Monday, March 30, 2009

A long winded (and probably pointless) post

I had blogged earlier about 'Religulous' and how I wanted to talk a bit more about it. Well, here we are.

This isn't a review or anything. It's more along the sidelines of something that I was thinking about while watching it. Bill Maher, interviews a few people about the bible and generally expresses his disdain over how 'religious nuts' believe without any proof.

If you know me personally, you would also know that I consider myself an agnostic. Isn't that what a guy who "doesn't know-doesn't care" is? If there is one thing that I find strange it's the 'non-believers' (atheists). These are people who are sure that god does not exist since there is no proof of his existence. They reason that we need a proof to verify every single fact. Well, as things stand, we do not have sufficient proof that god does NOT exist either (this is complicated due to the fact that people conveniently keep changing their definition of who/what god is). And if atheists want to continue believing that they are right despite the lack of proof against god's non-existence….they are … believers.

I will leave you alone for a minute so you can reread that bit and make sense of it.

This post hasn't reached its topic yet.

Back to Religulous. Bill interviews a Rabi (jewish preist), who attended a holocaust denial conference. Basically these are people who believe that Hitler did not mass murder jews before World War 2. Bill, who is a staunch and vocal supporter of the state of Israel, walked out on him since he just could not accept the fact that someone could deny such a …(intense music here)…well established and globally known piece of history.

Okay…. Now this is what I am wondering.

Can we be absolutely, without a doubt, sure that any of the events that we have been told are historical facts, actually occurred? I don't mean to come across as a conspiracy theorist. So let me explain myself here.

For the sake of simplicity, can we divide the past into 'before video/photographical evidence' and 'after'?

So things like the Ramayana, Mahabharata all the way down to the Mughal emperors would find their way here.

Mahatma Gandhi, the freedom struggle, World War II, Ganesh drinking milk all the way down to the recent terrorist attacks would be in the 'after' category.


Let's tackle the former. We do have historical remains, artefacts, (the Taj Mahal for god's sake!!!), etc. etc. to support history. I can (but won't) argue that these could be explained by any number of bizarre theories (Aliens anyone?). Historians themselves contradict each other on several issues. Our journalists and media today are a bunch of thieving weasels. Do you believe every fact you read in your newspaper today? What reason do we have to believe that the people who wrote about the kings (and gods) were any less corrupt? I think it's romantic to hope that in the past everyone was honest and committed.

Coming to the 'history after proof' era…

Can we sub-divide it into 'before photoshop' and 'after photoshop'? By photoshop, I mean to include every one of these techniques which can be used to concoct or alter audio/video/photographic material.

You can probably construct the rest of my argument here… Again, I am not implying that everything we believe is false. I just think, we can never ever be 100% sure…of any 'fact'. I never went to space. I haven't even seen a space shuttle. I have just been told that people went up there and took pretty pictures, which I have seen. It's easy (and convenient) to believe that and go ahead with life. And that's why we do.

Let's say we all die out all of a sudden (its more probable than you might think). And some (bored) alien race was rooting through all our tapes and photographs. Would they be able to differentiate between 'fact' and fiction? A documentary and a movie? Think about it.


Saturday, March 28, 2009

Hara Bhara Kabaab

Me and Sanz also part-observed Earth Hour. You know, we were all supposed to turn off all our lights for one hour in the evening today and help fight global warming and all. We turned off all the lights, but we did keep the TV on. Watched Juno. Liked it just as much I did the first time. I figured I was entitled to keeping the TV on since we already have a 2 hour power cut everyday, so that's me, Fighting climate change on a daily basis. I also wore this cool 'Earth Hour' t-shirt. So am way ahead of you buddy…unless Mr. Gore, you are reading this blog.

But anyways, do check this site called Frogg. And while you are at it, open another tab and visit

C'mon. Don't act pricey. You are velaa right now. I know that.

Monday, March 16, 2009

At long last

I checked with the relevant authorities, and they confirmed that this doesn't count as a 'comeback post', so I don't have to make up excuses or give reasons. As a matter of fact, I am guessing you guys are used to the pace of the blog now.

Anyways,( btw, if you subscribe to Reader's digest, check this month's issue for the article on Indian english) I wouldn't want to dispense with tradition alltogether. So let me fill you in on what's going on in my life...

There is of course, the BIG news. The giant, humongous one. But we will keep it under wraps for now. Unless, of course, you already know about it. In which case ... 'Shhhhh!'

What else? Oh ya... I broke up.... with google chrome. It was a fling I tell ya... pretty young thing and all that but at the end of the day, i realized that I missed the stability of firefox... but it is hard to say goodbye, so I do use it on and off. But as of now, its firefox for me.

Saw a few movies. Three of them I would wanna talk about.

Delhi 6: Ya ya! I should have posted long long back. After all, I did see this movie first day. Anyway, I actually liked the  movie. Honest! Ya, the ending was long winded and actually weird, but the rest of the movie. good stuff. Watch it if you haven't. Don't listen to the others (unless of course, even they asked you to see it).

I liked the music (Duh!!), Abhishek Bacchan (was very happy to merge into the mileu and play the observer). But I mostly liked the fact that the story was very .... R.K Narayanish.No no! In fact, it feels like an R.K Laxman illustration of an RKN story.  Think about it, the whole movie feels like one of those amazingly simple but chock full of detail, artworks you would find in any Malgudi based novel. So many characters, no actual story line. You just sit back and breathe it all in. I could feel the love the director had for his home city. And that (I think) was his actual intention.  Special mention of the song which blended Chandni Chowk with Times Square. Amazing!!!

The second is actually not a movie but a documentary. Its called Religulous. I would want to talk about this in detail, so am hoping I actually do.

On Saturday, I took appa to see 'Naan Kadavul'. I was impressed with his previous movies, but felt that somewhere it was quite pretentious. For example, Vikram's character in 'Pithamagan'... he was a man after all, not an ape. Why would he go about grunting all along.. 

Anyways, Suffice to say I wasn't 'blown away' by his past work. 

I was with this one.

I don't remember the last time a movie made me feel that I had witnessed a milestone. This one was. Oh sure, I found a tinge of the same pretentiousness in this one too. And the lighting felt very artificial. But all that is forgiven.

By the end of the movie, as the Hyderabaadi audience walked out, I was sure that a majority of them didn't really like it. But the crowd was silent. Love it or hate it, but everyone knew they were affected by what they had seen. 

I know you hate hyperbole as much as I do, but let me indulge just once more.

I realize that that title now is a proclamation by Bala... for he created a universe. He picks stars, if he wants to. He can dispense with them at will. He can weave humour into scenes depicting the most miserable and wretched humans on earth.

Its a proclamation by Illayaraja. He can command violins and other musical instruments to lend depth to a scene in ways nobody can.

I was sure I wouldn't want to see it again since it was so heavy. But I guess I will just  to soak up the nuances. But would I recommend this movie to you? Am not sure.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Weasel's day out

Have I  been busy? Hell no! Did I have nothing to say or share? Slim chances, since I have been primarily responsible for my colleagues and family wearing out their eardrums. 

Have I been lazy? .... uh.. anyways, I do have lots to post about, but while we wait for me to be less lazy, (a complete cure is not in the realms of possibility scientists say),  I decided to  realized what a weasel I was, and so am 're-posting' one of my earlier posts from Vixlist for a wider audience... (vixdom has a double digit readership, compared to vixlist's half digit)

Anyhoo.. here goes nothing...

Any similarity to 'new rules' is purely intentional.
1. Can the dabbawallah talk - Next time someone talks about innovation in India, no mention should be made of bombay dabbawallahs and their six sigma ratings. Oh and while you are at it, stop talking about the surd who converted a washing machine into a lassi maker. If out of a crowd of 1,20,00,000+ people we need to harp on the same two innovations, let's face it. We are NOT.
2. No Cheese at Mac - Anyone caught taking a photograph at a McDonalds, at the bench with their hand around Ronald McDonald should be shot on the spot and hung from a stake as an example to others. And as an addendum, anyone taking touristy photographs at lame locations like the local mall, multiplex, public toilet etc. can be shot as well. 
3. Diss the B - Next time the Big B appears in a Big C grade movie, bitch about his performance, his role  and his choice. Don't diss the entire movie and single out the Big B for being 'the saving grace'. No he isn't. The worst thing about Aag was the Big B. And the movie had Nisha Kothari if you remember. 
4. Hose the host - And the politician and the movie producer who says 'The Indian public is smart. Give them credit.' No we aren't. We watch K serials, hug movie stars and buy them expensive gifts when we appear on their show, use our clothes as a substitute for tissues, vote for career criminals,  and listen to bhangra. 
5. Forget 1983 - I am told that we won the world cup in 1983. I had no clue since we pretty much suck at cricket and especially during the world cup. The only people who had a right to celebrate the anniversary of winning the cup are the people who actually won it. (Which they did). The morons across India who celebrated that day can be shot along with the Dabbawala talkers and McDonald posers.
6. No dotcom ads - What are the top websites that come to your mind? Google. Yahoo. Rediff. Amazon. etc. What don't? BigAdda.  iBibo. BharatStudent.  I don't want the owners of these websites shot. Not even the broadcasters. Not even the pimply teen who *has* to register at every new social networking site that crops up. Shoot the VCs who fund these supposed 'next google' dotcom idea.
7. Show the door to these endorsements - Shahrukh telling me he loves his pepsi is one thing. Shahrukh telling me he loves driving his Santro? AB (and now) SRK askin me to use Navratan oil? A few years back we had Sachin Tendulkar riding a TVS bike. Are these guys kiddin me? Shoot the next MBA passout ad agency executive who comes up with the idea of using Shahrukh to endorse whisper ultra. And while they are at it... shoot the next creative director who portrays a church wedding for an ad. Last I checked, we are still a hindu major nation and yet all our ads and movies show people getting out of churches ( Race  and Tata Indicom ad anyone?)
8.  Cricket bashers - Next time some hockey or tennis or football nut says that Indian public should support other games and not be obsessed with cricket... don't shoot em. Ask em to go to Brazil and propogate test cricket. 
9. Hindi fanatics - The next moron who tells me that I need to know Hindi numbers (and hindi in general) because 'afterall its our national language', should first name every member of the Indian Hockey team. After all its our national game.
10. Shoot anyone named Ekta Kapoor. - Do I need to elaborate why?