Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Adventure 7

Für Elise

I wake up in the morning to the alarm Für Elise.
The lift opens
Für Elise.
The car downstairs reverses
Für Elise.
I walk out; the bus honks
Für Elise.
My neighbour's cellphone beeps
Für Elise.
I am watching TV - the advertisement is
Für Elise.

I am now sick of Für Elise.
Click here to find out why

I get back home and play some music - Für Elise.
My irritation vanishes.
Here's to Beethoven who composed Für Elise.
Click here to find out why

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Adventure 6

There Ain't No Such Thing As Free Speech

IIPM targets bloggers.
Bloggers unite.
Gaurav need not worry.
Neither does Varna.
The blogging fraternity will crush the Empire.
The Revolution has begun.
The world will be a better place to live in.

Arindam Chaudhuri is a fraud. One of thousands, in a land of frauds. The land of Maharshi Mahesh Yogi. Abdul Kareem Telgi. Satya Sai Baba. Subroto Roy. Ramar Pillai. Lal Krishna Advani. Laloo Prasad Yadav. Murli Manohar Joshi. CR Bhansali. Ketan Parekh. Harshad Mehta. PV Narasimha Rao. Kishen Kumar. Bal Thackeray. Daler Mehndi.

So where did he go wrong? A man who had effortlessly duped thousands of students a year, with his slick advertisements, has suddenly found himself on the wrong side of the 'cognoscenti' of Indian cyberspace. Chaudhuri is not a bigshot. He will be overcome. But what about the rest?

Free speech is a myth. It has never existed - either in the civilised or uncivilised world. The Soviets erased all records of Stalin and Trotsky from their official records. The y had no remorse. They openly practised censorship.

The free world is more subtle. Dubya for example. The prospect of losing major advertisers was too much for CNN. No wonder American soldiers were shown cuddling babies and giving Mars bars to the young ones in Baseh.

India. The land of the free. Where miracle workers are known to have rather strange tastes. Where newspaper offices are raided by State servants, and official apologies doled out like laddoos in Tirupati. Where Money Is Power. Just like everywhere else. And why not? What is the fight for? The ones with money will continue to control the press. Opinions will continue to be manufactured. For thats the way things work.

Arindam Chaudhuri is no Dhirubhai Ambani. He made a false step and will pay dearly for it. He will soon be consigned to the dustbin. Like Shakti Kapoor. He is unfortunate. The real suppressors will continue to flourish. Because nobody knows them. Because they uproot the cause. Not the symptom.

Bye bye Arindam...

Monday, October 03, 2005

Adventure 5


2 October, 2005, Bangalore:

There I was, at Screen 4, Inox, Garuda Mall, clutching a Rs. 200 ticket, and sipping a chilled soda (Fanta, to be precise). Before that, an escalator had transported me to the fifth floor of this place, populated by such brands as Baskin Robbins, Swarovski, Samsonite, Nokia, Westside, and Shoppers' Stop. The movie I had come to watch: Maine Gandhiji ko Nahin Maara; 9-time National Award winner Jahnu Barua's first ever Hindi film.

It was fantastic. Barua is not only a gifted director, but also an excellent story and script writer. Anupam Kher as the paranoid schizophrenic (or whatever) and Urmila Matondkar as his harried daughter were absolutely outstanding. The film rues the loss of Gandhi's loss in today's generation - and does manage to score a strong point.

The paradox lies in my surroundings. Only such a mammoth multiplex as Inox could play a meaningful film like this, which is bound to bomb at the box office! One that lives off the boom in the technology sector and ever increasing disposable income in today's youth. A multiplex that is slowly cornering all the better movies from the smaller and older cinema theatres. One that is responsible for the ever increasing closure of cinema theatres all over. One that has jacked up prices of movie tickets all over the city. One that is slowly killing competition. A shark that threatens to eat up the smaller minnows. Exactly what Gandhi stood up against. Such a multiplex is one which has managed to resurrect the smaller, meaningful Hindi film.

Enjoy the show...