Thursday, January 31, 2008

The new Rambo

I did not see Rocky Balboa.

In fact the last time I paid to see Stallone was in the atrocious Specialist: and in my sex-starved teens, he was not the reason that brought me to the Mayfair that evening.

I went to Rambo dreading that the new Rambo might not have grown amore mature and realistic political perspective; and might just be an excuse for another body count flick of the 90s; albeit with the special effects advances post-Terminator 2.

Alas! My fears came true.

I can't help compare Stallone right now with two other actors who went on to become directors: Eastwood and Mel Gibson.

While Clint debunked his own Blondie myth in (my opinion) the greatest movie of all times, Stallone is the Hollywood Mr. Bharat and DevAnand reincarnaton and can't seem to get over the fact taht world might have passed him by. He seems to have suddenly woken up to the fact taht Neo and Bourne might have displaced his legends of Rambo and Rocky. I can almost see him grunt the script out to an erstwhile KingOfPop in a PulpFiction-esque restaurant who, in turn, thumps out his latest beats for his re-re-launch featuring the coffin of Brando.

Grow out of it, Stallone.
First of all, your politics is as naive as Bush's (remember the Russian boxer in RamboIV and the America-loving mujaheddins in Rambo3 ?) . And, thankfully, the world has moved beyond the days of the DeerHunter-esque screaming Indochinese butchers in a raining Cambodian jungle. Throwing in a few screaming old women, kids being buggered and villages being wiped out ala ApocalypseNow might have passed muster for realism in 1972: but this is 2008.

Our economies as stronger enough too to protest this farce of humanism to portray a blood bath of bodies, heads and limbs being ripped off landmines, mortars, sniper guns; when not being hungrily devoured by pigs. Do you really know, and care, about Burma and what's happening there?

In fact, Stallone is a perfect example of the UnglyAmerican : a prescient book of the 50s followed by a great movie starring Brando, about the damages taht American ignorance is wreaking in international politics.

I never liked Stallone. But I didn't hate him: he did write the Rocky script after all.

But tonight I pity him. Someone much past his expiration date who needs to be put to sleep immediately: along with all the SouthIndian "legends", Dev Anand and Manoj Kumars.

Look at what Clint Eastwood and Mel Gibson have offered us in the past few years - Unforgiven, Million Dollar Baby, Braveheart, Passion of the Christ, Apocalypto and the amazing Mystic River.

Look at what Mr. Stallone has offered in the past one year - memorable lines like "It ain't over till it's over" and this - Rambo 2 Redux.

I pity him because he's the guy who had his peak 32 years ago - bolstered by heavy marketing gimmicry that sailed it past the Oscars overcoming (hold your breath) TaxiDriver!

In the last scene of this movie, Rambo walks back to his father's place in Arizona.

I can only hope that the old man has strength enough to lift a shotgun, steady his aim and blast the head off this "legend" for once and for all.

Otherwise, if not the screaming jungles of Cambodia, Thailand or Burma (all the same to Mr. Stallone), we might see him again killing a few thousand mujaheddins from Iran to Kashmir and suffering from a paper-cut - a stroke of genius wherein the human side of Rambo is finally shown.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Twisted thots

There are some people in my life taht i loved once, some of them I still do, but I find boring now. They have just stopped and run out of the ideas to keep me entertained.

I am not saying that they became boring in absolute terms - just for me. And it might be that it's I who's stopped and they have moved on. Whatever. But we are no longer on the same road.

I have not figured big in anyone's life so far: and likewise.

I respect the elders who were kind to me - my mom esp. - and I don't need to be entertained from them.

But that's it.

There are two things that are pulling me here - I want to be a decent person; but I want to be an honest person too.

I don't want to hang on to phone conversation that is boring me; but I don't want to hang up and be rude.

Decency and honesty.

There is the other thing too of course.

Why I can't be more normal?
Why this constant appetite for ideas? When I many a times ignore the details.
Why do tales repeated ad infinitum give me the feeling of stagnation.

I love people - I really do - but this boredom, this craving for something new new new - makes me a restless insensitive person.

I hear this crescendo in my favorite song, I read this line of my favorite book and I see this scene - and I want to just soar, soar and soar till I have feasted my eyes on the entire beauty and truth of the bluewaterypinprick of a planet.

How can I soar if I do not walk first?
What paradox this bursting heart poses in front of my insensitivity to others?

And I really can't figure out if I suffer from a bloated superiority complex? Or a heart-wrenching inferiority complex?
Are the wings I seek the wings I think I deserve - or wish I deserved?

I hope the phone does not ring...
I hope somebody does not want to know how I spent my day...
I hope somebody does not tell me how they spent theirs...

I want the phone to ring...
I want somebody to tell me the story they just thought of...
I want somebody to invite me to an adventure camp...

But I want to be the person who can tell and listen tales that carry no climax, no twist, no hint of anarchy.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Thots for a Sunday Afternoon

  1. Choices are an illusion.
  2. Lack of imagination is not stability.
  3. We will always be what we want; and not what are.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Where there is God

My landlord's only request, besides the bankrupting rent requested, was that a simple plaque on the door be left in its slightly damaded condition, with no further damages of course.

I have looked at this plaque for three months and an odd nagging feeling (similar to the one that I have that movie stars are making a lot of moolah) in me insists that the words in the plaque are incomplete.

Hence, I will try to complete the words.

Where there is no need,
there is no desire;
Where there is no desire,
there are "Not tonight Honey! I have a headache";
Where there are headaches,
there is frustration;
Where there is frustration,
There is adultery.
Hence, faith and adultery are two sides to the same coin.

तारें ज़मीन पर !

Based on rakesh's idea

Friday, January 18, 2008

The crush factor

what constitutes a crush?

if i say that i have known girls better than most Indian guys, i might perhaps not be exaggerating.

I was born a sole brother to a dozen odd sisters in a large joint family. at a very early age, i learnt to dissociate the etheria of my classmates' fantasies and the Bollywoodian HemaMalini-esque portrayal of the feminine form from the reality. I saw my sisters wax their legs (I won't mention the arm pits and let this blog be accussed of grossness!), drool while they sleep, lounge the entire weekend in their goddam chemises and oiled hair till it drove me screaming Aaaaargh, and used bogs that they had seiged for hours - leaving smells taht no man can possibly produce.

I thankfully had proper affairs of the heart too where my theory that the vignettes from the feminine life that i had been forced to witness in childhood were pretty much the real thing.

And yet I had my crushes.

The stopping of the breath, the choking of the voice, the articulation of sounds that our ancestors had left in the jungle millions of years ago, and the restless torment.

Why doesn't it ever stop?

Take Tom Cruise -who along with Gary Cooper and Salman Khan, must rank as one of the luckiest guys in the world in terms of scoring (albeit with enough of the factors to score on his side).

The girl he broke up with was Penelope Cruz. Pe-ne-lo-pe Cruz.

And he can still do this for his next date.


I know this is a horrible post, but I was getting frightend with my consistency ;)

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Tu kaun hai, tera naam kya, Seeta bhi yehaan badnaam hui...

Comment on Rediff
Sharam kee baath
by Kroora Shigamani on Jan 03, 2008 02:28 PM Hide replies

Agar ek naari aadhi raath mein hotel ke bahar Jashn aur jalwa manakar ghoomein tho koyi bee bharatiya purrush ko nasha chad jaatha hy. Yeh tho bahut sharam kee baath hy kee apne sabhyatha, samskruthi aur parampara ka apmaan ho raha hy bharatiya sthree kee vajeh se

Disturbed as I was with the event on New year's Eve, I was unsure whether I should dedicate a post to it. Thanks to Mr. Kroora and Rediff, that, as I have already highlighted, regularly spurns out the best of our Indian muck - for inspiring me to write.

Those of you who still haven't seen through the sham: This is the story...

Millenia back, man correlated his humping with the perplexing appearance of a small person, in the form of an infant, from the womb of the object of his temporary affections. Once the epiphany dawned, so did the cognizance of another distressing fact: since the coupling was free (and i assume, ferocious) between changing partners, the proof of fatherhood could never be established - except for a chance resemblance. This distressed the man since the establishment of control on a future generation gave him the sudden window to perpetuation and eventually - eternity. Lineages could be built; kingdoms could be established; histories could be written.

The first step in the systematic assertion of the father was the establishment of the virtue of the female as sacred and inviolable. The emergence of this strain of thought was best captured in the birth of Semitic religions: where the focus shifted from the Mother Goddess of fertility to an old frothing patriarch whose idea of love was to throw the souls of those who displeased him into an eternal agony and whose idea of a perfect life for his sons was their constant obsequious and humble reverence towards him. Lucifer, the proud, was created as a symbol of the evil of opposition to this diktat.

But perhaps the piece-de-resistance was the idea that females were the root to all the sufferings of the world today: and hence the story of Genesis and Eve and the apple.

With the expulsion of Eve in the story, a new morality was born. A morality where the only role subscribed to a woman was the bearer of the sons who would till the land, mind the sheep and conquer the lands for their father.

Since the shell of rationale - sacrosanctness of female virtue - holding the entire structure was thinner than a butterfly's wing, the new order had to preempt cracks that might lay bare the absurdity of it all. For this the weapon they employed was the basest known to man - violence. Morality was unquestionable and the price of transgression was horrible death - stoning, torture, burning at the stakes.

The other weapon was the denial of knowledge, and hence the faculty to reason, to women. Women were told that the greatest joy they can have, and the only function they can serve, is motherhood. That and the joy of getting up before dawn, cleaning the entire house, preparing meals three times a day, being the bouncing board for her husband's anger, wit and, of course, lust. The cult of pati parmeshwara started; the evidence of women's subjugation to her man was irrefutably established through the Genesis story; women were controlled and shepherded behind zenanas to save them from their own treachery and opening legs where they shouldn't.

It is interesting to note that to give the facade a credible bolster, the very idea of sex was propagated as intrinsically disgusting and sinful and had to be borne only for the function it served - producing children. In fact, in the case of Mother Mary, the ridiculous idea of her virginity despite conception was generated to maintain the veneer of purity, as described by the keepers of faith. So great was our Mother that she did not spread her legs apart even for Joseph!

Compare this to wild "promiscuity" of the early Gods of Greek, Roman and Hindu mythology: which would you be rather, my man? The wild God who had good, fulsome and perfectly consensual sex or the hubby who doesn't get it even for the noble cause of a divine birth?

But while this dogma was strictly imposed on the females, the channel of prostitution provided a secret vent for the men. In fact, the very keepers of virtue - the priests, monks, nuns and holy men - is replete with sexual excesses that would put Sade to shame - bestiality and week-long orgies in the seminaries in the Dark Ages, pedophilia in Islamic madrasas in 16th century and raping sadhus and seers.

Like the pauper bearded Taliban - denied of opportunity of knowledge, resources and, ultimately, choice - the females in our society have become the very keepers of morality that exploits and subjugates them: this is the biggest irony of it all.

(The history has been based on numerous readings and inspired by the Russell school of thought.)

The idea that morality is inherently good has brought us to the point - in fact, we have been hovering here since millenia - that, as Mr. Shigamani points out - the threat to paramparaa comes from the two ladies walking up to their cars in "revealing" clothes (where does the revelation end?: in Taliban kingdoms, men have been known to shag at the exposed ankles of women!) and not the 70-80 gentlemen who pawed, groped and ripped them apart for 15 minutes.

Mr. Shigamani might seem to have taken this to extreme, but it's actually a mere extrapolation of the reasoning that holds our "moral fibre" together. If anything, his ability to construe a reasoning to an end is intact.

For me, it's not very far from the strident jingoism we hear:

"East or West, India is the Best!"

"Chak De India!"

"Sabse aage hain Hindustani!"

and, of course, "The Great Indian Culture!"

(Have you noticed that most these cliches come from people who have never travelled a lot? And, by travel, I mean travel. The pseudo-Indianness of creating a cocoon of like brown faces, never venturing beyond the comfort zones of your ethnic (even, Indian, is a very vast term) identity is - mere displacement).

They reflect a smug confidence in the fact that whatever we do, wherever we are and the principles that guide us are inherently and unquestionably best.

The incident was not a reflection on the evils of(as the elders would spit it out) modernity - that is a separate post in itself- but a manifestation of the festering feudal mindset that refuses to embrace the modernity that advocates a baseline equality, respect for the dignity and space of the other and, the end of chauvinism.

Not many of us want to question, leave alone unlearn what we learnt as a kid.

If you can make the journey, fine. Otherwise, it does not matter - there are many like you there out with the danda to shut the blasphemous mouths of the few us standing our ground and opposing the juggernaut of your moral rath.

Thoughts for the day

1. Every institution, nothwithstanding the nobility of intention taht created it, ultimately, becomes a tyranny taht seeks to perpetuate itself at all costs.

2. Bisexuality is so much easier for girls.

3. Stagnation rots - people and civilizations.

4. Notwithstand Jung, everything DOES boil down to sex and infancy.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Smoke on the Metro: The Aftermath - I

January 2:
CPI-M and BJP disrupted House proceedings today for an hour before the session had to be adjourned. The issue at hand was the scathing exposee by Bland Spice yesterday on his blog on the shocking level of flatulent matter existing in the Metro.

Prakash Karat, walking out, told this reporter that the issue was clearly never a prt of the COmmon Minimum Program and is defintely against the poor man. BJP cadres gheraoed the Parliament in the noon and demanded the resignation of the PM.

Mr. Advani, leader of the opposition, alleged that the issue points towards rampant corruption happening in the Metro Development Authority; but failed to elaborate.

He demanded a CBI inquiry and said that there is clearly a foreign hand.

A nation-wide bandh has been announced by the CPI-M on January 3.

Expect an update on the strike tomorrow.

Smoke on the Metro

Riding the Metro from Karol Bagh to CP on Sunday, a thought struck my nose: We hear so much about passive smoking and its evils, while for millenniums the bigger evil remains unchallenged - passive farting.

While the problem pervades all public arenas - sometimes silently, sometimes with a whistle and sometimes with a ripping explosion, the topic I am specifically bringing up is "Flatulence Aboard Rail Tracks" - F.A.R.T

Smoking relieves stress, channelises nervous energy and, of course, is a great bond builder amongst men. So what's the hullabaloo about some dumb fu**s coughing their inner lining out over a few harmless drags - it's probably good for their health. Nicotine might be bad for health in large doses but surely our body might be needing some of it if it needs lead (I will let some miserable Health researcher to prove this very obvious theory).

Our cities lay wrapped in huge clouds of carbon-flavored smog, cacophonies of horns and swears, and plastered in dungs, spits and waste: and the government is up against the good Samaritans out there beside you nourishing your nicotine-starved lungs.

So it kills a few? So what? Surely the BlueLines, wars, pollution, road rage and every other misery claim more?

Starting our clean up act with eradicating smoking in public is like helping a man being pounded by 20 gorillas in heat and being bitten by a mosquito, by trying to squash the mosquito.

Now take farting.

What advantage does that give you: smelling the contents of what some mysterious co-passenger had guzzled down with the aid of some cheap liquor? I already have all the gases inside me without your releasing your own. All it does to me is that it challenges me to better my record time for holding breath and reminds me that if the food that we eat comes out smelling like that - God, and the alimentary canal, indeed move in very mysterious ways.

So, before smoking, we have to scourge the earth, or, at least, the Metro, from the deadly cocktails of a Jat Farmer's baajraa roti with the Punjabi's beer and butter chicken with the Khan chacha's bade ke kebab!

Here's my suggestion:

Fart can be seen in infrared. Install the infrared cameras within the metros at every ten meters and make them sensitive to changes in air pressure. So whenever the fat lady in salwaar kameez shifts the lining of her wedge quietly and stealthily by a deft hand behind an extended dupatta, the increase in pressure behind causes the cameras to swivel and catch her in the act. If the lady is driving the Metro, wait for it to stop at the next destination and drag the criminal out.

Now here's the punishment: get some 100 really fat guys who can't move a step without wheezing and holding their heart, and feed them nothing but beer, mooli ke paraathe and taco bell burritos. keep them in separate small cubicles and pay them to just sit there and keep eating. provide a bog inside these cubicles - with no flush. Use these specially-designed state-of-the-art cells to detain the criminals caught on camera overnight.

That will teach them farting etiquette.

Benazir a martyr?