28 Oct 2006

Obscene, MMS!

Posted by Oblivion in General | 12:34pm

Manmohan Singh (MMS) - on his visit to Hyderabad the day before - hailed Y S Rajasekhar Reddy (YSR) for his noble deeds toward development of state and compared him to Sir Arthur Cotton. Either MMS is wholly ignorant of YSR's exploits or he is just too innocent to have such a high opinion of indohomopolitico fucken sapiens, Indian politician in short. I don't like to believe either is true.

MMS, most able as finance minister is proving to be a dud as a PM. Politics is getting only worse, and I'm still told, with unflinching reassurance, that the country is doing better than ever!

Current Mood: Happy
Current Music: ---

16 Oct 2006

Between Yes and No

Posted by Oblivion in General | 8:01pm

When we are stripped down to a certain point, nothing leads anywhere anymore, hope and despair are equally groundless, and the whole of life can be summed up in an image.

Yes, everything is simple. It's men who complicate things. Don't let them tell us any stories. Don't let them say about the man condemned to death: "He is going to pay his debt to society," but: "They're going to chop his head off." It may seem like nothing. But it does make a little difference. There are some people who prefer to look their destiny straight in the eye.

- Albert Camus, Between Yes and No, from The Wrong Side and the Right Side

The only other writer, to my mind, who writes such direct prose, alluding to similar insights is Coetzee. Reminds me of David Lurie, in Disgrace, saying "One is fine as long as one is alive". No fuss, stare without a blink, objective and maverick. As regards the strength and choice of words, Vivekananda comes as a close match. Russell's writing is more intricate and witty, but it reflects as much conviction. If Freud were a philosopher, he would have been Russell Sr. If JK wrote fiction, it'd have been, in format, like that of Camus and Coetzee. But while Camus suggests resignation and Coetzee suggests acknowledgement, JK would suggest nothing. For him, there's no middle ground. A genius of the highest order.    

Current Mood: Happy
Current Music: ---

15 Oct 2006

The Week That Was

Posted by Oblivion in General | 6:46pm

Sunday: Drive. Rest. Drive. Rest. Drive. Rest.

Monday: After many back-to-backs, it's three in a row for the first time in Outlook. And going by the law of averages, they goofed up with the name in the third one. Turning out to be a good experiment in probability.

Tuesday: Airports are interesting spaces. The rate of usage of electronic gadgets seems to go significantly up at airports. Books/magazines I spotted in the hands of fellow passengers: The Week, The Argumentative Indian, Outlook, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, Freakonomics.

Wednesday: Aimless.

Thursday: If A and B are given the task of killing each other, what are the chances of each one's survival? How effective is probability if one of the factors is unpredictable? Extending the same to a larger set, what are the chances of my survival if everyone in the world is given the task of killing one person, selected randomly? Technically, only half the population should survive the project. But, at the end will we have only half or a little more?

Friday: Song, dance and drama to kick off the weekend. It's a pleasure to sit back and watch someone perform.

Saturday: Dandia nite. For someone interested in studying human behaviour when in groups, it's easy to see why indulgence is easy in a party setting.

Current Mood: Happy
Current Music: The Godfather theme score

8 Oct 2006

Season of Remakes

Posted by Oblivion in General | 11:50pm

Shiva just went past and Don is next in line. Not surprisingly, Ram Gopal Varma's much talked-about remake of his debut movie (telugu, not the hindi one) turned out to be a hugely disappointing work. Remake is always a challenge, and it's even more so if the original was a good one. So far as I remember, Virasat, Gardish, and Nirnayam (telugu) are the only remakes that were as good as the originals. Interestingly, all these are Priyadarshan's works. 

Shiva, made in 1989, was a path-breaking movie. Anybody could identify himself with the setting. Simple yet compelling script, backed by Ilaiyaraja's brilliant work, outstanding audio effects, superb performance by Raghuvaran made for an irresistible package. It outperformed the success of Mani Ratnam's blockbuster Gitanjali at the box-office. It made Nagarjuna a superstar. Fittingly, neither Varma nor Nagarjuna had to look back ever since.

Cut to Shiva 2006. Barring a few typical Varma shots and a couple of great background scores by Ilaiyaraja, this stands nowhere in comparison with the original. Not that Varma's talent has depleted, but just that the original was too novel a film that any attempt to remake is doomed for failure right from the ideation stage.

Varma, one of the best directors now, is also remaking Sholay. Now, if one picks five outstanding hindi films that should not be remade, Sholay would feature as the first. Given the legendary status of the movie, I have no doubts as regards how utterly Varma's remake would fail to match up.     

A few days from now, Farhan Akhtar's Don will hit the screen. Don - the original -had, besides the imposing presence of big B, great music. It's too early for me to dismiss the remake, but I'm confident it'll not have any magic that the original had. The promos suggest the movie would be definitely more stylish than the original, but there ends it. The remix version of Ye Mera Dil sounds awful for anyone who loves Asha's number. And the only actor who can do a Bachchan is Bachchan himself. Shah Rukh might impress, but the Don would still remain Bachchan.

I'm not against remakes, but the idea doesn't sound appealing to me. You cannot remake great movies any more than you can rewrite Russell's or Tagore's works. Good that nobody has thought of remaking The Godfather. And thank God, Sandid Ray is not contemplating the project of remaking Ray's movies!

May this 'season of remakes' end soon. I'm happy with 'good' originals.      

Current Mood: Happy
Current Music: ---

7 Oct 2006

The Truth

Posted by Oblivion in General | 11:42pm

"A corporeal phenomenon, a feeling, a perception, a mental formation, a consciousness, which is permanent and persistent, eternal and not subject to change, such a thing the wise men in this world do not recognise; and I also say that there is no such thing."

- Buddha

Current Mood: Happy
Current Music: ---