RUINS OF INDIAN CINEMA FOUNDED BY INDIAN AUDIENCE!

Last week I went for a Hindi movie, Aligarh. The movie is inspired from the life of Dr Shrinivas Ramchandra Siras. He was a Marathi professor in Aligarh Muslim University but was sacked when a video of him having gay-intercourse surfaced.

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Manoj Bajpai plays the character of Prof. Siras and oh! with such elan and class. His dialogue delivery, quite desperation and eyes filled with river of emotions never for a second makes you feel that this is the same guy who had played the malicious, womanizer and revengeful Sardar Khan in Gangs of Wasseypur. And that’s where an actor wins. When an actor is known by his character and not by his name. He is very well supported by another talented actor, Rajkumar Yadav.

So, why does it make an Indian sad?

To say the least, the audience. Here is what the people around me were speaking in between some scenes of the movie:

The beginning scene where Prof. Siras’ house is shown from outside for roughly five minutes.

Comments: Pssst…Yaar kya bore kar raha hai….uff (Geez! why they are boring us with this scene!)

There is a scene where Prof Siras enjoys his whisky alone while listening(at the same time murmuring the lyrics) to Lata Mangeshkar’s song:”Aapki Nazron ne Samjha

Comments: Kya yaar…ab isko gaate hue kyu dikha ra hai? (Why man! Why are they showing him singing the song?)

In one scene Prof Siras says how he hates his emotions being confined to the three letter word,Gay.

Comments: Huh…ok!

These are just a few of the many comments which people were passing throughout the movie. Only they didn’t realise that the house signified the imprisonment of the poor guy from the wicked world, once his privacy was sabotaged in that very house. The song was his elixir which liberated his troubled soul from all the worries of the world even if it would have been for a few seconds. Homosexuality was his sexual orientation and he felt violated when this  was narrowed down to a three letter word.

Oh! I forgot to mention one important detail :

I watched this movie in a multiplex where it is assumed that the audience is sophisticated and capable of reasoning. God, I had so misunderstood!

But people did seem excited at some places. For instance, when a love making scene between a guy and a girl on terrace was cut to homosexual love making scene, people were laughing and enjoying. Because hey, a gay make-out scene is  freakishly funny!

Also, towards the end of the movie, the screen throws a trivia stating that theSupreme Court of India has upheld section 377, thereby criminalizing homosexual activity. To this one “funny” guy told his friend to keep his hands away from him or else they will be jailed. Both started laughing fanatically.

So much for broad-mindedness.

What I find weird here is that this is the same audience who say Indian movies have no standard. These are the same people who loathe Shah Rukh Khan saying he has degraded nowadays. These are the same people who went ecstatic over Leonardo Di Caprio’s maiden Oscar win.

If such treatment is given to a class movie like Aligarh then why should anyone dare to make a strong movie? Why should SRK waste his energy when he knows people just like to see him shake his leg and romancing with girls half his age and not electrifying villages?

We love Leo,right? So proud that he won, aren’t we?But was The Revenant an entertaining movie? No!

The Revenant was a very slow movie with very few dialogues. Same goes with other masterpieces like The Godfather, The Shawshank Redemption, Interstellar,Inception, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, The Imitation Games, The Theory Of Everything and many more. Aren’t these our favorite movies? So, either we are so downright double -standard people that we fail to recognize the gems of our own country or we are simply those who love the imported products in order to shine our status in public.

Aligarh was a  tragic movie which ends on a sad note but people were hardly moved. A guy next to me said to his friend-“Third-class movie!”.Besides, people were busy making their way out. After all,the exit doors are open for few milliseconds!

End result: A movie so strong in both its story-telling, narration, direction and acting failed to impress anyone…well mostly.

I agree everyone has their own opinion. Forcing everyone to like a particular movie is downright stupidity. But when you hear a collective outburst against such a nice movie, one does feel very sad. Truly speaking,the scenario of Indian movies are never going to change. We won’t let it change.

In the end I would just say that Aligarh was not about preaching about Gay-rights or moral values. It was more about a person living through his troubled times with a glass of whisky and Lata Mangeshkar songs as his only solace.

So if you just want to sit back and laugh at every gay references or have a misplaced sense of “Dostana” expectation from this movie then please don’t watch it or even take trouble of downloading it!


 

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TEA-DEALER

THE NEW YEAR 2016!

The sudden bursting of crackers reminiscent of the parade of platoons made me jump and look at the time. It was 12 :00 and its the NEW YEAR 2016.  

 

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I could hear people going crazy, shouting and celebrating as if challenging the dead silence of the night. Somewhere, people are singing songs on a karaoke  which miraculously penetrates its way through all this cheering and noises.The phone is constantly buzzing with WhatsApp notifications and the following sentence took me a while to write as some loud cracker shook my concentration. The involuntary motion of my fingers opened a new tab -“Facebook” and the message “Happy New Year Nikhil” shows up which made me feel that the Facebook people truly consider me important. The Google doodle also welcomed the New Year in what I must admit, cute fashion.

So, where exactly am I amidst all this jubilation?

Well, if a word could justly define, it has to be “alone”. My roommate is away to meet his parents so its basically me sitting on the bean bag feeling quite pathetic about how dull this new year has started for me. So alone in this small flat that I can actually hear the silence quite distinctly. The friends who used to take all kinds of promises like “Not leaving each other” or “Always be there for you” have drifted so far apart. While people may assert this sudden change in their attitudes as disloyalty, I would just say its maturity.

What a pathetic mess!

But New Year is not supposed to be sad. After all the prefix
“Happy” is almost subconsciously added to New Year,isn’t it?

Still the question lingers:

So, where exactly am I amidst all this jubilation?

Well, the reminder set by the crackers made me a little excited. I went to the terrace to watch the charcoal black sky brighten up with wonderful crackers. It is one of those plenty sights which one should never miss. Especially when you are all alone, this visual delight becomes all the more relevant. All the brightness seems to caress you with the gentle wind whispering to you-“Hey you not all alone!”

I come down and my roommate calls me up in the good old-fashioned way to wish me “Happy New Year” reasserting my faith in friendship,however small this act may seem. I call up my mother and she breaks the”HELLO” stereotype with “Happy New Year”. My father is well,asleep. So, probably I will wish him in the morning. I ask the silence to stop talking so as to listen to the karaoke. God they sound so pleasant.

Bangalore is known for its traffic miseries. Everyday I see a kerfuffle…people always in a hurry. But this jubilation just makes me smile. People enjoying these little moments. So wonderful!

Its well past an hour since the New Year now. The karaoke has stopped and crackers have bid their goodbye. Silence is still waiting outside my door. But I won’t let him in. I turn off my net. I just can’t stand that constant buzzing.Being a music lover, I am playing the songs which are in my playlist (mix of Hindi and English songs). I am having soft drink (the pack of which ironically screams “PARTY!”)and chips. I have put FRIENDS on my laptop  which I will watch in just a few moments…maybe followed by a nice movie.

Back when I was a kid, my mother used to say-“If you study in New Year, you will study for the rest of the year and do good in your studies!”                          Here I am writing, thing which I love the most. So, if my “Mother’s Postulate” holds true then I may well write a lot this year.

So, being alone on a New Year is not the worst thing afterall. I enjoyed with the crackers. I kissed the soft drink. I eavesdropped on the neighbors karaoke.I grooved to the music I like. I will watch shows and movies which I am so passionate about. And I am writing all these experiences down.

And this pretty much sums up how I celebrated the New Year

…correction…

This is how I enjoyed my New Year alone!

 

 

 

 

 

 

EVIL…

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Through this journey of life..I often wonder what kind of person it has made me..

Like everyone I started as the good kid off the block but the actions and conducts draped with ego and misplaced sets of principles has made me a bad person. If I ask people narrowed down to my friends and families..all will say quite synchronously..”No he is a good Guy”..But I know the truth.

Evilness comes in various shapes and sizes quite often like a venomous snake..sneaking under the covers and biting you at the precise moment of your unawareness..and that is the type of evil snake I have become. Beneath the tardy cloak of goodness lies a much tough and impenetrable jacket of evilness.

People most often wouldn’t care writing their own eulogy and that maybe makes me fall into a better class of evil. But none is born evil..it is one of those superb characteristic of our mother’s womb that quite miraculously shields us from this fascinating negativity! You see evilness is created..monsters are raised..devils are sculpted.

Obviously my childhood wasn’t a tale of a prince. But it wasn’t very bad either. But in this era of economics and profits and technology no one gives a damn about the pieces which when arranged together like a puzzle would give a very dull picture of your useless tale! People like stories which touch the subtleties of hardships,pain,failures and exploitation and god I have bunch of them.

My parents are wonderful people and you know that I am speaking the truth. They tried to tend to my basic necessities but they too afterall aren’t gods. Many of their decisions needed me to make sacrifice.What are they? oh you wouldn’t be interested in that. But those sacrifices made me.I wrapped  my insecurities in my introversion…never letting anyone to even to poke this gigantic bubble. This was the reason why I was too happy when they decided to send me to a far-off place for my higher studies.

Every evil person has a certain weak point and I am no exception to it. I care for people. When and how it germinated inside me,I have no clue. Yes,I care for people. A person who always has a solution to problems. My evilness hit its lowest point when I offered my shoulder to let people cry upon. Ah,those stains..they just refuse to go. And what it gave me? nothing. I ain’t a philanthropist. I want people to acknowledge my helping hand. But they just..don’t. I owe them for they are the catalyst in my process of being evil.

I never saw love in my home. Yes..love…it was supposed to enter this memoir as a third dimension. I can’t express love..but still I have loved. And it has only rendered me hopeless and defeated. I have sacrificed my love and one particular girl…everytime when I see her…reminds of my failure. These depressive sorts…the more you run from them,the more out of breath you feel. People expect you to make compromises..well thank you, very much!..oh how I despise these “couples” knowing I am never gonna be one like them!

The experiences you face in life mould you. People look upto me when they want to get entertained but no one bothers to even call me up and say “hey!” I guess being a loner is a prerequisite of evilness.

So there you are…oblivious of a happy childhood…berated in love and a pinch of loneliness has made me a cold,calculative,unpredictable evil..I am that river which once tried to flow with care, love and emotions but now has become all frozen..frozen by all this evilness.

Through this journey of life…I often wonder what kind of person it has made me…

Guess..You have got your answer by now!

PRISONER OF HOPE…

A prisoner in a prison

Within this confinement of the classroom’s barrage,

I feel like a prisoner forced to feed on the rusted knowledge.

Serving the tenure of my parent’s hopeful fictionalities,

My soul seems lost in the labyrinth of disparities.

I try looking out of the lone solitary window…

To see a world free from this shadow.

I want to run away but my bones are so tied to the bench..

And the obtuse jailer’s teachings are making me so drenched!

These last years of my redemption,

I see many of my ‘jail-mates’ placed away with salutation.

A darkness has dawned upon me…

The path ahead seems a quagmire to me.

The hopes of the intimate looms back to haunt me,

Destiny seems false as a copper to me.

Still..I hold on to the lone window-sill,

And wish for the hopes to refill.

I want to catch a glimpse of sunlight again,

To rejuvenate this tarnished soul of mine in pain.

Oh! how I want to stand atop this hillock of hopes,

And cry aloud till my body moans!

I hope to break out of this sill..

And become a runaway…forever still.

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MIRROR ON THE WALL!

 

Sometimes while looking at the mirror a reflection dawns upon us which is not just our physical appearance. It’s not always our lips, our hair, our face or our eyes that we see. Its much deeper than that. Its our soul that we catch a glimpse of. Its a simple equation: Man can run away from love,believe,truth,passions but never quite from his own self. This notorious piece of instrument can show all the tarnish and dirt that are slowly decaying our soul. Quite an unpleasant sight,indeed!

 

 

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A few days back I sat for the very first company of my life and got rejected in the first round itself. Things would have stood quite normal at their respective places had it not been my close friends who not only cleared the first hurdle but ended up getting the job. It’s a natural instinct in human beings to get jealous and uncomfortable seeing other people succeed, most importantly people closest to you!

 

 

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Sadly, I looked at myself at the goddamn mirror and saw a stooped failed figure, staring right back at me. It pointed at me in disgust. It laughed at me! It mocked at me and showed how my friends had outshone me and made a fool out of me.
It reflected upon me how I had dashed the hopes of my parents and people close to me.
So convincing were the words of this image that I started to hate my successful friends and most importantly myself.

 

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My parents started filling me with the encouraging words of “wisdom” ;told me to never lose hope. My sister motivated me and tried to cheer me up. Some of my close friends gave me prospects of a bright future and “persuaded” me to believe in myself. Naturally, I discarded them. I preferred to sit in delirium within the confinements of my room, refusing to interact with anyone. Before I knew, this figure started to straighten up day by day. The virus that this spirit had unleashed upon my soul had started to eat it up. My soul had been contaminated with hatred,disgust,jealousy and spite. Yes, I was turning to a filth!

 

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Suddenly, something strange happened one day!
Maybe,it was the turn of events or the twist of fate, I realized that the spirit I was staring was the devil himself, growing stronger with all the negativeness I was imbibing. My hatred was making it stand. My disgust was filling it with blood.My jealousy was making it healthy. My spite was making it real.
I was scared! That was not me! I was never like that! How could I have been so mean?

 

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I decided not to make this thing any more strong.The words of my parents,sister and friends echoed in my ears.
The priceless experience taught by my parents started to break its spine. Yes, afterall it was just my first company..many more possibilities lay ahead. The cheerfulness of my sister’s stories brought the smile back on my lips. This new surge in my spirit sucked the strength out from the devil. The motivation and love of my friends rekindled my passion and made the evil spirit crawl back to its dark cave!

 

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I am determined once again..I will rise…I will be victorious…I will not let the faith of my parents,sister and friends die..Life will give me more opportunities. Maybe,I will succeed in some.Maybe I will fail in some. But it is going to make me more stronger.

 

 

 

Failure is that sour potion that makes success taste even more sweet!

 

 

Dedicated to:
My Parents (Experience counts!).
My Sister (“It’s not the end of the world!”..sure!).
The Two Lovely Ladies ( “Gorgeous” your crackle won’t go waste and “Trance” you will always be my good-luck charm!).
The Fat and The lanky ( awesomeness is unbeatable!).

 

BESTOW THOU LOVE…My DEAR SOCIETY!

If someone has lived in India or have been in any way associated with this great nation,they must be well acquainted with “Bollywood“. We are emotionally and obsessively bonded to our colourful cinema industry.It isn’t shocking to see people actually believing in the stories that is potrayed on the 70mm screen,indeed!

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Quite often I wonder the way “love” and “romance” is portrayed in Indian films. The crux of every movie lies in:

Two people coming together..falling in love..their parents objecting..their mission to impress the parents and Bam! the elders get convinced and before you know..the movie has offered you a ‘Happy Ending’!

But does that really happen? How accurate is this magnanimous portrayal of love?

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I can’t help but relate two incidents that happened with two women quite intimate to me:

The First incident is of a girl who is academically very gifted and has quite often made me feel that she stands on the pedestal of ‘women empowerment and independence’. Anyway,she falls in love with a French guy.Such deep-seated their love becomes that they start thinking about marriage.Alas,the love “waves” hit solid rocks when the girl’s parents come to know about this.The parents of the girl were considered by many as post-modern for letting their daughter study and support her through every desires of hers. Hardly did the poor lady know that her desires came with limitations. She was not allowed to love and marry. She tried convincing her parents but to no effect. Somehow “foreigners”  are not to be trusted when it comes to marriage.The melodramas weren’t a surprise. Tears flowed from both the sides. The girl’s father refused to talk stating how she had made her parents’ heads go deep into the ground in front of the ever-judging “society”. Months passed…things did cool down a bit. But the relationship between the girl and her parents soured. The cold-blood between them became inevitable

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Next incident is of this girl who fell for a boy who was not “international” like the former one..but belonged to a different caste which according to our society is an “alien” concept (21st century,Who Cares?!). Now, the most amazing thing about this scenario was her brother-in-law who came to know of this little secret of hers.What followed next was even more disgusting. He blackmailed to break this secret to her parents and virtually end her truly bright career. Sadly, the accusations made on the poor,beautiful girl’s “purity” and “dignity” proved too much.She eventually had to break-up with the guy rendering her heartbroken and traumatized.

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These cases I experienced had a great impact on me.I either directly or indirectly got involved in both of them.Sadly enough no bollywood movie tries and explore this dark side of our society. No,doesn’t even come close to it! Its a bitter reality that we still are living in this modern post-independent world without breaking the shell of our age-old dogmas. We try to inculcate modernism superficially.We brag about women-empowerment by quoting examples of the likes of Kalpana Chawla,Saina Nehwal etc. but deep down we are sexist where a guy goofing around with women is termed “stud” while a girl doing so is easily termed a “s**t“.

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I don’t need to preach about what is right and what not..what should be done and what shouldn’t be…that’s the “spiritual gurus” department! What I really want to say is that I “salute” the enthusiasm of the orthodox society of ours who are carrying the baton of “moral values” and “self-righteous” for others to follow. Kudos to them!   

I hope we keep on mocking the essence of love with the filth of obnoxious and preposterous customs and believes. Afterall when we have “moral guardians” to guide us then emotion and compassion hardly hold any relevance. And as it is, who can carry “love” and “labour” for it when it is already a “lost” battle!

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