Friday, 30 November 2007
Let me clarify a few things, since Aamir’s comments on Black have blown into a full-fledged controversy in the media. In my interview with Aamir for the Mumbai Mirror (here’s the link), the actor was simply reacting to a specific question on Sanjay Bhansali’s much revered and much awarded blockbuster. That question wasn’t pre-planned, it became part of a freewheeling conversation as we went along. So let’s be clear and immediately kill any suggestion that Aamir was using the interview to get at Bhansali.
Two, although I have the highest regard for Mr Bachchan (I grew up on his cinema), I do believe there was absolutely no need to deride Aamir for his comments on Black, I daresay it was a tad unbecoming of an actor of his caliber and stature. We are all entitled to our views on stuff that falls in public domain, and we must accept that there will be people who don’t agree with our work. I felt disappointed that our dear Big B reacted so strongly to comments made by an actor so many years junior to him. And I will make it a point to mention this to him when I have the good fortune of meeting Mr Bachchan next.
Incidentally, for what it’s worth, I do agree with Aamir. Black left me cold and unmoved, which was a shocker. A film loaded with an emotional story, that of a girl who is dumb, deaf and blind should have tugged at the heartstrings. And I think it’s gotta to do with the totally clinical and antiseptic way the film was directed… there was zero soul in the film. And it’s not that I have suddenly formed this opinion, these were my exact comments in a column in Sunday Mid Day soon after the film’s release.
Thursday, 29 November 2007
Now that we know the incoming cricket coach doesn’t relish Indian food, finds hotels in small towns laughable and thinks there’s no point driving a luxury car in India as it gets rodgered within days, the fellow will always find himself stuck with the off-the-cuff comments he made ten years ago.
Clearly, he’s taken up this hugely onerous job as the biggest challenge of his life (the pot of gold must have played a part too), but his discomfort with the Indian way of life will make things iffier for him.
While I do not agree with Gary Kirsten on the food and shelter bit… Indian food is the most delicious in the world, no wonder the firangs are falling for our khana, and I wonder if the equivalent small towns of a non-descript Rajkot in any part of the world have seven star hotels.
But I DO agree with him on the car. You will rarely find a gaadi (especially a luxury sedan) that hasn’t been deep-scratched. And the honours on new cars (to break their ‘virginity’, eesh!) are carried out by playful Pappus and Buntys of the building society or by the angsty urchins passing by parked cars. I kid you not, but a friend, the moment he got delivery of a spanking new car, carved a huge scratch on both the sides. No, he hasn’t gone insane, this was his way of saying, “Look, if my car has to be vandalised, I may as well do it myself, so I don’t feel violated later!” Hmm. It’s a thought.
Would recommend Kirsten buy himself a sharp paper cutter the moment he arrives on our shores. At least he’ll have one less thing to carp about.
Saturday, 10 November 2007
No other Indian fest gives me as many creeps as Diwali (though Holi is a terror too, with creeps being unleashed on the streets to have fun at strangers’ expense). And apart from unwanted guests and unwanted calories, it’s the firecrackers that give me nightmares.
But yes, despite all the crackling sounds, the number of bombs being blasted in the neighbourhood has seen a dramatic fall. I recall my childhood days at Cuffe Parade where for days together, residents of Cuffe Castle and Mehr Naaz buildings would be in serious competition on who could make louder and longer sounds. Now, the noise levels have gone down, and that’s a surprise given that in 2007 AD, the Indian middle class has extra bucks to burn, there’s just too much black cash lying around waiting to be exploded. The boom in spending on conspicuous consumption is testimony to that.
Elated environmentalists believe the decline in noise is because today’s kids are far more environmentally sensitive than the earlier gen, that they do care about all the pollution that crackers create. That they don’t like it when dogs, babies and elderly citizens go crazy. And I think that’s sheer bunkum. If the new kids were so sensitive and caring, so many parents wouldn’t be getting dumped in old age homes, violence in schools and colleges would have come down, and we know it’s exactly the opposite that’s happening.
If the farting sounds on Diwali have reduced, it’s gotta do with only one thing: the kids today have far more action than we did a decade or so ago. Why waste money and time on setting some stupid fireworks into the air, when you can invest the same moolah into cooler stuff? Like chilling out with the gang at a lounge bar. Or taking the weekend off to Lonavala with the blokes. Or dating that chick from Orkut. Or having a sex romp in the friend’s vacant flat in Chembur. Or at a seedy resort in Malad.
So the noise has reduced only because the kids of today have more options and the means. And has nothing to do with pollution control. Take away the choices, these doods would be out on the streets setting the skies on fire.