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Showing posts from February, 2009

Same old path?

Priya Ramani, editor of Mint's weekend suppliment Lounge, writes what I have been thinking hard since the past couple of days. Balika Vadhu, a popular Indian TV serial on Colours channel has gained much attention from the public, especially those that were fatigued by the 'K' saas-bahu serials that went on and on. Plus, Balika Vadhu dealt with child marriages and the ills that came along with it, so it kind of picked up a very realistic social evil and brought it right in the middle of living rooms. Even fresh viewers like me, who had stopped watching Indian TV serials for ages, got hooked. 
But Balika Vadhu seems to be heading nowhere. Months have passed and child brides there still continue to suffer from the family matriarch's dictatorship. Where is the retribution? Do we have to wait for five years (assuming it will run as long as the 'K' serials did) before we see an uprising enough to justify Balika Vadhu's existence and its underlining the message tha…

Jamva Chalo Ji

The wedding and the navjote season (thread ceremony to induct Parsi children into the Zoroastrianism faith) is upon us, so last Sunday was another wedding ceremony that I had to attend. This must be the third invitation that I must have accepted this season, another one on 1 March and then the last one in April. Parsis often complain amongst a deluge of such invitations, "baap re ketli saes nikli jayeech aaj kaal..", but I am not saying anything. Though the season typically ends by February, some weddings take place even after that. Mother India did not come with me this time, so I decided to go with my neighbours, the ever-entertaining Vesunas, and another common colony friend. 
There are three main venues for Parsi weddings in South Bombay. We Parsees hold our functions in an open-air facility. So the Cama Baug at Khetwadi is the most economical (when double-decker buses were plying in Khetwadi, people sitting on the upper deck could see right into the festivities inside th…

Why Are We Ignoring our Cops?

Sunday Mid-Day carried a story on the deplorable conditions that the Bombay police have to work at their newly-appointed work stations in Sewri.

The police are responsible for maintaining the law & order of the country, and given the constraints that bound them, they do a pretty decent job. But have we, for a second, stopped to think about the pathetic conditions in which they live? I have passed by police residential quarters several times and every time I shudder to see the condition of the buildings and the housing complex they live in. Press reports, here or there, have thrown a light on how policemen work under strenuous conditions, especially during festival times, to ensure that law & order is maintained. And when such festivals come in quick succession, such as after August when we have Ganesh Chaturthi, Diwali, Id, Christmas and New Year, policemen have to work round-the-clock under severe stressful conditions and many times do not even get leave. 

And God forbid if the…

LUCK BY CHANCE

A number of films have been made on Bollywood giving us an inside view of the workings of one of India's biggest industry. 'Khoya Khoya Chand' was one such nice movie by Sudhir Mishra a couple of years back starring Soha Ali Khan. But that was very arty, its pace was very slow and seemed to go on and on. Else, a movie on Bollywood can sell like hot cakes if it's made entertaining. Like 'Luck By Chance' (LBC). Directed by Zoya Akhtar, this gives us an eerily inside view of the industry. Right from the time the credits roll (very innovative and creative), we get a ringside view of the various facets of the industry, its erratic functioning, star power, greedy producers lusting after starlets, starlets, their struggles, the frequent trips to producers' offices, the film sets, the superstitions, the success of a film and all the star trappings that come with it, gossip, sensational media, date problems that actors so frequently drop, and all that sort of thing.…

Are we over-sensitive?

We Indians are a vey touchy lot. And we tend to take objections to seemingly innocious things in life. A bunch of barbers got up and objected to the name of the forthcoming Shah Rukh Khan film, called Billo Barber. Newspaper reports said that SRK has willingly obliged and not wanting to court any unnecessary controversy, immediately removed the 'Barber' from the movie's name. The movie will now be called 'Billoo'. Good for him or bad for him? I'm not sure. Incidentally, as per this newsreport on TOI website, apparently barbers did not have a objection with the film being called Billoo Hairdresser. But SRK said enough is enough, no hairdresser or barber for him, it's only Billoo for him from now. I am feeling sorry for SRK; just 'Billoo' doesn't work, there was something tangy about 'Billo Barber'. For SRK this may have been in the past now, but for the film industry, these sort of controversies are very much present and if they do not ta…

JAI HO...

The movie weekend marathon enters Day 2 and today was the turn of Slumdog Millionaire. But first stop was at the Tambolis for lunch. After a heavy dhansakh and religious sermons, time just flew by, just like that! So I picked up mom en route to Sterling (love the cinema hall, one of my favourites and still possibly the most affordable multiplex in Bombay during peak hours, flat rate of Rs 120/- per seat). Yes, yes, I know other cinemas offer Rs 60-Rs 80 priced tickets, but I am not an idiot to get up at 7.30 am in the morning and rush to the multiplex to catch the 8.00 am morning show. Sterling holds a special place in my life; I was stranded at the cinema hall with my neighbour Pervin, her pinky-pinky massi and her die-hard SRK fan brother, on the night of 26-11
So anyway, how did I find Slumdog? Well, overall it was quite nice. Almost everything that is shown in the movie about Mumbai is true. You don't like to believe, but it's true. Slums are very much a part of this bust…

Dev D rocks!

This is my marathon movie weekend and thanks to my workload, movies have piled up. So I decided to bunk my Yoga yesterday and watch Dev D. I intend to watch Luck By Chance today and hopefully Slumdog Millionaire tomorrow. Let's see. 
Anyways, Dev D is the modern day version of Devdas; a character on whom a novel was based on, written by Bengali author Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay. Quite a few movies were also made on Devdas, the last one was by Sanjay Leela Bhansali starring SRK. But the latest one by director Anurag Kashyap blew me away. 
This is what the modern Devdas is all about and Kashyap has brilliantly cast him in our present times. The scenes have also been shifted; from the original palatial havelis of Bengal to switching at lightening speeds between the mustard fields of Punjab and Pahargunj and Dariyagunj, Delhi. Kashyup has captured the underbelly of these areas, especially Delhi, beautifully and it works like a dream. But the movie is not for the faint-hearted. It's…

Bring Colours into your homes

If I weren't a journalist, what I would I be? An interior decorator? Perhaps. I'm not sure, but I am having a whale of a time presently choosing various shades and colours that would soon adorn the walls of my home, selecting some new furniture -most of the existing furniture is to be retained though, we are just changing the sofa, sofa chairs, and a few things repaired here and there -and all that sort of thing. It's a pain to supervise the actual repairs, renovation work I tell you, so I leave that to my mom. Sorry. But I do take an active interest in selection. I want my house to look sexy and young and I intend to stamp my personality on it. No more old-fashioned stuff -white coloured ceilings, doors, windows, etc etc -for me now. Anyways, I have made a good discovery and let me share it with you. 
Heard of Asian Paints? Traditionally, this India's leading paints-manufacturing company, has been manufacturing paints for ages now. A few years back they started off thi…