Friday, October 12, 2012

 21st Century Human Caste System -
1) Concepts
2) Morons
3) "Smart" Automatons
4) Mutant Monkeys.

Humanity Officially Extinct.

Happy Nobel, EU.

Puppymanohar, ki jana mein kon?

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Ladies Vs. Ricky Bahl - A Review [4]

Ladies Vs. Ricky Bahl

Girl meets boy. Boy falls in love with her mother. Girl cries. Boy agrees to marry her with an ulterior motive that the overprotective father of the bride knows but does not mind since he knows it is the best way he can keep his beloved daughter close to him even if it means he has to bear the ass (pun intended) We have all seen this story again and again in Hindi films [1] and yet once in a while a movie uses the same tale but spins it and presents it with such a fresh twist that the audience relishes it like it would a finely aged European wine or South Indian yogurt, if only it were discerning enough [7]

The documentary, 'Ladies Vs Ricky Bahl' is not that type of a fictional tale. 'Ladies Vs Ricky Bahl' is a social critique. It showcases the insecurities, fears and - what model, film-star and eminent sociologist Gul Panag calls "the indignities that women face in the North"[2] Although, abundant with dramatization of real life events, in some cases while covering the event live, "Ladies Vs Ricky Bahl" is an epoch making documentary which certainly has
triggered a new era in Indian Neo-Realistic Documentary Film-making. For all the detractors of Bollywood who have criticized Indian documentaries like "Didi Tera Devar Diwana" (or whatever the name of that movie was where the conspicuously Maharashtrian looking actress dies and Mohnish Bahl her on-screen and real life husband - Ricky Bahl's uncle - has to marry his sister lest he should be forced to die on his ex-wife's funeral pyre owing to the horrendous Indian practice of Nar-Sati widely practiced in the 90s but now abolished by law) or "Dildo Pagal Hai" (the abuse of sexual paraphernalia prevalent in the NRI community i.e its use for extra-sexual activities like beating eggs - pun unintended - for omlettes) for being unrealistic, "Ladies Vs. Ricky Bahl" will silence their annoyingly holier-than-thou tone.

Anushka Singh plays Rinki, the unusually light skinned Punjabi girl who seeks an upper- caste North Indian man from a business family with a modern outlook yet who is deeply rooted in Traditional Indian Values (c) (or what the cool kids are now calling - TIV!) , meets the disappointingly middle-class looking but characteristically 'US-Return' Ricky Bahl (played by Ricky Bahl) at the US Embassy at Mumbai. "[Ricky] has the looks and he's got the charm and is tall and has a beard. He could have the pick of the ladies. But love isn't Ricky's priority - money is!" [8]He orders the Rs 150 latte and Rs 300 Chicken Sandwich which Anushka Singh sees and rolls her eyes. The embassy is mostly populated by ugly people (by standards of young people of age less than thirty) and hence the two good looking youngsters, who have no patience to read a book - "even if the arrogant ghati security guards would let them take one in the waiting room" [5][6], have nothing better to do but to engage in a gratuitous game of sexual tension. Soon they start talking about shopping, designer labels, latest technology, cool apps and all the other things that you people like these days. This is when Anushka Singh introduces herself as Anushka Singh to Ricky. This makes Ricky very suspicious because the name of her character is Rinki. From this point onwards the movie stops being a regular boy-meets-girl tale with shameless product placement and starts engaging the audience in to a two hour riveting crime thriller with shameless product placements.

Ricky observes that Anushka Singh has a Louis Vuitton Bag. Ordinarily this bag costs a fortune. Ricky knows Anushka can not afford that kind of money so he decides to take down her number and stalks her in America. He soon finds out that Anushka buys most of her expensive looking apparel and accessories from SoHo (or is it West Village. Where do you get the smuggled and fake products in NYC?) Ricky Bahl decides to follow the tradition of Upton Sinclair and other great muckrakers and dedicates the next two years of his life investigating the trade, the clientele, the statistics, the demographics of this illegal market. He writes a two page editorial for the New York Times and wins a Pulitzer Prize for the role of Best Actor in an Indian Film, incidentally the first Indian and first Non-American to ever win a Pulitzer. After this high profile expose which ends up indicting Women of the World, in general and Indian Women in particular, the Feminist Left criticizes Ricky for being a "corporate whore" and for being, and rightly so, anti-woman. To which Ricky Bahl responds in a front page editorial in the Washington Post with only the following words, "Yap Yap Yap" and a picture of his hand in a formation alluding to the infamous hand gesture meant to represent a garrulous woman. This article also receives great praise and accolades from the liberal establishment.

After this event, the Ladies decide to ex[tr]act revenge. The post-interval hour is about how the Ladies teach Ricky Bahl a lesson.

Editing by Sam "Final Cut" Subramanium is superb and the cinematography by Rkved Parulekar is brilliant. After a long time has a Hindi Film depicted Indian women in such a good light. Most women look as fair, both in complexion and sensibility, with the random blondes that dance around Ricky Bahl in the songs. This is in part due to the good light. The music by A. R Rahman is brilliant as usual. It has the perfect blend of Indian melodies and Western music much like a perfect blend of Chai Tea Latte and Lemon Juice, that is to say that the perfect blend in this context of course entails almost no Indian melody.

Do not the miss the beginning if you are a fan of literary criticism. The duel between Ricky Bahl and literary critic Terry Eagleton has been brilliantly choreographed by Vijayan "Hong Kong" Shetty . Ricky Bahl delivers a Howard Roark [9] style monologue, that has been dubbed the, "Welcome to the Hotline. I am the Sub-Altern, how can I help you today?"[10] speech by Bahlites - as fans of Ricky Bahl around the world call themselves. This lays the foundation of the movie and unless and every word of Ricky's Rant is assimilated, it will be hard to contextualize the rest of the movie.

Ladies Vs. Ricky Bahl doesn't just have the intellectual quotient for the college going audience member but also entertainment quotient for the college going audience member. That is to say, it just does not have Ricky Bahl, it also has them Ladies - if you know-i-sayin'. The eight rocking "Item Numbers" have rocked the charts [3] Item Number - C3456821789 has especially been very popular. This number will surely set the groove at every bar [11] around the world. Contrary to the prevailing trend of presenting an item flanked by European women in skimpy outfits who lip-sync to the chorus lines like "That's the way to Rock the party" or "Loooooove". For example typically when the Indian person center stage says, "Mere dil ka tudka hai tu", the conservatively clad White Women (c) go, "That's the way to rocky my party". Instead, all the eight Item Numbers in this fascinating movie involve the screen completely still with the Item Number presented in a bold large font with the name of the Item, the Vendor Name, the website and other such vital info. The Item Numbers screens will presumably be programmable and have gift card /discount coupon entries on the DVD/Blu-ray release. This is a path breaking innovation.

To sum up, Ladies get set to experience "Ricky Bahl Ka Tashan". The chest-shaven, long haired, sexy phenomenon will rob your hearts and not to mention, rock your party - unless of course its a Feminist Party.

[1] snarkily once called 'Bollywood' by the West, a title now proudly accepted by the shining India
[2] paraphrased from her monologue on 'We The People' where she argues that women feel safe in Mumbai because in general the South of India is less patriarchal.
This, of course, she does on a panel discussing the gruesome murders of two young men in Mumbai after they tried to protect their female friends from a
group of men who were sexual harassing them. The reader is advised to evaluate the characterization of Ms. Panag's words which admittedly could be quite
misrepresented due to laziness, lack of intellectual rigor and sheer sensationalism on the part of this writer. If Ms. Panag is reading this, and let's face it, she is not, my apologies.
[3] Does Indian Music Industry actually have charts? This idiom doesn't apply to our movie. Why do we use it?
[4] The views described here are not of the author or of anybody really. The movie was not really and will not really be viewed, though perhaps you should. It might be alright.
[5] Most high-profile enemies of the Indian state charged or suspected of seditious activities have been readers or writers of Books. Therefore Books are considered to be a security risk in India.
[6] Quotes mine. The scornful word "ghati" is a term of derision applied to Marathi speakers in Mumbai. It is a legitimate non-pejorative demonym for people who hail from or reside on the Western Ghats region of Maharashtra. However, it is considered pejorative by the 'Kokanis'/'Konkanis' of the Coastal region of Maharashtra, presumably because they consider it insulting to be associated with their neighbours(?) Hence now it is considered to be pejorative by most Marathi speakers. English Educated Maharashtrians (yes, you fucKars from Bombay Scottish) sanitize the word of its 'vernacular' last vowel and self-describe as "Ghaats". This sounds cooler and very 21st century. Amateur Social Historian and Bigot Rahul Venkatraman refers to them as "Upperclass Ghatis" with a supposed sense of discernment from the working class scum that he hates and wants to exterminate. That might be false, but what is true is what it tells us about Rahul.
[7] - the audience that is, not the yogurt. Yogurt might be a living culture but is not sentient, marketing campaigns not withstanding.
[8] Premise, Wiki
[9] Influential psychopathic hero of the shit book - Fountain Head, Ayn Rand.
[10] A critical rebuttal to Gayatri Spivak's "Can the sub-altern speak?"
[11] Couldn't get a a good pun going on item number/ bar code. Please comment/contact me if you can construct something. Citation 11 will be yours if you come up with something interesting.

Monday, December 05, 2011

The Dev Anand I knew

Today, my friends, let me share with you an anecdote. This happened to me. It tells us a lot about the person that was Dev Anand.

"What are you doing here, son?", he asked in a trembling voice characteristic of his personality. I looked back at him and there he was, with squinted eyes looking at me with the dorsal plane of his person at around 30 degrees to the object of his curiosity, me. That was him. He spoke like that, he walked like that, he led his life like that - with the dorsal plane at 30 degrees to the object of his curiosity - a simile that is [as] hard to grasp as it is absurdly under-thought. His forearms were at 45 degrees to his arms (formal usage) and his hand were hanging loose, careless, nonchalant much like his demeanor. He walked in a slant manner - a bit like John Wayne, a bit like Gregory Peck - but it was his original inimitable (hyperbole) style.
No, it was not Dev Anand. It was my father. My father was one of the millions of young Indians of the 'swinging' sixties and - well, 'the' seventies whom, according to the Minister of Science and Technology, Minister of Earth Sciences and amateur Dev Anand Scholar, Vilasrao Deshmukh, "Dev Anand taught how to love"

My father is not a Dev Anand impersonator, nor is he a big fan of Dev Anand. Never the less, the influence of Dev Anand on his generation was so immense that if you closely look at the men and women of the generation they all look like programmed automatons coded to act exactly like Dev Anand.

"What are you doing here, son? Don't you want to go to Dev Uncle's house?", my father asked me. I was startled. ADD and heavy coursework of the 2nd grade had made me forget about the audition. The yea was 1987. Dev Anand was at the peak of his career, shooting his latest film, the Jackie Shrof starrer expected block buster, Sachche Ka Bol Bala. Dev Saab had seen me at the party of some random Gujarati person - Patel, Mehta, Shah or something (irony) - in Juhu and told me in RP accent, "Why don't you come for an audition at Navketan, Santa Cruz, I will see what we can do..." Now, from the - "I will see what we can do", it was clear to me that my parents had put in a word. Ambitious parents was, even in those pre-economic liberalization days, a typical feature of parenting in India.

I hurriedly put on my new clothes - short pants, a bow tie and suspenders. Typical of children's clothing at the time. We hurried to Santa Cruz. In those days, there were hardly any cars in Bombay. In those days, it was still Bombay - none of this Mumbai nonsense. We reached an hour late. Dev Saab was sitting on his high backed chair smoking pipe with a fake moustache on. He stared at me in anger and asked me, "Do you know how Napolean lost his war?"
I asked him, the precocious pre-wikipedian brat that I was, "Disambiguate Napolean please and which war?"

He said, "But of course the one at Barras in 1765. He lost it because he was late by 3 minutes"

I said, "Well, we are late by an hour - which is twenty times worse. If Loss in War for Napolean is analogous to me losing out on this audition, by that token - you need to invite me twenty times for the same audition and reject me twenty times, for this analogy to work"

Dev saab said, "The little rascal has spirit. Reminds me of 'Gap', an old friend of mine from Lahore. Well, he wasn't old then. The friendship was old. I wasn't in to old people or anything. Nothing funny was going on, just in case. Anyway he wasn't old. We were both young. I don't mean like - we were both young and something happened. Nothing happened. I am only saying, we were both young - factually - numerically, age wise.

"Any how, my friend Gap - his name was Ganpatrao but we called him Gap. Gap and I, studied in Lahore. O the beautiful city of Lahore. The Paris of the East. The Pearl of Punjab. We used to play badminton at the YMCAA, meet girls at National College of Arts, go to races at the Lahore Race Club and attend Congress Party Meetings. Those were the days."

"What's the relevance of the pre-partition glory of urban Lahore to the narrow discussion of the simile employed by you to convey the gravity of punctuality and more broadly and importantly to my audition?", asked the six year old me, in English.

"I am sorry son, its 1987 and that means I must be 64. That's not that old but I lose track of my conversations. Anyway, Oh yeah, I was telling you about Gap - my friend. He moved to Bombay and started a Typewriter Shop. He was a Typewriter Salesman. He used to tell me Indian Film Industry has no future. I should get a job with a future. Ironic how that turned out"

I said, "Hang on! That's my grand father. We called him Pat. Its funny that you would abbreviate Ganpatrao to Gap. Its so British of you. How typical of you colonial subjects to go with British idioms. We chose the more American way. Its just so modern and cool. We called him Pat! Its funny that you are friends with him. What a small world! What a coincidence. What's more funny is that in spite of you being a major film star, in spite living in the same city, in spite of being such close friends you never 'touched base' in the last forty years. One would expect people who have endured the trauma of partition to huddle together as only they know their sorrows."

Dev saab lamented albeit dismissively, "Yeah, I mean - I should have called. These days I just don't find time to call man. Its just so busy. Capitalism and all that. No time for friends"

I said, "I hear you. We have so much studying to do. We hardly find time to talk to our parents."

Dev saab said, "That's why I called you here. The moment I saw you, I knew you were Gap's grandson. I have called you here to give you this chocolate. To tell you, I remember"

He remembered. Dev saab remembered us. He remembered my grandpa, he remembered our family and he had enough compassion and consideration for a six year old boy. He was a people person. He brought people together.

Now, this entire story about Dev Saab is false. But whats more important is what it tells us about him.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

I am Food

Is it me or do I see thousands of people with hats and t-shirts that say - "I am food" - मैं अन्न हूँ, around a man who is fasting unto death.

Isn't it strangely ironic?

By the way, there is a fucking 'ण' in Hindi. Like in "आमरण उपोषण" ("Fast unto death")
2 'ण's in that very term.


I just got an email from Dell Computers where they addressed me as "Hey Beautiful" Some corporations seem to take their personhood too seriously. Now I don't mind being complimented by an abstract inanimate organizational entity on my physical beauty but I would prefer if they would substantiate their admiration with stock options.

The Islamic Hijab is quite an excellent head gear choice for balding men. It's cool, progressive and fashionable.

It was said:
Needlessly Patronizing Radio
Nauseously Patrician Rhetoric
Non-Partisan Reprimand
NonPartisan Regards
Needlessly Pandering the Right
Nongovernmental Policy Rationale
Nongovernmental Policy Resonance
Nasal Parrot-like Rants

KP: Dissing on national public radio?
It was said: No, one Mr. Nirav P. Rathod
KP - yaa i heard about him..he was wanted by the police for "Nostagically Pissing Radiation" and yes, the cops did not care about the radiation, but they were pretty pissed about the error in the spelling

It was said - "D00d I just managed to convince a friend that Times Square was first in Los Angeles and then they moved it to New York."

"D00D, if you have ever taken time out to clean someone elses [sic] clock, then u do have a lot of time on your hands" -

Ah, Gaddafi is dead. I remember the days when we were kids, Uncle Gaddafi would summon all the neighbourhood kids to the court, the Badminton court and teach us the perfect way of playing badminton.

He used to insist on a long warm up session, stretching and running. "Stamina!", he said, "Stamina! my friend is the most important thing in the art of Painting" and we would be confused why he was talking about painting when he was teaching us Badminton.

And now he is no more....

I think I might have confused the murdered Libyan dictator and international criminal, Colonel Gaddafi with an uncle from Malleshwaram, Bangalore.

News on Ravi Shankar's website:

"February 22, 2011. Ravi Shankar's younger daughter Anoushka Shankar gave birth to a healthy boy, Zubin Shankar Wright. Both, the father and the mother are doing well."

Father? Who cares about the father after childbirth?

Can the characters of Jim and Pam in the NBC show, "The Office" somehow be terminated? I am not saying that has be by means of a gruesome double homicide, horrendous accident or random office shootout (that is for you to say) They can however go for a long long vacation somewhere to the geographically antipodal place to Scranton, PA? Is a terrible divorce between the characters or downsizing in these times of high unemployment too much to ask for?

Been singing the Heart song, "Magic Man" all day long. Except that I am making it politically correct by replacing every instance of "man" with "person", "mama" with "parent" and "he" with "he/she". Also singing it in a very strong Indian accent replete with retroflexes and V/W ambiguity. Why, you ask? Cos that's how I freakin roll mofo.

When I first came to America ...

When I first came to America, I thought that every city had a very skewed street which intersects with other streets every few blocks and for some racist reason they name this street after a Chinese diplomat called "Ped Xing"- the Ped Xing street.

I observed that people "jaywalked" on this Ped Xing street and occasionally it had a zebra crossing along itself rather than across it. I went to Chinatown and there was no Ped Xing street there. Surely, I thought, these Sinophobes hate this guy - Ped Xing - out here in America.

I asked a Chinese American what it means in Chinese. He said to me, "First of all I am not Chinese, I am white and secondly, it means Pedestrian Crossing" and I said to myself - "Wow! even white people are made in China these days. Surely they are taking over"

When I first came to America, whenever the clerk at the grocery store asked me - "Debit or Credit ?", I thought I had the choice of crediting the amount to my account. I always opted for 'Credit'.