Monday, December 9, 2013

Darth Vader - The Cute Little Kid Behind The Mask

However hard I try, I do not find Darth Vader, the reigning Sith Lord and leader of the dark side menacing.

I know, it may seem a bit out of the blue, but I do ponder over such serious issues affecting mankind every now and then; apart from Global warming of course!

So, coming back to the topic at hand, I always imagine him as a cute kid, who got himself a helmet two sizes too small, and now that he can't get out of it, he has developed a reclusive, anti-social personality. He hates the world for making him feel the need for an intellectually inferior society's approval.

I mean really, the way he tries to restrict the air flow through your lungs simply by clenching his fingers from afar is quite childlike and adorable!

Of course, that's what I think.

It could as well have been a souvenir, custom forged in the fires of Mount Doom from the leftover material after fabrication of the One Ring, whose immense evil properties were passed on and bestowed on to the one who...ummm..wields it on his head....

Or it could just be sort of a cyborg thingy that keeps him from dying due to the third degree burns sustained as a result of getting too close to molten lava, as George Lucas claims (and we all know the supposed fate of the curious cat)..

But still I am a bit iffy about the last one..its just insane..

I strongly believe its just an ill-fitting helmet..

Anyways your guess is as good as mine...

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Sinister Musings: My path to become a Dark Overlord

This is a very dark post...People with feeble hearts better stay away...LOL

When people talk about delusions of grandeur, they normally do so in a negative, defensive manner...It is always like,"I have no delusions of grandeur, but...". It is as if they are not even proud of their delusions!

That is not the case with me.

My delusions of grandeur are rather vivid. And I entertain said delusions on almost an hourly basis.

Also, I like to believe that my delusions of grandeur are rather dynamic in nature...

That is to say, they have kept pace with my age, changing priorities, personality, the surroundings, my choices in entertainment and so on.

So, unlike when I was a kid, when all I wanted was a revolving chair and becoming Superman (complete with ability to fly and Heat vision); My delusions have modified over the years. I like to think, that the passing years have eased my illusions into realistic life goals.

That was a long time ago...

That was before I began subscribing to the philosophy of legendary villains such as Loki, Lord Voldemort, Tywin Lannister and Lex Luthor.

Now, my delusions have modified...a bit...

Though I would still like to have a revolving chair in my office (which I actually do now)...and superhuman powers are, of course welcome; I would rather have a secret lair for a residence-cum-office and a few minions/flunkies to do the chores...

Yes, I would very much like to be Dark yet benevolent (to my supporters, Duh!) Overlord.

All I need in my life now is an advanced degree and a Superhero to get the drive, who could inspire me to attain and exhibit my true potential...I am brimming with possibilities, you see.

Needless to say, the said Hero will either have to die a gruesome death or join me in my nefarious schemesas a head minion in my bid to take over the world as a Head Minion.

But he/she (I am gender neutral and plan my Dark Organisation to be an Equal Opportunity employer) doesn't have to worry.

Once he joins me, he will be entitled to retirement, gratuity and cashless medical benefits like all the other minions.

Like all other Dark Lords, I would also like an awesome, dramatic theme song/music (preferably composed by Hans Zimmer) when I enter particular settings, looking my sinister best and with my personalized Evil Maniacal Laugh:

MWAHAHA(short silence)...HAHAHA(short silence)...HAHA(continued until desired effect)

which will compulsorily be practiced as a therapy by all minions, especially in the mornings for a productive workplace and maintaining a good work-life balance.

Yes I know, I shall be a very considerate Dark Lord...

Sunday, November 10, 2013

A Satellite Just Crashed In My Room!!! :D

So, I was just sitting in my room staring at the wall, when out of nowhere a satellite came crashing down right inside my room and ruined the music system!!!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Tales from Munich: Hanging out with Poseidon

                         Me and my buddy Poseidon hanging out at the Nymphenburg Palace in Munich...

           I know..He's a bit tall...and don't even get me started on the security check for the Trident!!!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Power He Didn't Have A Freaking Idea Of: Part III

The Media Trial

I guess none of you are stupid enough to believe that I own the Harry Potter franchise, or to take this seriously, or get offended. :D

“Hey, Luna. I have something for you that could make a great piece of news for the Quibbler”.

The photo-coup with Narendra Modi didn’t quite come out like the bang that Hermione expected. Even after 2 days of having received an anonymous owl with a pic of the Dark Lord shaking hands with a muggle, there hadn’t been a single mention of the story in any of the Wizarding newspapers or magazines. Hence, the desperation.

“Okay, thanks Hermione. I shall see if we can put this in Quibbler’s next edition”, said Luna to Hermione taking the photograph.

“But this is BIG news! What more do you want to see?”

“Hermione, you are my friend; But Quibbler has had a long tradition of adhering to the highest of the Journalistic standards. I shall check the veracity of this news, and only after investigating this in detail can I think about taking it to the wizarding world.”

And thus, having duly performed its journalistic duties, it all started with the Quibbler. Though it was way off the mark, reporting about how You Know Who had visited the Indian state of Gujarat apparently looking for a new pet to replace his long-standing reptilian friend Nagini; it did get some attention.

The very next day, Rita Skeeter of The Daily Prophet came out with her latest bid at Investigative Journalism.

                                                              The Daily Prophet



-Rita Skeeter

In an interesting development, You Know Who was reported to have held a meeting with his muggle counterpart in India. Narendra Modi, widely feared in the muggle world for his alleged atrocities was called upon by You Know Who earlier this week. The two Dark Lords are said to have interacted on a range of issues including the possibility of an alliance in the near future.

Our muggle expert tells that this alliance could indeed have far reaching implications for You Know Who, the reigning European Dark Lord.

According to our sources in India, Mr. Modi, a controversial figure in the sub-continent's politics, has been running an enormously successful administration for the past decade and could give a tremendous boost to the Dark Lord’s campaign by funding his activities, which of late have been found lacking in intensity compared to his last stint as Dark Lord.

From her talks with colleagues in India, our correspondent gathers that not unlike You Know Who, Muggle opposition rarely dares speak Mr. Modi's name out loud, almost always talking cryptically in third person while referring to Narendra Modi. Various sources allege (but it has never been verified) that the muggle dark lord single-handedly executed 2000 muggles within a span of three days!)

However, Mr. Modi's fortunes seem to have taken a sharp turn with his economic agenda and near flawless administrative skills at display since the last ten ears.

In the words of our Muggle expert," What Mr. Modi has to deal with are just unsubstantiated allegations, but You Know Who has waged an enduring war on the British Wizarding World, and committed war crimes that are substantiated by documentary evidence. So, it is not the same case. 

You Know Who has until now been seen as more of a terrorist than a political leader. But, if he is able to take a leaf out of Mr. Modi's book, even though he may upset the support of radicals, he might present an alternative governance model that is efficient, effective, reduces unemployment numbers, and is more on substance and less on rhetoric, and this model stands a fair chance compared to that administered by Cornelius Fudge. And this might bring him the swing vote, if he does stand for an election like Mr. Modi."

However, this could also spell trouble for You Know Who. Experts tell us that until now, the Dark Lord has taken great care to ensure that he is seen to be against the muggle way of life; which ensures a steady support from the Wizarding radicals and conservatives. But with the possibility of this new-found muggle alliance along with the rumours circulating around the circuit that the Dark Lord himself is a half-blood (born to a muggle father); his supporters might abandon him, leaving his campaign in a virtual quagmire.

Reacting to this new development, Lucius Malfoy, Chairman of Malfoy Co., well known pure blood rights activist and Dark Lord sympathiser expressed shock and disappointment, over a brief conversation with The Daily Prophet.

“Let me clear one thing. I only support You Know Who’s cause and not his methods. But this indeed is disturbing news. This new development exposes his duplicity. How can the Dark Lord champion for Pure blood rights, when he is seen associating with suspect elements from the Muggle world! Why does he have to associate with a person who is feared by his own people, the muggles themselves? The wizarding community shall not take this lightly and I strongly condemn this alliance.

Moreover, the recent rumours regarding his muggle parentage show that his entire campaign is based on a lie, a falsehood of him being a pure blood, and as such his intentions towards the future of the wizarding world indeed seem suspect.”

It remains to be seen how the events unfold. However, one thing is certain. The entry of Muggle Modi has given a new dimension to the European power struggle, at least the wizarding one.

Early risers at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry would in a few minutes of delivery of the daily owls carrying news, hear a distinct, high-pitched, menacing evil laughter emanating from the Gryffindor table.

Hermione was giddy. Her plan was working. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

An open letter to Superman and General Zod

Dear Superman and General Zod,

Greetings from Earthlings.

For the past few days, we have been witness to your supernatural feats of strength which are, I admit, truly awe-inspiring. Many of us have in fact abandoned our usual sporting events in favor of watching the two of you jostle.

But we have been facing a small difficulty of sorts.

I have come to understand from hours of observing, that you really enjoy hurling each other around (even though both of you are well aware that it won't even scratch either one of you); in the process you smash through several buildings, cooling towers, gas stations and whatnot.

Par thoda khulli jagah dhoond k lado yaar!  Ye beech city mein hi kyun Hungama karne ka?(But find yourself someplace open for those fights; what's the point destroying our cities?)

Now, both of you are smart, intelligent aliens. We once had two guys who sorted out their battles in their minds and simply jumped to the conclusion (read Sherlock Homes and James Moriarty). You could always give those grey cells inside your heads some exercise.

If this can't work up your adrenaline enough, we have enough space for your playful jostles in the deserts of Sahara, the mountains of Himalayas, or the large expense of oceans. We could even reserve an entire continent for your epic battles (read Antartica)

If you want something even larger, you could always use the services of our natural satellite the Moon, we rarely go there and there's plenty of sunlight there as well.

You see unlike Kryptonians, we can't hurl things around just like that. We need cranes for lifting heavy stuff, and it costs big money and an incredible amount of labor on our part to build those structures.

In your blind rage sometimes you even hurl our artificial satellites, silently orbiting the planet, minding their own business, at each other! Now that's some sensitive equipment that takes years to design, build and put into space! 

Then again, as if destroying our cities wasn't enough, just in order to prove to us who's the bad guy among the two of you, and who's the good one; Must you drop us from great heights and then let the other one catch and save us? You must realize that there is nothing heroic or villainous about this; it's just very humiliating to us.

So next time you decide to play "Ringa Ringa Roses", please try and dodge our homes, offices, cars, trucks, power plants, gas filling stations, and if possible, us as well.

We shall be grateful for your restraint.

Best regards,
The Guy Who Generally Ends Up Beneath The Debris.

P.S. By the way, Huge Fan of the heat Vision!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

And the Spider Lives on...

The probable reason why this spider is still alive at our shared accommodation in Vadodara:

1. Someone at the house is hoping for the spider to "accidentally" fall inside a "carefully misplaced" beaker of  clandestinely obtained radioactive waste, which could serve as a precursor towards making said person into Spiderman (or lead to a violent death, which of course is not desirable but highly probable).

2. Someone at the house is waiting (or rather hoping) for this spider to grow into an Acromantula,  and then intends to follow said Spider-turned-acromantula as it makes its way to Aragog's den in the Forbidden Forest at Hogwarts (which supposedly serves as a great pilgrimage destination for all present and future acromantulas).

3. Someone in the house has been scheming to make an extraordinarily freaky status message out of the said spider.

4.Everyone at the said accomodation is too lazy/scared to take matters into their own hands.

I guess I don't have to elaborate on who the said person with such insanely weird schemes could possibly be...:P

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Power He Didn't Have A Freaking Idea Of-Part II

Disclaimer: Its just for laughs folks! And yeah, I have absolutely no rights over Harry Potter, I am just borrowing him from Rowling (without taking permission, of course) to serve my nefarious purposes. In fact, I am going one step ahead and borrow Narendra Modi as well for this article of mine. I hope Rowling and Modi have a large heart, else I am screwed. :D

The Boy Who Lived meets Narendra Modi  (In continuation with The Power of Propaganda)

The trio were shown inside an Air conditioned office with a single large desk. Ron looked on in awe as he saw a plethora of strange devices that would probably give his father a concussion. Hermione stepped forward and said:

“Na-ma-sa-te Mr. Modi. I am Hermione Granger, and these here are my friends Mr. Harry Potter and Mr. Ronald Weasly.

“Hello Mr. Poterji. Welcome to Gujarat.  Me and all the 6 crore Gujaratis sympathise with you for your loss.”

“Ummm..thanks. So, you know about me?”, asked Harry.

“Ah yes, you see, whenever there is a business delegation coming, we try to gain maximum knowledge about their work. So, I set all of my intelligence agencies to get information about your company. It was difficult at first; at one time, we thought it was just a joke; but when we dug deeper, we were quite surprised, a whole magical world! That is very interesting. Nevertheless, I assure you...”

“Mr. Modi, actually we needed your help with something....”, started Hermione.

“No, no, we will talk about your work here later. First of all, let me brief you about what opportunities we offer in terms of business potential. My team has compiled a list of fields where you can invest.”

Now, Ron wasn’t accustomed to the muggle ways, and the boy who lived, being weak at heart almost as much as with his mind were shocked when a large screen lit up in front of them and the Minister started with his presentation.

“Mr. Poter, Gujarat is a major industrial powerhouse. We have a large number of process, petrochemical and pharmaceutical industries. So, there is a vast scope for your potion making industries here in Gujarat, you could easily get the raw material from existing industries, we have an LNG terminal coming up, so fuel won’t be a problem, and we already have plenty of skilled manpower to operate your industries.”

“Apart from that, we have been focussing on bringing more investment into Small and Medium scale industries and with our cheap labor, your sports merchandise industries such as broom stick manufacturers could benefit by shifting to Gujarat. We could open ITIs for developing skilled labor for these industries. Moreover, Gujarat is a power-surplus state, so while we don’t exactly understand how your manufacturing processes work, electricity is readily available, should you require it.”

“The second area is the Education sector. I have been informed about your Hogwarts school of magic, and I would like a branch of your school here in my Gujarat for catering to students from South-east Asia. I would also appreciate it if you could help me get in touch with Shri Dumbildoreji to sign an MOU with our technical universities for research and development at the next Vibrant Gujarat Summit.”

“The third and final area is the Tourism sector. We Gujaratis have been good tourists but we do not figure on the world tourism map. I want to change that. I have been told that a street called Diagon Alley is a major landmark and shopping destination in your world. I would like one in my Gujarat as well. Also, your financial institutions like Gringotts bank would bring more wizards which will generate more tourists and more jobs transforming the local economy. This shall be a win-win situation for all. You get a new market, and we get an increase in economic activity!”

“For this I need contacts from your ministry. Now, I have been told that even though you are just a kid, and let me tell you there seems to be a lot of kids like you nowadays, we have one in Delhi as well; you exert significant influence in your world. We have identified a few individuals that you could perhaps get us in contact with: Shriman Fudge, Shri Scrimgeour, Shrimati Umbridge and Shri Malfoy. I would really appreciate it if you could be Gujarat’s Brand ambassador and help us in marketing the state.”

The screen went blank. The Boy who lived had his mouth hanging open apparently due to the sudden sea of information thrust onto him, even as Ron, being well Ron, was busy gobbling up the Gujarati “snakes” offered to the trio. Hermione, however, was visibly worried.

“So, let us discuss about your business now shall we?", Modi beamed.

“We lied about that business stuff just in order to meet you”, Hermione cut in.

Modi was silent for a few moments.

“Hmmm..I suspected that. What business could a bunch of school kids possibly have here in Gujarat of all the places. Okay, time to come clean; I have loads of other work”.

"We are very sorry, Mr. Modi. But you must understand, our world is facing a huge challenge and we think you can in fact help us out", asked Hrmione.

“Sorry, children, I don’t do charity.” Said a visibly angry Modi.

“But what if Harry could get all of that work done with Dumbledore and Fudge?”,asked a desperate Hermione.

“I could?” asked the still shaken boy in disbelief

“And Malfoyji?, cut in Modi curtly.

“Yes, you could and yes sir, Malfoy as well”, said an uncertain Hermione

“Ah, okay, I am listening. What can I do”? asked Modi, now deeply interested.

“Well, as you already know, we have a Dark Lord, sort of a terrorist, who has been after Harry’s life for quite some time now.”

“So, do you need my bodyguards to protect this boy from him?” asked Modi a bit uncertain.

“No, sir. The thing is...How do I put this delicately, we have seen how anyone who is associated with you seems to lose all credibility and all of his followers...”

“So, we want a photo of you shaking hands with You-know-who which will make him lose all of his followers”, muttered Ron with a full mouth.

“Really smooth, Ron”, said Hermione sarcastically. "But yes, Mr. Modi, that about sums it up."

“And did you think for a second girl, what a photo with a terrorist will do to my credibility?” asked a seething Modi.

“Well, that’s the point. Since, the wizarding world is guarded from the muggle world by the Statue of Secrecy, our Ministry won’t allow any leaks into the muggle world let alone so far away in India.”

“I don’t know. Even if I agree to this, how do you plan to make this happen? Even with all of my commandos, I don’t think it is safe for me going out there and meeting this terrorist.”

“We could get it photo-shopped you know. You won’t even need to meet him”, shouted a boy from the back of the conference room.

Modi glared at the IT support boy.

“Meeting room now!”

After half an hour, Modi came back to meet the trio.

“Mr. Poter I don’t know, ... this doesn’t seem like a good enough deal for me. My entire political career will be at stake”

“Harry could get the next Quidditch World Cup hosted in your state,” muttered a desperate Hermione.

“Get me a photo of your Dark Lord, and you will get the hand-shake in color in one hour, deal done. It was pleasure doing business with you Mr. Pooter”, said a visibly excited Modi as he shook hands with Harry.

On the way out, Harry asked Hermione
“Are you sure your plan is going to work? Because it seems like I have promised way too much for just a photo!”

“Yes, you have indeed Harry”, muttered Hermione.

To be continued...

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Game of Thrones Memes: Winter is Coming!

We are the Starks of Winterfell, people expect us to be weird. Whatever the conversation, it usually ends when you say "Winter is Coming"!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Game of Thrones Memes: Ser Jorah the Man-servant

Ser Jorah Mormont - Previously worked at Brave Knights Inc.
                    Presently employed as man-servant/flunky.

Game of Thrones Memes: Dragon Eggs

Previously : Dragon eggs, precursors to the most fearsome creatures in the realm

Presently: Decorative stones

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Getting Old at 24

To some people, the age of 24 years might seem as far away from being termed old as it could possibly be. But getting old is more of a mental state of being than a physical one. You could still be able to walk miles at a stretch and not feel tired, but even as you walk, the past and future haunt you even as the present seems uncertain. 

And not so long ago, I found the whole concept of a Mid-life crisis a bit vague and out of place.

I guess I am beginning to enter that age when nothing on Facebook seems interesting anymore. My friends keep requesting me to get out there and solve some criminal cases, perhaps play some Poker, but I guess I am too old for games now...maybe in a few months my Facebook Timeline will look like that of all the other "old people" who maintain Facebook pages for God knows what reason!

Instead, all I ever seem to want on a weekend is a good book to read and a nice, peaceful nap that goes on and on.

It doesn't hit you like a brickbat, mind you. It creeps up onto you and before you realize  you are introduced as "uncle" to small kids, and addressed similarly by certain ladies with a distorted sense of the passage of time.

It occurs around the time you file your first Income Tax Return. Your family starts taking you seriously and your advice on financial and social matters is eagerly sought and duly noted, instead of being brushed off as immature as should have been the rule before having filed said return.

Money matters take the first hit. Unlike earlier, when money would have at best been associated with a smartphone or laptop budget, you start contemplating your investment portfolio and devising tax-saving schemes to save some hard-earned money from ending up in government coffers.

Then come fairly small, almost unnoticeable things. One day you miss an eagerly awaited cricket match due to work, and the next thing you know, you have lost all interest in such childish pursuits. I do not even remember the last time I watched a cricket match on Television or even cared to turn to the Sports page at the end of the newspaper.

It is the time when you contemplate life-altering decisions while walking to office eating an apple, standing in the shower, waiting for your Burger at Mc Donald’s (on second thoughts, they have a pretty decent service and plenty of distractions (:P) around so let us count that out). You no longer care about the stares from the onlookers while you stare straight ahead of you deep in thought like a perpetual visionary.

Well, to be fair, I have always been a bit out of place for my age group. My idea of "Aaj Kuch Toofani karte hain" (Let's do something rash today!) still involves reaching the Bus Stop 5 minutes earlier instead of the standard waiting time of 15 minutes. Minus all the Harry Potter, Disney and Batman movies, I am a pretty intense character.

It is just that for the first time in my life I am missing the innocence of my childhood. Back then, life was pretty simple, you do your homework on time, watch Disney Hour, write your exams, and play for 1 hour in the evening.

But now, there are such a large number of variables involved in my life, I can’t comprehend the order of the differential equation that shall solve my woes! And all this when the most potent complexity (or so I have been told), the Female conundrum is yet to hit me!

I hope that this complex, uncertain phase ends as quickly as it began. But for now, it seems like a particularly long wait!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Star Wars Conundrum

The Star Wars movie series is widely believed to be one of the greatest movie franchises ever created. So, when in my Third year of Engineering I finally decided to give it a shot, I was faced with a rather awkward question: Where do I start from?

For the uninitiated, George Lucas, the creative “Force” behind the Star Wars released the movies in two installments of three movies each over a period of 2 decades, with the last three movies serving as a prelude to the once released in the mid-80s.

The films in chronological order of their respective releases are:

Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope                                       May 25, 1977
Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back                     May 21, 1980
Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi                               May 25, 1983
Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace                           May 19, 1999
Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones                            May 16, 2002
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith                             May 19, 2005

So, for someone beginning a decade too late, this question becomes a bit difficult to answer.

The people who watched the movies in their intended order, who should now be in their mid-thirties are obviously biased towards the 80s movies that they grew up around. Though low on the technology front by today’s standards, the old Star Wars movies must have been visual marvels in their time.

But for all of their originality, these movies had a very simplistic and predictable narrative, out of tune with the complex, multi-dimensional stories of movies like Inception and The Dark Knight.

The relatively younger crowd, of which I am a part as well, that saw the last three movies released in the 21st century first and watched the so-called “sequels” only out of curiousity, we are obviously enamoured by the superior use of technology and better, more complex narrative in the recent movies, which are almost unanimously panned by the older generation.

Having made my preference towards the recent movies clear, I shall give you an example that will help you in your choice for the sequence of Star Wars movies you wish to see.

For doing that, I shall make an assumption. That you have already seen another one of the greatest movie franchises of all time: the Harry Potter series. The next assumption is that you liked them and are a crazy fan like me.

Now, suppose, after 10-15 years, Warner Brothers comes out with a movie franchise that traces the childhood and life of Tom Riddle until the time he turns into Lord Voldemort. The movies, with the strength of hindsight and superior technology, shall obviously boast of a stellar, more intelligent and complex narrative and a visual extravaganza.

Now, for people like us, who have already been witness to Lord Voldemort’s cruelty and have had our childhoods and adolescence years filled with happy memories of Harry Potter’s adventures, many of us might still prefer the original Harry Potter series, and shall obviously recommend them to be seen first to a beginner.

But would it not still be awesome for the stranger to find out for himself how a seemingly innocent kid first discovers magic and then turns into a fearsome Dark Lord, before moving on to, out of curiousity of course, what happens next, when a similar kid endeavours to bring him down.

Now, you have to choose, what you would rather see first in such a circumstance and apply the same logic to Star Wars. Believe it or not, you will find the analogy strangely similar.

A word of caution: The Star Wars movie series is going to blow your mind, whichever way you watch it!

Saturday, February 2, 2013


Okay, so I will come out clean right at the beginning. I have seen only three Kamal Haasan movies in my life-Chachi 420, Hey Ram and Hindustani. I did like them at the time, but not the way I like Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter or Star Wars now. This clarification was made to serve 2 purposes. One, I am not a raving Kamal Haasan fan who shall stand by him come what may. Second, that I admit I am not a movie expert (those self-professed experts who tell you which movie to see based on a highly complex and mysterious mathematical function).

So, this afternoon, just as I was going through the news, the reporter told that a PIL has been filed in the Madras High Court complaining about the recent Kamal Haasan movie Vishwaroopam hurting Christian feelings.

And I realized, this ought to be one of the biggest moments for Indian Cinema!
For, believe it or not, Kamal Haasan has accomplished the rare feat of making an out and out action movie that has managed to somehow hurt religious feelings of the two religions (which are generally seen at each others’ throats) that make roughly 55% of world population.

Personally, being a Hindu I feel a bit left out of the party. Let us hope that some enlightened Hindu organisation is able to find some flaw that ought to hurt my feelings. Then, that would make us a truly united and secular country. Isn’t that what reverse engineering is all about? If you can’t get secular by agreeing to each other, you find a way of agreeing to disagree with somebody else.

The most incredible thing about this episode is that the said film is not even a Historical drama (say about Shivaji and the Mughals), or about Christian missionaries, or about the many religious riots that have taken place in our country where there is ample scope of distorting or presenting an alternative view of history that may inevitably hurt someone.

No, nobody in this country is stupid enough to make a movie like that. That is why, unlike Hollywood which idolises history, both the good like Lincoln or the bad like the Holocaust, Indian children do not learn about their history from racy historical dramas; they learn how to flaunt their disturbing attitude from B-grade movies like Dabangg and Ready that end up getting 4 star reviews and a multitude of awards, while their imagination is ably restricted by katrina Kaif and Kareena Kapoor instead of effective Story telling, High quality animation or Science fiction.

No, because if somebody makes a movie about Akbar, Ashoka, or Mangal Pandey, we ought to step in and offer our expertise to right the wrong that has been done. Can’t Indians just sit quietly in their homes and not fret about what the neighbour or his distant relative might end up thinking when the movie portrays an opinion not shared by us? No, we ought to ban the stuff, coz we are an illiterate, aimless people that might end up in a theatre paying for a movie that we might not like. Or perhaps we didn’t like a movie and that’s why we wish to ensure we do not end up watching said movie again.

My point is, why keep up this hideous mask of secular, democratic, free thinking nation? With this attitude, does our country ought not to be compared to a state like Pakistan. At least they are so used to their negative portrayal throughout the world that they have stopped complaining. Did we hear people from Afghanistan, Pakistan, heck even the Taliban complaining about this movie? Afterall, from the trailers, it seems they are the guys being shot around in the movie.

My advice to Mr. Haasan is: By all means, go and live a better life in a First World country. If you are a good filmmaker, you will become incredibly famous, perhaps may even get a real Oscar. If not, there’s always the possibility of flinging a hundred bad guys (don’t mention their religion please) in the air single-handedly back in India. We seem to be kind of into that stuff. That doesn’t seem to hurt our sensibilities.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Sense amidst outrage

Over the past few days, the nation erupted in anger over the heinous crime committed in the national capital by a couple of goons on an unfortunate girl. I call her unfortunate because it could have been anyone. With such madmen prowling our streets a disaster was only waiting to happen.

Until now, I tried to keep away from writing about this particular incident. I didn’t want to express my views about this incident because writing about social issues generally ends up being rhetoric. I am neither an elitist nor an activist who would cry hoarse just in order to be heard. I do not like to preach because I know that the people who will be at the receiving end  are already quite harmless, those who are so inclined won’t take much out of it anyways, and those who need it, don’t have access to a platform like internet. Do you really feel that someone like that bus driver could be talked in some sense by anybody? But with the constant media bombardment, I just can’t get the thought of the girl out of my mind.

I won’t RIP her, to show others that I subscribe to her cause or perhaps satisfy my conscience. There was nothing peaceful about her death. There is no point in me lying to myself. I won’t hang my head in shame, because I didn’t do any wrong. I know that I am different from those men, and that knowledge is more comforting than the feeling of shame over what others of my gender end up doing.

To be honest, I do not believe anyone could have imagined the outrage that spontaneously erupted. Perhaps it was the brutality of the crime or the symbolism of it happening to a well-educated girl in the National Capital. However, I do not believe that such an outrage would have been seen if an incident like this happened anywhere else in the country, perhaps a remote town or village.

People, including many celebrities posted on Facebook, Twitter and various blogs demanded how the culprits should be stoned to death, hanged publicly, burnt to death etc. I do not believe in stooping to their level of barbarism for some sense of closure; That’s not punishment, that’s revenge. However, I do hope that these criminals at best get the death sentence and at worst imprisonment for life, so that such bestiality is never allowed to happen on our streets anymore.

That said, I am uncertain what we are taking back from this incident as a society. I am pretty sure that the thousands who gathered at Delhi and faced water cannons and Lathis have been, if they weren’t already, have been sensitised about the trauma that a man’s apparent urge for domination turns out to be for the affected girl. But what of the policemen and lawmakers who come to work with their own set prejudices, who will educate them?

And something, I am still critical of is the sensitisation of the sections of society living in remote closed-off areas or marginalised neighbourhoods of our metros who still find some fault with the girl in this entire episode. When this public enters our liberated cities, they bring with themselves their prejudices and distorted opinions of male supremacy and female subjugation. How, do we educate this class? We cannot wish them away. Perhaps the only possible way is to bring them at par with ourselves, and that is only possible with nationwide women empowerment.

Until these issues get resolved, we can only hope that stronger laws and our collective awakening are able to ward off such incidents in the future.