2 Jun 2004

Reel Blunders or Real Demands?

Posted by Oblivion in General | 7:17am

Let's accept - mediocrity rules in Indian cinema. Barring a Mani Ratnam flick in a year or two, or a Shekar Kapur film once in a blue moon, or a Varma's good attempt in equally good time, is there anything that we can take pride in? Where is that breed of sensible filmmakers, who rely more on storytelling than special effects or masala effects? Karan Johar is hailed as the greatest thing to happen in recent times!!! (Hello to all those who agree! does anyone remember Satyajit Ray please?) Ask any filmmaker the reason for the same, most of them would not even dare to acknowledge it. On the contrary, they would dismiss it as a foolish question. The remaining few would blame it on the audience. "We give what audience asks us", would be the most-oft repeated quote.

Ask the audience and they would say "we enjoy what we get to see". True, it is an evasive atitude to blame audience. So, who is the culprit? It was not very long ago that one could watch brilliant stuff from filmmakers like Kundan Shah, Ramesh Sharma, Aditya Bhattacharya, Mrinal Sen, Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Govind Nihalani, etc. Yes, some of them make films even now, but the product is appalling for their standards. Only Mani Ratnam seems to hold the ground firmly, although Yuva pales very much in comparison with his pre-Roja films. Vinod Chopra seems to have forgotten how he made Khamosh or Parinda. Hrishikesh Mukherjee doesn't come with the magic or intensity of an Anand or Abhimaan.

It is not to say that there are no good movies any more, but the ratio is very low. Is is because of a downfall of the collective creative psyche of the filmmakers? Is it the undue preference for box-office success that is affecting? It's good in a way, for every such dip in creativity results in the birth of a great filmmaker like Satyajit Ray. That is the only consolation I find to stand this otherwise pathetic scene of Indian cinema.

Current Mood: Happy
Current Music: ---

31 May 2004

Freud - Slipped?

Posted by Oblivion in General | 9:46pm

Does anyone read Freud seriously these days? I'm not referring to reading him as a part of academics, where one is usually forced to read and as a result we have hardly anyone left who would read something out of passion. That, unmistakably, is one of the evils of the existing education system.

We don't live by instincts. We operate through a mechanism forced upon us by society. This actually creates a lot of friction and keeps the rope of life very tense, instincs being very powerful. The upshot is we have a majority of the population absolutely neurotic. This is more easy to discover in cities. A lot of suppression goes on life ever since one is a kid, and over time, it builds up a massive, strong wall in the mind. This constantly demands the individual to conform to a code that one is not naturally inclined to. The effects could be either ways - it may make one a pervert or an invert (homosexuals). Today's world is in the third stage of sexual evolution, and Freud predicted this would effect in neurosis among majority. And he suggests marital unfaithfulness may not be as bad as we suppose it to be. In demanding the young to be celibate till marriage, and the average age at which one gets married being only on the rise, it actually ruins the very purpose for which it is preparing one.

Freud, simply, is a genius! If one understands him properly, it will cure many ills of the present world. But I wonder how many are reading him! Have we done the classic 'Freudian slip' by slipping him out of our reading habits?

Current Mood: Happy
Current Music: ---

29 May 2004

This Sentence is False

Posted by Oblivion in General | 7:31pm

Epimenides the Cretan, a philosopher of the 6th century BC, is said to have uttered the sentence, “All Cretans are liars”. As he himself was a Cretan, this gave rise to a paradox—if he were telling the truth, then he would be a liar. Depending on how one defines a liar, the paradox is resolvable; he could have been a habitual liar who was telling the truth in this one instance. However, a stronger version of the paradox, known as the Liar paradox—“this sentence is false”—is not resolvable in conventional logic systems.

Indeed, the circular loop that the sentence induces—if it is false, it must be true, and if true, false—has been used more than once in science-fiction movies to cause marauding computers to lose their sanity and explode. Traditionally, logicians have made a stark distinction between truthhood and falsity. A statement was considered to be either true (given a truth value of one) or false (a value of zero). In the 1960s, Lotfi Zadeh of the University of California at Berkeley came up with the catchy innovation of “fuzzy logic”. In this system, things could be sort-of true, or only partially false. A “truth value” of 0.5 meant that a statement was half-true, and so forth.

On close observation, fuzzy logic is the mathematical equivalent of the 'middle path' advocated by the Buddha. Avoiding the extremes, thus avoiding any conclusions - this helps perception to be undistorted. This is the primary basis for a rational mind. The world absolutely needs this now more than

Current Mood: Happy
Current Music: ---

25 May 2004

As If It Werent Enough!

Posted by Oblivion in General | 10:09pm

Just read this interesting/cranky/sensible/weird (choose) stuff that I chanced upon at rediff's:

Marriages under Essential Commodities Act!

The order stipulates that not more than 45 kg each of rice and meat must be consumed at a wedding. The bride's side must not invite more than 75 guests, including 25 baratees. The groom can invite 50 guests

As it is, marriage as an institution is utterly complicated. Getting out of it is even more complicated, and this is heavily dependent on one's cultural, geographical and religious backgrounds. So, complicated as it is, do we need this restriction on the amount of food to be consumed and the number of guests one can invite? And why is this only specific to Kashmiris? Are they more extravagant and careless in wasting food!? Why do we have different rules for different people, merely separated because of geography? Do we need to complicate and already complex problem more?

On second thoughts, wouldn't it be a nice idea to frame restrictions on the level of decibel output at functions? I don't know about other places, but Hyderabad needs this. Badly. They have these muhurats at the dead of night and the people, indulging in jubilation that puts the achievement of winning the Nobel to shame, shatter many a kids' sleep. All for what? For f***ing up two individuals' (and all the future issues as a result of this) lives! (No, I'm not against the relationship as such. I genuinely hold this relationship as a most beautiful one, provided the two persons love each other unconditionally. It is only the act of conforming to societal mores that I do not appreciate at all)

While signing off, I'm trying to find out the country where this institution is least complicated. Any ideas??

Current Mood: Happy
Current Music: I told you! They are playing it at those function halls. Cant you listen!!??

25 May 2004

Now, Imagine!

Posted by Oblivion in General | 5:57am

You are Tom Hanks in Castaway. A touching obituary in The Times of India, and everybody thinks you are dead. Your kith and kin attend your 'funeral', shed tears for some days and life gets back to normal. All your precious belongings are put in the coffin and now they are gone.

You spend five years on a 'no-man-had-ever-been-there island' and in your trial to get back into the world, you are as lucky as Tom Hanks, in that you are found by some sharp-sighted, idle chap on the cruise that almost passed by. The world has moved five years ahead, and you? You remember which school of thought you had ardently followed? You remember your religion? Remember the multiplication table? O yes, multiplication table, yes, you do. You very much do.

Now, on returning home, what is the first 'precious' thing that you'd go and search for? To check if it's still there r not. What is it?

Ok, hypothetical, and the probability suggests it is very close to impossible. Yet, just imagine!

(P.S. I watched Yuva last evening. My rating - 4.5/5)

Current Mood: Happy
Current Music: nOnE

21 May 2004


Posted by Oblivion in General | 6:23pm

"You should have shot yourself"

"You could have saved the honour of your family"

The woman, holding the baby, blissfully sleeping, closer to her chest: "I could not help it. The soldiers stopped and..."

The old man, the woman's father, pulls out the rifle from the holster and offers to her, "Take this. Nobody is stopping you now."

The woman looks at the face of the baby and looks at the man, and says, "I have the baby with me, papa."

The old man is furious. "Take this. Else, I will shoot you both." He points the rifle on her forehead.


Would you do this with your daughter upon knowing that she bears a child - either by consent or otherwise - and doesn't know its father is? I know most people would. After all, honour is at stake! Family honour! Honour, prestige, respectability are more precious than individuals, aren't they?? Huh!

Why do we make such things so important? Why do we hold them more important than an individual? Why do we live with such obsessive self-interest that makes us feel we have a right over other persons - no matter who they are? If the father doesn't approve of the daughter's decision, is it not possible for him to simply cut ties with her and let her go and live her life? And damn it, what has she done, after all!?

Freedom from outside is just an illusion. We live with so many psychological prisons! Ironically, our rhetoric for freedom notwithstanding, we imprison ourselves! Ideals, beliefs, opinions, conclusions... Let's stop this. 

Current Mood: Happy
Current Music: Beethoven

21 May 2004

Murphy's Law - Infallible?

Posted by Oblivion in General | 3:30am

"If something can go wrong, it will" - Murphy's Law

It confounds me - why doesn't Murphy's law apply to itself? I don't pretend to know the answer, but I'll try to put down what I feel may have a vague relation with:

1.For anything, there is only one way to be right. Any way else is wrong. Naturally, the probability of things going wrong is much higher than that for going right.

2.According to the second law of thermodynamics and the law of conservation of energy, ordered systems tend to disorder and disordered systems tend to stay that way. So, perhaps it is nature's very design that things go wrong rather than right. Disorder or chaos is all-pervading. Order is a star in the sky - it can be reached only by a soul with an elevated consciousness.

Ergo, Murphy's Law is infallible.

Current Music: none

20 May 2004

'Border' - the Elephantine Issue

Posted by Oblivion in General | 6:04am

This morning I saw, in The Hindu, a photograph of an elephant being 'repatriated' to Bangladesh after it was found to have crossed the 'border' and came to India.

Crossed the border! Crossed the border! Why am I focused on that? Because it makes me laugh. Isn't that ridiculous? As it is, this whole concept of borders, nations, states sounds unimpressive to me when applied as a differentiating label. To me, the good line of such divisive labels stops at identity in the form of passport. Anything beyond that looks cranky. Fine, I understand it's one of those million other things that man has invented to complicate his life, and for the simple fault of being a member of this esteemed species (is that elephant hearing this?) I've but little choice to do anything about the feeling of intolerance for the same. But think of it! To impose such divisions on animals as well - is there an adjective for this in the lexicon invented by man?

Not that the elephant would've cared. True, when your focus is on the right things and to the right extent, you won't ever have time for petty things. Eat, drink, bathe, play, mate, sleep, enjoy life as long as it lasts - the elephant would not think beyond these. Are we, with a million other 'important' things to think about, happier than them? Than any other species, for that matter? Ok, there may be a thousand sound reasons to prove that we are happier, but it still falls short - because the happiest person is the one with no concept of 'happiness-sorrow' and surely animals don't seem to have this, which means they are as happy as we are, if not more.

There could be no other species on any other planet in any other galaxy as 'civilized' as man; nor as advanced as to be able to exterminate his own and all other species as well in no time. Man, methinks, is the only animal to look at everything as if it were designed with the sole purpose of meeting his needs. He applies his criteria - stupid in themselves - to everything else.

Coming back to the elephant - no, it was not a baby elephant that was being sent back to join its mother. So, there's no place for justification. Elephant crossed the border! It still doesn't make sense to me. Obsession itself defies common-sense, and when obsession goes to extreme, what do you call that? Elephant is big enough to be spotted; what are they doing about those ants that are crossing the border every day??

On second thoughts, however, it was perhaps a good idea, considering the maintenance issues of the zoological parks. This just struck me, I'm not taking back my earlier words though. I've spent good enough time writing it. Besides, it's not entirely destitute of an element of truth.

Current Mood: Happy
Current Music: Yuva

18 May 2004

Lines of Wisdom

Posted by Oblivion in General | 11:57pm

Questioner: "If one can have the privilege of becoming totally
aware, how can we then help those who are conditioned, who have a
deep resentment in them?"

JK: Why, if I may ask, do you use the word privilege? What is there
sacred or privileged about being aware? That's a natural thing,
isn't it, to be aware? If you are aware of your own conditioning, of
the turmoil, the dirt, the squalor, the war, the hatred, if you are
aware of all that, you will establish a relationship with another so
complete, that you are related to every other human being in the
world. You understand this? If I am related to somebody completely,
totally - not as an idea or an image - then I am related to every
human being in the world. Then I will see I will not hurt another -
they are hurting themselves. Then go, preach, talk about it - not
with the desire to help another, you understand? - that's the most
terrible thing to say, "I want to help another". Who are you to help
another? - including the speaker.

Sir, look, the beauty of the tree or the flower doesn't want to help
you, it is there; it is for you to look at the squalor or at the
beauty, and if you are incapable of looking at it, then find out why
you have become so indifferent, so callous, so shallow and empty. If
you find out that, then you are in a state where the waters of life
flow, you don't have to do anything."

Current Mood: Happy
Current Music: ???

18 May 2004

Day Writing Reverse World

Posted by Oblivion in General | 2:14pm

'Day Writing Reverse World' is Today. reverse in everything write to attempting am I And. difficult increasingly becoming is it, more write I As. ?anybody to sense make this Will ?care I Should experimenting just am I. punctuation understand to is this with problem The. invented be should punctuation of system new a, So.

?funny that wasn't but, day such no there's ,Ok

Current Mood: Happy
Current Music: ???

18 May 2004

Soni, Sodi, Soci?

Posted by Oblivion in General | 12:40am

She came, she saw, and now she has conquered. Our fault, of course! But then the fact is she is there. Whether she'll be an able PM or not is to be seen; this should not be impatiently concluded by us simply by the label called nationality. We need an able PM, and if she can do that job properly, it's a good thing.

However, I was wondering... Is there any other country in this world, which has, as its PM, a person who cannot speak properly the official language of that country?

Current Mood: Happy
Current Music: Yuva

16 May 2004

To Vote or Not to Vote

Posted by Oblivion in General | 8:30am

There's a peculiar habit among us - if a point cannot be justified with sound reasons, then shift the balance with meaningless words like 'responsibility', 'duty', etc. To not exercise one's franchise is akin to his not being a 'responsible citizen', many say!!

You have ten goons to choose from, and if you refuse to choose, is it intelligence or irresponsible gesture? People use such lofty, shallow words as 'patriotism' and send young chaps to war, to kill one another for petty reasons. If one refuses, he's termed unpatriotic and coward! Same goes with elections. These are all words seen through the glass of prejudice. Intelligence is to look at everything from a larger perspective. And refusing to do the 'normal' deed doesn't imply irresponsibility or inaction or complacence, but at times - and especially in case of such large-scale issues - it implies discontentment with the existing system and a belief that it can be made better.

When nations take to war, great, rational men don't give up their belief in peace, even if it means risking imprisonment or even being thrown out as refugees. It doesn't mean they are irresponsible. On the contrary. When all choices available are equally bad, it is absolutely sensible to stay away and remain focused on the possibility of a better choice.

So, if all the chaps contesting for the seats are goons it is 'demon'cracy. And it is downright immature to justify the deed of voting with the highly misinterpreted words like responsibility and duty. Sorry, we need democracy.

Rationalising something to feel good, I'm afraid, won't take us anywhere. If something's good, it's good; if something's bad, it's bad. No matter what it is. Dealing with facts is the first step to realise anything better. When something is not working, it's better to start anew than hypnotise ourselves to feel good about it and wait for the better moment. Complacency, in some cases, simply kills. Siddhartha would've chosen to remain in the confines of the palace and with all the relations, and yet discover the truth. He perhaps might have discovered too, but then he would never have become the Buddha.

Current Mood: Happy
Current Music: Ayitha Ezhuthu

14 May 2004

Thought for the Day

Posted by Oblivion in General | 3:09pm

I was just wondering... Is man the only animal that celebrates mating?

In primitive communities, as they didn't have adequate knowledge, all the unexplained things were attached to miracles. Hence, superstitions and attaching mysterious significance to common-place events. Interestingly, this habit has survived through millennia, all the blah blah about 'becoming more civilized' notwithstanding.

Seriously, do we need to continue? Why are we so anthropocentric?

Current Mood: Happy
Current Music: Pithamagan

13 May 2004

Paragon of Animals

Posted by Oblivion in General | 6:12pm

It always confounds me that man, with all his intelligence, could not invent a better societal institution than marriage, and a better system of governance. Both of them have done more harm than good.

Does it prove the fact that man loves to be with the known, no matter howevermuch a mess it is, than to be free from the known? I suppose it does. 

Reminds me JK's wonderful book - 'Freedom from the Known'.

Current Mood: Happy
Current Music: Enigma

12 May 2004

The Mock Race

Posted by Oblivion in General | 8:17pm

The mock race - that's what I refer democracy as. At least, as it exists in this f****ed-up-beyond-repair country. The process, as I understand, is this:

1.It's the avarice for power and not the desire to serve people that pulls so many idiots (no contradiction here, their looks also reflect this!) to ruthlessly compete for those seats

2.A good number of people know this, yet they are helples as to what to do about it, or how to stop this from happening. So, sincerely, they stay away from exercising their franchise. (ok, I appreciate all those too who want to vote but do not end up voting)

3.A majority of the multitude that vote (vicariously experiencing the illusion of power for that one moment) do not know the implications of their deed.

4.Then, we have this counting drama and a chap wins.

5.The chap takes the populace for a ride and the common man - the most voiceless creature in this world - suffers in silence. 

6....and the race continues.

Come on, hasn't it happened for a long enough time for us to realise that the entire process has so many flaws? Why do we select the civil servants through such a rigorous procedure but care nought when we choose our leaders from a bunch of insane, selfish, ruthless, even uneducated (not that it is important by itself) brats with a bent for crime?

Media hypes politicians so much. Success and power are worshipped in this world. Where is the country going? Wouldn't it be better if the leaders are chosen from the civil servants? Isn't the probability, in this case, of having more number of better leaders more than it is now?

Why doesn't anyone with sanity and power (eg., civil servants, editors, etc) make this a big issue and try to arrive at a better solution?

I know all this is a helpless banter... Yet...

...into whatever heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake (apologies to Tagore, for paraphrasing). Because, any other heaven would be better than this existing hell!

Current Mood: Happy
Current Music: Yuva
<   1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9    10    11    12    13    14    15    16    17    18    19    20    21    22    23   24   Next>>