Monday, December 27, 2010

What's done is...

Emma WatsonImage by ursulakm via Flickr

So, it has happened. I, lady-of-the-unchanging-locks, am a changed woman. Indeed, I chopped off the unchanging locks. And now, behold! Er. Or rather, I am dashed proud of myself. For not only snipping off a good five inches of ennui, but also tackling the Hairdresser-Hardsell with a light, frothy laugh.
Let me elaborate on the Hairdresser Hardsell: a phenomenon well-known to anyone who goes into a hairdresser to get their hair done. Ergo, nearly everyone on the planet. However, note that the Hardsell comes on that much harder when it is one of those vast, chic salons populated by vaguely-foreign and crashingly trendy hairdressers.
"Why don't you go in for a fullllll color?" she whispered enticingly, snipping dangerously. "Because I already have a fullllll natural color that most people would give their eye-teeth for!" I replied. (In my head, that is, since I have yet to overcome my innate fear of hairdressers, having been scarred since adolescence by an Incident.) In real-time I just laughed my new frothy laugh, getting frothier as each inch of my hair fell to the glittering floor.
Then she went for the next tactic. "A graduated bob" she purred. "Just get your hair straightened, and.."
"But didn't you just a minute ago say I have great curls?" Again, in my head. Again, the frothy laugh.
And, I emerged, with exactly the cut I wanted.
Of course, this morning I reeled in horror at my image in the mirror. "What HAVE I done?" However, the universe in its infinite wisdom has assured me that it is but hair. It shall grow back. And as the day progressed, my all-encompassing, life-gutting regret ebbed like the proverbial tide.
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Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Season of Plenty

via onbluepoolroad.com
This picture makes me smile. Merry Christmas! In case I come across as a materialistic git, I like this picture because it symbolizes 'plenty of gifts' and I hope everyone gets plenty of whatever they want and lots of joy and happiness with it.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Watched: Eat, Pray, Love

BAFTA 2008 - Javier BardemImage by claire_h via Flickr
I didn't know what to expect from the movie, since I haven't read the book. But I was prepared for a nice enough story about a woman's journey in celebration of self and life, and...oh who am I kidding? I knew a certain Javier Bardem stars in it. And that right there was reason enough for me.
So, to get on with the movie, it's all about Liz Gilbert and her 'journey' to presumably, self-love and self-liberation after a morose and muddled divorce. She travels to countries beginning with "I". Ergo, first stop Italy, where she mucks around in gorgeous Rome making friends and stuffing face with gorgeous sphagetti. Then, zooms to India where she resides at an Ashram, India predictably being the "SOURCE". Of spiritual enlightenment, one presumes, an assumption or belief that I have come to really, really question. Anyway, last stop, Indonesia. Bali, where she meets a spiritual healer and comes to the aid of a local woman by raising money for her.
Gah. All this may have been fine in the book. But in the movie it is tedious, curiously flat, and frankly, snoozy. I cared not a whit for the woman Liz or her blessed love life. Poor actor-guy she went out with after her divorce? She leaves him..."you didn't ask me to stay." EH? Didn't the chap ask her to marry him? Then, in Rome, talking about accepting one's fatness after piling on the sphagetti , but then LYING DOWN on the floor trying to squeeze into small jeans. Again, EH?
Which brings me to the Bardem in Bali. Sumptuous combination, that. But even that failed to please me. By the time Javier and his shoulders appeared, I was way past caring. It all struck me as a little spoiled and indulgent. This film doesn't do justice to the book that has inspired and encouraged millions all over the world. Eat. Pray. Love. Snooze.
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Saturday, November 20, 2010

A state of mind


via http://maisonboheme.blogspot.com
The lure of travel. I want to be the lady with the umbrella, boldly walking off into a place which has not been talked about yet on a travel show...
There would be no language from guidebooks. Each image I captured would be thought about carefully, a precious keepsake because there would be so few.
My grandchildren would have stories to listen to. In color, even though they happened in sepia.



Friday, November 19, 2010

Lights


That is the quintessential Paris apartment, to my mind. Paris at dusk, with a single light in an old apartment building- it's a poem in brick.
This image appealed to me because I don't want to moan anymore about the lack of beauty in my city at large; oh of course I notice the brightly stacked African daises under the striped awning at my florist's, or the delicate eyelashes of the cow as she waits to steal glimmering jamuns from a passing cart:
but beauty, just because it is in the soul of a city itself....
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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Smoke not, show not

Aishwarya Rai BachchanImage: Spree by PiX - Berlin via Flickr
Poor Aishwarya Rai is the latest to go and get sued for the character she is playing in a film. The Guzaarish poster has her smoking. And what of it? Apparently, this is against the law- to show a person smoking on film.
Well, if it's illegal, it's illegal, granted. But why sue only Ash? She, like any actor, is the end product of a long and complicated production line. I say, sue the person who came up with the very idea of a smoking character! Why blame the film actor for complying with the characterization sketched out for her?
Besides, we should take a look at this law. Of all the generations that grew up watching people smoke, I am sure some people did think it was cool and took up the habit. And there are millions who didn't. My point is, I don't understand how smoking, egregious as it is, is a worse behavior on screen than gratuitous violence, terrible vulgarity or half-witted comedy. Why, some of the 'comedy' I've seen in our movies has made me want to go out and buy a scythe with which to cause bloodshed- but I am sure "comedies" will not be banned anytime soon. Snort.
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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Green


Oh, to have a little garden. Nothing like choosing fresh herbs from the backyard, what? Alas, no such luck. MUST BUY PLANTS STAT. I hope I can keep them alive. And then we will progress to herbs.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Pop goes the prince

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 16:  A close up of ...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
So, Prince William has done the deed- asked Kate Middleton to marry him. While this brings me much joy, proposal and engagement stories being of much interest to  me, it also made me want to see what these two are like as a couple. I clicked on a video link on the net and found them to be quite confident and with-it, in a kind of non-glamorous way: they have posh accents and are superbly dressed, but they seem to lack the kind of fustiness and pooh-pooh that I find so off-putting in the older royals.
Also, as always, despite my liking of engagement stories, I am annoyed at all the pressure the guy faces to pop the question. As though the girl just sits there and waits around, and then all that fuss about the ring. (Kate has scored a gorgeous one, though, SAPPHIRE to boot).
Now to end this rather pointless post, I propose the perfect match for the younger prince- Emma Watson. What a stroke of brilliance! Emma is young, talented, loaded, British, famous, and already has a special connection with the name Harry and with redheads! Now if only those two kids would hurry up and read this.
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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Versus


Image via fragrantica.com

One of my latest acquisitions, extorted via the friend, is the new fragrance Versus by Versace. I was out fooling around at the mall one day and spent some time sniffing a lot of perfumes, and this was the only one that stood out for me. It starts out as a fresh, bursty citrus- cool and sharp, but also a tiny bit soapy, and that was its appeal. But on me, it dries out a tad musky for my taste. Still, an interesting and uplifting scent.
I love reading about the composition of perfumes. This one has star apple, kumquat and lemon as top notes, heart notes of orange blossom, and base notes of musk and patchouli. It's all very intriguing, especially as my tastes in perfumes varies wildly.
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Saturday, November 13, 2010

I do

From http://www.snippetandink.com/board-499-ragtime-romance.html
What fun to plan a wedding now that I am already much married. Seeing as I would probably be a bit of a confused bride; what with my clashing desires for a beach wedding, an elopement, and a New England autumn wedding, it's perhaps best that I don't have to deal with any of it at all. Hee!

However, there is a serious flood of pretty ideas to be found on the internets, and that there picture is probably what my wedding would look like. I have a fascination for the 1920's anyway. That gramophone! Those white roses in the pharmacy jar! And I could be one of those flapper-style brides. Tres cool.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Readings


And that would be cool in our living room. Also, our living room would be completely different. Haw!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Monday, October 25, 2010

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

If wishes were bottles

From http://www.designalicious.typepad.com/

Aiee! What have we here? The objects of my desire, that's what! I'm simply going to start obsessing now, excuse  me. When can I start my collection? Sob, sob!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Trust? Vote?

The Vidhana Soudha, the seat of Karnataka's le...Image via Wikipedia
The great state of Karnataka is in the midst of a steamy political crisis. This morning I read that a group of dissident politicians ‘pushed aside’ the marshals that guard the Assembly building and proceeded to forcefully enter. And right there I thought, WHAT? They overpowered the GUARDS? How? And why? If the whole purpose of deploying these guards, or marshals, or cops, or whatever they are, is to prevent forced entry, then how on earth did it happen anyway?
I wonder in which other country this is possible. Agreed, the dissenters do not need to be shot. But has no-one heard of reasonable force? I am stunned at how our police infrastructure can be so toothless. Later the regular uniformed cops were brought in, which decision resulted in much denouncing. The whole thing is confounding. Politicians talked about the sanctity of the house being violated by the presence of the cops. It seems to me that it is not the cops who are responsible for degrading the ‘sanctity’ of the House, such as it may be.
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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Salt

I made the famous mistake of having high expectations from this movie, I’m not quite sure why. Maybe it was because the Jolie is the main star, and I’ve come to expect something higher from her. Anyway, here she plays Evelyn Salt, a CIA agent who gets caught in a game of Double-Agent-and-Intrigue. This time, the mighty U.S. is pitted against its old arch-rival, Russia.
Image from http://www.theangelinajolie.com/
There are a lot of chases, and hitting, punching, kicking, and shooting. The mother-of-six main star excels at this sort of thing, and is clearly having a jolly good time of it. I cannot say anything more about the plot of this movie, because in 12 minutes we had it figured out. The thing I cannot figure out is why the Jolie agreed to star in such a tedious and not particularly entertaining spy fest. Did she need the extra millions to buy new clothes for her kiddies? I doubt it. My only theory is that she just went for the action bit and cared two hoots for the actual plot. I must admit, it must be fun to kick and punch, wear disguises, jump off trailers and get paid for it all, then go around the world promoting the film looking fabulous in Versace dresses.
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Saturday, October 09, 2010

Thou shalt not steal

I have learned that in view of our impending visit, the Father has issued veiled threats about how his collection of fancy glasses will be under lock and key. This change in policy has been implemented after he was singed by his hospitality to his offspring last year, when we coolly made off with four beautiful Czech crystal glasses.
Also, we were informed, a pre-emptive report would be lodged with the police. Seeing as the cops in that neck of the woods have so little to actually do, this might be more effective than his lock-policy. Hmm. What to do? How to ensure another batch of exquisite glassware? I rather had my eye on that cute set of shot glasses.
This calls for a serious plan- so far I have only scoffed and laughed evilly at this latest edict of the Father’s. There is also that ferocious sniffer dog to contend with. I may have to fall back on last year’s plan- just asking the Father for said glasses. Ha.
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Thursday, October 07, 2010

Yes and No

A system with high adaptive capacity exerts co...Image via Wikipedia
The topic of integrity in the context of social situations is one that intrigues me. It’s not the power of a good white lie I am talking about- we all know social life would be unbearable without that good little lubricant. No, it is the art of follow-up that has me thinking today.
Of late, I have been in the position where I’ve needed to ask people a certain question. The answer to which might involve their asking another person the same question, at the most. What confounds me is, not one of these people has reverted to me with the answer. Mind you, if they don’t know the answer, all they have to do is ASK someone who WILL know.
But, all I get is, “I will get back to you.” If the answer is negative, I want to know. If it is positive, I want to know. To me, it is a simple give and take interaction which really shouldn’t be taking up so much of my brain space here. But apparently my expectations are too high.
Why the question of integrity in social situations came up is that if the answer to my question is negative, it in no way affects our social relationship. Not at all. There are no repercussions here, no heartbreak, nothing awkward. Then why the silence, why the brush-offs, why the deplorable lack of integrity? I think I am losing my faith in the grand social structure that everyone calls the “Network.” It ain’t working for me, clearly.
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Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Tom Waits - Watch Her Disappear

This I thought was an odd and creative accompaniment to Tom Waits’ lush poetry. Two years ago when I discovered Waits I thought that I would outgrow him pretty soon. But it hasn’t happened yet. Maybe it’s because I wisely desist from overdosing on him and partake only occasionally and very judiciously.

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Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Solo

I’ve always read about how marriage needs ‘work.’ How you need to ‘keep the spark alive’, or to ‘have fun together.’ Fortunately, I haven’t ever felt the need to put so much of what seems like frankly back-breaking labour, into my own marriage. But in the age of the terminally busy, I find that it is friendships that need so much ‘work.’
I miss that era of my life when close friends were close at hand. In every phase you do give up some friends and you make some more, but here it seems as though I am valiantly struggling to keep those I do have, and have run out of the ability and the circumstances to make new ones.
Some of my best and dearest friends are the ones that are geographically hundreds or thousands of miles away. Others are close but I see them twice a year. I am beginning to feel like the only person in the world.
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Saturday, October 02, 2010

Marry me off, I'm EIGHTEEN

That mother and daughter that I see regularly in the gym had to go and prove me right. What happened was that I had casually remarked to J that since the daughter was young and a tad overweight, she’d been dragged to the gym in order to ‘reduce’ in time for her wedding- and to keep her motivated (and to keep an eye on her) her mother joined her.
They weren’t just fooling around, either. They desisted from the silly mannerisms that some women use when confronted with hard workouts with their trainers. No, these two were dead serious. I appreciated that, especially because you see so few older women ever in the gym.
I slowly began to cast off my cynical view about the young kid (she is eighteen) and her impending marriage, while her future groom continued to tuck into oily biryani and kebabs, caring not a whit for HIS figure. I stopped lamenting about our low expectations from girls in this country; about how nauseating I find the fixation of women to look their best on their wedding day and then giving up said desire for the rest of their lives, not to mention once they hit 30...and so on and so forth.
But, alas and alack, my initial diagnosis was spot-on. Now I am betting that once the wedding is over, we will never see these two again. Of course, probably the young bride will be sent to faraway shores. And the mother, her duty done, will go back to courting osteoporosis and giving away her gym clothes and shoes. Why? Why?

Friday, October 01, 2010

A Season of Regret

the wedding cakeImage by massdistraction via Flickr

It is a terrible thing to second-guess yourself. I don't do it very often. But since earlier this evening there has been a heavy wave of "...oh, I should have done that..." washing over me. It makes me very melancholy.
Life is truly too short and logic is not everything.
Here's to you, Melissa. I should have flown the 10,000 miles to be at your wedding.


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Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Constant Gardener

When I was around six or seven, I was dad's garden helper. This meant trailing after him on those early mornings as he chose roses to snip, and put them in a bucket of water. I am not quite clear on my precise role, since I didn't actually snip the roses, or put them in the bucket, and I certainly didn't carry the bucket. However, since we had a large rose garden and a number of roses had to be chosen according to the color mom had requested for the day, it entailed a good deal of time. And to me, at age six, it was an honorable, serious, and dashed important task.
Happy birthday, Dad. I didn't inherit your green thumb, but roses always make me feel like a happy six-year-old again.
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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ana Carolina e Seu Jorge

First I found the jaw-dropping Ana Carolina singing solo, and now this! They are singing about the simple life. The song title, I learned, means something like “And that’s it.”
This Seu Jorge is the kind of musician that makes me grit my teeth even harder when I listen to the ‘pop’ that they play on the radio here. And I realize that made me sound Old. And you know what? I Am Glad. Because, if said old age has truly arrived, then it also brings the onset of truly Good Taste. Ha. E isso ai.


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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Wrightey goes to the Emerald Isle

Gammaduwa in Sri LankaImage by ImageBang! via Flickr
Ian Wright has a new show - Out of Bounds. After his tour of America in ‘The Wright Way’ this show sees him venturing him into destinations that might be considered out of bounds for the conventional traveller, whether by reasons of politics, natural disaster, war, or other reasons.
So far, I have seen him going to Cuba- the country has always intrigued me so it was a pleasure to see Wrightey going around not only in crumbling, strangely exotic, music-filled Havana, but also to other lesser-known parts of the country. In one notable segment he visits the famed Camaguay ballet company, and, of course, does a twirl or two in leotards.
Last night he was in Sri Lanka. And he loved it! He did everything from toddy-tapping to cricket, from a spot of billiards in an elegant club to fooling around on a beachside Hindi movie set; a vacant-looking Nisha Kothari didn’t look too impressed with his assistance, though.
Overall the show is a fine showcase of Wrightey’s trademark willingness to just jump in there and do it all. I did find the show a tad strangely edited, though. And the lack of maps made me wish that they did have one- maybe we are just used to the Globetrekker format. My mind is leaping to his other possible destinations- I know he did Caracas, supposedly one of the most dangerous, crime-ridden cities, but what’s next? Lhasa? Now that would be something. Though I would also be happy with Thimphu or Astana.
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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Howlin' Wolf - Shake It For Me

Real music, real music, real music. Enough said. Pop-fatigue is upon me.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Finally

If you are coming from this tournament...Image by mirsasha via Flickr
And Rafa did it! I just finished watching the US Open final, where Rafa had to beat down a spirited Novak Djokovic. To give him due credit, the sweet Serb did wage an inspiring battle against the fearsome Nadal, making him work pretty hard.
Strangely, I couldn't muster up enough interest in this tournament this year- in fact the high point was reading about Rafa's new shorter haircut. Hmm. Now of course I think I should have followed the matches more closely. Still, watching the final was good fun. Both played a strategic match rather than just the thunking, beastly bore-fests that I dread with the big servers. Now to look for the press conference. Rafa's eyebrow-raising and faltering English is almost as good as watching him play.

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Monday, September 13, 2010

Readings: Sea of Poppies


Amitav Ghosh is back in fine form with Sea of Poppies, the first of a trilogy. The novel tells the story of a majestic, beautiful ship named the Ibis, which has been commissioned by the British to carry slaves to the plantations of Mauritius from India. Despite a clunky first line, the book didn't disappoint mainly because of Ghosh's usual impeccable research and interesting stories. I say stories because each character's path that leads him or her to become a passenger on board the Ibis could have been a worthy stand-alone story; Ghosh's sure and deft hand pulls them together to make up an ensemble cast while keeping the ship at the center of the action.

The novel is neatly divided into three parts: Land, River, and Sea; a clever touch, I thought. The cast of characters is diverse, from the dramatically widowed Deeti, the untouchable Kalua, and the disgraced Raja Neel Rattan. The panoramic sketch of 19th-century British India is unfailing in its portrayal of the all-powerful distinctions of class, caste, gender and race. Also stunning is the depth of research Ghosh has put in to powerfully bring alive the ship's own universe- its unique language, the colorful crew and the phsyical beauty and grace of the Ibis itself.

I must confess that the nautical lingo and terms were difficult to read. Also, I wonder, how will foreign readers make sense of the liberal use of Hindi terms? (Evidently, they did just fine, if the Booker Prize nomination is anything to go by.) The parts I found most interesting were the social lives of the privileged, be it the Raja or the gala parties at the Burnham residence. However, it is bound to leave you feeling (if you are Indian, that is) with a sound gratefulness that we made the Brits leave- I am much happier to enjoy Jeeves and Wooster after the sun set on their blessed empire.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Concha Buika - La falsa moneda

Discovered Buika a couple of years ago and have been entranced ever since. Her voice! I want to BE her. Sade: You have competition. Snicker.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Corinne Bailey Rae - Paris Nights/New York Mornings

There's something so quietly joyful about this video. I can count on Corrine Bailey Rae for soulful lyrics and classy, real music. I love this part of the song:

"I could see the lights from the restaurant
I couldn’t quite perfect that nonchalance
Paris and champagne with one brown sugar cube

And we danced while the band played “She’s not there”
Kissed me in the rain by the Rue Voltaire
It’s a perfectly good way to ruin those silk shoes..."

P.S :I do covet those shoes.




Wednesday, September 01, 2010

September


How fitting. The sun shines today. Clean blue sky and a veil of sugary breeze.
Ah.
Let the good times roll.
For a few weeks, that is.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Bourdain about town

From the backwaters in Kerala.
Image from Wikipedia
Strangely enough, I watched Anthony Bourdain in Kerala last night. Strange for two reasons- one that I was ranting only recently that he had failed to make it even once to one of the great food destinations of the world, and two, that it just happens to be Onam.

So we have Tony going around in Cochin and the backwaters, snoozing predictably on a houseboat, sweating delightledly over mussels and fried fish. I did think that he didn't provide an adequate enough analysis of the many nuances of Mallu food, for instance, he didn't distinguish between say, Mopla cuisine and Syrian Christian cooking, and so on. To the causal viewer it would come across as routinely spicy and heavy on seafood, which of course it is, but. Still, he did mention how brightly-flavored and nuanced the vegetarian dishes were, so that's something. (There was no pork.)

He apparently spent a lot of time with superstar Mammooty. And he mangled the words "Malayalam" and "sadya." But he clearly had a jolly good time, and the episode was well-paced; in  fact, it was a surprise when it ended.

So Happy Onam, Tony. Thank you for saying you found the toddy foul-tasting, and for looking good wearing a silk kurta in the Kerala heat.
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Saturday, August 21, 2010

See you later...er...alligator


Horrors! The Lake of Serenity hides terrors of hideous proportions! In other words, J's dad informs us that an alligator was found in this limpid lake, at which we stared for many blissful hours each morning over cups of coffee. What's worse, a water mocassin created a ruckus in the swimming pool, at which pool too we spent many hours each day. And then (to use a hopelessly inappropriate phrase), as the icing on the cake- another snake in the actual house! What is it with this sudden infestation of reptiles? Can there be no peace on earth? All I can say is that I am glad all these alarming visitations didn't occur while I was in those parts. My heart is too faint for all this.
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Monday, August 16, 2010

Watched: Peepli [Live]

What struck me about Peepli (Live) was two of its female characters: one, the wife of one of the farmers at the heart of the story, and the other, a newscaster from one of the leading national TV networks.

To start with, the farmer’s wife: in all but one of the scenes that she is on screen, she is incandescent with rage. At one point, she even beats her husband and his brother with her shoes, carried away by her fury at their losing the ancestral land to the bank for non-payment of loans. And this is where the story starts: her husband, Nattha, and his brother Budhia, discuss the possibility of getting a compensation of Rs. 1 lakh from the government in the event of one of them committing suicide. (How the older brother gets the younger to be the one to ‘sacrifice’ his life is one of the masterful scenes in the film.) Somehow, the newspapers and then the TV networks get wind of this scheme, and an entire media contingent descends on Peepli village to cover the story of the ‘live’ suicide by a desperate farmer.

What follows is the usual political flim-flam by various parties and leaders at the state and national level. At some point, the focus shifts away from the very desperation that has driven the farmer to even think of suicide, and moves to the cut-throat race by the media to ‘cover’ the story from all possible angles, quite literally. The usual ‘aapko kaisa lag raha hai’ type questions and shrieking headlines abound. This brings me to the other woman I was talking about- the sharp-edged, clickety-clack newscaster, Nandita Malik, who rushes to Peepli as part of the madness.

I was quite pleased at the way there were no apologies for the way she and the farmer’s wife are portrayed. For once, a note of authenticity- the one quality I find lacking in the vast majority of Hindi films. In fact, the whole film has been handled with a genuine flair for the authentic. The sorry state of Indian farmers is no laughing matter, yet the director (Anusha Rizvi) does elicit laughs. This laughter is directed solely at ourselves, of course, but left me wondering what one could do about the very real plight of our farmers besides pay money to watch a film about it. I suppose raising general awareness would be a start.

Naseeruddin Shah and Raghubir Yadav are the only two actors I actually knew in the movie; a wealth of talent is exposed in the others who form the rest of the cast. The farmers’ bedridden mother who does nothing but hurl invective at her daughter-in-law, the rural reporter Rakesh who admires Nandita, the civil servants who are masters at the art of nothing-speak, the ministers, and of course, the two farmers themselves- all are well-written characters who strike a chord. Particularly hilarious are the Hindi news channel sharks. All in all, I am grateful for this type of cinema which makes a point whilst shunning preaching, pandering and piffle. (The only quibble would be the forced “Interval”: why does a two-hour film devoid of songs and dances need a two-minute break?)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Grey skies and green shoes

Just back from the Dastakar crafts show at Palace Grounds. In keeping with my general motto today was, of course, the last day of the show. Still, the sister and I had grand fun strolling around all the 100+ stalls, buying this and that, and eating chilli bhajjis. Then we came home and had tea and more snacks, so yes, an ideal Sunday.
To come to the actual thought that I was having while there, it was good to see this profusion of Indian arts and crafts on Independence Day. There were luminous silks from Chattisgarh, intricately worked Kantha from Bengal, adorable pottery from Uttar Pradesh, and mood-lifting floral fabrics from all over. The sheer diversity of Indian crafts and the incredible workmanship is certainly something to be witnessed- a melange of heritage, labor and pride. The display of colorful pottery laid out in the middle of the grounds was attracting a good number of shutterbugs with fancy cameras- I felt sad that I hadn't carried even my little point-and-shoot.

I came home a rather happy Indian, with handmade soaps smelling of mint and coffee, two sunny, painted ceramic jars, and some of that mood-lifting floral fabric. The soap is individually wrapped in thick brown paper, lableled, and sold by a charming elderly lady with impeccable language and a sweet manner. I always delight in things that are well-made with a lot of thought put into them, are simple, and SMELL GOOD on top of everything else. Sundaram Soaps is the brand, and I have a feeling my Creamy Mint soap is going to be a superior product.
And -ta da, green shoes! I think this is a first for me. I hope when I wear these that the aura I give off is 'pride in Indian workmanship' and not 'failed elf.'
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Saturday, August 14, 2010

Hopeful Readings

The Read n Fail scourge continues, unabated. The latest to fall by the wayside is John Fante's Road to Los Angeles. Although it had some thoroughly funny pieces of dialog, the rambling, or rather, the ramblings of an American teenaged boy simply didn't hold up my interest.
So to keep alive my faith in my own choice of book, I plunged into something drastically different- namely, Charlie Wilson's War. I figured it might as well be non-fiction if it's about something interesting like foreign affairs. Neither have I seen the movie, so I have high hopes here.
Then, Saul Bellow's Herzog. The opening line certainly drew me in, so again, high hopes. And finally, Somerset Maughm's The Razor's Edge.  In this case, I have seen the (brilliant) movie version starring a young Bill Murray, therfore, more high hopes. Sigh. Don't let me down, Saul and Somerset.
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