The Unadorned

My literary blog to keep track of my creative mood swings with poems n short stories, book reviews n humorous prose, travelogues n photography, reflections n translations, both in English n Hindi.

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I'm a peace-loving married Indian male on the right side of '50 with college-going children, and presently employed under government. Educationally I've a master's degree in History, and another in Computer Application. Besides, I've a post graduate diploma in Management. My published works are:- (1)"In Harness", ISBN 81-8157-183-5, a poetry collections and (2) "The Remix of Orchid", ISBN 978-81-7525-729-0, a short story collections with a foreword by Mr. Ruskin Bond, (3) "Virasat", ISBN 978-81-7525-982-9, again a short story collection but in Hindi, (4) "Ek Saal Baad," ISBN 978-81-906496-8-1, my second Story Collection in Hindi.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Moved by the Movies

It is said that literature is the mirror of society. So is the case with movies. Do the movies of the day reflect the realities of the time or its aberrations? I think when there's a pressure to get back the money invested, people would try to push trash into the market backed by intelligent publicity blitzkieg. We should be really discerning and the interest of humankind would be best served by our choice of what we see and what we read.
This time no more creeping about drudgery! I've got over the mood. Last Saturday I even managed to see a movie, "Three Idiots" rushing all the way to the movie hall when it was time to have my beauty sleep. And should I tell after how long a span I could return to a movie hall? Maybe it was after a gap of three years. The last movie I remember to have seen in a movie hall was "Lage Raho Munnabhai". I had, thereafter, skipped many good movies that I'd a desire to visit but eventually couldn't. The four movies I could manage to see during the interregnum were (1) The Blue Umbrella; (2) Tare Zameen Par; (3) The Slumdog Millionaire; and (4) Outsourced.

I bought CDs of the film "The Blue Umbrella" and watched it on my PC. My children also watched that with me. I was so very particular about it that I'd personally gone to purchase the CDs from the nearby mall in Bhubaneswar. The story of "The Blue Umbrella" is written by Mr. Ruskin Bond, my favourite author, the one who has given a really hearty foreword for my book "The Remix of Orchid". I had liked the acting of Pankaj Kapoor in the movie and it was simply marvellous. Besides the setting--yes, it has been set in Himalayan foothills--the perfect acting of the child artist Shreya Sharma and her screen presence frame by frame left an impact on me.

"Taare Zameen Par" is an Amir Khan-starred movie that depicts the problems of such children as have difficulty in reading, a disability that confuses people around to treat such children afflicted as duffers. It's a very touching movie, a tear-jerker. It was the effort of my children that enabled me to see the film, for they brought the CD and copied the contents on to the Desktop with an icon on the wallpaper. Secretly, they wanted that their parents, especially their mom, should watch the movie and try to amend their nagging attitude towards them. And we understood it...without much of an effort!

Again, "The Slumdog Millionaire" was one such movie that I was waiting to see, not because it got the Oscars but for the fact that I'd already read the book "Q & A" by Vikas Swarup. I remember I'd enjoyed reading the book but the movie "The Slumdog Millionaire" proved to be a nauseating portrayal of an otherwise beautiful book. I still believe that the movie got the Oscars because it dipped an Indian soul in the pit of night soil. Such a sick movie it could be! But then again an Oscar is an Oscar; it's not for such beautiful movies as "Lagan" but for something like "The Slumdog Millionaire" that has been designed to show the superiority of the western world by dipping a poor soul of India in a pit of night soil.

And what about "Outsourced"? Aha! It's a good movie, to say the least. What happens when cultures meet has been beautifully captured and the movie does not give vent to the deep-seated grudge of the Americans for the migration of jobs to India. For example, how the word "rubber" has a different meaning in American context is taught to the call-centre aspirants. The principal character, an American, gets to know what is "holi" and what is goddess "kali". I enjoyed it even though it was a small-screen viewing for me.

"Three Idiots" is another nauseating movie with buttocks shown as if it is pleading for social acceptance of sodomy. Sickening, it's absolutely so. Or else why would it show at copious length how students use their urinals and commodes. Vulgarity, thy name is humour. And what about the scene of childbirth? Oh no, not again. We respect childbirth by doing puja, celebrating womanhood but what does this movie intend to show? Does it intend to show that any quack can pull the child out of the womb of a mother by using vacuum cleaner? Pathetic? Does it not encourage the ragging phenomenon? Friends parodying friend's mom in hostel--I don't think it has neither shown what is happening nor said something convincingly like what should be the attitude: "Yaar, everything is acceptable in friendship!"

It is said of Amir Khan the actor that he chooses his script well. I also had that impression. But after seeing this movie "Three Idiots" I think Amir Khan is hell bent on impressing the western critics by such movies as would appear nauseatingly unconventional.
A. N. Nanda



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