Showing posts from February, 2009

Winter Wonderland

Yesterday we enjoyed one among the free pleasures of living in Delhi. The weather was perfect - sunny but with a cool breeze that made it delightful to spend time outdoors. So we set off on an expedition to Mughal Gardens, my grandma in tow. We sped through the traffic on the expressway and reached the heart of Delhi in barely 20 minutes. Of course, it then took us another 20 minutes to finally figure out how to get to the entrance of the garden, which is attached to Rashtrapati Bhavan, the President's Estate.

The parking was pretty haphazard and the queue seemed endless so we had nightmare visions of standing in line for hours. But luckily the line moved fairly quickly, the only hitch being no mobile phones ( or cameras) were allowed, so once they separated the men and women, you could end up lost inside. In fact, as we queued up for the many security checks, we kept hearing announcements of lots of children separated from their parents, husbands missing wives and so forth.

Once …

Delhi 6 Review

'Try to realise it's all about within you, And only you can make you change' The Beatles The music of the movie has had me hoooked for a while now, be it the atmospheric 'Yeh Dilli hai meri jaan' or the traditional romantic song, 'Saiyyan cheed deve' and of course the completely joyous 'Masakalli'. I even wound up coming up with a chaat-ey salad dressing to celebrate the movie. I think Delhi 6 is one of Rahman's best scores, with an astounding range of music, from a qawwali to a traditional bhajan, a jazzy-bluesy title song that riffs mellowly on the streets of Delhi. And the picturising of Dil gira Dafatan is amongst the best visual renderings of a song I've ever seen, seamlessly moving between Dilli and New York...
The movie was...interesting. I have to start out by admiring the way Abhishek Bachchan inhabits the characters he plays in whichever movie, and Delhi 6 was no exception. He was Roshan Mehra to the core, and one could feel every nua…

Rules of Indian Culture circa 2009 ( as per Ram Sene and the like)

1. Indian men shall at all times scratch or otherwise interact with their gonads, at five minute intervals
2. Indian men shall assume that all women, from the age of 8 months to 80 years, are asking for lewd attention even when they’re just walking by minding their own business. She’s breathing, isn’t she?
3. Public displays of affection – hand holding or couples sitting together in public places – are against Indian culture. What about Khajuraho, you say? D-uh, that’s Public display of lust, silly. Plus that’s in a temple. So PDL in a temple is A-ok.
4. Of course you should slap, kick and otherwise molest any Indian woman who dares to exercise free will and go out to public places. Hang on – some idiot is saying how is that Indian culture, we worship goddesses. Well, the goddess is just sitting inside the mandir, innit, not going out to enjoy herself?
5. Women drinking is just not Indian, traditional texts and ancient recipes for Som Ras be damned. Men drink…

Freedom For All, not Some of the People!

I remember the phrase 'Draconian laws' being bandied about way back in the late 80s when the then government wanted to pass laws restricting what the media could cover and what they could say. The media made a spirited defense of the right to free speech and eventually managed to prevent the law from being passed. sad to say, according to media behaviour, it looks like the principles of free speech only seem to apply to the corporatised, powerful media today.

Indi blogger Chyetanya, after the Mumbai attacks in November, had more than a few pithy things to say about the media coverage of it. Of course, many journalists have taken up this issue since, and it seems quite clear that if on the one hand the government was stupid to not orchestrate the media coverage of the event, the television media in particular left no stone unturned in covering every minute detail of what happened, to the extent of endangering the rescue operations. Television channels competed with each other to…

Ram Rajya

I don't know why all mention of Indian culture seems to consist of subjugation of women and denying women their right to lead independent lives bounded by their own choices. The so-called guardians of morality don't think that the so-called Indian culture they supposedly venerate also includes showing respect for women or not molesting them. I notice that not one of the moral police was out protesting against the gang of men who molested two young women on 31st Dec 2007 in Mumbai as they emerged from a hotel. Well, of course, stupid me. I forgot this was 21st Century India. Of course the women must have done something to cause what happened to them. I'm sorry, I must have missed it – just what was it that these women were doing that was clearly wrong and that gave these men the right to molest them? Oh, right – they were exercising their rights as independent young women to go out and enjoy themselves. Or was it enjoying themselves that was wrong? Or was it that they offen…