Old (boys) Skool

This week's Mid-day column. By the time this appears, Karan Johar’s new film, Student of the Year will be out and probably have been declared a box office hit, endorsing Ram Gopal Varma’s remark, made with his customary affection for KJo that it will out-hit "3 Idiots." I don’t plan on watching this film. That’s not because it is KJo’s first without Shah Rukh to whom love has tied me for life, despite recent misdemeanours and meltdowns. I think the film will be quite ok with me not watching it, because we both know, I was not one of the people the marketing people were counting on as audience. Yaniki, it is not made for people like me. Which is supposed to be part of the film’s merit. Yaniki, it’s not for the arty farts but the ‘general public’, implying they are the majority, hence this is like democracy, right? Wrong. The multiplex going audience does not constitute a majority of the country, just the majority of a certain elite, but theek hai, to eac

Happy New Year!


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...


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. MORE ABOUT THE FILM 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 the

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.

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 Wo