is the comment of Renuka Chaudhary on one of the channels. Madame says she’s not surprised that it happened in UP which is not safe for anyone anymore. The CM, Mayawati might be party to such vandalism by the police since she doesn’t pull them up for such barbaric behaviour. Do we commit the blunder of electing such people to power??

I am happier not watching the news on TV. It only debunks the myth of India shining well on its way to becoming a superpower. I don’t think my country can ever be a superpower in the real sense while women are being beaten up and the government is more interested in safeguarding its prestige over paltry matters. Economic figures might suggest otherwise.

On a different front, Arnab Ray of the greatbong fame has started pre-order booking of his book, May I hebb your attention please. The preliminary reviews suggest the book has “politically incorrect” take on a variety of topics that formed the culture of the 90’s. I can kinda guess the experience of reading the book written in Ray’s typical style. And I am not dying to read the book. I acknowledge that he is a great writer since writing a whole book is no mean feat. But reading stuff with terms similar “peripetatic peregrinations of millions of people” in the Calcutta Book Fair is not my idea of a fun read. I might be jumping to conclusions about the nature of the book being similar to his blog writing but what the heck! This is my blog and I can write what I honestly feel about things.

That was all that caught my roving eye in the last few days. Watch this space for more....

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Swayamvar - Season 2

Rahul dulhaniya Le Jaayenge - i guess the change in the title of the show is more of a positive affirmation after the fiasco of Season 1. It ended with the Swayamvar - only choosing the spouse. We know how happily-ever-after the first pair turned out to be. And well the after taste still lingers in my mouth, having followed season one closely, despite the evidently manipulated histrionics. It’s no longer this historical and momentous adventure anyone can embark on. Everyone has the right to choose one’s spouse in today’s times, so we don’t need to invoke the whole Swayamvar jingbang. That’s no longer the USP of the show.

One look at the set and the memories come beating back. Not all of them good ones, though. It’s like hey, we’ve seen all this before and all this hullabaloo did not lead to happy ending. We all felt cheated at the end of it!!! In fact even Ram Kapoor has to confirm from Rahul if he will really get married, just for the benefit of the viewers. Well, this is reality TV and anything can happen.

Well, i check out the first episode of Season 2 just to check out what else is different apart from the name. i realise that i can tolerate Rahul, after all, as long as he doesn’t laugh. (my first memory of RM is of his stupid laughter irritatingly punctuating the comic talent of kids in Bade Miyan Chhote Miyan. Keep your mouth away from the microphone, you moron!!). His first shot and i am like uggghhhh... He’s has a whole cake of compact on his face!! Some candidates are really gorgeous but none seem to fit him (just like the last time). They all are confident women who carry themselves in aplomb and he looks agape at them like a shy kid who’s just turned lucky to have so many PYT with him. (i kept thinking about all the designer clothes and jewellery they get deck up in during the show. Who cares about RM anyways!) Episode 1 is crammed with romantic Bollywood numbers before the cat fight starts at the party.

i don’t need to gaze at my crystal ball to know what the future episodes would bring. At the outset, RM is going to be a bad monitor in handing a class of 16 women who are assertive and know what exactly they want. It’s going to have a lot of cat fights and bitching about the other candidates - it happens all the time when reality TV brings women together. (remember Dancing Queen, anyone?). That’s the most masaledaar way to the TRPs.

There were enough roaring complaints in the first episode itself. i lost count of the number of times i heard the ladies say “ab hamen bhi time do”. Some of them launched a protest by singing so loudly to ensure others don’t get to talk to RM. Wondering if there was a better way to handle the crowd of women or was it a deliberate attempt to show that women can’t mind their manners when they are in the presence of an irresistibly sexy man like RM!! It was surely better handled the last time. Maybe Rakhi was better at juggling men or maybe men mind their manners and women tend to get insecure quickly.

Can't they get people who the nation would really like to see married, on these shows? Or probably such people find their soulmates easily on their own. They don't need to get paid to act out a dedicated hunt on National TV. i am not going back to watch the show for sure. The manipulation kills the whole concept and then i am not up for being fooled a second time.

F.R.I.E.N.D.S

F.R.I.E.N.D.S - i am totally hooked onto it these days. i’ve no qualms about accepting that i was introduced to this sitcom recently and i had never watched it before. (there has been life on this planet without it and i come from that kind of life). The cry of incredulity “You haven’t seen Friends??!!!!!!!!!!!!” from a couple of people made me watch it out of sheer curiosity to find out what was so great about it. And now my laptop has easily replaced the television during my mealtimes. Important things need to be done...but can i pleeeeeeze watch a bit of Friends while i rub cream onto my feet (hate doing it otherwise!), eat my food, finish my cornflakes and milk and brush my teeth at the end of the day or take the break that i don’t need!!!!!!! At least it makes me laugh!

Well, it is fun in a dumb sort of a way or i wouldn’t be watching it...almost addicted. No, that doesn’t mean that i am dumb, but just that it’s nice to suspend one’s thinking for a change and just go along with stupid jokes that tickle! i mean when was the last time we watched something on television that made us laugh with genuine, well-timed humour? Fresh, tickling humour is a rarity in the entertainment business today and the recipe to make comedy serials is lost in a deep, dark dungeon. From news channels to serials, most believe in scaring us in the guise of entertainment. So it’s the humour that keeps me glued to it. (iknow i just digressed!!) The characters are funny in their own typical ways, the dialogues are racy, the sense of humour well-timed and you just want to go from one episode to the other.

i find Joey the cutest, funny but sensible. i’d hate Phoebe for being so stupid and irritating if i came across her in my real practical life, but she is so endearing for the very reasons in the sitcom. i love the way Ross, the hopeless romantic, kinda jerks his head when he’s feeling hopeless! i really wish i had the tiny waists that Monica and Rachel have! i sometimes wonder if they are for real. (Well, one look at all their current pictures will tell you they were babies when they acted in Friends, so they had to be tiny. i couldn’t recognise the grown-up Monica!)

i’ve just begun Season 2 and enjoying it to the hilt. The only thing i was wondering about was the boldness in which relationships (apart from friendship) have been depicted in the sitcom. The male characters drool at anything that looks like it has boobs on it and the female characters are obsessed with sleeping with a man. It’s as if every woman is a piece of candy and life is incomplete if you do not have a man to sleep with. Is that some kind of a comment on the standards of American morality in the 90’s? It’s kinda typically American with it’s transient relationships and obsession with sex and i wonder what sense it made to the young viewers in our country. i mean there’s an entire episode dedicated to barging into the shower to check out boobies and peepees!!! This whole dating thing becomes so repetitive and monotonous by the end of it... i haven't got to the end though...

Back to F.R.I.E.N.D.S.........