Posts

Daayen ya Baayen

Image
I recently watched Bela Negi’s film Daayen ya Baayen (Right or Left), which for all the tedious verbiage that fills our newspapers and magazines about the new space for independently minded (since it's almost all produced out of Bollywood, it's not independently produced often) cinema in India, remains unreleased, and un-promoted on the festival circuit for unclear reasons. Without a doubt this comic drama is a labour of love and free from a lot of the generic quality that make films from India successful. It's a story in the mode of the droll, angular folksy narrative which is a tradition we haven't lately seen a rendition of, but the relief is in watching a film that does not feel puffed up and stiff with the desire to be seen as "world cinema" or "indie cinema" or whatever label is seen as cool. It's simply the film it wants to be. What makes the film work - apart from the fact that its funny - is that through its rich local detailing a

Meet the Parents

Image
Here's a longer version of the column that appeared in Mid-day on Sunday Aug 29th MEET THE PARENTS As a non-parent, it was news to me that the PTA laws had been changed by the government because I did not even know that PTAs were governed by actual state laws. Going through them I’m not sure if I was impressed or alarmed at how much a parent could or should be involved in school activities. Now, parenting – and especially motherhood – are becoming so hallowed all over again, although in new yummy-mummy bottles - that a non-parent probably has no locus standii to be saying anything at all about this stuff. But I’m going to claim my rights as a former child and current sufferer of the results of all this hot-house parenting to wonder a bit about some things. The current noise, to recap, is over the fact that the state’s government has scrapped elections to PTAs and these will now be constituted by appointment. Naturally this leads to all sorts of concerns over whether th

Because Spacebar is Strict

Here is last week's column :) in Mid-day about the price of your soul.

The Modesty of Outrage

Image
My column which appeared in Mid-day today. I'm not linking to the website because they made a mistake and added a line from Devdutt Pattanaik's column to the end of mine, which sort of creates a misreading of the whole piece! THE MODESTY OF OUTRAGE On August 3 Vibhuti Narain Rai resigned from the Jnanpith Selection Committee. Rai, a novelist, former IPS officer and VC of Wardha Hindi University created a brouhaha with his sexist remarks to Naya Gyanodaya magazine, roughly reported in the press as: “women writers in Hindi are in a race to prove who is the greater prostitute” and the entire “feminist discourse has been reduced to one about the body by over-rated, over-promoted women writers.” The permanently hyperventilating press sought and received counter-remarks, petitions were drafted and Rai resigned. The truth triumphed? I wonder. The tone of many reactions was strikingly similar to Rai’s own remarks. How dare he insult women writers by calling them prostitutes!

I'm lame like that

Image
Yeah it's kind of sad, that I have to pretend to update my blog by changing the template - to whom am I pretending? What do you call this sort of lameness? Thanks but that was a rhetorical question... Anyway, all the un-posted Mid day columns. Along with the resolve that one day soon a post will be only for the blog (to whom am I making these promises. sigh...) An ode to mmmm-mithun , which has proved to be a v. popular column which shows how much people love him... and that everything is not about being a rich girl with a 2 crore clothes budget or chiknu boys with waxed chests (SRK not included) And a complaint about said folks who have gone missing And maybe in New York-London-Tokyo they discuss the weather, but in Bombay we kinda talk about the traffic And always, but always, about the movies and of course, men :) Ok that's a month's worth but my excuse must be that I have been working hard and traveling - last to Japan - about which something some day. This wil

How to Be an Action Hero

Mid-day column from last Sunday

and it's still raining, though not stories

Image
Mid-day column for the last two weeks... it comes to an end soon - and the sub-editor is showing this by giving the last one a title they used for an earlier column already! Perhaps I should ask for that job... My friend P called up annoyed one day, scolding me for using a word she did not understand (au courant and pulchritude). I felt this was a good way for her to learn new words - but maybe the sub also does not understand some words and feels fed up and decided - yeh tou generally against normalcy type of character hai, so when in doubt let's just title the column Out of the Box. Anyhoo... Last Sunday's on Not Having The Number And the one before on Stories I'd Rather Not Have (or Longing for the Ones I'd Like To) Meanwhile here in Berlin it is summer. People have put TV sets out on the pavement and were watching the match on the street with beer in hand. I was told that if Germany lost the match yesterday, against Englad, there would be big, grown men walki