Review : Bombay Velvet

Long before Anurag Kashyap became the cult hero that is today, I have been supporting and defending him.

I watched Paanch around 2007, and it was the same year that my ex girlfriend mentioned that she wanted to watch Black Friday. It was a phase when I would watch Shah Rukh Khan movies, and I scoffed at her poor taste in cinema.

Black Friday changed the way I looked at cinema. It was the first film that shook me in the real sense. Ever since, I have defended Anurag Kashyap in debates and discussions. I loved No Smoking, though I’m still yet to put a finger on why. I watched Gulaal twice, and felt a strange pride when the four others in the hall applauded at the end.

Somewhere along the line, DevD released. Though it was clearly not his best work, it shot him into pop-culture hero-dom. Anurag Kashyap today is the face of the indie movement, he is the voice of freedom of expression in films, and seems like a sane voice who is finally getting his due. For millions of viewers, Anurag Kashyap is a ray of hope in a tunnel that is filled with shit every Friday.

And so when Bombay Velvet released, and got panned by everybody, I wanted to go watch the movie.

I wanted to like the movie, and write a passionate blog about how everybody else who didn’t like it were basically idiots.

I wanted to like Bombay Velvet. But like the prettiest girl in class, Bombay Velvet didn’t give a flying fuck about me. Bombay Velvet is so caught up in its own trip, in being pretty and trippy and grand and epic, that I had no other option.

*

bombay velvet

For a film that has four writers, two editors, and three accomplished directors as producers, Bombay Velvet fails on so many levels, you are reduced to tears as an earnest fan.

Sample this. Ranbir Kapoor doesn’t get a single line till 25 minutes into the movie, and Anushka Sharma 40 minutes into the film. I understand that these are creative calls that the director takes, but how am I supposed to empathise with the leads when I feel nothing for them?

And Anurag Kashyap has consistently given us characters that we fell in love with. Whether it is Baba Bangaali in No Smoking, or the spectacular Nagma Khatoon in Gangs of Wasseypur, or Ransa Singh in Gulaal, Anurag Kashyap has a knack of creating stellar characters.

The leads in Bombay Velvet seem too caught up in their own trips. It’s as if they realized that this is their moment. That they’ve left behind the world of Yash Raj and have broken into the indie scene. And that’s enough.

*

Bombay Velvet is utterly disappointing. Not because it fails as a film. But because it pays you no respect as a viewer. You could plug in and listen to your favourite song for all the film cared.

The film is plagued with lazy writing, sloppy editing, and doesn’t give a fuck about you as a viewer.

And that is very hard to come to terms with.

I am waiting for Anurag Kashyap’s next film. I know it will be better.

Anything will be better than Bombay Velvet.

Posted in Review | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

Movie Review – Piku

Personally, I have never been a huge fan of Amitabh Bachchan.

I couldn’t connect with his 70s ‘Angry Young Man’ image. I have watched Zanjeer, Kaalia, Deewar, and Don, and thought he was terrific in them. But ever since I have started actively following films, Amitabh Bachchan was just a caricature.

He would do the same role – the powerful patriarch with the powerful voice – over and over again. Every single director who signed him would give him a different version of the same role.

Black was a shitty film with terrible acting. Sarkar was just RGV fusing his AB and Godfather fetishes into one dimly lit movie. Baghban made me want to pull my hair out in frustration, and then reach for my neighbour’s.

Piku, surprisingly, does away with the AB frills.

In a film that stars tall actors, Amitabh Bachchan towers over the others in every way possible. Given a role by director Shoojit Sircar that lets him stretch his hands out and have fun, Amitabh Bachchan slips into his character and stubbornly refuses to step out of it.

*

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Piku talks about parents, but chooses a path that no other film earlier has dealt with.

We have been shown films where parents are sacrificing, idealistic, loving and caring. But no film has ever touched upon one important aspect of Indian parents – that they are stubborn. That they refuse to budge from their standpoint, even if times around them have changed, even if their children are a different generation.

Our scriptures expect us to respect our parents just because they are parents. Matru Devo Bhava, Pitru Devo Bhava – we are told. I have always been baffled by this idea. Anybody can marry and have kids. It requires no special skills. How then does the simple act of reproducing elevate you to the level of a God?

There is no nice way to put this. But Indian parents are selfish.

And Piku brings this point out beautifully.

I will leave out the details so that you can go watch it (if you haven’t already), but let it suffice to say that director Shoojit Sircar finally paints a realistic picture of Indian households. And the transitional pains we face on a daily basis. The wide chasm between age old morals and the hustle-bustle of the modern world and its demands.

Deepika Padukone barely puts a foot wrong. Surprisingly, Irrfan Khan seems like the weak link in the film. His newly found English accent is a little difficult to come to terms with, especially since he speaks his Hindi lines in the same old Vodafone Chhota Recharge kar lo voice. And his English lines (A’right) seem a little forced.

Minor hiccups if you aren’t a picky viewer, because Irrfan Khan does more with his eyes than his voice. Moushumi Chatterjee is spot on as the party-popping Bengali aunt, as are Raghubir Yadav as the doctor who attends to AB’s idiosyncrasies.

But finally, Piku belongs to a 70 year old man. A 70 year old man who has finally found a reason to stretch his hands out and have fun.

***********

Posted in Film, Review | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Something Creepy That Happened to Me Recently

At the onset, let me clarify that I am not among those who throw around the word ‘creepy’ easily.

If someone asks uncomfortable questions, I don’t call them ‘creepy’. I am also perfectly fine with people with serial-killer smiles. I am also completely at home with reptiles, gore, and horror.

With the disclaimer done, let me begin at where it all began.

*

I am freelancing at an office these days, and from the campus I live in, the journey is an excruciating 20 kms ride through the most crowded road in Hyderabad.

To avoid it, I take a detour through the Mumbai Highway, taking the steep road from Dargah to Film Nagar. Unnecessary details, I know, but allow me to go on.

The road I am talking about is a steep slope with curves like Sunny Leone’s, exciting and dangerous at the same time. Across the road lies the pristine Whisper Valley, where lights glimmer like fireflies once the sun has set. It used to be a beautiful location once, but with all the waste from corporate hospitals, the place could be rechristened Stayfree Valley.

The road is a true test of the fitness of your bike.

If you have a fully functional Bullet, you will love the ride.

I, unfortunately, ride a fucking Discover.

My bike is like me – lazy, sluggish, shabby, and reluctant to try anything risky. It croaks and groans every single day, as I hum my favourite tunes, praying that the clutch wire doesn’t slip out of my clutch.

On this particular day, I took a turn from Dargah and was beginning to take the slope, when I saw a little kid stretch his hand out for a lift. He had a school bag on his back, and a tiffin box in his left hand. His face glistened with sweat, and shone with the excitement of going home.

Having never owned a bicycle or vehicle earlier, I have firmly believed in the Brotherhood of Lift-givers. I can’t remember a single time I have denied someone a lift (except when a lady is waiting in her room, pissed off with me for being late).

I duly pulled up next to him, and asked him to hop on my bike.

*

On regular days, I like to strike up conversations with the people I offer a lift to.

Some of them are eager to talk, others hold back as much information as possible. Some are thankful for the lift, and go through the entire conversation with a plasticky smile on their faces.

That day, I was in no mood to talk, so I kept listening to songs on my phone. ‘What are you listening to?’ I heard the kid ask.

I wanted to tell him about ‘Shine On You Crazy Diamond’, explain the epic tribute of love and friendship by Pink Floyd. But I chose not to. I told him I was listening to some songs, and asked him what he studied.

He told me he was in Class 8, and we continued on the road through potholes, speed breakers, and cops waiting at tricky corners for a biker to goof up. As my bike coughed and shrugged, the kid held on to me tightly.

*

Every time I turned, I felt the boy’s hand tighten around my waist, and it made me uncomfortable. I kept silent for a while, and adjusted the rearview mirror to look at him. He was looking at the world below him, a mix of wonder and amazement writ large on his face.

‘What a world we live in,’ I thought, ‘that even the touch of a little boy makes us feel uncomfortable’.

The slope got steeper as we climbed up the road, as the boy loosened his grip and tightened it again.

And then, I felt it. Slowly, his hands slipped down to my thighs, ever so slowly, till he found my crotch.

I froze. My mind was blank, my face flush with embarrassment.

I thought up things to say to him – ‘Don’t do that’, ‘You shouldn’t be doing that to people’, ‘Who taught you to do that?’

But my mind, like Sehwag on a crucial final, just refused to budge.

His hands were now firmly on my crotch, as he rubbed his hands like I was a girl and he was masturbating me.

We rode on, till we reached his destination.

He looked straight at me in the rear view mirror, smiled, and gave my cock a final tug.

‘Thanks, bhaiyya’, he said, and hopped off the bike.

I turned to see him, his bag weighing him down, his tiffin box held gingerly, his dark skinny thighs in the summer sun. He looked this way and that, and darted across the road.

*****

Posted in Uncategorized | 13 Comments

Yo, What’s Your Beef?

In the continuing absurdity that is Indian politics, another chapter was written two weeks ago when the Maharashtra government banned the sale, consumption and possession of beef.

And this has confirmed my staunch belief that religion mixed with politics is a recipe for disaster. As with every stupid government decision, behind every decision, is a hollow, fuck-all logic.

The most common reason stated was that it is hurtful to Hindu sentiments, as the cow is a sacred animal for millions of Hindus.

Firstly, Hinduism isn’t a monolithic religion, it does not have one scripture, one set of rules, or norms. And yet, sadly, all the great upholders of religion on social networking sites seem to follow a certain, media-created idea of Hinduism. One that was woven out of mythological serials on Sunday mornings and Amar Chitra Katha comics.

For if any of these idiots actually read any scriptures, one finds a huge number of references to non-vegetarian food. That it was consumed, written about, and celebrated in a million ways. Yet, for all our pride in our ancient roots, and the wonderful diversity that Hinduism enjoys, we choose to abide by (and shove down upon others’ throats), a particular streak of carefully-chosen Brahminical Hinduism.

They told us that this is what the religion is – encapsulated thousands and thousands of years of a vibrant, unique way of life into a set of Dos and Donts – and like blind sheep, we choose to abide by it.

Then, there was the second logic thrown around.

Why can’t we ban beef, when other nations have banned pork?

Which is such an idiotic logic, that you feel like stuffing a seekh up their ass.

Just because other regressive nations dictate how their citizens should lead their personal lives, why should India do it too? Why are comparisons always made with UAE and Dubai and other regressive states? Why can’t we aspire for higher?

Which is an interesting thought. If you analyse any pro-Hindu dumbwit, you see a pattern. These guys hate Islamic states with all their heart. And yet, they will stand by and applaud as India gets reduced to exactly that – a pseudo-Islamic state that believes it has the right to decide what is right for the people.

And all the supporters of the ban are the same set of people – Hindu, upper caste/class, vegetarians, and BJP supporters. Idiots who drank from the well and now want to spit the wisdom down your throats.

But trying arguing with a BJP fanboy!

For some reason, BJP fans are the most aggressive, intolerant sort on social media networks. The Communist will meander about the discussion and then put up a link to a Rumi poem. The secularist will keep disagreeing, avoiding anything outlandish, for fear of coming across as intolerant. The Congress supporter is still hiding his face in shame. But the BJP supporter!

Arguing with a BJP supporter is like playing Tug of War with an ox. After a point, you look at yourself, wonder what the what the fuck you were thinking, and let go of the rope.

And so obsessed are BJP fanboys of their leader, that they will go on about him on social media when he does something right (I’m not a fanatic, and he IS doing some things right, won’t deny him that).

But when his government does something stupid, the BJP langots simply vanish into thin air. Question them about it, and they’ll share a picture of their dog pooping on a plate of Upma.

And vegetarian animal rights activists will add to the debate with their asinine logic of global warming and animal rights violations. Because it is fine if you slaughter buffaloes, but not cows. Go Mata, go!

What we forget is that beef is cheap, nutritious, tasty food for billions of people. Yes, it is sacred for some Hindus, but so are other animals. In some communities, even onion and garlic are considered unholy because they grow underground (yet another fuck-all logic!). Do we go around banning it?

Why do we have to stoop as low as the extremists?

In many ways, Hinduism is among the most tolerant religions in the world. Why can’t we celebrate that, revel in its diversity, and let people choose what is right for them? Why do we have to stoop to the levels of …ahem…You Know Who?

India doesn’t need to do shit like that, man. Grow up!

And the ruling party imposing rules pertaining to personal life is a dangerous trend. In many…*cough cough*…religious countries, we have seen how disastrous it is for the social fabric of the nation.

And where does this cycle of banning what we don’t approve of, end?

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mamata-banerjee final

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kalki avatar fridolin froelich

Posted in Politics | Tagged , , | 18 Comments

A Script for Chiranjeevi’s 150th Film

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There have been reports in the Telugu film circles for a while that Chiranjeevi (who’s lovingly called MegaStar by his fans) has been looking for a script for his next film – one that is stated to be his 150th.

However, if our brothers at film news channels are to be believed, the right script still seems to evade the makers.

As we all know, every big budget Telugu film is completely different from the other. They all have completely different plots and characters, and one could never predict how things are going.

Along these lines, may I humbly present a possible script for Sir’s next film. This script, needless to say, is completely new, and fresh. Like the dew drops on Soundarya’s navel in the famous song Jabilli…sorry, I am getting carried away here.

Here is the script.

*

The film begins with a flashback, shot in grim tones of sepia or greyscale. A child is watching from behind a wall, scared. He must be about 10, clad in a white shirt and brown knickers.

Across the wall, a group of men have encircled a middle aged man. Trapped within the circle, the middle aged man holds a metal rod in his hands, just as the circle gets closer around him. We see a man watching coldly from a distance, a man with a thick moustache, white shirt, and thick gold chains around his neck.

Close up of the boy’s face – he wipes off the rain from his eyes, as they grow wider – KHACHAAK – blood splatters across his face. Through the reflection in his eyes, we see the man has fallen to the ground, the metal rod lying limp next to him. The boy covers his mouth to stop himself from crying, as the goons leave the scene.

The screen fades to black, as large letters spread across the scene –

ROWDY BAABAI.

*

We now have the intro song.

Sir has grown up now. We have a nice song with Kali Mata’s procession in the background. Sir is dancing along with his friend Ramesh, and other friends from the colony.

He is Muruga – The Fearless.

The intro song introduces Sir as the youthful, bubbly star that he is. 

Then, Sir meets heroine – Suvarnalata.

She is a demure, silent girl. She doesn’t like love, doesn’t believe in it. But one day, a dark man tries to touch her on the way to college. Muruga reaches the scene and beats him up, and Suvarnalata notices him for the first time.

When she goes home, she is thinking – ‘Do I love Muruga?’

She is dressed in a pink nightgown, and in the next song, we show the innocent beauty of a girl.

First para, she is sleeping on a rose bud – not flower, only bud. ‘Why do I feel like this?’ she sings. And then, Muruga enters from the right. Suvarnalata looks at Muruga, and the rose bud under her slowly opens up into a rose flower.

In the second para, as she is sleeping on the rose flower, Muruga jokingly pinches her navel, and a pigeon comes flying and lands on it. Muruga keeps a grape on her navel, which the pigeon picks up and eats. Suvarnalata hides her face abashedly.

In the third para, Muruga pinches her navel, and then slowly climbs up on her. He balances on her navel and starts doing Yoga on it.

By the end of the song, Suvarnalata and Muruga are in love. 

*

Next, villain’s entry.

Suvarnalata is walking home one day, when SCREEEEEECH! – a jeep parks in front of her. A few goons step out, pull her into the vehicle, and zoom off.

The heroine calls out, but nobody responds – women of the neighbourhood close their doors in fear. Frantically, the heroine pulls off the golden chain from her neck and flings it on the road.

The hero returns home, and sees the chain lying on the floor. He picks it up, looks at the heavens and screams – SUVARNALATAAAAAAA !

He then looks down at the tyre tracks and begins running in the direction of the Jeep. We show time and distance passing quickly, as the hero runs and runs and runs, till he reaches the Jeep.

He leaps over a car and lands atop the Jeep, shattering the windows and windscreen. The goons step out, one of them holding Suvarnalata by the hair. Muruga pulls out the exhaust pipe from the bike and clobbers them one by one. He pulls Suvarnalata out from their grasp and holds her close to his chest.

Just then, a phone rings, it’s the villain calling one of the goons. Muruga bends down to pick up the phone. Then, full punch-dialogue takes place between the two.

We see that the villain is the very same man who killed the school teacher in the first scene. They talk to each other, full punch-dialogue.

‘You are a small fish in the aquarium. I own the sea inside which there is a submarine, inside which the aquarium is placed’.

‘I am the lion who eats buffalo meat twice a day, you are only a zebra. When I reach you, you will have stripes of black, white, and red’.

‘I am the sun, you are the eclipse. You scissors, I rock’.

‘Jaya jaya hey Mahishasura Mardini Ramya Kapardhini Shaila Suthe’.

‘Jingalala ho, jingalala ho, hurr hurr hurr’. 

By the end of the conversation, the hero and the heroine throw open challenges to each other. Then, they accept each other’s challenge. 

Now, we meet the second heroine.

She is modern, bubbly, wears shorts, and shows her navel to the world. She sees the hero when he is rescuing a small beggar kid from the footpath, and bites her lower lip in passion.

She wants the hero very badly, but Muruga only has feelings for Suvarnalata. He is only mildly interested in this girl – Mona. Mona sings a song for Muruga to get his attention – ‘Sex, sex sex. I want sex. Gimme gimme sex, ra bulloda‘.

But Muruga only smiles and pinches her navel.

Here, we also have the Comedy Track. Brahmanandam plays an astrologer who cheats people. He reads their hand and makes a prediction, which his sidekick immediately executes. For example, he tells a woman that if she doesn’t hand over her gold chain, it will start raining. His friend is sitting on top of the tree and he pours a bucket of water on her LOLOLOL.

Brahmanandam tries to con Muruga, but he smashes his skull in with a PVC pipe. 

Muruga is walking home when he smells some food cooking. The wisps of smoke enter his nose and it sends electric shocks through his body. His eyes well up with tears and he begins to look around frantically.

He runs in slow motion, the smell getting stronger and stronger, stirring memories in him from an age long forgotten. He keeps running till he reaches a small hut.

From inside the hut, an old, blind woman steps out. She is frail and poor, and when she senses the hero standing in front of her, she calmly calls out – ‘Muruga, it’s you, isn’it it?’

Muruga walks towards her, and falls down at her feet. It begins to rain as he weeps, holding her feet. Yes saar, you guessed it right – the old woman is none other than his Mother.

She calls him into the house, and we see that he also has a sister. She is a young girl, wears salwar-kameez, and ties her hair up with a ribbon. She also starts crying profusely when she sees Muruga.

Mother makes Muruga sit on her lap on the floor and feeds him with her own hands. Muruga is overwhelmed – it is the same taste, the same flavour. His tears continue to flow like Godavari river. 

*

Suvarnalata sees Muruga on the road, giving a lift to Mona. She feels jealous and decides to teach Muruga a lesson.

When Muruga returns home, she slowly takes off her clothes one by one, and puts on a jeans and T-shirt. She is looking very fresh and juicy, our mango crazy. He smiles a coy smile, and – cut to song.

Muruga is dancing with both the heroines. He is in the middle as both Suvarnalata and Mona are dancing for him. This is full rocking-folk song. Lyrics are – ‘Bring your sugarcane into my machine. I will take out your juice and drink it. Bring your cucumber into my kitchen, I will chop it and eat it’.

Then, again Comedy Track.

Brahmanandam finds the hero walking on the road and decides to cheat him again. This time, he’s dressed as an LIC Agent and promises to give people five times their investment in a week. He narrates the same story to Muruga, who picks up a cycle chain, smashes him with it, and ties him up to a tree LOLOLOL.

*

Muruga gets a call from his friend Ramesh (who was seen dancing with Muruga in the intro song). Ramesh informs Muruga that the villain – Surya – was seen trying to set fire to their basti

Muruga immediately rushes to the scene, and finds the villain there. He single-handedly beats them all to pulp, and the villain escapes in the last minute.

While escaping, he turns around and fires a bullet. Ramesh sees it and rushes to save Muruga, and is felled down by the bullet. Muruga screams and rushes out to hold Ramesh, who is spouting blood from his mouth. He smiles at Muruga, runs a blood-stained hand across his face, and says ‘I couldn’t do it, my friend. You do it for me. Kill him, cut his body, and feed it to – aaaaaaa…breathes his last.

Muruga is devastated, and looks up at the sky (aerial shot), as it begins to rain. 

Suvarnalata calls Muruga and asks him to meet her. They meet on her terrace and Rain Song starts.

In the first para, they are dressed in traditional dresses. In the second para, the heroine is dressed in Apsara costume. Muruga makes her lie down on a bed of roses and eats fruits off her navel.

In the third para, we have a folk setting. The heroine is dressed in a half-saree and Muruga in a kurta-lungi. At the end of the song, he drives a tractor across Suvarnalata’s navel. 

Brahmanandam again comes to Muruga, this time dressed as a scientist who tells people that gold and silver ornaments are bad for the skin. Many people are fooled by Brahmanandam and his assistant, till they meet Muruga.

Muruga brings out a chainsaw and cuts through both of them. He then douses the body parts with petrol and sets them on fire LOLOLOL. 

*

Back to action.

Muruga is returning home, as he sees a circle of people around his house. He walks up to the circle, to find that the villain has raped his sister. She lies on the floor, the sleeves of her dress torn open.

Mother is wailing next to a pillar, and the hero rolls his fist into a ball. We see a nerve running up from his wrist, all the way up to his neck. There is thunder and lightning, and Muruga looks up at the sky and screams – SURYAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.

Surya is sitting in his house, on a swing. There are 20 Tata Sumos outside the palatial building. The hero walks into the building all by himself; the wind is making his hair fly in slow motion.

Muruga kills all the goons with his bare fists. Some of them fly into walls nearby, the others lie limp on the ground. The hero keeps doing it till there are only two men standing – Muruga and Surya.

They are in the courtyard now. Surya takes out a gun and shoots Muruga. He stumbles backward and falls down. Life is slowly leaving his body, when his fingers feel something on the ground.

Using blood-soaked fingers, he digs into the mud, and lo and behold! – finds the metal rod that his father had held in his hands. As Surya is smiling a smug smile, Muruga stands up, runs towards him, and spears him with it.

Surya is dead. Muruga falls and down and cries. This was the same spot where his father had died. Life has come a full circle.

Muruga draws a full circle with the metal rod and plants it in the middle.

*

Back in the house, Muruga is standing next to his mother.

Suvarnalata walks in dressed in a saree, and Mother blesses her. Suddenly, Mona walks in too, also wearing a saree. Mother looks in the direction of Muruga, smiles, and blesses her too.

Camera pans up to the wall, and there is a photo of Tirupati Balaji with two wives standing next to him. All three of them are smiling happily.

The whole family smiles in a snapshot, as the words appear on the screen – ITS JUST THE BEGINNING.


***********************

Posted in Film | Tagged , , , | 15 Comments

The Beauty of a Morning Joint

Isn’t it amazing?

We choose to pursue one activity all our lives, to put food in our belly, a shelter over our heads, and clothes on our body.

And that one activity determines how we spend all of our days. When we wake up, how we have our food, when we rush off to ‘work’. When we choose that one activity, we pretty much choose how we lead our lives.

And that is how our mornings go – rushing, pushing, jostling, bustling. We spend the nights in the way we choose to – spending time and money to blur consciousness, making love to a book, or wandering about the dark underbelly of the World Wide Web.

And yet, no matter how much of a rebel you are – you cannot evade the military discipline of your mornings. We have made mornings the most frustrating time of the day – people are either in a hurry, or irritable, or both.

 

*

 

I have always been a morning person.

No matter when I sleep, when the sun is out, my dreams go into Sleep mode, my eyes open, and I am up in a matter of minutes. It used to seem unfair to me – that I should wake up and go about my tasks, while my friend who had the same number of drinks, was still lying blissfully in a Natraja pose.

I considered using my mornings for constructive work – going for a run, hitting the gym, or doing some yoga. But some of us aren’t equipped like that. If all the lazy men of the world were made to stand in a line, I would be the drunk hippo meandering in the meadows nearby.

Listening to music always seemed like an interesting option – but having to pick one song after the other on Youtube squeezes the joy out of the experience. And so I would wander about like a zombie in the mornings, full of energy, and nothing to do about it.

Till I chanced upon the most beautiful creation by man – the Morning Joint.

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*

 

A Morning Joint helps you pull back time; to stretch it out at your ease.

A Morning Joint helps you gently jump over clocks and alarms, schedules and tasks – even if for a brief, magical while.

A Morning Joint sets your day up for you in a way that the most accomplished secretary couldn’t. You can zoom in, edit the details, or zoom out, and look at the larger picture.

A Morning Joint takes you back to the very reason we created music. As I type this, my neighbour is playing Bombay Se Gayi Patna, and I can notice the intricate chord changes in the song.

It is an unshackling of your chains – a trip to revisit that song from childhood. Or to watch that video you tripped on, when you didn’t know what it meant.

A Morning Joint is a date with Bob Dylan, a coffee with Robert Plant, it is a conversation with Carl Sagan, a smile with Carlin.

Your brain – that crazed kid on steroids that is running about all day, decides to slip off its slippers and lie down on the grass. A Morning Joint gives you a head-start in the day. A gentle nudge, like a friend tipping you into a swimming pool after a couple of beers.

It’s not the same as lighting up a cigarette. A cigarette is a commodity, a factory-made product that’s sold in packs, and taxed by the government. When you smoke a cigarette, you are merely contributing to the economy.

A joint is hand-crafted. Mixed, measured, blended, rolled to perfection. When you roll a joint, you are using your hands and your mind – you are creating a piece of art.

Have your Morning Joint alone. There is no pressure to talk, to explain, to describe. To agree, or conform. It is Your Time.

The Morning Joint is that little indulgence your life allows you. A chance to take a piece of the 24-hour pie we are all served, and bite into it, and feel the taste flowing into you.

A Morning Joint is a thing of beauty.

As I light it up, and the sun streams in through my window, I have nothing else to say.

Have a wonderful day!

Posted in Arbit Gyan | 14 Comments

Why Is Aamir Khan Such a Pretentious Prick

Once upon a time in India, Lagaan released.

The film was a smash hit, was sent as our choice for the Oscars (but couldn’t win, as the jury grew old and died during the interval) and Aamir Khan suddenly became the thinking man’s conscience. The guy who would never attend film awards because he didn’t believe in them, suddenly seemed to be jumping up and down the red carpet, promoting his film. But of course, he was doing it for the nation.

When Lagaan lost out to No Man’s Land, Aamir Khan told the press that the other film deserved to win. When I saw it, said Khan, I knew that it was better than ours. From that moment on, Aamir Khan has somehow projected and marketed himself as the voice of the nation/youth/continent/solar system.

And it’s fucking annoying.

*

Alright, so he chooses to do one movie at a time, reads his scripts, and does extensive preparation for it. But all that is fucking expected from an actor in the first place. Just because ours is a hare-brained industry, doesn’t make someone a goddamn Socrates.

A few months before the release of Rang De Basanti, Aamir Khan sat with the Narmada Bachao Andolan protesters to speak up for their rights. Since then, there has been no word of his involvement with the issue whatsoever.

He then made a film on Mangal Pandey, and has been on a Bhagat Singh trip since, telling the nation what’s right, and what’s offensive. In Taare Zameen Par, he showed us how we are all a cruel, insensitive nation that doesn’t know how to deal with special children. In 3 Idiots, he showed us what is wrong with our education system. In PK, he showed us the problems with religion and godmen.

And tactful and insightful that our media is, we made him the voice of the nation. Aamir Khan tells the nation not to litter. Aamir Khan tells the nation to be nice to foreigners. Aamir Khan tells the nation to be nice to foreigners.

Aamir Khan is a thinking man. How? Because all his films have long shots of him staring into the distance, thinking about the welfare of the cosmos. Aamir Khan is a perfectionist. Why? Because he undergoes a physical transformation for every role (which, as any theatre actor will tell you, is the fucking basic thing to do. Also, he gets paid crores for every film). Aamir Khan is a socially aware star. How? Because he blogs about issues.

However, as we all know, even Vishwamitra’s penance was disturbed. So Aamir Khan, the ever-aware thinking man’s Gautam Buddha slipped out of character and blogged about Shah Rukh Khan licking his toes while he sat on his table.

And of course, there is Satyameva Jayate. Now, I personally have no problems with the show. A star like Aamir Khan talking about issues that we Indians never bother to speak about, is commendable. Kudos.

I also have no problem with him projecting himself as this new-age Carl Shehnanigan who tells the nation how to live – much of an actor’s image comes from this. It is no different from Salman Khan being the large-hearted bhai, Ranveer Singh being a horny guy, and Honey Singh the nation’s Mahalingam. I have no problems with that.

satyameva jayate

Look at my tears…so pure, so pristine. Just like my soul. Which is pure white. Just like the clouds there. I am the sun. Sun and clouds. Deep.

My only problem is with Aamir Khan’s opinions on other artists. You see, Mr. Perfectionist doesn’t give a fuck about other artists. His work is sublime and pure and unadulterated and heavenly. The rest can go fuck themselves.

amir-stya1

Can you see the concern in my eyes? No? Well, that’s none of my concern. I am sensitive. I hope you can sense my sensitivity.

Take for example the controversy regarding 3 Idiots.

Now, even though Chetan Bhagat is the Rakhi Sawant of Indian literature, he wrote the book and sold millions, and no one can take that away from him. If you’ve read 5 Point Someone, and watched 3 Idiots, and you possess the IQ of a garden lizard, you’ll know that the film is more or less an adaptation of the book. However, since it is Bollywood (and fuck writers!), Bhagat wasn’t given opening credits. He raked up the issue and Vidhu Vinod Chopra asked a journalist to ‘Shut Up’. Which is at least an honest response.

Mr. Khan, however, using his special 8th Sense, somehow had it all figured out. He told Bhagat off in public, calling him a cheapskate who will do anything for publicity. Which is fine, till someone asked him if he’s read the book. To which his response was – ‘Ahem, no.’

How the fuck do you know that it isn’t an adaptation, if you haven’t even read the goddamn book? But Aamir Khan, yo. Intellectual actor.

When he released Delhi Belly, he appeared on Aap Ki Adalat (that classy, artful show with a completely non-creepy looking host), and justified the language in the film. His logic was, the youth of the nation today talk in that manner. If you can not stand such language, please don’t watch the film. All good.

Now, the AIB controversy. Since our media has no fucking work, they went and asked Aamir Khan, the brahmaguru of wisdom, what he thought. Aamir Khan first looked at the sky, blinked seven times, sipped some water, and then gave out his thoughts. That the show was offensive, hurt people’s sentiments, blah blah blah.

But then, here’s the key – HE HASN’T WATCHED THE FUCKING SHOW.

If you haven’t watched the show, and someone randomly told you there were jokes on body shape, sexuality, and religion without providing any context, it’s the partial truth. You’re like the blind man of Hindustan who held the elephant’s ass and thought that’s what an elephant looks like.

But no. Aamir Khan ko kaun samjhaye? He is the voice of the cosmos.

The universe works in perfect motion because he approves of it. Every time Aamir Khan sheds a tear, a kid in Africa gets cured of AIDS.

It’s bloody annoying.

*

Dear Aamir Khan, This isn’t the 60s. Where you could do a few patriotic movies and become a national hero. The audience you deal with is thirty years younger to you, a completely different generation.

They understand subtleties, read between the lines, and can tell an actor from a chutiya. Just because you did regressive shit for 20 years, and suddenly conscience struck you like lightning, doesn’t mean the rest of the nation is a bunch of chimpanzees.

Also, like Russel Peters said, you are an actor. You appear on the set, mouth lines written by others, get numerous takes to perfect your craft, and get paid a bomb for it. Which is all fine.

But just like you’re an artist, there are others too. Who are attempting to make an honest living by pursuing what they think is art. If you really are an artist, at least have the fucking decency to look up their work before commenting.

Like I said, you’re not fooling anybody. This is a generation that sees through bullshit. And right now, for all your decades of carefully constructed PR, you come across as an aging douchebag.

I hope you aren’t offended by this blog. But if you are, I hope you at least read it before getting offended.

 

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