Saturday, 23 February 2013

Wife's petticoat

Most of the males that I know  will feel very embarrassed if found to be hanging their wife's clothes on the balcony for drying or even picking them up once dried. This I think is an universal and though many males do it regularly, most  of them loathe it and do it grudgingly and try to be as quick and stealthily as possible. But why ? 

This off course is an issue of mindset and inspite of a lot of change in the social mores, the idea of a husband washing clothes of his wife and more than that ,taking time to hang them up for drying still elcits ridicule for the husband and his wife from the neighbours and elders . It is also a matter of amusement for others.  But is it really something so amusing , as in cities and rapidly increasing smaller families many males have to help their wives in kitchen  and other houseworks. But they still wouldn't like themselves to be caught hanging the nighty of their wife on the clothesline. 

Recently in the movie Special 26, there is a scene which tries to raise some laughs on the predicament of a henpecked husband washing clothes and the mirthy response from the viewers firmly establish that this is indeed something amusing to watch others do. I am also reminded  of the comments made by an erstwhile senior officebearer of the SBI Officers Association on the VRS scheme , when it was first introduced.  The statement made by the worthy and often repeated by his lieutanants to dissuade members from opting for VRS was -  “ These people after getting VRS will be of no use and spend their time at home washing petticoats of their wives” . Naturally such revolutionary statements garnered a lot of claps from the audience but sadly felt short of stopping people from applying for VRS . But that is another story altogether. What I mean to say is that there exist, in all of us, that sense of negativeness about men doing household chores and in spite of the so called progress, which is also visible, the society is still submerged in that old mindset of compartmentalisation between male and female bastions of work.

I think a large part of responsibility for this type of mindset to prevail in the society , along with many other notions of male preogatives , squarely lie on the females. If a mother cares to get her son accustomed to household jobs right from the childhood instead of segregating them into women's chores and men's rights, they would be doing a great service to their future generations . Women nowadays are quite open and often we find them in the forefront of protests and movements in social issues. They also have been given equal rights and theoretically match their male counterparts in any sphere of activities. But whenever we come across instances of gender discrimination and atrocities on women , we blame the men for it.  It is very convenient for everyone to shift the burden of social change on the males because of their dominance, historically.

Females  or for that matter everyone who complain about oppression and discrimination from other sections of the society should first try to introspect themselves and locate their chains before blaming the existing social system or making demands of more freedom and respect. If  someone does not respect herself and conform to the social stereotype by own volition even after a reasonable education and economic independence, they are not only spoiling the life for themselves but also for the others who are not as fortunate as themselves. 

The chains which bind you , my dear female species of human beings are mostly imaginary like the clothes line that hang on your balconies. 

P.S. : I know what I have posted above may be taken as controversial. I mean no disrespect to anybody, either females of any variety or males who hang their wive's clothes at the balcony.  I invite comments from everyone within the limits of decency and ready to accept all brickbats if  I really deserve them.



Sunday, 17 February 2013

Let's talk it over

Why don't we talk it over;
or give it a try at least.
For one last time,
let me have that chance
to make all those promises
which I have never kept.
I know for sure, you are,
really fed up with me.
This is the end of the road
you have declared.
I can see the fire in your
eyes and the tears too.
Even in this state that I am
I can realise it fully well;
something is wrong
something that shouldn't be.
I would like very much dear
to erase all my mistakes.
So just let me try once more
to make it work out between us.
To think of the chances
which I had everytime.
I have frittered them away
I know, I have always done
the same thing with my cards.
But let me tell you baby
this one little thing which
perhaps you know
but never acknowledge.
I may be really bad,a beast,
to treat you this way.
I have done all the things
which turn you off,  my love.
But darling with all my faults,
troubles and mistakes,
I come back at your door.
Because you are the only one
who cares to listen, because
I have never lied to you.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Something that I lost...

I searched every nook,
every little corner.
But couldn't find what
I was really looking for.
Where did I keep it?
When did I lose?
Don't even remember
what it really was.
Still I tried to find
what I thought was missing.
Here, there, everywhere
with a restless urge.
Something very important
that I seemed to have lost.
Was it an address,
of somebody very dear?
Or was it some letter,
that somebody wrote to me.
Maybe it was a gift
I received from a friend.
Could it be a heirloom
passed on to me by grandpa.
A forgotten bookmark I kept
in a book I never completed.
Haunting me now , a question
never answered, never faced.
I have got so much in life,
earned,saved and gained.
But still, what is this I've lost,
that I search for in a craze.
Craving for it, yet I know;
perhaps I will never find it.
It's gone ,gone away forever.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Special 26

Special 26 has shaped into a reallly good movie which entertains you. The movie itself is a comedy packaged into a thriller format and the director Neeraj Pandey has been able to deliver a punch in his somewhat oddly named cinematic product.

Neeraj Pandey, if you remember had given us that wonderful movie- A Wednesday which was also a taut suspense story told in a simple format. Here , in this movie also he has kept the storyline simple and uncluttered. The situational comedy with humorous punchlines have been very well executed by the actors . The editing of the movie is fast with jumpcuts and superfast montages. The music by M A Kreem adds up to the urgency and propels the pace of the movie. Very good camerawork and clever use of locations and props give an authentic touch to the story set in 1987 and brings back memories of the good old days .

The director and his team have done good homewoork to create the ambience of the period in which the film is set and makes the scenes look believable and realistic. The film speaks of a time when mobile phones and computers were not common in India and you will sometimes feel the difference of lifestyle it has made for us , particularly for the police while chasing fraudsters.

The story is about a gang of fraudsters committing a series of daring heists at the places of the corrupt and the rich by impersonating as CBI or Income tax officers. And in all cases , there is no report of the swindle made to the police because the people cheated out of their treasures do not want to report lest their extent of illgotten wealth is made public. How an intrepid CBI officers gives a chase to the gang and the thrilling chase and its culmination in a very different climax makes up the storyline. The suspense of the story is maintained till the end and unlike Talaash but more like Kahaani, you will like it because it will make you laugh .

The story has no moral pretences , no message to preach, no item number, no fight sequence, no sex scenes,no stylish sets and dresses,no stunts or action scenes . In short it is not a masala movie in any yardstick. But it is a wholesome entertainer which you would like to visit both with your mother and daughter and it will make you laugh. Strangely , you will bond with the crooks in the movie and pray for their well being. This is where the director scores on the emotional quotient.

Along with good direction and editing, the success of the movie also rests on the teamwork of the actors in delivering scenes in a manner which reminds you of setpiece movements of football . All of the actors play their roles to proffessional perfection and this is what makes the situational comedy stand out with perfect timing. Akshyay Kumar once again gives a very good performance as the mastermind fraudster and team leader of crooks. Manoj Vajpayee and Jimmy Sheirgill also have acted well upto their reputation. But Anupam Kher is simply excellent. He has again proved what a great actor he is. The scene where he, the crook, is interrogated by the CBI officer Manoj really stands out due to the acting coordination of both and worth remembering.

The weak point of the film is the romance angle and the heroine related diversions . May be the director planned the scenes involving the heroine as relief from the suspense and fast pace of the film. Or maybe he wanted to garner support for the lead character by showing his emotional compulsions. But the fact remains that the character of the heroine and her presence in the film is totally unnecessary and does not really gel with an otherwise very good narrative structure.

My recommendation will be – See the movie. Don't try to find any meaning or message in the story. Just enjoy it for a good dose of suspense laced with fine humour.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

I remember you

Nothing remains left in my mind
when I remember you.
Such is the passion of my thoughts
while I remember you.
People jeer at me and call me names
but I smile at all they say.
They never know what it feels like,
when I remember you.
I will walk thousands of miles to reach,
and cross all rivers and seas.
You become a magnet that attracts me,
when I remember you.
People fight on silly matters of faith
and armies go to war.
I remain oblivious of all these things,
when I remember you.
People toil through their entire lives,
to accumulate their treasure.
The wealth of love is bestowed on me
when I remember you.
Ministers lie,scholars cheat, doctors kill,
even cricketers fix their matches.
All icons show their feet of clay,
Still I remember you.
Sometimes I think what I would've done
had I not remembered you.
Then I find I have no other option left,
So ,I remember you.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013


How long was the distance
from my place to your gate;
never measured it.
That was a mistake.
What kept me from pressing
the doorbell to call you;
I could never understand fully.
That was surely a mistake.
How many times did I want
to tell you my feelings;
then kept silent and smiled.
That was another mistake.
How things changed over time
between you and me;
without any apparent reason.
Tell me was it my mistake?
Now I will never see you again
but carry the pain within;
like a hidden wound in my soul.
That will be my ultimate mistake.

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Saturday, 2 February 2013



Let me make it very clear at the outset and this may be treated as the disclaimer. I have always been a huge admirer of #Kamal Hasan as an actor and pace him at a high pedestal with respect as a complete actor. I was somewhat miffed with him for his mis calculated attempt to gain publicity for his latest film Vishwaroopam by trying to exploit the democratic right to free thinking and free speech  under the garb of an under dog and trying to whip emotional issues over what is basically a  business project for him. I also aprreciate the fact that a movie project has the commercial element to address and the maker has to make necessary adjustments. It is very easy to review and criticise a movie but the efforts put in to make it are beyond question. As Kamal Hasan has not intended to hurt anybody in particular, I also do not intend to hurt his feelings or that that of his countless fans. Diehard Kamal fans may stop reading further and better watch the movie themselves.

Saw the movie in its Hindi version -#Vishwaroop last night at Max Cinema, Nerul. Despite the movie having its plus points,  I was disappointed on the whole with it. The big weakpoints of the movie are its background music and the editing. Inspite of a very good camera work and a good screenplay,the narrative gets boring because some scenes are too long drawn. The visual effects are of high quality but does not leave a mark because the execution drags on for more than it is necessary.

The music is a total disappointment. It is very dramatic instead of being subtle.The eternal problem of the Indian  filmmakers taking their audience as morons and trying to explain everything through dialogue,flashbacks and lyrics of the songs hamper the sophistication of the movie. When will they understand?
Coming to the movie  plot,it is designed as a #terrorist thriller where the nefarious designs of a terrorist group to explode a dirty bomb in NY city is foiled by an Indian operative who lives a dual life unknown to his wife,who is much younger to him. Shades of Arnie's True Lies and Mission Impossible series. The technical portion of visual effects,action,location,design etc.match the international standards. But the storyline is very short and simple without too many twists or elements of suspense built so the length of the movie is a heavy burden to carry.
The harsh and stark #Afghan landscape are very well portrayed, almost in a documentary style and the restrain showed in depicting the jihadis is commendable. The action scenes are very good and the acting also matches it. There is a lot of dialogues in pashtu which makes the characters very realistic. The exploration of the jihadi psyche is however not fully done as the main story of the protagonist takes over in flashbacks. The dialogues are short and not sermonising. I believe that the full humour in the dialogues between the hero and his wife in the face of stress was somewhat lost in translation and maybe the Tamil version would be more interesting.
Another good point with the movie is that there is no item number, titillating sex scenes, mindless violence or unnecessary distractions which do not pertain to the main storyline. One should commend the makers to desist from the temptation of following the ageold formulas to lure audience. This is actually a very brave thing to do with such a high budget movie and all praise are due to Kamal for this.
Coming to Kamal Hasan himself, he has again shown what a great actor he is . He is one of the rare actors who his the master of all the Nava Rasas and integrates his body, voice, eyes and mind into his acting . Here also he has given a powerpacked performance. Particularly the scene where the real identity is revealed to his wife and the transformation from an effeminate dancer to a killing undercover agent through an action sequence is shown, is electric and stands out. But again, I was sad to note that the ravages of time has not spared him . From the slim and fit young man who ignited our imaginations in the late seventies and eighties , he is now a older person with jowls and paunch, both showing up. Though the character is that of a older person, it is clear that maybe he should take a hard look before doing action again.
After seeing the movie one will realise that why I said and still maintain that the recent controversy was a publicity gimmick gone awry. There is nothing in the movie which should offend anybody. You cannot expect to show Afghan jihadis and terrorists as Christians , Jews, Sikhs or Hindus. They have to be Muslims, isn't it ? And religious fanatics have to be depicted by their prayers, isn't it ? There is nothing wrong in that. Those who opposed the screening of this movie are a bunch of baboons . That's my personal take on the controversy.
Maybe I placed too much expectations on Kamal Hasan or the movie as I eagerly awaited it. The movie is well made, no doubt but it does not stay with you. There are very few scenes where applause from the audience is forthcoming inspite of the good work. The aura of a blockbuster is missing from the film. It does not match the emotional content of #Kabul Express when dealing with Afghans or Talibans. It does not even match the thrills and twists of terrorist chasing like Jaal-The Trap or Hero- The lovestory of a spy, both Sunny Deol starrers. It also does not evoke the feeling of grandeur which Shivaji or Robot did.
Then again maybe I expected too much from an aging actor who has now decided to become a better businessman. The movie is watchable for a good time pass . But you will not remember it like Chahchi 420, Thevar Magan, Nayakan, Sholvaa Shavan or even Ek duje ke liye. That's a great pity.