Saturday, December 27, 2008

Indian need to do- not to talk.Let's start

Let us end the sham. Let us stop pretending that the problem lies some where across the border in a Pakistani madrassa, or even in a training camp in that pathetic rump of Kashmir that was carved out by the unforgiving scythe of hate and envy.

Let us stop hiding behind the starchy flaps of axed Home Minister Shivraj Patil's bespoke suits or the condescending sneer of an insecure Maharashtra Chief minister. Let us not allow our anger to cloud our judgment leaving us to pointlessly rail against politicians. And for God's sake let us not waste time wallowing in self-pity cursing our collective misfortune for being saddled with a bunch of callow politicians that we ourselves - the Lord alone knows in what moment of insanity - put into office.

In any case, as much as the desire overwhelms we cannot completely do away with politicians and the government. That is the road to anarchy and if not anarchy then most certainly authoritarianism as precedence has shown. In 1975, the Emergency in India almost eroded the legitimacy of the nation's institutions and it took a return to electoral democracy to punish those who had set India down the road to ruin.

Instead after this latest wave of terror attacks let us act constructively. Let us act first by recognising we have only ourselves to blame for the massive hole we have dug for ourselves.

Our enemies are only hiding in the gaps, the fault lines that we ourselves have etched across the map of India.

From the day we won our Independence we have worked harder than any insurgent to court the sinister heralds of bigotry, prejudice and fundamentalism. Think back to the times we shrank the blurred the line separating Church and State. Think back to the times when we pitted Indian against Indian on the basis of his caste. Think back to the times when we turned a blind eye to politicians as they subverted the instruments of the state just because it suited us.

In fact by acquiescing in these omissions and commissions we only served to sow the wind to reap the whirlwind of national degeneration. This must stop.

Second, let us act by becoming the change we want to be.

The attacks in Mumbai are not Mumbai's problem alone. Yet from the response to them it would appear so. There's been not one protest march, candle light vigil or meeting organised in any other town or city to protest the strike. In fact even when there were attacks in Delhi, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Varanasi, Jaipur not one individual across the length and breadth of the country raised a voice or marched in sympathy. We must ask ourselves why? If we show no urgency, if we show no empathy then why expect the political class to show us any.

Had we done so earlier who knows we may have even succeeded in engendering a culture of transparency and accountability all those years ago. Heads might have rolled earlier and the message would have gone out to all those in positions of authority that India will not tolerate anyone who compromises its security.

The Mumbai terror attacks are a point of inflection. Act now. Brook no excuses. This is our time to seek answers. But we must ask the right questions

Friday, December 26, 2008

Ghajini Review

If you can digest an overdose of physical violence, then Ghajini is a film you shouldn’t miss for Aamir Khan’s unforgettable performance.

It’s been years since I saw a Hindi film that had so few dialogues for the leading man. Quite unlikely for a masala movie about romance and revenge! Stoically, Aamir Khan walks and rips through the film with the charm of a Casanova and the beastliness of a vengeful man, and delivers a performance that will be remembered even though the movie itself may be forgotten after a few months.Ghajini
is a film that ought to be seen for the sheer novelty of its theme. Inspired – and to some extent, lifted – from Hollywood’s ‘Memento’, it tells the story of a man who can’t remember anything beyond 15 minutes. He suffers from short term memory loss. But somehow he has found ways to remind himself of just one thing – that he has to find and kill the man whose name his murdered lover ( Asin ) whispered in his ear just moments before he too was hit on the head with an iron rod, never to fully recover his memory again. So, through tattoos and polaroids and notes he keeps reminding himself of just one aim – to find Ghajini, the killer whose face and whereabouts he neither knows, nor can remember.

As our amnesiac hero, Sanjay Singhania (Aamir), closes in on Ghajini and goes about bumping off one bad guy after another, we are given repeated flashbacks into his past life, when he fell in love with a struggling model Kalpana (Asin), an Indianized version of the French ‘Amelie’ who helps the poor and needy on the streets. It is this very quality of Kalpana that makes her the target of a gangster, who hunts her down and kills her.

Now, Sanjay, with his limited memory and eight pack abs, lives for one purpose – revenge. He is like a loose canon, a self-propelled torpedo that keeps veering off the course and leaves behind a trail of broken bones, wrung necks and pummeled jaws wherever he passes through.

And oh! I almost forgot. There’s also Sunita ( Jiah Khan ), a medical student interested in the case study of our amnesiac hero. She’s a frail collegian who hinders and helps Sanjay in his mission.

Director A.R. Murugadoss tells a long story at a brisk pace and shows no frugality in depicting violence in all its goriness. It is blood curdling stuff gruesomely glorified. Stuff that gives you the heebie-jeebies! It’s mostly hand-to-hand combat with frequent use of iron rods that serve the sole purpose as skull-crushers. Repulsive!

But if you have stomach for such revolting violence, you would enjoy sitting through ‘Ghajini’ for many reasons. First, it’s unique plot. Second, Aamir’s mind-blowing acting. Third, Asin’s confident debut in a heart-winning performance. Jiah Khan is appropriately cast in a role that doesn’t demand much from her. Pradeep Rawat, as the antagonist, is menacing.

There is a gaping hole that yawns right at the very base of Ghajini’s story. If a man can’t remember that his lover was killed or who killed her, why does he need to remind himself again and again to take revenge. Wouldn’t his vengeance wane away with his memory? Murugadoss should have established some internal link that keeps pushing the protagonist back to his mission – something like sporadic dreams or memory flashes.

Anyway, realism is something you shouldn’t expect from ‘Ghajini’. It’s a full-on masala film that is stylishly shot and has above average music by A R Rahman . It’s a film that needs to be enjoyed with mouthful of cola and fistful of popcorns even though the no-holds-barred violence keeps getting on your nerves. Despite its long duration of three-plus hours, the movie, with its quick pace, doesn’t weigh heavy, and leaves you with a mind out of time. Anterograde Amnesia, anyone?

Monday, December 22, 2008

Ghajini's climax leaked

Just when the audiences started queuing up for booking their tickets for Aamir Khan-starrer Ghajini, a chain SMS started playing spoilsport by revealing what could possibly be the climax of the film.

"Someone killed Aamir's girlfriend and he lost his memory. Then he tries to find out the killer. Suspense... Aamir himself is the killer. Now enjoy Ghajini!" says the SMS that has been doing the rounds on the mobile phones for the past few days.

Whether the SMS is true or not would only be clear once the film releases on Thursday. However, several people have received this SMS through known as well as unknown sources.

Says 22-year-old Surbhi Pant: "I received this SMS a few days back. I was very irritated after reading it because I wanted to watch the film. Now I don't know if it is true or not. Just in case this is the story of the film, I would be really disappointed, as I know the plot now. Eventually, I thought I should forward it to all my friends."

The film is the much-hyped Hindi remake of director A R Murugadoss' Tamil hit with the same name. While the original Ghajini featured southern actor Surya Sivakumar along with actress Asin Thottumkal, Murugadoss cast Aamir to play the main lead in the Hindi version and repeats Asin in female lead.

Ghajini is the love story of a rich businessman Sanjay Singhania (Aamir) and a model Kalpana (Asin). The story takes a U-turn when Kalpana is murdered and Sanjay suffers temporary amnesia due to a brain injury. Sanjay's character sets out to take revenge from those responsible for Kalpana's death.

While in the Tamil version of Ghajini, Sanjay finds the murderer and completes his revenge by killing him; the ending has been altered in the Hindi version

Tata Motors to inject “tens of millions” of pounds into Jaguar

After my last time posting on Tumblr page about the just new F1 deal .According to the reports, Tata Motors, the owner of Jaguar Land Rover, is to inject “tens of millions” of pounds into the British carmaker. tata-motor-300x202 Tata Motors to inject tens of millions of pounds into Jaguar

This imbursement of cash into the company, by the Indian owner is expected to give more time to the UK government to think and decide whether it should use public money to bail-out the company.Mandelson had cast doubt on a bail-out, saying the state was a “lender of last resort”.

The head of corporate communications for Tata, Debasis Ray did not not deny the report but would not say how much money would be injected.

“It is our company and we are running a business,” he said.

“Discussions with the government, however, are confidential and cannot be revealed. We have to run the company and are doing so to the best of our abilities”, he added.

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