Monday, 26 August 2013

If you really want to end

If you really want to end
with a goodbye then
let it be so .
I will walk into the sunset,
and dissolve into the horizon.

But don't expect me 
to comeback again 
on a bright sunny dawn.
Just because you need 
someone to wake you up .

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Madras Cafe - Chronicle of a tragedy foretold

I would have given "Madras Cafe"  a miss because of my low energy  level and personal problems . But then after reading my friend  Ram Pratap's   two line review, I decided to see the movie with my son and luckily managed the tickets . i have to first thank  Ram Pratap for helping me make up my mind and then John Abraham for producing this movie . His previous two movies as producers were both  Hatke types and "Madras Cafe" is no exception. But still it exceeded my expectations and surprised me with its treatment of a topical issue of our generation in a very non partisan manner through the eyes of an intelligence agent in a well knit  thriller.
The achievement of the movie and its director is to present an engrossing thriller whose climax is known to everyone. The plot though claimed to be fictional borrows heavily from the incidents of the Indian involvement in the ethnic Tamil conflict in SriLanka and its fallout culminating in the assasination of the ex Indian Prime minister Rajiv Gandhi. The names of the protagonists and the places have all been changed but it will bring up the memories of the news paper reports which made the names and places like Vavuniya, Trincomalee, Jaffna, Karuna, Anton Balasingham, Jayawardene, Elephant pass and above all Pirabhakaran so common to our daily lives for more than two decades.
The first half of the movie is a great experience in terms of action, cimematography and locations. The scenes move fast and do not allow the viewer any opportunity to relax . The photography and the action keeps you riveted just like any A grade Hollywood  production.  Its so nice to see Indian movies matching upto international standards. The scenes are graphic enough to show the devastation but never lingers to show the blood and gore . the action also is more restrained to create a sense of reality around them . The locale and the people look authentic and blends with the story perfectly. All this and without  even a song and dance routine .
The second half of the movie is actually better than the first half and instead of action and war scenes the story shifts well into the thriller mode where the main protagonist tries his best to avert the inevitable and fails. As expressed in the movie by the words of the RAW chief - We lost. But director Shoojit Sircar wins . Without a song or dance he has presented us a believable version of the events in a fictional format. And the movie scores in another front too. It has not tried to be jingoistic or take sides. All the parties whether India, Sri Lanka or the Tamil rebels, all have been shown without trying to create heroes or villains out of the. Why even the main character, played by John Abraham , the producer himself is not the typical hero of the Hindi movies. He is caught,  he fails, he is frustrated at the end. He does not sing, does not run around the heroine, actually has no heroine worth the name. He is only a protagonist. Can you imagine this with other heroes who produce movies. I am not a fan of John Abraham  and even now would say he is not a great actor. but my respect for him has increased many fold after watching this movie and I can vouch that he has some grey matter of sensibility and sense in the space between his two ears.
This movie is not about acting and actors as there are no long dialogues or stylised scenes . This is rather a simple story told in a gripping narrative with suspense holding you till the end . The perfect example of a director's movie.  very rarely will director get the freedom which Sircar has got and he makes the best use of it by a disciplined effort, never going overboard with creativity or emotion. The movie is a success story for the casting, locale,screenplay, cinematography and direction. Acting , dialogues and emotion takes a back seat , very unlike a run of the mill Hindi movie. Even a major part of the dialogues are in English  and lot of Tamil has been used. But it doesn't create any problems with the narrative .
I have really not found any major flaw with the movie. Some people will contend that it has glossed over facts . But that creative liberty has to be taken by a director . He has presented a thriller . And it is thrilling, no doubt about it. I will end with the review by Ram Pratap, verbatim - If 'Chennai Express' was made for those 90% idiot moviegoers, then 'Madras Cafe' is for the rest 10% intelligent audience. Go, watch it!!

Thursday, 15 August 2013


Nothing or nobody is independent in the real sense . It is the thread of inter dependence which can only bind all of us. Pursuit of independence beyond a level is just plain selfishness and can never be good as it always provokes retaliation by others.

Instead of trying to look for independence for ourselves it is time to realise how much dependent we are on others for our survival and be grateful and thankful. Also take a lesson from this and nurture others who are dependent on us to grow.

This is the meaning of independence on a personal level, in my view.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Didi Oh Didi !!!

The Gorkhaland agitation has come as heaven sent opportunity for Didi.

Does the above statement seem to be out of place or somewhat funny. I'm sorry. The joke is on you if you don't see the scenario unfolding.

Correct me,if I'm wrong but there are about 42 seats of Loksabha up for grabs from West Bengal in the forthcoming elections. The results of the recently concluded panchayat polls in WB have shown that the Left Front is reeling from the onslaught of the TMC tit for tat medicine dished out to them, in good measure. They are not in a position to effectively counter attack because of their own mistakes of discarding the grassroot problems. In two years they have not been able to launch any worthwhile mass movement. And being out of power, fundraising is also a problem they face now.

Congress is nowhere in the picture. Other than Adhir Choudhury localised in Murshidabad as the last man standing,the whole party in West Bengal resemble a trash bin. They are in a hopeless position and Didi has got their votes transferred to her own TMC.

Given this backdrop, the Gorkhaland agitation will only help her to whip up the Bengali sentiment to stoke and inflame parochial passion. The hills may burn. It doesn't bother her. Anyway the votes from the hills do not matter in the big picture. They are not even enough for deciding the outcome of Darjeeling constituency which has a big part of Siliguri subdivision and neighbouring areas in it.
But by staking that one seat, TMC stands a very good chance to sweep entire West Bengal and can even get all of the 41 seats. CPM and Left front know this very well. They are in a classic dillema. If they support division,they lose mass support in WB. If they oppose Gorkhaland , Didi gathers steam and makes it her own strength. She has stolen their pet line - neglect of West Bengal by the centre.

And she knows very well that 40 seats will make her the kingmaker ,if not the queen after the election. None of the other running horses from the different states can boast of so many seats . Amma, Behenji, the wily Bihari, the UP pehelwan , the Odhiya gentleman , no one. They also know it as do BJP and Congress. Note the silence from both Congress and BJP on Gorkhaland. They are not taking any chances and keeping the options of a post poll alliance open.

This analysis does not take into account whether the demand of Gorkhaland is right or wrong. This is just an understanding of the ground realities from a politician's perspective. And morality or foresightedness is never a virtue with the present breed of power hungry politicians. If the hills burn,let them burn. If people die ,so be it. The people from the hills will also feel the backlash of the plains and their leaders,most ill equipped ,are just riding the tiger. They are themselves a bunch of greedy village level politicians who neither have the exposure or the qualities to run a state.

Bimal Gurung is grossly  mistaken if he treats Didi lightly and thinks that he holds the aces in this game. His earlier days of bonhomie with the lady will prove fatal for him . Remember a person named Kishenji and his end . Or another person called Chhatradhar Mahato . How she used these people and then discarded them as trash. I have a feeling that Gurung is right now being used by her , as a convenient puppet to divert attention from the misrule of TMC in the whole  state. She has already sent an ultimatum to the GJM and she herself knows the language of agitation too well. By using all political tactics , lumpen party machinery and force of the state under her command,she will make life difficult in the hills and bake her cake on that fire.

Make no mistake, the lady has the genes of Machiavelli in her. Laugh at her,feel angry with her antics,froth from your mouth and dry your throat ranting against her. She has the masses with her , for now . And,there is no one to challenge her in West Bengal. That makes her one of the front runners in the race to unfurl the national flag from the Lal Qila on the 15th Aug 2014.

You think its a far fetched fantasy. Just wait for the elections to happen. It will definitely be a fractured manadate and a hung parliament with no clear majority for the two main political formations. And then the famous Indian horse trading season begins. I hope you have not forgotten two eminent gentlemen named Gowda and Gujral . If they can,why not she. And with the present insipid MMS in charge for the last decade, we deserve more fun at the centre.

Viva la Didi !!!!!

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Rest in peace – Anuradha Bhavsar

Rest in peace – Anuradha Bhavsar

I have never had the opportunity to scold her, applaud her, harrangue her or align with her proffessionally. Neither did I had any inclination, time ,reason or interest to know her personally. She was one of the faces which is lost in the crowd of people you interact in the course of your daily grind. Slightly built and of below average height with a medium complexion and non descript features . There was nothing in her appearance that made her stand out in a collection of people. And she always remained at the background. Because of her status in the hierarchy, maybe because of her position within a group of highly ambitious people with overall level of higher IQ. Maybe because of that feeling of not getting integrated to the people with whom she worked with . And she was a young kid. Just 21 years or so. Even younger than my own son.

But she did her work dutifully and with dilligence. I noticed her stay up very late sometimes on a heavy day even as many others have left. I often wondered what such people would be thinking in their minds as everybody left home and they continue to work on their workstations with heaps of unfinished work. But again on the next day, one would find them typing out on the keyboard right in the morning.

I had not much interaction with Anuradha Bhavsar. Neither did I recollect her instantly when a friend mentioned her. She joined as an executive in Axis Bank and was working in the Treasury department inside the Dealing room. Her job was the lowest in the chain within the Dealing room, sending routine mails in the morning, typing out letters for the Head ,performing routine jobs , attending to phonecalls and entering deals in the system on behalf of other dealers. I have officially interacted with her very sparingly , mostly connected with sending advisory emails to clients or getting some documentss scanned or copied, because the scanner /printer in any office always remain an object of mystery to me.

During informal get togethers of the colleagues over samosa parties or birthday cake cuttings also she tended to align with the other colleague of her rank and they would stand at one of the corners at the edge of the gathering. In such gathering where light banter and wisecracks are applauded with laugh all around and people try to impress others and more particularly their bosses, nobody cared for their views. Actually this is an universal problem with high energy centres like treasury dealing rooms of private banks . You have a collection of young , intelligent , ambitious, career oriented and performance bonus oriented people trying to race ahead of the next seat colleague . People play all types of games to be in the limelight and the feeling of being left behind is a curse you carry with .

But within the oasis of such people with above average salaries and high bonuses are patches of deserts in the form of executives and messengers who are needed to maintain all the logistical hassles. They are not paid too well and when compared with the people they work with the gap is too yawning . That probably makes them a little diffident . Overawed by the workpressure and the importance of the deals exuded by others they go into a shell . And perhaps no one cares to break through that layer. I myself never did . And I doubt only a handful of the colleagues will be able to say where Anuradha lived. But she was there , everyday .

Yesterday , when a friend asked me whether I knew Anuradha, I could not recollect her at first. Then I got the news of her death. And I had a faint recollection of her. When I saw her face in the newspaper article today, I remembered her for a moment of sadness. It is always sad to learn about a death. She was not a near one. Only someone who was a colleague in the same department without too much interaction. But she greeted me with a Good morning or nodded to me whenever she passed me by. As I said earlier, I have never had the opportunity to scold her, applaud her, harrass her or align with her proffessionally. Neither did I had any inclination, time ,reason or interest to know her personally. But I feel a sense of loss today. To die at such an young age ! And in thse circumstances.

A sense of outrage grips me as I read this newspaper report. But this too shall pass. I will return back to my daily routine by afternoon. Colleagues will speak about her on Monday in the coffeepoint . Maybe there will be a small memorial with a minute's silence to honour her . We will all pray for her soul. Then we will forget her.

But she did not die naturally. It was a case of criminal negligence on the part of the doctors. One can say it is a sort of murder. The whole story is really scary and whoever learns it will feel uncomfortable We tend to read these things often and dismiss them from our minds saying – These things happen. Only when we find something like this happening to someone we know, it jolts us . Anuradha's death is tragic. Even more tragic is the sense of alienation that we carry within us. Not reaching out to people. Not understanding them. Not being able to be of help to anyone around. Not knowing people. Not keeping track . Not being able to recollect .