Saturday, January 31, 2009

Live Life King-size

This may sound like any other clich├ęs which have lost their meaning because of over usage. My journey to Guwahati in December reminded me of this phrase. Two of my co-passenger or I must say three of them showed the true meaning of living your life in king size manner. Am I sounding too philosophical?? But I can’t put it in any other way. To know why, let’s begin the journey.
A man of almost 40, sitting on my right side was suffering from half paralytic attack. A native of Assam, he was going back after undertaking some treatment in Bangalore. Unaffected by his illness, he didn’t show any sign of pain and dissatisfaction. Full of humour and liveliness, he stopped almost every hawker and pantry-person, teasing them, singing and shaking on every song- he sat an example for all of us.
The other heroic personality of my journey is a lady probably in her mid-50s. Taking insulin injections thrice in a day along with a dozen of medicines, she was equally energetic as my other co-passenger. She was playing cards, chatting with other travelers, now and then indulging in serious discussions over various issues. She was certainly enjoying life more than me.
A young man in 20s, a BE student from Bangalore is the third example of vivacity. In spite of a fractured hand, he was doing everything by himself without expecting any one to come for help. You may not see anything extraordinary in him. But by seeing his calmness and the ease with which he was bearing the pain of a fractured hand forced me to include him in my ‘bravo-list’.
The positive outlook with which they look at their life is an example in itself. ‘Life becomes beautiful when you look at it as a gift rather than as a burden’- they seem to say it again and again.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Slum dog Millionaire- Justified?

Slum dog Millionaire’- a name familiar to everyone. Great direction, interesting script (with some filmy touch here and there!), A R Rehman music, almost perfect acting with biggies like Anil Kapoor and Irfan Khan- the movie was made to be a hit. But do we really like the movie or are we just following the trend started by the West? Some are seeing the movie as an insult on India’s dignity. While according to some, it is the only representation of Indian’s capability in the creative fields. I would like to differ with both the views.
For me, a movie cannot be so powerful to distort the existing image of a country to an extent where people don’t remember anything other than what is being told in the movie (I am not demeaning media and its power!). A person cannot reject every-other information about a country and base its perception according to a single movie. And if in any case, he/she is doing so, they are not worth consideration! Movies are meant to represent a part of our life; they must act as a mirror to society. But we can’t expect a single movie to present everything about a country. In case of India, which is full of varied cultures, traditions and lifestyle, it becomes even more difficult to give a justified attention to all the aspects of its people’s life.
Coming back to Slum dog millionaire, it provides some memorable treat for our senses as well as for our intellect. One of my favorite scene is where little Jamal calls Latika to come and share the roof with them after a day full of riots and blood. With minimum dialogue where they introduce each other and go to sleep is the unsurpassed example of delicacy of human emotions. The sensitivity of a child who has just lost his mother in a riot and the maturity he gains immediately after the incident is faultlessly and subtly depicted.
So am I saying everything in the movie is justified? The answer is a big No. In-spite of all the required skills of a high-quality movie, it has some loopholes. In some of the scenes, movie reflects the opinionated nature of Western world. A particular scene, where young Jamal is beaten up by the taxi driver of the foreign tourist couple for whom Jamal acts as a tourist guide says more than what we perceive at the face value. The dialogue where Jamal refers to the beating-up as the representation of ‘real India’ and then quickly the tourist couple gives him some money saying that is their ‘real America’ shows the gesture of western world towards us. Their looking down upon us is clearly evident in the scene. To me ‘real India’s’ punishing of a child for his and his friends stealing of all the valuable parts of the car is not wrong. However, beating of the child is absolutely brutal and can not be supported at all. Some part of the movie is like any other fictional piece of art. The protagonist, Jamal’s (must be in his teens) travelling almost the entire India to find his childhood love Latika, can happen only in movies and is far from reality.
We can’t keep this movie above all the regional language and bollywood movies. There are masterworks representing both the good and the bad about us, which can not be sidelined under the glitter of this movie and its Oscar nominations.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Railway Slang

Travelling by train has its own advantages. And if you are a lover of new and strange discoveries, it can be the best mode of transportation. This is one of the reasons why I still prefer train journey than going by Air (as per some, wasting so many important days of my life!).
Have you ever noticed the hawkers who accompany us in every train journey? Be it clothes, pen drives to nail cutter or chocolates they can sell everything present on this planet. Sometimes I really wonder if they posses some supernatural power to accomplish this task! Jokes apart, they have lot more to give us than we actually think. Their language, dressing and gestures represent the culture and land they come from. One of the most obvious ways to recognize their roots is through the slang they use.
On my way back from Guwhati to Bangalore, I was on the peak of boredom as was travelling alone (like always!). To kill the tediousness I decided to note down the terms vendors were using. And guess what, I did the most amusing and interesting discovery of my life!! Each seller was calling his/her product in a unique way giving each article an altogether different identity. This was attracting passenger’s interest more than otherwise possible.
Hmm…bored of my more than required description? So let me share some of the examples for better understanding! If you listen carefully to the hawkers, each item has some subtraction or addition to their name. And to my surprise many of my co-passengers were also calling them with same name. A ‘shawl’ is always ladies shawl and ‘blanket’ is garam kambal (as if there are cold blankets also!). The most prominent of these railway slangs was the chabi ring which they used to sell extra- glittering, bright-coloured ‘key chains’. ‘Water bottle’ seems to be known only by the name of paani bottle. Along with these, ‘wallet’ attracted the maximum number of names, varying from ladies money purse to purchasing bag and money bag. If you are thinking twisted jargon is their only way to attract customers, think again. They have also developed tag line for each of their product. Double Bed Ki Chaadar- Bed sheet is one such line most commonly used by hawkers in the train.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

My JAB WE MET which never happened…

I am not going to talk about Kareena and Shahid’s movie Jab We Met. It’s my experience which I will share with you all. It happened much after the movie on my way back to Bangalore. After one week of amazing stay at Chandigarh, I boarded my train from Delhi station. The beginning of my journey was quite boring. I was surrounded by God’s amazing creations. And I guess He sent everyone to my coach!
Let me first talk about my co-passengers. In front of me was a “complete-happy” family- Father, Mother and their pretty-almost –perfect-daughter (which at least, they believe). Throughout the journey, the parents were busy pampering their ‘only’ child and the child in throwing all kinds of tantrums. For half of the journey, I was busy watching the ‘Live Family Drama’!! Mummy dearest was compelling the child to eat all the food available on earth. And ‘Daddy’ like a true husband was extending his full support by getting all the stuff available.
Hmm…enough of their story! Now, let me tell you about some of my better experiences. On the top seat of my coupe, there was a person of nearly my age- the biggest relief which I had during that journey. Due to absence of any other choices, we started talking as soon as we saw each other. During our ‘intro’ talk, I came to know that he already knew my name (God know how boys managed to do that). For two days of journey, we did almost everything together. Standing near the gate, getting down at every station, chatting and sometimes irritating the pantry personnel- my journey suddenly became interesting.
During this time, my potential Jab We Met happened! It was a warm sunny morning when our train stopped at one of the stations (I don’t remember the name). The stoppage was for 15 minutes. I along with my Mr. Co-passenger hurriedly got down. Sitting at an unknown station, having your morning tea, is an experience in itself. After enjoying one of the best tea preparations of my life, we started reading the newspaper. And then again one more cup of tea without realizing that our train has already started!! Our first reaction was of shock and shouting. After few seconds, we became conscious of the consequences of getting lost in a strange place. So we ran like never before. Thanks to his tallness, he managed to get into the last coach of the train and then took me inside.
That was my potential Jab We Met which was just few minutes away from us. And I am relieved that it didn’t happen!

My Rendezvous with blogging...

Hi friends, here I am (Who am I? – See my profile) all set to start my blog.
Now that you have seen my profile, the second question which arises is ‘Why am I here?’
Hmm… there is no secret behind it. When I saw my friends engrossed in the blog world, I realized that I am missing out on something. The idea of sharing your experiences and views in your preferred way fascinates me. And above all that, the creative freedom to put across my feelings is the foremost reason of me being here. So I am out here to kill my boredom and write something which is sensible (at least to me!!).
I know what you all want to ask me next (How-because I know everything!)- So what If you are here? What we all have to do with it?
I also have an answer for that! You all can read my write-ups, post your comments and be with me through-out my journey in this new world.