About Me

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I love the sunrise. I love staring out into the horizon in front of me, feeling the sun's glow, and losing myself in my own world of thoughts... I love being awake when the world around me is fast asleep, and staring into the distance at the tiny glimmering ball of fire as it shyly creeps into my world… Each sunrise brings to me a new day and with it a fresh start. An opportunity to do things differently, see things from a different point of view... but best of all, an opportunity to ponder over the day ahead, giving a new chance every day to live...

Monday, July 26, 2010

Notes on Anwar


When I read other reviews for this film, a fair number of people said the storyline kept wandering off and they got annoyed. I am curious to know what people found meandering... except for Rajpal Yadav's role, I couldn't see any diversions. And the movie only lasted 2.5 hours! I thought all the characters were there for a reason. I thought all the storylines (except Yadav's, it just got annoying hearing him whinge) were there for a reason.

I will probably end up buying its DVD, because the songs, Maula Mere and Tose Naina Lage are extremely special to me.

I loved the movie for what it was - a messy presentation of a messy life. I loved the way every message was laid out, yet subtle. I loved how the film was extremely neutral and normal. It wasn't trying to teach its audience a message about certain religions, and it wasn't out to make you think in any one way when you come out of the movie, which is what I think often happens when Bollywood does a serious/off-beat/social message type kinda movie. You had to pick it up to understand it - no voiceovers, no dramatic speeches, no subtle explanations thinly veiled in the garb of 'everyday dialogue' - it was like a CCTV camera decided to show the fates of all these lives, and you yourself had to teach yourself how people work, how life works, how crowds work, how politicians work, how different people treating different people in different ways works... even how love works.

In the sense of love, for me, it was highly reminiscent of Love Actually, in the way it showed how all the characters - at the core of all their problems and lifestyles, just yearned for love.

I loved how they made absolutely minimal use of music - especially the evident lack of dramatic music for the dramatic moments (so typical of cinema - be it Hollywood or Bollywood). There were so many scenes that had scope for dramatic music, and they were just shown so simply. The flutes at the beginning and the end are hauntingly beautiful. I have an absolute soft spot for the flute, it is one of my most favourite instruments to listen to, and the tune they played was just - wah. I think, of course, the real, most commercially apparent strong point of this movie is the songs. No words can describe Maula Mere and Javeda Zindagi. (As a side note: I always think it is so sad Maula Mere gets played on Bollywood channels as it has pretty visuals, but Javeda Zindagi - far superior to Maula Mere in its poetic beauty in every way - doesn't because it shows the last shots of a dead man with blood oozing out of him in the rain... and the end credits. I have pretty much never seen it being played. So sad. Although it's pretty good that a song from a practically un-noticed movie has made it to the Bollywood channels, I guess.) Dilbar Mera is a song that grows on you, too. I can't get over how natural this movie is. So natural it may go over the viewers' head as a movie worth watching.

I enjoyed the way the characters developed. Sure, the Hindu guy could have done with more presentation of his character, but he wasn't [i]as[/i] pivotal to the movie, so I guess it's OK. I appreciated the way it wasn't glaringly or blatantly obvious what kind of a guy Anwar was, but you could see it in his actions - the number of shots of him just lying on his bed, lost in thoughts, the sketches he spent hours drawing, the way he behaved towards Master Pasha... Anwar reminded me a little bit of me. I loved Master Pasha's role. I don't know if it's a believable or an unbelievable role, but I loved it all the same.

A huge mention has to go to the cinematography/settings/props/costumes people. Never before - no seriously - have I seen such realistic sets. Even the impressive sets of Lagaan and Dor, showing village life, seemed a tad too glamorous in comparison to this movie's sets/settings. This movie kind of came at the right time for me, as I have been missing India very much of late, and seeing all the minor things, the attention to minor detail, and the fact that everything was so realistic, made me feel "right at home". The settings are not made for obvious beauty that makes (at least I feel it does) the film more appealing to the Indian audience, instead they were messy lanes, peeling paint, cloth covering holes in the structures of buildings... they had a raw, natural beauty of their own. The sunrises and sunsets (well, I HAD to comment on this, and notice it, me being me...) were heavenly. Not fake or obvious special effects, but still sweet additions to the background of the movie.

The dialogues in this film were very interesting. Both interesting in the sense of how they can be analysed, and how they were just interesting. One thing I enjoyed was the way the Master Pasha spoke about love. It was not done in an over-the-top Shah-Rukh-Khan-proclaiming-his-love-to-the-fields way (and I LOVE that way, too). I would say it bordered on cheesy, but who isn't cheesy in their real lives every now and then? And in any case, he's an absolutely bonkers guy. I reckon only he could have gotten away with wittering on about love the way he did. And all of what he said made sense, which was what I also loved. It wasn't a flowers-blossom-and-red-feels-nice-and-rains-make-me-horny kind of dialogue, it was a straightforward, cheesy declaration of how love gives us life. And I loved it [i]for[/i] its naturalness and rawness, and the way I could relate to it. I cannot tell whether the other dialogues are realistic and accurate to the nature of how its real-life counterparts would speak, but I felt they sounded fairly realistic.

This movie is not straightforward. There isn't a voiceover or dramatic music to keep you going and making you watch it. The storyline will either be interpreted as a part of a life thing, or as no real substantial storyline that was poorly developed. It is not a fairytale Bollywood. Hell, it doesn't even match up to some of the more serious and intelligent films that Bollywood has done. It is what it is, and if you watch it, watch it with a willingness to let your mind wander and think about the issues and scenes they are presenting. I have no clue what the director wanted from this movie, or what he wanted us to feel, but I think as long as it leaves you thinking, about [i]some[/i] Godforsaken thing or the other, the movie has achieved its purpose. I'm pretty sure the director would have understood it wasn't going to be Bollywood blockbuster of the year, anyway.

Just enjoy the music and see where the story takes you. You may like it; you may not. I liked it.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Post Secret...

... y'all should check it out. www.postsecret.blogspot.com

Post Secret is one obsession that has stayed with me... oooh, for the past three years? Or so. (I've even asked my friend to buy one of the Post Secret books as a birthday present, to prove my obsession...) It's a blog mainted by a Frank Warren, that is updated every Sunday with secrets from people around the world, that are sent on the back of a post card. The more creative, the better. Such a simple idea, and such an addictive blog, too. Every Sunday it's my happy day because I get Post Secret and Desperate Housewives all in one go... ha ha ha. It's definitely worth checking out.

I am never entirely sure how many of these are real, and how many are made up, and whether they were even sent in or not. But I'm not sure it really matters. The complete range of secrets you read makes it so easy to be pulled into it. Even the simple black background of the web page makes it so easy to be pulled into it. And believe you me, there WILL be a secret or two that you can relate to. Some are funny, some are witty, some are full of pain and some are sheer confessions of the little bitch inside all of us... but they always make a good read. And the sort of dramatically artistic way in which they are presented makes each one stand out well, too.

I have always thought of sending a secret in. Whenever I actively think about it, I cannot think of anything other than something... boring. But that's kind of boring, isn't it? :D And I'm not sure it even deserves another thought in my mind, let alone me pouring it all out creatively into a postcard and sending it all the way to Post Secret! I lead such a boring life! However, when I don't think about it at all, a random, crazy, possibly unsuitable-for-kids thought crosses my mind and I think, "How cool would it be to send THAT in to Post Secret!" This kind of in-my-head monologue almost always ends in a caring-but-dismissive "one day, one day"... oh dear.

But, well, one day indeed (touchwood and all that jazz...)! Below is one of my favourite Post Secrets, it seems extra, extra apropos these days... hmm. However, on that note, I should probably bring this blog post to a close as I have nothing more to say than, "Oh my God please check Post Secret out it is so awesome and a must-read for everyone!" :-)

Friday, April 16, 2010

There are some things you have to learn for yourself...

... and learning how to be you is one of them. That good ole timeless song by the Beatles really does seem to capture it all, and this lyric is no less: "Nothing you can do, but you can learn how to be you in time."

No one will ever tell you that it's OK to be you. (Or even if they do, we never listen to them and think they don't even mean it anyway...) No one will tell you to let it be, it is what it is. And it's only fair of them to do so because some of them genuinely care for you and know you "can do better than this" (I HATE that phrasing and I have not yet been able to understand it!! But hey...), while others simply can't stand seeing people different to what they are. But I've been thinking about this today and I realised - it is up to you to find your own path. You have to come up with the thought yourself, that there is beauty in who you are and you can express it in whatever way you want to. And that's the best way of learning life lessons anyway, when they come from within instead of just being pushed onto us by those around us.

I like to maintain that the sooner you learn to say a huge fat extremely well-deserved "FUCK you", the more wholesome your life will be. :) Because you are actually getting rid of all the cobwebs in your mind that you have become so inexplicably used to... and now there is more room to develop yourself and be who you are.

With love and a sense of humour in everything we do, what can't we conquer, eh? Sometimes we just have to learn to be brave and take that first step forward and be comfortable and happy with the skin we're in, and say to ourselves as we face clouds and a rain-filled day, "What a beautiful day!" ;)