Thursday, June 30, 2011

Backpacks and Puris

I see myself linking the GMP a lot, and here’s another piece that resonated with me. I know I have the I-need-to-do-something-exciting-or-I-will-go-crazy syndrome, and it can be a huge drain on finances, productivity and the patience of those around me.

But I digress. I meant to write about the beauty of travelling. Apart from the usual getting to meet new people, eating strange food, seeing the sights jamboree; there is the absolutely liberating realisation that all you really need to negotiate the big bad world can be stuffed into one 20 litre backpack.

I mean, yeah, the clothes might surface with a bit of yesterday’s hurriedly eaten chocolate croissant on them, but meh.

Anyhow, you start to get far less finicky about trivialities like bathing everyday and having every hair on your head pinned neatly down. You don’t have to dress to impress anyone, you’re a strange person from a strange land who will attract strange looks no matter what you wear- so you might as well wear banana print boxers and kaftans with skulls hanging off of them.

You can make a fool of yourself and get away with it; as long as you’re not an obnoxious, disrespecting fool, you can get away with quite a bit. Everything is new and exciting, and even better- when you get back, you suddenly start to appreciate the quirks of your own people. Take for instance the strange way in which Indians will refuse a tenth helping of puris while simultaneously stuffing one in their mouths.

Finally, you realise that though the foreign is shiny and we need to learn so very much from them, as clich├ęd as it sounds, there’s nothing quite like home.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

"Ready" to be scarred?

This post is not about the cinematic merit of the movie “Ready.” Suffice to say that “Ready” is a hysterical assault on all human senses, including those we as a species haven’t developed yet.

But not only is this movie absolutely god awful, it is also profoundly disturbing. Unfortunately, I have yet to come across a review that criticizes the movie for being sexist and even racist in parts.

Some gems:
1) Paresh Rawal encounters a security guard of African origin. Ends the exchange with: “tujhe to dekhke desh ki nazar uttar jaye” (Looking at you is enough to ward off the evil eye for the entire nation)

2) Salman Khan responds to one of Asin’s infrequent dialogues with: “Pehli baar aurat ko kuch samajhdar kehte hue suna hai” (This is the first time I’ve ever heard a woman say something sensible)

3) During a drinking session with the gundas, Mr. Modi asks his wife to go ahead and eat without him. The gundas chuckle and inform him that as real men, they refuse to let their wives touch even a morsel of food before they’re done imbibing ethanol for the night.

4) Mr. Modi responds: “Auraton ki duniya bahut chotti hoti hai. Humse hi shuru aur khatam hoti hai. Isiliye unke saath acha bartav karna chahiye” (The lives of women revolve around us men. Their universe is very small; it begins with us and ends with us. That is why we must treat them well.)

5) Subsequently, the gundas rush off to their respective wives and very magnanimously inform them that they are free to eat the meals that they cook before the men drag their drunken selves to the table. (Note- this is a prime example of homosocial behaviour as discussed here-

There’s still more, but I think this is sample enough to prove that the scriptwriter(s) are off their rockers and more importantly, Salman Khan ought to have thought ten times before agreeing to the script.

The man is well aware of the influence he has over India’s millions, he knows that his sporting a stud in each ear will soon spark a nation-wide trend; and his latest offering is reinforcing the idea that belittling women is a legitimate sport. One of the few sports Indians naturally excel at.

Bravo, Salman. Way to exploit your influence.

(Note- the quotes from the movie haven't been reproduced verbatim, I had the misfortune of watching the movie on a bus ride and refuse to pay good money to be insulted all over again. However, I am ninety nine percent certain I've reproduced the content accurately, if not the exact words.)