Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Chennai

Its funny how things have a way of swirling, changing course like a capricious river.. throwing up unexpected stuff.. just when you think you've got it all charted out, the course changes again.. making you rethink.

A few years ago, I was convinced I hate Chennai for its weather ( never could stand humidity), its infamous autos and its extremist lingual pride. I'd come to these studied conclusions based on about 16 hours that I'd spent there. And nothing, but nothing could ever get me to live in the city for any length of time. 

I'd never have believed that I'd spend months there, merely on a whim at work. See if I could start from scratch again, at ground zero. See if I could rethink any of the assumptions. 

Or that a few months later, I would actually rethink the assumptions. That the weather though unpleasant, could be grinned and berrited, or at any rate AC'd away. That its infamous autos could be avoided. That its insistent choice of language, although by far the most problematic, could at times be ignored, and at others be  politely overruled. 

What I hadn't quite bargained to find, was its alarming similarity to Delhi, the very characteristics which had built my misandry and the layers of hate, built them good and steady over 2 decades, cemented by the countless dick brushes and boob grabs , cat calls and stares. Of a hate which had somewhat abated, but which Chennai certainly reminded me of again in the last few months. 

So when the big bang finally exploded at work yesterday, there was a quiet happiness. There was the joy of being back with nn, of finally finishing the exhausting flights and buses, of being that much closer to the unknown waters. There were bits of regret about the end of some of the fun times we'd had, and the saying of good byes to some really nice colleagues. 

 But jostling between all those thoughts, was one clear joy, of just returning to Bangalore...

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Oh My God - Umesh Shukla

okish. Has its funny moments, but tends to get a bit of a drag in between.

A nastik gujju shopkeeper dismisses god and organised religion ( its a package deal to him then).Then his shop crumbles in a earthquake and  his insurance doesn't cover it, as the fine print reads cover losses due to an 'act of god' ( ie floods, earth quakes etc) are not covered. The shop keeper fights back with a claim to god then, which of course means that the confrontation then takes place between him and organised religion, ( which after all, is what most of us take to be god) .

What follows is in parts funny, in most parts loud and predictable and in a few parts actually surprisingly subtle.

What I was pleasantly surprised to see, was that after the recent flurry of bans , and my fear that we were indeed living in a kela desh, a movie loudly exhorting people to stop financing the commodification of religion is still running.

However my favourite part was the very last one that mithun spoke ( as an aside i totally loved him, although his characterisation was a bit silly) -' these aren't loving people.. these are god - fearing people'. That line, with a little imagination, can tell you a lot..  Another time perhaps, I will write a bit more on organised crime religion, god and athiesm.

not really a must watch, but ok to kill some time if you've nothing better to do.. 

Monday, October 08, 2012

English vinglish - Gauri Shinde

Really liked it. Partly because I thought it was a reasonably well made movie, partly because it touched a chord in its theme of someone making an effort to get back their self respect.

Shashi is a devoted mom of two, and wife to a busy corporate type hubby. Cooking is her pride and joy, and she runs a small business supplying home made laddoos to her neighbours. She also struggles with the daily little snubs from a world which has moved ahead and learnt english, while she was still busy cooking , raising kids and thinking that being a 'good' person would be enough to get by.

But a chance visit to america, and a botched attempt at ordering a meal there, finally force her to fight back for her pride.

I loved the script and the humour. Pretty decent acting , direction and editing as well. And I specially loved the ending. Most movies which have to end with a little speech, tend to go overboard with it, and mess up the good work. Not this one. I loved the way they wove in the bits about your own feeling of being a 'little less', and how finally you have help yourself, because no one else can.

definitely worth a watch!

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

unknown waters

so after much procrastination, and holding on to safety, the deed is finally done and complete today. its probably not wise, and i certainly haven't thought things through, but sometimes the deep end just beckons you.

january.. here i come !




Tuesday, October 02, 2012

The monk who sold his ferrari - Robin Sharma

Rather amateurishly written, strings together the conventional wisdom on how to 'improve' your life into a loose story of a high flying lawyer who finds enlightenment ( and perennial youth) in the himalayas and then returns to tell his lawyer protege all about it.

Perhaps its a sign of the times, that peddling old wisdom in a tacky story, with an equally tacky fable, becomes a best seller.

But having trashed the style of writing, perhaps its worth reiterating the old wisdom anyway. After all, we need it so much, that we grasp at it , in whatever jar it comes.

So here's the summary  ( although i don't agree with all of it, but then to each their own)
1. master your mind  ( think good thoughts, meditate, envision etc etc, )
2. follow your purpose
3. improving yourself, (silence, nature, body care, exercise breathing, sattvik food, read, personal reflection, rise early, listen to music, mantras, character, simplicity)
4. live with discipline, silence,
5. respect your time (plan, say no, take breaks, naps, )
6. selflessly serve others
7. embrace the present

ah well, if you get around to doing even 1 of those properly, I get you won't be needing that ferrari after all!