Friday, January 30, 2009

Review: Slumdog Millionaire

Well lets begin with the positives.

The storyline is quite new, something you haven't seen in the past - and as most of us know it comes from the book 'Q n A' by Mr Vikas Swarup (a indian bureaucrat by profession... have you noticed how many indian bureaucrats especially on foregin postings are writing books these days! No real work to do .. eh?). The acting by small kids is good - they shine compared to their older 'avatars' in the movie.

Yeah, i didn't have too many positives sorry - inspite of the hype.

Now, for the things which i did not like.
The movie has this fundamental problem - it is not 'engaging'. A movie must tie you down to your seat, and want you to look forward to the next scene, and the next, and the next... but this one doesn't. Then there is the music - it is one of the mediocre works of A.R.Rahman. Except for the couple of songs which are good, the background score as a whole is disappointing and it doesnt stay with you. The main protagonist 'Jamal' played by 'Dev Patel' is completely miscast. He doesn't look the character; you just don't connect with him. And as for Anil Kapoor, well he doesn't have much to do.

Danny Boyle sure must be a great director - because it wouldn't have been easy for someone from UK to understand this subject and try to shoot a movie in Mumbai.

I have this feeling that somehow this movie would have turned out to be much better in the hands of a good bollywood director - someone like Ashutosh Gowariker or Aamir Khan. But, in that case most likely it would have failed to get the international recognition it is getting now.

All in all, found this movie to be a case of: good effort, but average results and lots of awards!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Should judge's receive awards?

How would you react:
- if a judge is given a 'good job done' reward?
- if a judge is given a prize for doing an exemplary job?

Perhaps, you will be happy! Think again.

Judges have a very important role to play in society. Just as they should not be seen receiving any favors or special treatment from a politician or any body, same way - recieving awards of any kind while in active service sounds completely out of order. The news in question here is some district and session court judges in karnataka being felicitated with cash award of Rs 10,000/=, a plaque and a citation, for promoting kannada language.

Ok, one may argue that this was just an appreciation for their usage of the local language; but if this practice continues, what prevents any 'body' or 'organization' from rewarding select judges for 'good job done', 'delivering excellent judgements', 'delivering immediate judgement' and so on...! Would it mean if your case lands up in the court of a judge who hasn't received a 'good job done' reward, you are not going to get 'enough' justice?

What is even more surprising that judge's chose to receive such awards! From my limited knowledge, in countries around the world - this is a completely unheard of practice.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Trying to Shine in Reflected Glory

Abhinav Bindra wins a Gold at Olympics!

What followed?
  • Chattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh announced Rs one lakh for Bindra.
  • Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan came up with a reward of Rs five lakh for his "golden performance".
  • Maharashtra chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh announced a cash prize of Rs 10 lakh for Bindra
  • The Indian Cricket Board, the game's richest body in the world, announced a reward of Rs 25 lakh for Bindra
  • Railway Minister Lalu Prasad announced a free lifetime pass for travel by AC first class for the shooter.
  • The Haryana government has pitched in with Rs 25 lakh and the Chandigarh Administration has decided to reward him with Rs five lakh.

ALL the above have ZERO role to play in Abhinav's success. In all probability they wouldn't even be aware of Abhinav's participation or the event in which he particpated - in Olympics - until he won.

But, they want to shine in Reflected Glory! What has Chattisgarh got to do with Abhinav's success? And MP Chief Minister, since when did thy become a sports lover Mr Minister.

Their cheap antics are further exposed by the fact that - these so called political leaders do next-to-nothing to encourage sports in the country. They only know how to sit on the various sports federations and actively play politics there.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Man gives birth to baby: Perfect example of media lies.

'Man gives birth to a baby'. Remember this news item? Read this indiatimes article here , and CNN-IBN news here, and Rediff news here, and ...

Read the news carefully, and you will realize, that this "man" is really a woman(yes born a woman). And only started living like a "man" in last few years by taking some hormones, and keeping all her reproductive organs intact. This being the case, this news is no-news at all. But our wonderful media (trust them to fool you) ensured that details are either ignored, or mentioned in passing, and certainly not contained in news title; thereby creating hype and providing incorrect news! Bravo, journalists. We understand you have to earn a living, but never forget what the Spidy says: 'With great power, comes great responsibility'!

India's pride: AIIMS - really?

AIIMS is in news for all the wrong reasons. Whats breeding? Open gutter right in the heart of AIIMS. Read on.

Earlier students have died of dengue in this very hospital. Lessons have not been learnt. Not surprising. The Health Minister Ramadoss is spending his time chasing the more visible and popular causes: Smoking in Films, Potato Chips and Cold Drinks.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Judge Sahib - How was Victoria Falls?

Year 2007: Chief Justice of India travels 7 times abroad, First Class, accompanied by wife- air fare cost alone is Rs 39 Lakhs. Read the fully story here.

Union Law Minister HR Bhardwaj justifies, " They also need comfort, they also need to go out. Why they should be deprived of it.'' Sure Mr Minister, if that is the case why use the garb of a conference in Pretoria, and end up at Victoria Falls! Just because it is tax payers money!

And what about government rules that say judges cannot be accompanied by wives on work tours?
The Law Minister enlightens the CNN-IBN reporter: "How can you deprive the wife? You are a woman. You should understand”. Sure Mr Minister, if a citizen flouts rule, he must be jailed by the judge, if a Judge flouts the rule - Law Minister has a ready excuse?

I can see people, spending hours trying figure out how they can save a few thousand Rs in taxes - and there i see the Judge Sahib off to Victoria Falls with their money!

Lead India Campaign - TOI - Damp Squib?

Remember the Times of India's much-hyped 'Lead India Campaign '? Yes, the same one where one Mr R.K.Misra from Bangalore was the winner.

Well what happened to it? Where is Mr R.K.Misra. I only see him occasionally in some page-3 pictures in TOI. He is not at fault. Much like everything else that Times of India (and its equally useless Times Now) does, this too was a lot of hype, little substance.

Nobody knows what was supposed to happen as a result of this campaign. Was the winner supposed to fight elections? Was he supposed to be given a party ticket by some political party? Or was this all a stunt, to make people spend some money on SMS.

'Unlock Bangalore' - this seems to be another such campaign from the same group - mostly aimed at hype and gaining some mileage from 'sexy sloganeering'.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Human Resources Destruction (HRD) Minister

Dear Arjun Singh,

You have amply displayed your abilities in your tenure at a useless ministry. Wish you could learn a thing or two from Lalu Prasad Yadav (yeah such is the situation!). If you cannot improve anything, at least dont go about destryoing what exists.

In your completely moronic ways, you fought hard for a few hundred seats in top iconic institutes of higher education in India. Ostensibly for the neglected sections of the society. But, you forgot that this very section of the society seeks better Primary Education (in crores not few hundred), better HealthCare, better Roads, and Electricity. Give them the basics, the rest will be taken care of - people will feel proud of who they become - instead of depending forever on doles dished out to them. But hell NO! Why solve problems, when you can create more! Why provide primary education when you can create sensation with Nonsense and Sycophancy - of which you have been accused of by your own political masters as well.

Its India's great tragedy, that Education and HRD Ministries have been occupied by jokers of the highest order in recent decades. The first thing that Education Ministers in India usually do is start revising history text books without applying any brains, and the first thing that HRD Ministers in India do is to create problems wherever they can. We are ashamed, no not-of-you, but of the fact that people like you are tolerated in our country.

God Save India from the clutches of Ugly Politicians.
Take Leave.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Ms Pratibha Patil - Flop Show

Ms Pratibha Patil's first foreign trip as President of India - turns out a damp squib. Not Surprising many would say - Parliamentarians around the world do a background check perhaps on visiting dignitaries - and decide to play accordingly!

The Brazilian Parlimentarians did not find it worthwhile to attend Parliament when she went to address them. Hardly 15 turned up from a total strength of 90+. And her speech at Mexican Parlimant? Well that was cancelled after some MPs walked out over some local issue. No it did not end there, she also forgot to salute Indian Mexican flags during the guard of honor parade.

How we miss Abdul Kalam! He is apparently in great demand around the world - and is a regular invitee at conferences where hundreds turn up to listen to him.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Olympics 2008

There is much news about which celebrity is running with the Olympic Torch or not. And so on and so forth. Has anyone asked this basic question: What will be the medals tally of India at Olympics 2008? In all likelihood it will be 0 gold, 0 silver, 0 bronze ~ or near about.

The media as usual is at the forefront of displaying its ignorance and interest on the subject. Has anyone even bothered to cover what sports streams India will participate in, who are the likely participants, what their preparation is. We don't want hype, but we want those medals.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

India (does not) need Reservations

We urgently need reservations? If so, here's the wish list.
  • The Olympic Council, should allocate One-Fifth of all Gold, Silver and Bronze medals to India; we are One-Fifth humanity after all. And historically India was enslaved by Britishers therefore not allowing indian sports to develop to its potential. No, we don't need better sports facilities, we dont need good sports administrators (No Way!) - we need the medals reserved for us. Come on guys, don't start the argument of merit. Olympics are not about who can run or swim the fastest. It is a great world event, and everything should be distributed equally.
  • United Nations should ensure that one-fifth of all the worlds trade be handled in India. No, we dont need better economy, we dont need good manufacturing industries, or excellent agriculture (No Way!). We want the WTO to get One-Fifth of all trade to india as a rule. India was a rich and bright nation in the past, but outside people came and took away what we had. Those historical events need to be balance out right now.
  • USA, is doing grave injustice to us. It has the best educational institutes of the world, where the most competent study and teach and do research. This is not fair. One-Fifth of all the seats in top educational institutes (particularly Harvard and Stanford) should be reserved for Indians (appropriate provisions for sub-reservations within it should be made too). No, we don't want better educational institutes in our country, neither do we want to improve our educational system so that we are a confident, educated nation. We want those seats that others are having elsewhere.

God save my country from the clutches of ugly Politicians.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Background Music in News

Have you noticed how background music is added to news these days? So, you have visuals of a bunch of hooligans breaking window panes, and beating up people - you will have a filmi music added to the visuals to sensationalize it. In any case India may be one of the worst places on earth to watch news anyway - what with commercial breaks that are longer than the news itself. And little or no original research - just show sensational visuals and talk about them with some experts. And these experts are 'regulars'.


People Stare. Is this unique to the indian sub-continent? In the animal world staring at one another is considered a very aggressive behavior. In most western countries people avoid eye-contact unless necessary, and if an eye-contact is made, they acknowledge your presence usually by a smile or even a simple Hi.

Rahul Gandhi

is sleeping in villages to garner votes. Typical of indian politicians. If he got Water, Electricity, Roads to villages - he would garner zillion votes. But then that involves hard work!

Short n Crisp

Shorter and Crisper Posts going forward :).