Saturday, December 13, 2008

Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi: Aditya Chopra Weds Ekta Kapoor!

This is 0215 am IST, Dec 14, 2008 and I just returned from watching Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi....sounds great title isn't it? Well true to its name going by the love we Indians seem to have on so called happy ending movies, this surely is a great title. There's special reason why I took writing this blog immediately after the movie.

So let me first talk of the movie....hmmm, Aditya Chopra, Aditya Chopra, Aditya Chopra, what I mean is as we know from our past it was written all over our minds that movie will have a happy ending and hence no element of suspense prevailed on the climax in our minds despite Chopra brigade trying its best to create a twist here and there to keep us on tenterhooks. To speak my heart out I consciously think there was neither anything wrong with the movie nor with the direction and as piece of sheer entertainment I am generous to bestow 3 and 1/2 out of 5 stars to Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi. Shahrukh, his co-star debutante Anushka Sharma have played their parts well with the special acclaim to Anushka and has come across as someone with potential to evolve. The music too is also just about enough to remain in the memory for an average period with one or two good numbers.

Now let me come to the real issue why you started reading this blog…the core issue. What comes to mind spontaneously whenever there is mention of middle class housewife in India....going by the Aditya Chopra brigade the description should read something like this, a sari clad woman who wakes up before her husband every morning, cooks breakfast and lunch together so to keep his lunch box ready, washes all clothes, cleans the entire house daily, finishes all household chores, keeps dinner ready to provide him hot servings post his so called tiring schedule (pun intended) in the office, takes his permission for any investment or spending and in other words for all money related matters, oops the list is endless........summing all this is she is loyal to husband (read subservient).

I am neither against the Indian culture nor am I against the thesis of loyalty or affection for the family but I am dead opposite to this ideological system followed in the country from decades. Where on earth is written that husband should always work and woman should always remain in the four walls thus being the prime object of house arrest....I technically do not find any difference between Masood Azhar detained by Pak as house arrest and our Indian women who undergo this.

Thanks though to the ever growing tribe of educated men and women who are outrightly abandoning this unspoken code of conduct and are not shy to flaunt their fundamental rights of equality, be it in any field.....and thanks to this tribe that even their next generation is preached on the changing values in the society. Even though I have least interest in the ideology of feminism, the chauvinistic touch by our filmmakers and by large our saas-bahu serials quite often awaken this thought in me as today's generation will not stand up for this age old custom. It is understandable that the entire society as a whole especially the not so urban part of this subcontinent has built an ecosystem which has this philosophy of housewife being the lady servant of the house and hence will require the persistent efforts by those who understand it is the time to evolve in eradicating this menace. I am not against any woman or man for undertaking the household responsibilities but what I am trying to say is it should be a matter of choice and interest unlike now where it is an unwritten golden rule in many Indian families which is thrust on women right from the time they reach puberty.

Having said this there is also a growing populace of men in India who consistently put efforts to be a genuine part of this change thus extending a helping hand right from changing the baby diaper to cleaning the house. I have though criticized certain filmmakers who believe in this notion, will not hesitate to congratulate and thank those new thinking filmmakers who have been showing this change in their movies from few years now.

I respect the liberty the artists have in expressing their skills in all its forms but need to guard themselves against succumbing to the power of mass attraction at times....the point to be noted here is that I am not saying ban smoking in movies because it is injurious health, as I truly believe it is a matter of personal choice to smoke and hence artists have the creative freedom to smoke on screen but the same is not true for the inequality issue mentioned is indeed a very fine line that will differentiate the right from the wrong in the society due to changing values.

Now this is where I found a common thread between Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi's theme and our modest Ekta Kapoor, who is a household name due to her ever increasing popularity (wish popularity goes down steadily) of K series of soap operas which strictly speaking show nothing but lady servants in the form of rich bahus and saas' wearing silk saris and expensive jewellary round the clock....wonder whether Ekta was subjected to any psychological shock by a woman in her early days.

So finally ladies and gentlemen welcome to the ideological marriage of Aditya Chopra and Ekta Kapoor and thus the invitation reads Aditya Chopra Weds Ekta Kapoor!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Fashion, an invigorating symbol of progress

411,000,000, the exact number shown on the first hit of submit tab on google for FASHION. A term much used and liked by the people across the horizons and cuts across age barriers with ease. So what is fashion after all....a phenomena, a way of life, part of various cultures or a byproduct perhaps. For the uninitiated by wide consent it is considered a synonym for glamour.

Human aspirations by far have no boundaries but the one that knowingly or unknowingly takes the center stage of ones personality is appearance and the aptitude to be fashionable is psychological and believed to play a self esteem boosting role. Madonna's tiny daughter expects her mom to buy her a million daughter dress crafted by the finest designers, actresses choose to wear the latest season wear buying them off the shelves as and when they hit the stores, girl next door tries to emulate the jaw dropping looks of Cruz or Ash seen on TV, a senior KG kid demands a latest Nike shoes....and many more examples mean only one thing. The fashion industry is mushrooming like never before.

Fashion TV, Fashion magazine and now a movie by the name Fashion says the craze of fashion this world has glued into. It is seen generally that people take to fashion much easily than to any other of habit, perhaps there's a logic to it. It gives a sense of accomplishment in day today lives to dress well, look well, be liked by others thus increasing your chances of being the talk of the town. Page 3 parties are a more recognized phenomena to the cities’ elite to flaunt their fashionable accessories, cars and ....

India though is a country that has waken up to the fashion revolution much lately, even though the filmdom has been defining the fashion quotient in the country from past few decades, country as a whole has only taken up the fashion mantra at the end of last century...thanks to the media for so widely exposing the facet of fashion to us all. How else do you explain a farmer entering the supermarket in the rural India wearing the black goggles, colorful dhotis with the painting by locals.

Sceptics though have always believed that Indian culture has been full of abundant examples of Indian men and women dressing with utmost grace and charm, be it Rajputs, Marathas, Mughals or even our local fishermen to say the least....and I echo with these sceptics as well. How else would one explain Ritu Beris, Manish Malhotras of this world presenting the fabricated versions of Indian clothing in International fashion shows.

Fashion though like every other industry has its goods and bads....the passion of being at the top of fashion era has made many to embrace fashion in their consciousness to an extent that the recent episodes of many young models succumbing to anorexia and cases of wardrobe malfunctions across the globe has left black scars on the fashion industry which will take some time to fade away from the memory lanes.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Lot of fire but water eventually: However not any more

It was just amazing to see and hear many of my colleagues in office discussing and to some extent debating my last blog Let us start the movement in our small way....but most important was the passion with which we all came up new ideas and thoughts and one common thread that prevailed all along the heated discussion was national interest though unknowingly. With many people out there with genuine interest it is heartening that country with so many people like you with fire inside is still not standing on a leg of pride and defiance against the trouble makers.

There probably is one explanation to it....though more than ten read my blog right in front of me two to three got up and spoke and discussed which according to me gives rise to two irrational concepts:

Firstly among youth of mid-20s something if 10 are motivated enough at least 2 will stand up with real fire on the burning issues
These 2 come out with new ideas, debate pros and cons but are not motivated enough to drive the change and ultimately water will cease the fire

Hey folks let us not loose the heart, what I derive from this simple explanation is that:

Firstly we need to find creative ways of motivating more and more, which can happen right from the grassroots level, mentoring, teaching at schools, colleges, developing a sense of belongingness towards country, letting kids and teenagers know that there exists a life beyond your and our families and need to embrace the larger life in a true context of national pride, giving testimonials on the fact that the days of lip service to the country and its people are gone and those who envision change with innovation and empathy are tomorrow's leaders, while we sit in plush air conditioned offices there are billion lives around the world suffering from chronic hunger is also an essential ingredient to keep one rooted to ground, respecting those who have always lived and died for the larger than life cause of helping, protecting and growing our society is also of paramount importance thus to live a lasting impressions on teen minds that we salute all those who have lived for all of us and will continue to do so

Secondly on further continual motivation from all quarters, sense of hunger among these individuals to do that extra bit will automatically give out those very few who will come forward to stand up. At this inflection point we need systems in place to encourage these motivated revolutionists and bring them to a platform where their energies and anger are channelized into a right fruitful direction.

I call them motivated revolutionists because as I very strongly believe that going forward the foundation for a desired new tomorrow will be laid by the common man turned new age homosapien who knows what it takes to bring irregularities of the system in the public light, is not afraid to take on the system if necessary and if he or she believes in the larger picture. Sadly though from where I am seeing at the moment the environment is least conducive to inherit these motivated individuals....but nonetheless I am not going to stop trying to unite these revolutionists.

I sincerely appeal to all those few who are reading this blog and especially those very few who feel the need for motivated revolutionists and feel can be part of them to come forward and I see no reason why we will not make a difference.

Let us start the movement in our small way

It's really been long and tiring to hear everyone talking of change this country needs in terms of better governance, increased accountability, change in age old archaic laws etc, but we luckily have started seeing the wave of change off lately be it RTI act, emergence of new generation MPs like Jindal, acceptance in the society that able leadership may not be the forte of only old but young can deliver too, the fact that more and more NGOs are mushrooming thus playing a pivotal role which even our so called beauracracy has not been able to accomplish, the social acceptance in the business world for PPP (public-private-partnership) and many more indicate the initiation of this paradigm shift in the state of the nation we as a country are looking forward to.

At the same time the metamorphosis of the sort we all as nation so desperately desire in the midst of new challenges and social enemies like terrorism can only happen if we all in unison echo the same vision and are ready to drive the change ourselves. It is easier said than done as we all are seeing on national media post Mumbai attacks, every political party of its consequence hasn't left a stone unturned in blaming the failure of the ruling government in preventing the terror attacks this despite knowing the problem is much bigger and needs to be addressed at the grassroot’s level. As the reports indicate the RDX used was smuggled by bribing the customs and police....The question is whom do you blame? To say the least this has been happening from decades and is being curbed only as a lip service in the aftermaths of the events like this one. The example stands testimony to millions of such issues happening in India round the year.

We the so glamorized below 35 odd youth of this nation cannot certainly bring the change phenomena with the blink of an eye as everyone seems to expect but we surely will take tiny steps in right direction.
Some preliminary but very essential difference we need as I feel are:

Abandon politics as a so called selfless domain, no individual or animal need never ever be selfless….the entire concept of selfless progress is a flawed one which has deep roots established in corruption, unethical conduct, thus emanating all the political ills of our society
We must form an institutionalized politics thus making every politician and politics at higher level accountable for its act, not only during his tenure but till his decisions are expected to influence the normal working of the system be it positively or negatively
Incentivise the politicians generously for their accomplishment....who on this earth by the way would like to remain at the helm of affairs of his division and still get only moral victories, guys we need materialistic incentives to motivate them
Hold the politicians or parties accountable levying a penalty, barring elections etc for any untruthful derogatory remarks which do not come on the basis of some established evidence....punishments can be borrowed from Election Commissioner's office
Enact a law into place barring any rogue element or party or an individual engaging in public scrutiny of other religion or caste or even a community...this one needs to be tough....our country is sick and tired of the likes of Praveen Togadias, Raj Thackarays and the so called moral policing, and the judiciary need to be tough on these monger of self interest
The choice of politicians to be based only on merit and no person with established evidence against him of any criminal intent or past should be allowed to contest elections
A federal body to only supervise and impose the code of conduct to these political partieis which are well drafted after a public opinion or debate along with the experts from people from all walks of life
Multi pronged strategies to be in place to ensure good governance in politics a la SEBI
Red tapism, shadow boxing, lip service to the knee jerk emergency control is a strict no no going forward
Encouraging the participation of general public in the decision making, also providing breeding ground for potential leaders is never to be left out of the eyesight
Ensuring the defiant systems like the above ones in place along with the all round implementation is at the end of the day in the hands of the current law makers sadly which makes me feel back to square one making me wonder will this ever happen
Nevertheless no matter what hiccups we may have to face at least we can put our best being the youth in 20s and 30s to strive to unleash a new leaf of change