Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Say NO to KANK

When a "reputed" filmmaker takes a shot at extra-marital relationships, you'd wish it was treated with high doses of realism and sensitivity. Alas, this is Bollywood, so kindly avoid expecting miracles. Out here, there are no real stories. There are only teary-eyed Cinderalas who aren't happy with their lovely dresses and kind-hearted prince charmings, and would much rather give it all up for grumpy, tantrumic footballers.

KANK, listed as the "most controversial film" (for whatever reasons), is a convoluted take at "bad" marriages, leaving me with nothing but a bad after-taste.

Even though KANK didn't evoke any expectations, I was willing to endure the long, tiresome ride (with my partner-in-crime, who applauded me for my patience) just to check out Karan-who-can't-direct-Johar's take on bumpy marriages.

KANK (like most Karan Johar films) is filled with truck loads of beautifully-dressed firangs prancing around in lavish sets. But what it lacks is proper character sketches and a strong storyline. One wonders why two individuals stray out of a perfectly normal relationship, which has tonnes of peace, harmony and affection... but minues the over-rated Bollywood concept of "love".

We enter the lives of -- Dev Saran (Shah Rukh Khan as a footballer who gives up his career following an accident) & Rhea (Preity as his obedient yet successful wife); Rishi (Abhishek Bachchan in a rich man's suit) & his wife Maya (Rani as a cleanliness freak-cum-schoolteacher). They each lead very happy lives until Maya is seemingly cajoled into marrying her childhood buddy Rishi after a strange meeting with Dev. Why the bride was sitting in a park is anyone's guess!

The problem unfolds further when Dev meets with an accident following that meeting and is left with a limping football career. This leaves Dev grumpy, irritable and volatile all through. He barks at all-and-sundry, even traumatises his son and accuses his wife of a career more flourishing than his. Wonder if he would have rather starved than wear rich clothes and live in a palatial house and give his son a good life. Dev is self-obsessed and deserves a good thrashing and why anyone in their right senses would fall in love with him is psychotic. However, it's surprising that he doesn't use his wife's resources to undergo a surgery to correct his limp and re-start playing the ball. It seems, he prefers to sulk and irritate the rest of the world.

Meet Maya, another self-absorbed person. She has what most women dream of -- a loving and caring husband, a beautiful house and a seemingly good career. Yet she prefers to howl her way through the film.

Understood that domestic violence needn't be the only reason for people to look outside their marriages, but Karan forgot to provide any real reason here. Dev and Maya's vacuums are their own selfish creations and aren't reason enough to break something as concrete as a marriage. In fact, such self-centred people shouldn't get married in the first place and definitely not attempt it a second time! What Dev finds in the I'll-cry-at-the-drop-of-a-hat Maya and what she finds in the highly-irritable Dev is anyone's guess. It would have been more believable had Rishi and Rhea strayed from their marriages. In fact, they deserve an applause for sticking by their cranky spouses.

It's interesting that Rishi's super-flirtatious dad (Mr Bachchan) is heartbroken to find out about his daughter-in-law's affair even though he has no qualms about sleeping with numerous women, even bring them over to his son's place for a quicke. Is Karan implying that fathers needn't adhere to any moralistic standards? And why should such a fickle-hearted fellow take offence to his bahu's affair?

Looking at performances, Abhishek Bachchan is a rock star. He waltzes through the film with perfection. As for "Pa" Bachchan, he oscillates between the 'over-board' and 'bearable' button. It's a pity to see a talented actress like Kiron Kher being wasted in the film. Preity looks old, unkempt and lacks conviction. Rani should have gone easy on the glycerin. In fact, she's a well-kept puppy, with no ruffled hair, eye-make-up and tear in place. Would have wanted to see more of SRK's screen son , a very likable boy!

The sore point in the film is none other than the King Khan himself. He shrieks, grumbles, whines, makes silly faces and limps through the entire film. It's understandable that life played spoilt-sport with him, but it could have been portrayed in a more subtle way. An angry man need not have to screech all the time, Mr Johar!

In all, KANK is about today's selfish people, their lack of compassion or understanding of each other, their exaggerated concept of happiness and love, and their inability to make an effort to make anything, forget a marriage, work.

The moral, therefore, is - Karan Johar should quit attempting to make "real" cinema and instead drink a lot of coffee!

Friday, August 11, 2006

The Mother Tongue syndrome

Whether we are in the US, UK, Africa or in our own land... breaking into our native/mother tongue is like an obsession of sorts for Indians. No matter where we are, somehow our sense of solidarity lies in mouthing words in our native language. And even though the language could be alien for many Indians (considering there is a vast ocean of dialects in our land) or others who collect around us, we have no qualms about ignoring our etiquette.

Does it not occur to us that this is extremely rude? The scenario is not uncommon across the globe, but in our country etiquette hits rock bottom. When we find ourselves in an eclectic group, our regional bonds spring up. Irrespective of whether one's Bengali, Tamil, Kannadiga, Punjabi, Marathi, Malayalee or any other, sub-groups are quick to form and obscure-coded-conversations flow. It's funny how this regional solidarity breaks up mostly in front of other communities. Leave them alone and they will speak in English. Making it look like a premeditated effort to prove that it's tough to crack their so-called 'regionalistic' bond.

This regional circus begins with a simple: "Are you a Malayalee (replace region according to situation/people)?" And once the answer is in the affirmative, out comes bizzare-sounding words at a high decibel level (denoting exaggerated happiness!).

I am subjected to this regional jingoism day-in and day-out. Though I have voiced protests by blurting out rude remarks, kicking my table, someone else's table, and even firing killer stares at my co-workers, the language circus continues. There's never a sense of apology only a sense of who-the-hell-are-you-to-tell-us-what-to-do. Followed by excuses -- it's our mother tongue, our culture, so on and so forth.

Well, I wish I could lock these clowns in a box full of "their" own. But considering that's a highly unlikely option. I can only wish for a life minus those weird-sounding, meaningless words and maybe invest in ear plugs!

And here's a word for the annoying bunch -- Speak in a language everyone understands or else, keep your mouth shut. And if you can't control your 'regionalistic' emotions, move to a secluded corner and leave us poor souls out of this mayhem!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

I've got an Oscar too!

Last week, I was awarded (more like gifted) an "Oscar" by my partner-in-crime for what I believe is, an acknowledgment for my stupendous performance as the most perfect, loving partner!!

Meet Oscar, a blueish-reddish-blackish, fishy addition to my little home.

So goodbye to boring days, welcome to Oscar entertaintment - his colourful fins and excellent moves could put even Michael Jackson to shame.

Oscar prefers to rule his little bowl. And, this way I get to have him all to myself, no more fighting for his attention! From his fridge-top base, he keeps a close watch on me.

And whenever I am low or happy or crazy or tantrumic, I know that Oscar will always be there to listen me out!!!

Here's me signing off with a fishy kiss for my beloved OSCAR!

Saturday, August 05, 2006


If you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours...

We've all heard this line before... but in actuality, how many of us follow it?

I for one, am so caught up in my own world, my own space, that I very rarely make an effort to smile at anyone unless someone smiles at me. I'd never make the first move. Not because I am a snob but because I am lazy by nature and would rather wait for the smile to come my way.

But today, I decided to take a new step. I went ahead and smiled at everyone at work. Some might have thought that I'd gone cuckoo, but what the heck! And surprisingly, the reaction was more positive than cynicism. They all smiled back. And it felt good.

I felt guilty that all the while I blamed others for not putting a smile my way. Not realising that one needs to try to get a smile in return!

Lesson learnt. From now on, I'd make the extra effort to spread happiness and feel a lot happier myself!

Here's a S-M-I-L-I-N-G ME signing off!!! :)

Friday, August 04, 2006

Idli, dosa or diamonds?

This question is open only to women. Which would you pick first? In all probability, it would be a diamond, unless you have way too many of them and are extremely hungry!

But there's a wet grinder company which claims that women would inevitably pick idlis and dosas over diamonds. Their ad tagline reads - "Who said a diamond is a woman's best friend?" -- plastered below the image of a lady with the happily using the wet-grinder.

I wonder what the ad-makers had in mind when they thought out this tagline.

Are they implying that wet grinders can be women's only best friends? Are they suggesting that we should not waste money on expensive jewellery but remain caged within the four walls of our house, cooking idlis and dosas?

Hell NO! It's time the wet grinder company" did a recheck.

It's not taboo to make idlis and dosas, but NOT at the cost of diamonds!