Spotting the difference

Its that time of the year again. The time when we are all supposed to feel happy for some reasons which keep changing with age, location and circumstances. I would not like to indulge in another non-conformist observation of the bengali Phyche, I am just trying to figure out the need to feel happy or or-not-so-happy JUST because its Durga Puja.

Its been five years now since I was home for Durga Puja, I am sure its the same for many other people, but hardly anyone whose travel plans are not hindered by prohibitive flight costs and visa problems. These five years have changed a lot about the way I used to percieve the totality of this festival. I had taken for granted that the ambience will be thick with sound of fire crackers and the air, heavy with smoke of gun powder on the morning of the first day of Navratra as people celebrated the arrival of the Goddess. AsI had seen it happen for eighteen of the twenty three years I have lived. Once out of Bengal, Mahalaya was nothing different from just another day, but even then there were people (Staunch Bengalis, needless to mention) who would get together in a hostel common room on a chilly October morning and take control of the Television after a squirmish arising out of regional sentiments to make sure that the thirty minutes program on the arrival of the Goddess was not missed.

However, even this proposition was lost last year when I woke up to a sunny morning at Bombay to suddenly realize that that was the day when the air was supposed to be thick with gun powder smoke.

The size and scale of celebration of Durga Puja vary with the ambience as well. Somwhere its a modest little celebration for a closed community (Pilani), at places its a wasteful show of wealth and redundancy of the same (Hiranandani Gardens, Mumbai), somewhere its scale is an indicator of the strength of the community (Refinery Nagar, Mathura) and yet somewhere else its just what its meant to be, a festival celebrating the spirit of humanity where we all gather around one place wearing new clothes, taking part simple rituals and sharing the joy being where we belong (my little hamlet, somewhere on the brink of modernization, which I call 'home').

Of life, love and

Once again, I am back to praise the bold new face of Indian Cinema. First, Guru, then Nishabdh, followed by Life in a Metro and finally Dil Dosti etc. I had half a mind to not go for the movie after reading the "two and a half review" in TOI in the morning. That coupled with a disastrous AIMCAT ( not that I usually crack them out of shape, but this was one a bit worse than the usually unsatisfactory ones) almost flushed the plans for the movie out of my mind till someone called to inform us that six tickets were already booked. All the way to the Theatre the only things that were going through my mind were cut-off, time-management, math, DI blah blah.

Had to miss lunch to get into the theatre in time... but in the end it was worth the watch.

A glorious flashback to the great college days, of asking weird questions like, "what is life? what is love? why am i doing what I am doing? or Did I always want to do what I am doing or is it just a circumstantial response to the sweeping away of well-laid plans by one swift ruthless stroke of destiny?"

I was back in my world of delusion, trying to figure out the significance of Godot or trying to delve in the confused emotions of and decyphering the cryptic dialogue in Look back in Anger. For people who like a movie that sticks to predetermined format of a screenplay, strong character, weak character, song and dance, don't go for it guys, you might as well watch Jhonny Gaddar and get entertained. This movie is all about gray, there is no head or tail. As Apurv says, "What do you do if the coin just refuses to drop flat on one face?"

This movie is different in a number of ways. The existential crisis of a fresher is beautifully projected in the foreground of a rapidly changing social mosaic where sex is not as much a blasphemy as it was. The search for the meaning of love takes our protagonist to the shady bylanes of the famous GB Road in Delhi. While romancing a schoolgirl (who, true to her school girl logic, believes there's only black and white, no shades of gray) on one hand spending nights together with a common whore he tries to delve in the complexities of love and sex and why each is different in her own way. Imaad Shah has done well in playing the character of a confused yet not cocky youth, to perfection, looking for the meaning of life, even at the risk of sounding like a pseudo intellectual. If there were a stock exchange in tinsel town, I would put my money on this guy. Shreyas is Brilliant as the typical middle class bihari, with an impeccable, "Thok De Ka!" though his accent does slip at places. He's got to do more films like this than stuff like ASMM where his talent is neither fully utilized nor appreciated. Nikita Anand plays the confused wannabe-supermodel well enough, however either due to editing faults or poor selection of dialogue, her character never totally opens up, but then women are always mysterious. The music is hummable and screenplay, commendable. This one's a must watch for people like me, still suffering from the post college blues. And here goes the clarification for those who still think you can take your kids and go watch the movie- DON'T!