Friday, July 22, 2011

Visual Collaboration

I am no particular fan of Arundhathi Roy. The only time I got close to her work was when a few of friends brought the pirated copy of ‘God of small things’ from Bangalore. I put it away after a few pages, as I found it too complicated.

Then came her article in ‘Outlook’ demanding ‘Azadi’ for Kashmir, which set my blood pressure. Back then I was a core nationalist in thinking, proud to be a part of Shining India. Then as I started reading more of leftist literature, I trudged carefully from the comfortable thought process to sticky path. Even today I am not confident or clear about my political stance. But I have learnt to respect and listen to Ms. Roy.

I have to admit, I haven’t read much of her books or essays, basically due to my impatience. But a recent statement from her sent my personal opinion on her roaring.

On a recent visit to Kerala she commented that she wouldn’t be giving her famous book ‘God of small things’ to a film maker. The reason was pretty interesting- visual colonization of minds. Remember, the young writers bollywoodize a book even before it’s out.

The writer has the time and space to convey her feelings. The reader has the time and space to assimilate it. But a script writer has only a few seconds to push the idea through. So there is a good chance for distortion. I have seen most of the classics being reduced to a parody thanks to relative incompetence. ‘Man under the iron mask’ would be the best example.

I used the word ‘relative’ as the script writer needn’t be bad in his profession. He may not be able to rise to the heights of an epic. The example of ‘Godfather’ can be an exception when Cuppola provided us with a better version of the novel.

To me it’s best to make films out of ordinary books-where there is nothing much for a reader to assimilate- or the ones in which need of visuals over power the narrative (Harry Potter ).

The other statement from Ms. Roy was more interesting. ‘The book is not mine. It was a collaboration between me, nature, silence and creatures’. At a time when the so called writers bay for the smallest change credits, she is a trendsetter.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Hostel Life

At an age when most of the guys prefer to settle down with a girl, I was thrown into a place unknown into an unknown place and into a hostel. I had no many friends in the city and I put up with an old friend as a temporary set up. Soon I felt the welcome running cold and I didn’t have to think twice about getting into a hostel.

YMCA runs a chain of hostels along with other facilities all around the world. Down here they have pretty decent hostels which are quite affordable. But it took quite a lot to adjust to the life in a hostel, which I was soon to find out.

Initially I got into a room at the top most floor with bathrooms that are covered with tin sheds. The roomie was a pretty good guy, trying very hard to get into some job. So he sat silently in his chair preparing for his exams. He seemed to eat very little except drink a lot of water. I had a quite lot of privacy except for the mosquitoes.

The first day I came into the room, it was a baking furnce. ‘Dude how do you manage here?’

As if hurt by my intimidation, he opened up the windows the next day letting in a stream of mosquitoes. The nights turned a nightmare for me, as I woke up due to heat or the M-bites. I turned around to see my roomie sleeping peacefully. I wondered how he managed to do that.

As soon as I realized I was slipping into deterioration on loss of sleep, I got offer for another one downstairs. Although I had no much hope for beating the mosquitoes, I hoped I could beat the heat and the offer for an attached bathroom was hard to desist. The ones at the top were hard to open as soon as you were inside!

The old one was very sad to see me go. May be it reminded him of the pathetic room he was in. Besides there was no cupboards. So you had to absolutely trust your mate. But you have no chance to choose your room mate!

The new one was a typical computer geek. He ended up here thanks to some scrupulous guys who conned him into their new college. He had enough money from Dad’s side but never utilized it for anything except computers. He totally cut out his food rations. This guy was good at helping me with my laptops. Besides he never switched off his fan and mosquito repellant. So I had some respite from my two worst nightmares.

The tough part was sharing a toilet that was very dinghy with a total stranger. This guy had a habit of immersing his laundry in the soap powder solution for days, filling our room with detergent smell. We rarely talked with each other. I simply stopped trying when he even refused to acknowledge my greetings. But he was a pretty good guy who had no problem sharing resources. Space is the rarest resource and to share it needs a large heart. The bathroom had problems with the door. So you had to guess the presence inside from the running tap. Once I got in for a bath when the roomie was asleep. I finished my bath closed the tap and took my own time to dry when he pushed open the door to see me in all my glorious nudity. He was so embarrassed and went on repeatedly apologizing.

After two months I have had enough of the hostel. I moved into a two bedroom flat with only me in it. I can walk naked or watch porn or cook food, no one would mind! Now I fantasize getting a hot girl to share the rent.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Movie Review- No One Killed Jessica (Hindi)

This might be one of the most well publicized movie on one of the most well publicized incident of our times. The Jessica Lal murder case gave the Indian youth to unite and enlighten themselves on the fa├žade behind the fool’s paradise. As for the film, everyone supposed it to be a sure shot hit with face saving exercise for two of the ‘once upon a time’ heroines- Rani Mukherjee and Vidya Balan.

The director would have been compelled to do something different as the incident and proceedings are too well known. He would have gone for a better treatment and meaningful visuals.

The visuals are genius work in parts and there are compelling dialogues. But they are too obvious and fall short of brilliance. The film begins in a very dull note. The opening of a film seems to be a waterloo for most Indian film-makers. The usual Page 3 bashing has been done very well. After a grueling half, the film falls flat. The characters suddenly vanish into thin air and from then on ‘public’ is the hero!

Can’t help closing, without a special mention on Rani. She tried her best to play a sophisticated, career minded, soft hearted bitch. Some of the dialogues would have sounded cool. Hope she realizes this is her best time to quit. Vidya did a great performance. She is one of the most under rated in industry. Other than these two no one else have anything much to do.

The role of media in social enlightening has turned out to become a very critical issue. I choose that to be a different topic.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Book Review- God's callgirl

Catholic are finding themselves in a very unenviable position, punching bag, and that too after decades of world domination. Right from the writers, movie makers, humanitarians, liberals, gay rights everybody a re more than happy to have a go at it. The recipe for the season is the harrowing tales of nuns who called quits because they no longer could stand it.

It wouldnt be widely off the mark to say that the women doesn’t enjoy an enviable position in the church. They are expected to pay up the penance for the sin Ms. Eve did centuries ago. They were only supposed to cook, clean and give birth. Still we don’t see much dissent through out- goes on to prove that women accepted the position with devotion.

When it came to nuns, the establishment went a step ahead. Sisterhood was an exclusive community stoically protected from the outside influences. They had their own machinery to control, defy and survive. Nuns had tto practice more renunciation, obedience and poverty compared to their male counterparts. They had less chance to climb up the hierarchy or earn. So the nuns had no life outside the monastery and may have had to seek help for any emergency expenses. Church found their services extremely useful in the educational instituitions. The repressed emotions manifested in varying degrees as cruelty and perversions. But these aberations, visible in a few , got onto become celebrated by the media and gave many a good opportunity to come up with autobiographies.

Carla Van Ray’s book ‘God’s Call girl’ is one such work. Very juicy, graphic, questioning and in the end meanders to boredom. Carla was born in a poor dutch family who migrated to Australia. Van Ray had a very strong blind faith in the church and its teachings. She grew up in a pious atmosphere very close to the church. She is very brave enough to portray her dysfunctional family and her average performance in academics.

She grew up admiring and worshiping her Dad. But while in childhood she was subjected to sexual molestation from her dad. Later the shattered image of her dad influenced her view on men and the way she chose them.

Being an average student from a very ordinary background, convent came a natural choice for her. She had no problems in getting admitted and later the demons in her came out to the fore as years went by.

Vatican went ahead with reformations post WW-II. She argues that she had self realization after the liberalisation and so quit. It sounded a bit shaky for me. As mentioned earlier, she is brave enough to paint her psychological weaknesses. The sudden freedom, a liberalized world and childhood nightmares affects her post-convent life as she switches between men and later opts for prostitution. The profession is portrayed very honourably, spiced with oriental theories until some 100 pages into the end when the vase shatters.

Don’t go for the book hoping for an anti-catholic read. The shaky theories will confuse you nevertheless. But if you want a spicy read, the book sure offers you some.

About Me

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Shakespeare,Da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin and Lincoln never saw a movie,heard a radio or looked at TV. They had loneliness and knew what to do with it. Thay were not afraid of being lonely because they knew that was when the creative mood in them would work.