Monday, August 1, 2011

The Choice of Marriage

So I've been amazingly bad about posting my column here - a combination of being extremely busy and somewhat lazy.

Can't put the last 3 months worth up now - so will just skip ahead to the last one! It's about people's anxiety around getting married, girls' anxiety more so.

I'd not expected the responses it got - I suppose if you notice something it means so do others - there was much discussion around it on facebook. I am constantly amazed at young people whose parents would basically be just a little older than I, who insist that their daughters must get married when they're just in the early 20s. I'm puzzled too by it...

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


So I have a new film and we're having the first screening in Bombay tomorrow, May 12 at 6.30 at NCPA's Little Theatre.


Partners in Crime
(94 min. HDV. Documentary. Hindi and English, 2011, India)

DIRECTOR Paromita Vohra PRODUCER: Magic Lantern Foundation EXECUTIVE PRODUCER Devi Pictures CAMERA Shanti Bhushan, Bakul Sharma EDITOR Rikhav Desai SOUND Asheesh Pandya, Chris Burchell, Gissy Michael MUSIC Akshay Rajpurohit & Kuber Sharma

Who owns a song – the person who made it or the person who paid for it? Is piracy organized crime or class struggle? Are alternative artists who want to hold rights over their art and go it alone in the market, visionaries or nutcases? Is the fine line between plagiarism and inspiration a cop-out or a whole other way of looking at the fluid nature of authorship? When more than three fourths of those with an internet connection download all sorts of material for free, are they living out a brand new cultural freedom – or are they criminals?

Full of wicked irony, great music and thorny questions Partners in Crime explores the grey horizons of copyright and culture in times when technology is changing the contours of the market.

Metal heads who market their own music, folklorists who turn tribal aphorisms into short stories, music archivists who hoard and share everything they can get their hands on, anti-piracy fanatics who think piracy funds terrorism, a smooth talking DVD street salesman who outlines the efficiency of the illegal market, media moguls, lobbyists, “monetizers”, downloaders, uploaders, the biggest hit song of 2010 and the small time nautanki singer whose song it was inspired by – these places and people throng the world’s bazaar in which the film is set. Partners in Crime takes you through a story about art, crime, love and money to check if the times, they may be a-changing after all.

FEATURING: Vijay Dandetha, Thermal and a Quarter, Lawrence Liang, Demonic Resurrection, Pete Lockett,, Scribe, Rampat Harami & Rani Bala, Ram Sampath, Juma Khan, Irfan of Dil Ne Phir Yaad Kiya, FM Gold, and many others.

Monday, April 4, 2011

We are Like this Only - Ban It

This week's Mid-day column, coming on the heels of the world cup (although not about the world cup, not about cricket etc.)

Just about our enthusiasm for censorship and such stupidities on the one hand so we can ignore how bigoted we really are and how much easier we find it to hate than to love. I don't know if that's just the human way as some tend to argue.

I know that I do equal number of things from anger or annoyance as I do from enchantment. So if those who express hate are expressing love someplace, why aren't we hearing of it more? Or do we not see it as love, because we are prejudiced against the thing they love.

Meanwhile, not quite connected but I found this amusing link - pride in being censored - while searching for an image of a CC.

Took the image from a rather nice site called Doc Bollywood btw.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Miz Liz

I was on my way to Gorakhpur in a train, stuck on a bridge over the Ganga in Kanpur, trying to write a column on train travel, watching men on the parallel bridge playing Holi - 8 days after Holi, as is the tradition in Kanpur (a tradition begun since 1857 when the Brits banned Holi said my friend), when I heard that Elizabeth Taylor had died.

It was a shock, she seemed like she'd just go on...

This beautiful nude portrait of her was released only after her death. You can read more about it here.

Going on being Unlimited

One Women's Day, many years ago, my friend Jabeen and I went to a Women's Day dance party. It was really a superb thing - it was in some pub type place in Mahim, the entrance fee was reasonable, the music was not bad and there were lots of women there, mostly who identified with feminism in an organised way, but perhaps some friends and fence sitting types also.

On the whole we had a lot of fun and it seemed like a really nice way to celebrate Women's Day - different than the same old Women's Day marches.

But as often happens, this sort of thing goes to the other extreme. I yearn now for those mixed up marches. Jabeen and I again went to a club on Women's Day along with our friends Anjali and Nidhi. It was a fund raiser, with rock bands. It was utterly depressing. It was expensive. A long line of people who looked like they had wandered in from tryouts for extras parts in Sex and the City stood outside. What is this with the FROCKS??? There was no connection with Women's Day in the shape of the event, there was no real relationship with it in the performers, who, talented as they are, are in that vague boho chic zone of politics (let's get together and have a gooood time while doing something for a meaningful cause). WTF? Get educated first and then maybe it will be meaningful that you are raising money for girls' education. All these so called alternative folks - they need to get a serious position going. As also better dress sense. Please stop wearing frocks.

I thought a lot about my discomfort with the event. And this is what I understood - that as such, I did not object to the event, in terms of it being a fund raiser. If well off people want to be stupid while contributing to a good cause, hey, bring it on. It just should not have been linked to Women's Day. Respect.

Here's my column though on taking back women's day.

Earlier posts on women's day here and elsewerhere

Lone on the Range

Despite my best intentions I never do manage to update this blog on time and I somehow think it's not nice to neglect it - not sure why, not sure if others feel that way about their blogs. Yet Facebook has become such a default page and often you leave out friends who aren't on there in your news and sharings. I really don't like that - conformity to an interface should not determine social exchange surely.

And there is a strange passivity about all that social networking stuff, whereas somehow this requires a little more involvement. You have to at least MAKE a post, and there is something meditative and respectful about that.

Meanwhile after a very very very very hard working year I took a small vacation (much to everyone's shock). Just 4 days on a quiet beach. Slept a lot, swam a lot, read a lot. I'd like all of life to be like that.

So that weekend the column was obviously about the pleasures of traveling alone - the necessity too maybe...

And here's the blissful place I was in

(What, you thought I'd go without MY COMPUTER????? You think I'm a freak or something???)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

furiously updating!

So for the last three months life has been one long slog. I can't remember when I've just been in such a tunnel of work and nothing but.

Anyway the result is a new film - more about that in another post.

Meanwhile for Spacebar and others who've scolded me for my slackness in updating columns, this is a list of links to all the ones I've written since Mr. B's below. I think I was so thrilled that he had complained about it that I felt, chalo, ab ho gaya.

To list them, will no longer have a vulgar feel because unlikely subjects will then appear together, instead of a week apart, but here goes.

On the snobbery of some cult fictions (sci-fi, say) over other pulp (Mills and Boons)

On the strangeness of identity and the stranger still Unique Identity project

The next one, on Sea View, I'll post separately with pictures I think, since I want to write more about it


Phew, that's a lot.

I feel like a good girl now.