Monday, March 26, 2007


Posts like this amuse me a lot. (Sorry my friend, but yours was the only URL I had at hand).

Although my interest in cricket perks up only once every four years, I do appreciate any game in between which is well contested. And think its only natural. But every time an Indian writes something that begins by saying “Apparently there's a World Cup on.” (I actually read that somewhere) I am sure there is a lot of bull-shitting and “I am so cool!” to follow (Oh I don’t watch cricket- don’t even know what you’re talking about- so what if I left the shores of India all of 2 years back). Even though we live on HK Island or PA, some part of our social circle is still Indian where discussions on cricket are inevitable.

Anyway, that’s not what this post is about. In my opinion, our cricketers are getting what they deserve- perhaps a little less. Though I would not go out in the streets and participate in what is being done, but I don’t throw my hands up in the air in exasperation saying what a nation of fanatics we are. And to a very great extent also because I had no role to play in making heroes (or millionaires) out of these blokes.

My moot issue is this: when a Sachin Tendulkar or a Dhoni gets awarded a huge ad contract- they bloody well know that it is for the adulation they have received from their fans and not just because they play a good game of cricket. In most of these cases, the numbers being thrown about are bigger than most of us (the players included) can imagine, much less justify. But they don’t stand up and say, well I don’t think I could justifiably be awarded a contract of that size- so please bring the amount down a bit. They love the money, the tax waivers on luxury cars, that come with the irrationality, but not the brickbats. (Oh Baby, you really thought that those Burberrys and the BCBGs cost only money? Or for that matter that LV little nothing that you bought for your Bollywood starlet girl? Sweetie, nothing in this world comes for free... not even in India.)These cricketers command prices and I am sure their “Jerry McGuires” are tough negotiators. And when things go wrong, you see paper tigers appear all over the place, condemning the demolitions, the face blackening, the rides on the donkey, the fake corpses etc. And you see Dravid whine on TV- “I hope no one will be in physical danger.”

Yes, I am against physical attacks- and I sincerely hope that things do not boil down to that. But what’s wrong with a little good ole heckling every once in a while? What’s wrong if a thousand people turn up at the airport to shout slogans? They are wasting their own time, their own energy. I am cool, as long as they do not bring along a few Molotov cocktails to lob. Anyway, there is no such thing as enough humiliation for our cricketers.

Anyway, after watching the Australians batting the very next day, or for that matter the initial part of SA innings, I am convinced how ill-informed and illogical the average Indian cricket lover is- what fantastic teams they are!!!

How will it help? It won’t. Its not supposed to. How have the sponsorships helped? Has anyone become a better cricketer by appearing in more ads? Nothing ever can help cricket in India- why? Because you can’t run "everything" with a sole personal profit motive which is what the players and the BCCI are hell bent upon doing. Don’t get me wrong- I am not against people making hay while the sun shines, not against channeling the fanaticism of the masses towards hefty bank balances- isn’t that what “the free market” is all about? But I am very, very against people who whine and moan when it works against them. It reminds me of that quote which goes something like it is better to have an intelligent enemy than have a dumb friend.
Some day hopefully cricket will slip from this pedestal and be replaced by, say, Sudoku. Till then... Enjoy!!!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Act Like Never Had Love

"Now I see you standing
With brown leaves falling around
And snow in your hair
Now you're smiling out the window
Of that crummy hotel
Over Washington Square
Our breath comes out white clouds
Mingles and hangs in the air
Speaking strictly for me
We both could have died then and there "
(Joan Baez, Diamonds and Rust)

Monday, March 12, 2007

Some more @#!& - ing around

@#!& was was my 50th post on this blog. I had great plans for it- but see what we have here. Well, never mind.

Biases in Popular Cinema

I saw Mel Gibson’s directorial venture Apocalypto recently. In my opinion it is the single most irresponsible piece of movie making that I have seen in a long, long time. Long, long time.

The film is set in the sunset days of the Mayan civilization when it was ridden by disease, crop failures and superstition- and the solution to the problems were seen in building temples and offering human sacrifice. The locations are lovely, and many would argue (and rightly so) that it lends deep insights into the demise of a civilization that has long gone by. I would be lying if I said that there are no lessons to be learnt from that episode.

My dissonance with the movie is at a different level. There are some things, which I feel should never reach Hollywood. Some chapters of history should remain confined historians and academics, and should appear in moderated prĂ©cis form in high school textbooks for consumption of the public at large. Nevertheless, if one does have the burning desire to tell a story such as this, then please don’t be selective about your representation.

The problem with disseminating selective aspects of a civilization, the descendents of which roam the streets of our global village today is that it only aids to form prejudices in an increasingly polarized world. What one read in history texts- primarily a more balanced view of an ancient civilization is easily overwritten by the images of gore that are seen on celluloid. Representation of history through mass media should always holistic- otherwise it is not fair.

The Mayan civilization has many credits to its name.[1] For instance their art, architecture, urban design and town planning was at par with many contemporary civilizations of the world. Further, they were a largely literate people and their script was the only syllabic one in the Pre-Columbian New World. Their measure of the solar year was much more accurate than the Gregorian calendar that we use today. They are the only pre-telescope civilization to demonstrate the knowledge of constellations being fuzzy and not a stellar pin-point. And so on…

Let us say a hundred years from now, when the geopolitical landscape of the world is very different from they way we see it today, a certain Gel Mibson the XXV were to make a movie on the US of A, and focuses only on the wars in Vietnam and Iraq. Do you think it will be fair? Is it fair to remember the United States only for the wars it waged and the atom bombs it dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki? For the leadership of George Bush Jr. Think about it.

From a film-maker’s perspective I can understand why one needs to make such a movie. Tragedy confirms success whereas, glorification of a civilization reduces it to mere work of history. Nothing sells like gore and tears.

I think such a film, unless it presents a holistic picture, and thereby keeping the downfall as an important but not overwhelming part of the offering is pointless in current day and age. It raises more walls than it breaks down, asks more questions than it answers. This form of responsibility is even more important when dealing with issues which are otherwise not as well-known. For instance no one complains when an Earth is made, or for that matter Tamas.

Established makers of popular cinema should realize that the impact of their one successful production on shaping public opinion runs very, very deep, and hence their responsibility to the society is much beyond what most historians can hope to achieve in an entire life time. Therefore being selective in their representation, being short-sighted manifests misunderstandings which can never ever be washed away.


Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


Sometimes in life I end up doing something so against the grain that it unsettles me so conclusively that life ceases to remain the same. That in effect that point onwards I view myself as someone I believed that I never would be. And that the justifications of those who coerced you into doing it are of no use- none at all. That it is ok, has been done before by others and will continue to be done in the times to come is no consolation. And it is because this time around I am the one who did it and that nothing else matters.

Right now I just hate myself.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Must hear ...

Somewhere Over The Rainbow What A Wonderful World by Israel Kamakawiwoole, Facing the Future

Somewhere over the rainbow way up high
And the dreams that you dream of once in a lullaby
Somewhere over the rainbow bluebirds fly
And the dreams that you dream of dreams really do come true

Some day I wish upon a star
wake up where the clouds are far behind me
where trouble melts like lemon drops
high above the chimney tops thats where you'll find me

Somewhere over the rainbow bluebirds fly
And the dreams that you dare to oh why oh why can't I

I see trees of green and red roses too
I watch them bloom for me and you
and I think to myself what a wonderful world

I see skies of blue and I see clouds of white
and the brightness of day I like the dark
and I think to myself what a wonderful world

The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky
are also no the faces of people passin by
I see friends shakin' hands sayin how do you do
they're really saying I I love you

I hear babies cry and I watch them grow
they'll learn much more than we'll know
and I think to myself what a wonderful world

Some day I'll wish upon a star
and wake up where the clouds are far behind me
where trouble melts like lemon drops
high above the chimney tops thats where you'll find me

Somewhere over the rainbow way up high
and the dreams that you dare to why oh why can't I


Must Have...

My niece.

Sometimes I am human

Must Read...

Straight from the heart, straight to the gut.