Friday, July 30, 2010

Jinhe naaz hai Hind par vo kahaan hain?

बड़े अजीब आदाब हैं आज कल के ।

In a shocking display of Taliban-like fanaticism, a lecturer has been barred from entering the campus of Aliah University in Kolkata, West Bengal’s first ‘Muslim university’ set up by upgrading the Calcutta Madarsa and funded by taxpayers, simply because she refuses to wear the burqa as demanded by the students union. Ms Shirin Middya, who has stood up to the absurd and untenable demand that she comply with a ‘decent’ dress code, that is, don a burqa, has flouted no law of the land or rule of the UGC. Yet, she has so far found no support from either the university officials, including the Vice-Chancellor, or the CPI(M)-led Left Front Government. Authorities have inexplicably refrained from intervening although Ms Middya has been forced to stay out of the campus for three months now. Rather than succumb to the terror tactics of the Islamist goons masquerading as ‘student leaders’, who obviously enjoy the patronage of cynical politicians and their morally bankrupt parties, Ms Middya has chosen to sit it out. This is in sharp contrast to the other female lecturers who have meekly agreed to wear the burqa. What makes the hounding of Ms Middya particularly obnoxious is that Aliah University is not an Islamic charity funded institution but governed by the rules of the UGC; its expenses are borne by the public exchequer. Hence, to insist that female teachers must wear the burqa simply because the institution is labelled as a ‘Muslim university’ amounts to a crime that merits tough punishment.

As for the stunning silence and inaction of the Left Front Government, which does not tire of parading its ‘secular’ credentials, it can only be explained as craven indulgence of fanatics in the hope of Muslim votes. It is the Left’s sly collusion with Islamists that has fetched grief to Kerala; the situation in West Bengal could not have been any better.
.With what had been kept under wraps till now becoming public knowledge and the entire nation repelled by the grotesque assault on personal liberty by those claiming to speak for Islam, the least that the Left Front Government can do is to instruct the Vice-Chancellor to rid the campus of malcontents and abolish the ‘dress code’ that has been imposed by those who have scant regard and even less respect for the law of the land. If the Vice-Chancellor fails to do so, he should be sacked and the so-called university should be shut sine die. India does not need such dens of regressive fanaticism.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Udaan Film Review

To make it brief and to the point, this review will be written in bullet points.
  • Fantastic, fantastic music score that one notices even though its not used very prominently in the film. In fact, if anything, the movie tries to remove the differentiation between music and background music - that subtle is the use. One notices good lyrics somewhere in between, but they are lost in the overall intensity of the moment.
  • Cinematography is good.
  • The storytelling is adept. In fact, this is good story telling. The Great Indian Butterfly, the last film reviewed on this blog, had very little story. This one, on the other hand, has a tight story which is kept "to the script". There are no loose plots just hanging around. That which is not relevant to the central characters is entirely left out. The pace might be slow for some people, but it worked perfectly well for yours truly.
  • The overall experience of the film is awesome awesome awesome. I was sobbing out loud at the end of the film(which is saying a lot)

In short, if you have to bunk school/ college / office to go see it, it will be time well spent. Do see the film. It is a shame that the really good films pass us by like this, and utter nonsense like Milenge Milenge gets the marketing and the hype. Its sad for us, that is.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


how do you tell the world
that you sold it
for a glance?

How do u tell a glance
that it couldn't care less
and you couldn't care more...

How do you tell care
that it is at the wrong doorstep?
This house belongs to heartache.

How do you tell heartache
that it is a misnomer?
It hurts everywhere.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Vedic and Mental Maths Techniques

I am a mental maths junkie. All kids in our house learn these maths shortcuts even before they have been able to learn the long cuts (aka the propah way of doing things) . The latest victim is the nephew.
Finally, today, one decided that its time to get together a list of links from where to teach a child this magic of maths...(one cld have written a book and made money, but well, ahem, this is simpler, and more logical) . Almost all the techniques that i'd worked out are here now, except for a few, so hopefully, some of those will be covered in blog posts. For instance, did you know that the difference in the squares of 2 consecutive positive numbers is the sum of those numbers? i.e., 14 square - 13 square = 14 + 13? :-) Yeah, and simple things like that.

Here, then, is raw material for a book, whoever wants to write it. - i recommend this one.

Do u know of any similar links? For the speed maths junkie in all of us.. pls add here..

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

The Great Indian Butterfly

Remember Yaadein? It was a Sunil Dutt movie with just one character - Sunil Dutt himself. The film was made after the sad demise of Nargis Dutt, and was a tribute to her memories. There was only one problem though - even an actor of the stature of Sunil Dutt could not really carry a movie on his shoulders alone for 3 hours.

Therefore, the achievement of The Great Indian Butterfly is amazing by any standards. Just 2 characters. 90 minutes. And you are spell bound every single minute. No thumkas, no item numbers and no comedy dialogues. And yet, 3 minutes into the film, you shut down everything else, forget the popcorn, and just focus on the screen. Show me another film that can do that in recent times.

Technical - The cinematography is awesome. Places close to Mumbai and yet scenic. The Mumbai - Goa highway has not looked this pretty, not even in Bombay to Goa. Lighting again needs special mention because natural and artificial light both has been used to create the desired effect each time.. distincly enough for one to sit up and notice how well light is being used. Very little Art Direction, but all of it blends very well with the film. Only one thing - I am not sure if the story needed a gorgeous Sandhya Mridul to look so haggard. A little good makeup on her would really have helped.
The acting has already been talked about. It takes a lot to hold interest for 90 minutes. With the same "look" on both characters. Of all the things that are remarkable about the film, performance in acting is completely, absolutely the most notable.
The story is not new, neither is the theme. Urban couples losing "it" and each other, looking to reunite and find solace. But the treatment.. aah! The treatment! This is one of those films that one must watch in one's growing years.. and if one is a student of filmcraft, then this film is a textbook.
One line review: 5 stars. Must watch.

PS: Here is a writeup by the director. I quite enjoyed reading it.

Monday, July 05, 2010

review of I Hate Luv Storys

  • Someone tell them that bad spelling is too prevelant to be funny any more.
  • I hate Imran Khan.

Pearls of wisdom from the Other:

  • For this movie, what happened was that KJ got all his old props together, and told his director, reuse this... i dont care how. Then he hammered his editor to get a story out of all these unrelated images. Then he told his team "Picture bas 1 din chalni chahiye, hum paisa vasool lenge"
  • The Director Award for this film shld go to the Editor.