Saturday, January 18, 2014

Dedh Ishqiya is one and half spoon headache

Over time we go into theaters to watch movies which should entertain as well as enlighten us. Many of us spend lots of money for watching these movies. The spectators expect a honest and entertaining movie to digress from the daily tensions of life. I went to the movie theater yesterday expecting the same.

This movie is a sequel to a movie named ‘Ishqiya’ which was a landmark movie encompassing ‘cheating’ and ‘treachery’ with an umbrella of stellar performances by Naseeruddin Shah, Arshad Warsi and Vidya Balan. It had a decent story line packed with dialogues in crude language of Uttar Pradesh. Needless to say it was a success at the box office.

Coming to the sequel, the movie is perilously slow in the first half. We are not able to get the thick and thin of the story as something seems wrongly placed in the initial part. The necklace which is stolen doesn’t really have any meaning in the whole story even though the writer tries hard to introduce some meaning to it. The movie wriggles in between when the poetry competition is being shown. This should have been fast paced and a bit of humor should have been introduced.

The second half tries to create a plot of kidnapping which again is ruthlessly marred and misses common sense. It seems more humorous than tragic. The climax seems to be derived from a few Hollywood flicks. You can easily make out a Tarantino style of portrayal in the scene. The action scenes are very similar to the ones shown in Desperado. Also, I must admit that there are few scenes which have been inspired by other movies. For instance, the one scene when Huma Qureshi runs to hug Madhuri, Arshad expects that she’ll hug him but as it turns out she goes behind him and hugs Madhuri. I saw this enactment in the Tamil movie Boys which released in 2003.

Legendary actors like Naseeruddin Shah and Madhuri Dixit have been their self in the movie and have given power packed performances. Arshad Warsi plays the vagabond thief but it seems that his potential has been under used. Huma Qureshi has come of age but her role in this movie is very similar to the one she played in ‘The Gangs of Wasseypur Part 2’. Vijay Raaz is good but still lacks the impact he used to create in his earlier movies.

A lot of native profane language has been used in the dialogues but they don’t create an impact and the storyline is unimpressive. A similar movie made by Vishal Bharadwaj in the backdrops of Uttar Pradesh was ‘Omkara’ which derived its story from The Othello is still appreciated even though it had similar kind of dialogues. I liked the use of Urdu language in this movie but better movies have been made which have used the language in more beautiful manner.

The good part in the movie is cinematography. Appropriate lights have been used and give the movie a periodic feel. Editing has been pristine and one can’t easily find glitches. Choreography of Birju Maharaj deserves respect and Madhuri has done justice to the same. Music is impressive as it has always been with Vishal Bharadwaj’s movies.

Overall, I was disappointed with the movie as I expect a decent story with Vishal Bharadwaj’s movies. I think he should get back to making movies based on Shakespeare’s literary works. I hope he is not working on a two and half spoon headache now.

Anand Bora

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Indian Polity

This is a post which I have written digressing from my conventional Artistic and creative writings.
Indian Polity 

I have been following Indian politics since last few days as a new party in India has raised expectations of changing the way politics is prevalent in the country. Somewhere, I think this curiosity is shared by most of us. We do realize that we are related to the system in one way or the other but with our ‘chalta hai’ (let it be) attitude we always get back to the status quo.

I am bewildered as to why there is so much fuss even about the petty things the new party is doing. A decent sized home along with an office space was chosen for the minister so that he can stay in Delhi and work but even that is being questioned by people. This is very unfortunate for our country that such small issues are being highlighted in the Media and elsewhere. This also exposes the very nature of human psychology of relenting to accept a change. A political change is a massive change as it would, in long term, mean granular changes in the society. Do we realize that we need a change in the system?

I was forced to give a bribe when I was a minor and the concerned official asked me the bribe amount stating I should give him some money for chai-pani (tea and water [A way of asking bribe]). I was a naive back then but I realized the implications of that occurrence when I became mature. Our own existence is on a hypocrite platform. I am sure there would be less than 10% of people in this country who wouldn't have given a bribe to the Travelling Ticket Examiner of a train. It raises a big question. Can any entity in this political system cleanse it?

I have traveled almost all of India and noticed that even though the country is diversified but the people have common requirements. People are very similar in their thought process, their daily proceedings and in their familial and professional lives. But the element of hypocrisy has always been there. And unfortunately, political people who have exploited this weakness of the countrymen have been successful in reigning this country and pushing it into a dilapidated state.

So what should be politics all about? Should it be about people? Should it be about issues people face? Should it be about power and power mongers? I am not a political science grad to answer those questions. I am just a normal human being who wants to live a decent life in my country which should be hassle free (at least free from the troubles created by mankind).

So when I asked those questions to myself, I came up with a few answers.

First, translation of Politics in Hindi is ‘Raaj neeti’, which literally means ‘the policy of governance’. Politics word is derived from the Greek word ‘politikos’ which means "of, for, or relating to citizens". Any person can differentiate between the meaning of the word in different languages I stated above. The latter is the real politics for a democracy. We can’t be sticking to the conventional politics where in the rulers decide the policies for governance and the citizens are asked to comply. Ironically, very few politicians in India show the difference in India by their actions.

Secondly, Politics is about policies which the representatives of people should decide and implement in favor of the people of the country. The policies might be harsh or liberal but they must have a purpose and a ‘long term’ impact of positivity on the people and the country. In a diversified country like India, critics will say that the aforesaid might not hold good. But, if politics is not done for the people, it is always against the people. It is a different question that the current scenario in India is all about the vested interests of the different parties and their agenda and desire to gain power.

So, what is the role of people? Is it all about casting a vote, selecting a representative and forming a government? Don’t we have a bigger role to play? Are we just meek spectators of the political gimmicks of the politicians. Don’t we have a right to question the misdoings of the government. The constitution of India says that the Prime Minister and the council of ministers are collectively responsible for any of wrong charges made against them and they should quit the office for the same. In the last 10 years of this government, they have had lot many cases of corruption against few ministers, but they never took any action. Unfortunately, the Indian polity has forgotten the meaning of the words ‘collective responsibility’. So I would say in the current scenario, the people have taken a back seat in the Indian polity. The people power has vanished and the political power has taken over.

Issues. I would say A BIG LOL. There is a small country called South Korea. It also got independence in 1947. But today, South Korea is a developed country. What are we? We are dragging that ‘developing nation’ tag since long time and it might continue for many years to come. Our political leaders might say that in the last 65 years they have done enough for the country and for the people. They forget to mention that they have done twice for their own family and their OWN people. This is ridiculous as well and unfortunate. Since my childhood I have seen basic issues with everybody around. The issues of water, electricity, infrastructure and the list goes on. I understand the biggest problem of our country is the massive population but it is also the biggest resource. But sadly, the political fraternity has not done enough which they should have done. There is no urgency shown in government offices for developmental issues. When an employee earning 10L a year work in a private company for 15-16 hours a day, why can’t a government employee (whatever grade he may be) do so?

Power mongering is something which comes when a person comes into power and starts to enjoy the privileges power brings with it. The ailing political class of India doesn’t want to let go of the immense power it has been enjoying. I remember once I saw a Member of Parliament from my city at the airport. He was drunk heavily and was being carried towards the flight and few bureaucrats were flocking him. This is something which I have witnessed personally and I must say I was very disappointed with my countrymen at that point in time. We never bother to see what people we are sending to the Parliament and just go and vote based on our meaningless loyalty towards parties, based on communal agendas, based on regionalism and based on fake promises. A very significant reason for that is illiteracy as people don’t have the intellect to decide on basic right of ‘choosing the right’.

There might be many more aspects to Indian Polity which we can’t understand as those come out only in Cabinet and assembly meetings. But Politics for me, should be for the people. If we were governed honestly all those 65 years, things would have been really different today.

Anand Bora