Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Why Slumdog works.

NOTE- Daddy, this will be my LAST post for the next two months. Rest of you, leave in your good wishes and stuff for my boards. I'm going to need it!

This comes 2 days after the Oscars and since everyone's been talking about whether or not Slumdog Millionaire deserves the 8 Oscars, I thought I'd have my say as well.

Why it worked everywhere. I think the world embraced the movie because it fit everybody's perception of what India's all about. I mean, song and dance? Check. Slums and communal violence? Check. Call centres, brothels, crowds? Check. Maybe it does seem like Danny Boyle concentrated everything India's ashamed of and put it into a movie. Maybe it is something un-Indian claiming to be Indian. At the risk of sounding unpatriotic, whatever said and done, however exaggerated it may be, the movie only showcased the existing downside of the country. Don't get me wrong, India is so much more than all this. Poverty and corruption ISN'T what India's all about. But still, I think we all have to remember that ultimately this is a work of fiction. NOT a documentary on India and everything it stands for. The same thing goes for Aravind Adiga's The White Tiger. He had it all, the cynical, unapologetic style. The unrepentant protagonist unafraid to strip his country's seeming sheen away from everything it was proud of. India's naked Darkness. And it won the Booker.

Ultimately, with all the political incorrectness taken away, Slumdog the movie is a celebration of love, fate and spirit. Its a hundred coincidences put together in the name of destiny, and at the end, you feel good. Its about a guy you might bump into everyday in the streets, getting what he wants despite the odds. Maybe it isn't typical cinematic finesse. Maybe its predictable and corny. Maybe it isn't as dark as the movies today are. Maybe it doesn't deserve the Best Picture Oscar in itself. But with a practically unknown cast, a low budget and an utterly forseeable narrative, what its managed to do is commendable, according to me.

And one of the things it HAS managed to do is bring Indian talent to the fore. AR Rahman's genius goes way beyond Jai Ho and the rest of the soundtrack. But thanks to this, the world can now revel in everything he's capable of. International acclaim is what it takes for us to sit up and notice unsung heroes. Resul Pookutty, prime example. It took an Academy nomination for the everyday Indian to know who he was. Slumdog did its part in putting Indian talent on the map, even though in the process it might have showed the country in not exactly all its glory. It gives two slum children a shot at a life without the penury they faced until now. And in the process, it reiterates that slumdogs can indeed go far.

I'm not entitled to comment on whether or not it deserved the Best Picture Oscar, seeing how I haven't watched the rest of the movies nominated. And I do agree that there was way too much hype shrouding the movie for an honest appraisal of it. And that the awards that came its way were mostly because of its exotic appeal. Nevertheless, Slumdog Millionaire is a movie that should be watched and enjoyed for its creative appeal and its feel good factor. Hey, there's a reason we all love fairytales!


I found this on Ani's blog.

YouTube - crazy racist family @ Tyra Banks show

I'm absolutely sickened. I feel ashamed of the fact that I live in an age where people like this still exist, and where they inflict their views on their children as well. How pathetic can we get?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Don't say anything.

This is a list of women who I think are too pretty to live.

1) SCARLETT JOHANSSON! That face. Enough said.

2) Bipasha Basu. WHY is she so.. chiselled? And HOW do John and her manage to look so damn perfect?

3) Priyanka Chopra. -grins like crazy-

4) Rachel Bilson. She makes me want to adopt her and feed her icecreams for the rest of her life. And coo over her when she pouts because the icecream melted. Ok please tell me she isn't getting married to Hayden Christensen? I thought Adam Brody was the One!

5) Natalie Portman. Gaminesque perfection.

6) Jessica Alba. You can stare at her for ages and not want to be anywhere else for a long long time. Sigh.

7) Penelope Cruz. I don't really get this woman. She looks SO pretty sometimes, she doesn't even look human. I could say the same for Nicole Kidman! Maybe all women turn alien-like when they get together with Tom and his scientology crew.

8) Monica Belluci. Blame my fascination with Italy.

9) Padma Lakshmi. She cooks, she had an intellectual older man, she exudes SUCH endearing imperfection, what with that scar and all.

10) Jyothika. She HAD to be here! :)

The rest- Kate Winslet, Mary Elizabeth Winstead (still semi-celebrity, she should fix that soon. Sky High, baby? Not a good pick.), Sonam Kapoor, MEG RYAN, Shriya Saran, Laura Elena Harring (MY god.). I can't think of the rest.

Okay if this was weird, forgive me, I just have an eye for the aesthetically appealing. :D

The Oscars are barely a day away and I'll be home to watch it! I can't believe I'm this excited, but hey you can't blame me, its like Super Bowl Weekend+Cricket World Cup+SomeBigGig.

I predict..
Best Picture- Slumdog (Yes I know Milk should win, but that's what the Academy does)
Best Director- Danny Boyle (Surprise surprise)
Best Actor- Sean Penn (So I hear)
Best Actress- Anne Hathaway? Rachel Getting Married was supposed to be KICKass. I went and read the synopsis of The Reader on wiki though, so its probably Kate Winslet.
Best Supporting Actor- HEATH LEDGER (duh?)
Best Supporting Actress- Amy Adams :P
Art Direction and Costume Design and possibly Cinematography- Benjamin Button. No questions asked. Though I haven't watched it.
Animated film- Wall-E!
Music, Song- Slumdog, Jai ho.

Wait and watch I shall.

Monday, February 16, 2009

I need..

- chocolate ice cream
- some company
- more time
- a reality check
- to watch a movie or two. Mulholland Drive anyone?
- a box of Bradman's
- self-actualization?
- Janani :(
- those construction workers across the street to STOP LISTENING TO SURYAN FM!
- some Pablo Neruda (Sonnet XI, my god. Its so passionate, its obscene)
- to learn Spanish so I can, in fact, read and understand Pablo Neruda.

Model Practicals tomorrow.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

I watched Dharm today. I cried.

We talk of being united in the face of diversity. We talk of being a nation of a thousand languages and myriad cultures. WHERE does the crying need for communal violence come in here at all? We're taught in school (even this year) that India is the land of unity in diversity. Fullstop. Why aren't we taught about caste differences and how they tear the secular fabric of a nation apart? Why aren't we told about partition and what it cost everyone? Why aren't we taught that reverse discrimination is wrong too? Why aren't we bothered about Kandhamal and everywhere else there's religious strife? What does it COST perpetrators to just live and let live?! I don't even KNOW what a secular nation means anymore, the idea of it is so abstract that I honestly canNOT imagine. Are instances of violence in the name of religion individual or institutional? How can the majority of today's youth even believe in the democratic fibre of a nation, when religious freedom has been prised away from Gujarat, Orissa, Bombay and so many other places so many times in the past? Especially when they find themselves cynically unable to acknowledge the existence of a God, a religion, and whatever it may stand for?

Face it, across socio-economic barriers, lots of people cannot help but see things through the veil of language religion caste subcaste and every other micro obligation. I don't see the point anymore. What is left for people to believe in? Is this what the beliefs of a gazillion people say? This knowledge, that something so many people in the past have clung on to as the driving force in their lives is actually the cause for such desolation, is supremely disconcerting. I don't know.

May good sense prevail.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


I'm stuck for words more often than usual. Thought of writing poetry (-snort-), but then so many things evade rhymes, they're stuck there in my head. Where the rest of the things unsaid go. In those awkward spaces between laughter, in the hesitation between those reluctant syllables. There are things that deserve so much mention and yet, STAY there, giving me a head cold.

This didn't make much sense to me either. The Purpose should stare at me in the face wearing nothing but Dobby's tea cozy and I'll feel much better.

Tomorrow, I should work. Really work, I mean. I distinctly lack drive, so a good shake and peptalks are welcome.

Five minutes later

I somehow found myself looking up It Happened One Night quotes on IMDb, and my face just melted into this giant grin. Total mush ya.

Alexander Andrews: Oh, er, do you mind if I ask you a question, frankly? Do you love my daughter?

Peter Warne: Any guy that'd fall in love with your daughter ought to have his head examined.

Alexander Andrews: Now that's an evasion!

Peter Warne: She picked herself a perfect running mate - King Westley - the pill of the century! What she needs is a guy that'd take a sock at her once a day, whether it's coming to her or not. If you had half the brains you're supposed to have, you'd done it yourself, long ago.

Alexander Andrews: Do you love her?

Peter Warne: A normal human being couldn't live under the same roof with her without going nutty! She's my idea of nothing!

Alexander Andrews: I asked you a simple question! Do you love her?

Peter Warne: YES! But don't hold that against me, I'm a little screwy myself!

This is one of my most pointless posts. I promise the ones to follow will be worth wasting your time on. Heh?

But really, who knows, someday I will actually sound like a poem. Or a song. And realise that life isn't about worrying about where you're going, because it just hit me that if/when I do get there, I wouldn't know what to do next. Its ultimately all about the little things that make you smile. I will live like a song in my head.

Thalai sutthing, very much.

Friday, February 13, 2009


The boards are a month and 4 days away, and this means goodbye phone, goodbye internet, goodbye possible time-wasters.

Its been 2 days since I switched my phone off, and I miss it like you couldn't imagine. A heartfelt post on how much I miss it and why it means so much to me will follow, but its schooltime now, and our 2nd revision marks are coming out.

And Vidyuth has a new blog.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


It still rankles.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Why I survive.

Where: X B
When: 29th January '09
What: Insanity personified.
How: Evening Zero hour. Need I say more?

Nivi and CK diligently work out analytical geometry and burst out in giggles for no apparent reason. Lekha chews the back of her pen (MINE!) with great concentration. Harith turns around over and over again to talk to MM and Arjun, who in turn are talking about Rish and Am. Harith says 'This and all won't last man, see see.' and Arjun replies 'Manidhan unarndhu kolla idhu manidhar kadhal alla.' I roll my eyes at him and at MM when he says 'Pinna, miruga kadhal aa?'. Prashant sits on his desk and surveys the class, looking for godknowswhat. Sushant comes up to him and raps him on the back of the head, starting a mini WWE raw. Nidhi, Vandana, Ruchika and Vishnupriya borrow my graffiti-ed steel scale so they can play truth or dare. Sanjana asks me to ask Sajin his total. I ask him and turn back front. He promptly starts to sing Yethi Yethi. Vishnumali and Nallasatish look into each other's eyes and seem to be having a serious discussion. Without warning, Nallasatish tries strangling Vishnumali, who says 'daaai adhu YENDHU da!' Abhay and Aravind commentadichufy as usual, Abhay's bullhorn voice ensuring everyone knows what he's talking about. 'Dai andha k*^&$%#$ p&^*#%&^$ m%^^&$ k%^$&@$% poi m%^*^%#^ p$%$&%^& n%^&* sollu.' Everyone cringes. Abhay looks pleased. A giggling Nidhi goes up to Ujjval and asks him to comb his hair, as part of her 'dare'. He in turn defiantly messes it up further, though I wonder how his hand doesn't get stuck in that mass of goo in the first place. Additionally, he untucks his shirt and hi-fives Suraj. Nilesh blandly looks around, massaging Satish's earlobe as usual. Satish swats him off a couple of times, but then gives it up as a bad job. P Mohan unblinkingly stares at VP, who doesn't seem to mind. Nivedha and the Preethis turn around, offer me bread with jam, call me 'stupit girl' and turn back front. The twins, whom Abhay unfortunately calls Angavai and Sangavai, look scandalised at the sight of Raghul and Robert chewing gum. KP and Abhi vie for Harith's attention by loudly laughing and cracking erm, jokes, but she being oblivious to things like these, examines my nails. Prashant is now calling Sushant names I doubt even exist, and Sushant sits unruffled with Raghavendra and gang, who as usual are looking at pictures of Katrina Kaif on their cell phones. Gaurav and Tahir sit with their feet propped up on the desk, playing something that looks from far like Chikuliba. Sultania takes out his Cuticura talcum powder and sprinkles on everyone's head. He decides cuticura, which in large doses smells quite vile, does not resemble dandruff. Zavid then proceeds to blow little plastic bits around the class, which the girls squeal at and try to swat down. S Divya and Manisha come up to the front of class and tell us a few riddles they saw on 9XM the previous day. Everyone falls silent for a second, like it so often happens. Sujivan says 'Why silence?' and they start off again.

Amidst all this, I smile.

For this is SBOA.
This is home.

I WOULD put up a picture of my class. Promise not to laugh.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Culture indeed.

The Sri Ram Sene's attack on pub-goers (pub-going women*) has left me shocked, frustrated and very very taken aback. More than the excuse these 'brotherly culture-cops' hid behind, or the despicable way their culture-cleansing exercise was carried, its the blatant double standard that bothers me the most.

They say women drinking, going to pubs and having a good time is against Hindu culture. I didn't know Hinduism endorsed MEN doing the same things. And honestly, this is a country where female deities are revered as the essence of life, which they are. This is the same country where a bunch of hoodlums hiding behind religion physically assaulted a bunch of women, caught themselves on tape and publicised what they did to the max.

The worst part about such mindless chaos as an actual system of governance is that it works so well. Sadly enough, no woman IS going to go out clubbing in Mangalore for a while, not while these glorious upholders of our tradition are still around.

But think about it, its not just outfits like the Sri Ram Sene, bias towards males has been everywhere, since time immemorial. Men go out, party, play the field, drink, have a good time, oh yes they're just 'boys having fun'. And they ultimately go on to marry a demure Indian woman. Women on the other hand, are supposed to stay home and learn to make chapathis, for if they, god forbid, go out and PARTY like their male counterparts (-gasp-), the stench of gossip will always hang around them and their marriage prospects will be ruined for good. Even in the western world, the girl is always the 'slut. The boy on the other hand, is a 'player'.

When we're eve-teased? Oh, we were dressed provocatively. Groped on a bus? We were giving them come-ons! Assaulted? We were so asking for it, they're only human, cha. Physically abused? Its our fault, we were born weaker and so, incapable of defending ourselves. Victims of dowry deaths? Its us, its us, why did we have to be born into families that aren't rich enough? Abused at the workplace? Oh, we were too educated for our own good. We're WOMEN, how could we let that happen?! Domestic violence? Its our fault, we should know to keep our husbands happy.

Like it or not, the accusing finger always points at a woman. I'm reminded of this conversation I had with Tariq a while ago, on strength and how women use their feminine wiles to manipulate the opposite gender (I said some women like to think its their way of being nice, and making sure other people are nice to them. He just found it weird, but I digress). He said men were stronger duh (in which case they shouldn't PICK ON WOMEN! and be bigger people.), but I think strength isn't measured by how much a person can inflict, but how much they can endure. And that way, women are definitely the stronger sex. But women being ostensibly weaker physically, men taking advantage of them is plain cowardly. Pick on someone your physical equal if you do have to 'prove your worth as a male', beating up a woman doesn't really elevate you in ANYbody's eyes.

I'm still shocked and frustrated, but I'm no longer taken aback. So it is, so its always been. And so it always MIGHT be unless we all take a stand somewhere. Think about it, is this the kind of world you'd want to bring a child into? Knowing that s/he'll either be the messee OR the messer? The kind of world where animosity is so intense, a woman actually has to think twice before accepting a job or wish she was a different gender before leaving the house? A couple of centuries of male subjugation would actually do the world a great favour right now, because talk of balance and equality doesn't seem to be doing it much. All the same, this isn't a boys vs. girls debate. This is how things are as I see it, and it'd do everyone good to just be the best people they can be. Its the least we can do!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

My 15th part 2.

Ok, a friend of mine, let's call her Pam, read my blog and said 'it wasn't me' and that I was much more optimistic and happier in real life. So just know that however sad and upsetting my posts might be, I'm not half as neurotic as I should be about the boards and life et al.

Alright, so after that first surprise I was pretty much at peace with the world and waited for Tuesday all patiently. It wasn't much to look forward to seeing how my girlbunch, with the exception of Pam, weren't in town. Amritha was in Hyderabad, Divya was in Palani, Niran and Kavitha just couldn't go anywhere, Sanjana in Ooty, Swathi in Tirupur. So I woke up on my birthday and waited for Pam to come home, after which we took many happy pictures and went for a walk.

Somewhere around this time, I get a call from a very vague Niran asking me to go to Odyssey cos someone was waiting for me. She calls me 4 times in the next half hour, asking me to go there RIGHT NOW, and Pam was of no help at all in asking her what the hell was wrong. Soo we set off, passing Divya's house on the way, and go to Odyssey and found NO one there. We waited around, peeking behind the stalls, and still nothing. For want of better things to do, we walked to boomerang and downed a couple of milkshakes and walked back home, Pam unwilling to walk some more with me. I suggested we get pinky manicures at Green Trends, but she shouted me down.

We walk back, giggling like mad, and run into Saba (:|) on the way home. I open the front door and Amma holds out the phone so I could get another birthday wish. Pam flops down on the couch and I pull her towards my room, which is uncharacteristically shut. I OPEN the door and there are streamers hanging from the top of window. Those shiny chains they use as party decorations. A huge link-banner saying HAPPY BIRTHDAY ATULAA. And balloons and party hats everywhere.

I look at Pam, not knowing what to think, and there they were. Amritha Swathi Divya Sanjana and my sister, stooorming in from the balcony, holding out a camera, taking a picture of me looking like a star goldfish. What can I say, I was.. surprised. :)

The usual cake-cutting and face-creaming followed, and needless to say I was worst hit. We sat around taking more pictures and supersenti video, after which we walked to That's Y Food for mud souffles. Walking is just so much fun, especially if friends, pictures, laughter and random flowers lying around go with it. Post mud souffle, more pictures and walking. Walked to Odyssey, where I was asked to sit in Bon Bon like a good girl while the rest chose me a present.

They got me You Are Here, Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan, with a looooot of messages inside of it. We walked back home with a few packets of chips, called on a few classmates, went home, and danced with each other without a care in the world. Thus concluded an awesome awesome birthday. A few of my fav pictures follow.

Pam's missing. :(

Divya Sanjana Amritha Swathi Me Harith.

Something went wrong with 4.1 mp camera that day, the edges got all blurry, but I still like how it all turned out.

The guys at tyf wouldn't let us in cos it was nearly 3 o' clock, but they did when I said we were here for dessert only. They still had to pull down the shutters though, which fortunately made for optimum photogenic effect.

I love it that these girls faced my sulking for so long to give me this, cos I can usually be VERY difficult when I don't get what I want, and I wasn't very happy when I heard that they were all ahem, out of station. So yeah, I gave them a tough time, but they still managed to make this such, such fun. I love you, girlbunch. :)

ANYhoo, the moral of the story is, I take my birthday very very seriously and I expect other people to as well.
Unreasonable you say? Ah well, love me love my quirks :)

Mood of the hour- Beginnings of a headache. :( Sports day was yesterday and it was so utterly pointless.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I am SO bored..

.. I will probably write something Bell jar-esque and shock everyone. Chumma.

Though anything having to do with wrists and bathtubs and sharp things get me so fucking scared, I have to sing 'I just can't wait to be king' to compose myself again.

Speaking of songs, I was listening to this song by Ingrid Michaelson called 'The Way I Am'. Its suuuuuper sweet and makes me feel the way I used to feel when I pictured phantom conversations with Dev Patel in my head. Its funny how jaded and cynical I've become compared to a few months ago. Its not like I've been through a personal tragedy of any sort since then, but I no longer say 'Aw how cute!' to the little things, and I can't bring myself to be all cutesy and supportive when the girls talk about the significant others. I don't know. Goodbye, Miss Mayonnaise. But I did enjoy the song, so I guess I'm not as cold as I think I am.

Also, there's this story I saw someplace about how Ernest Hemingway was asked to write a story in 6 words and he said 'For sale: baby shoes, never worn'.
Hehehe, that's something I'd so laugh at if it was told in front of me. My six word memoir would probably read '15, and already worried about healthcare.' Best I can do. The reason why I'm not a writer already. Tell me yours!

ALSO, I regret to tell whoever's reading and not an orkut friend of mine that I am now going to lock my scrapbook on account of how all the scraps I'm getting are 'woww cuutie..... u wnt 2 make frndship???'. I usually find the disclaimers saying 'STAY AWAY DON'T ADD ME' unnecessary, cos really, it goes without saying. The only reason most people I know sign into orkut at all is to say something nice back to the people we know who scrap us, or maaaaybe accept a testimonial that will make you want to cuddle the writer to bits. I also keep my scrapbook unlocked in belief that someday, somehow an old acquaintance or two will find me and
renew our happy acquaintance. Tough luck pa, guess you'll all have to email me after all.

ANYhow, mood of the hour- grouchy and SO in the mood for some tv, which is stupidly acting out now. My life is so devoid of profundity. And the most emotion I could sum up this evening was to tell amma how annoying I find Paris Hilton. Jump off a cliff you, like really.