Popular Posts

Monday, October 25, 2010

'Dhobi Ghat' [Mumbai Diaries]

It is the story of four lives, four characters, and more.... a story that is woven in Mumbai - a city of ever-changing dynamics, yet a city that charms and enthralls all with its unique character, a city that is a mute witness to the harmony and turmoil that binds the people who inhabit or just set foot on its terrains..... and, hence, Mumbai itself is the fifth character in the story.
Shai is an NRI banker who comes to Mumbai to pursue her passion for photography with little focus and understanding of the dynamics of the city. Her path crosses briefly with Arun, a reclusive painter who pushes her away the moment they begin to get close. The two are connected by their dhobi (washerman), Munna, who toils away with the hopes of becoming an actor. And, then, there is Yasmin, the recently married Muslim girl who records her life in Mumbai for her brother back home.

Eagerly waiting for the release of the film.....
For the uninitiated, 'Dhobi Ghat' marks the directorial debut of Kiran Rao, wife of Aamir Khan, and is produced under the prestigious banner of Aamir Khan Productions. It has received rave reviews already, after having been screened at the Toronto International Film Festival and the BFI London Film Festival this year. 'Dhobi Ghat' features Pratiek Babbar, alongside Aamir Khan, Monica Dogra, Kriti Malhotra, Danish Hussain, Jehan Manekshaw, Kitu Gidwani, Ashok Varma, Sanjivani Oagle, Aasha Pawar, Babita Sehgal, Rohit Tiwari, Jitendra Shinde, Nafisa Amin Khan and others.
The film's brilliant images have been captured by the promising cinematographer Tushar Kanti Ray, and the film boasts of an original musical score by Oscar-winning Argentine composer Gustavo Santaolalla.
First it was expected to be released in India this winter, however, the release date had then been relegated to the 25th of February, next year. Now, it is likely that the film will release a tad earlier than that, possibly on January 21st, before the cricket World Cup begins. Till then, all us fans have to just make do with catching up on the buzz generated, and feasting our eyes on the scenes. Happy viewing, folks!

aamir khan
(mumbai diaries)
a kiran rao film






Releasing January 21, 2011

[Pics & promotional material courtesy: Aamir Khan Productions Pvt. Ltd.]

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Facebook, Orkut, social networking, and 'the pests'

There's a new kinda breed.... the Social Networking Pest.
Of late, I have been come into contact with this very kind.
Earlier, on Orkut, it was easy to weed out the ones from amongst the e-friends who seemed to have a different agenda altogether - but, now, on many a socially networking site online, especially on Facebook, these very people are likely to have a brush with the users, and the experience can be anything between mildly unpleasant to grossly obnoxious.
It's an irritating phenomenon - these people just want to get on your nerves in the guise of e-friendship, they want to get unnaturally intimate, they judge you, they pester you like nuts!
You would wonder, 'What have I done to deserve this!'
Omigosh! They try to contact you at every single pretext with the sole objective of disturbing you emotionally, maybe they want you to join them in their psychologically dysfunctional tirades. You are asked all kinds of silly things. Every attempt to ignore them makes them even more desperate. They keep posting ridiculous stuff on your wall, or as messages, mail you spam content, and if, God forbid, they get hold of your cellphone number, they'd bombard you with messages. Do they all suffer from Attention Deficiency Disorder? That's what you'd wonder. You'd try to block these irritating creatures, but such attempts would turn futile as they'd soon be found to resurface under some other garb, on some phoney profile, and, worse still, they might get really nasty and revengeful and even attempt to hack your account.
In the recent past, Facebook has been taking, or trying to take, stringent measures against these pests, many improved features and filters have come up whereby one can have special privacy settings, and there's now a more active supervision by the authorities. I commend them for that. And I hope that we may curb the pest syndrome soon, very soon.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
PostScript: Let me inform the ones who do not know me that they are welcome to be my e-friends; in fact, all - but the pests - are welcome to join me on Facebook too. The list of my e-friends on Orkut have become too large and hence I am not very eager to accept new friends there, it becomes difficult to interact with a very large number of friends, you see. Hence, all you have to do to be my e-friend is too click on the link below and send me a friend request, or message me..... e-friendship is healthy, it's an absolute pleasure for me to buzz with you on an array of subjects, just make sure that it isn't inappropriate, crossing the norms of social decorum and courtesy, and that our online exchanges doesn't make either of us uncomfortable in any way.
Anindo Sen

Create Your Badge

Monday, October 18, 2010

Ani & Bonnie: Talking Pujo

Ani: Shubho Bijaya, buddy.... hope you had good times...

Bonnie: Shubho Bijaya to you too. Ya, the Pujas are fun, no matter what.

Ani: Why the 'no matter what' tag?

Bonnie: Because of the simple reason that different people enjoy it differently.

Ani: That's true. But it is enjoyment that matters, and I think no other festival involves so many people all at once and helps them let down their hair and have fun. People just let go of their stifling routines and enjoy, in the collective spirit.

Bonnie: Oh.... that's a tall order, but yes, more people are seen smiling than not.

Ani: Come on, don't be an exclusivist, you scowl like a cynic!

Bonnie: I know, I may sound cynical, you know that the religion and the dictates might take a backseat here and there.... however, basically, DurgaPujo is all about a certain majoritarianism. It's not as inclusive a festival as we might think it is.

Ani: Hmmmm..... you have gone deep in your analysis.

Bonnie: Ohkkkaay..... won't spoil your mood. So, what exactly do you want me to talk about?

Ani: Look, since childhood, I have never been much into the exhaustive and wholesome celebration of DurgaPujo, and it was much like the accounts of Rituparno Ghosh, where he talks about the innocent questionings and the simultaneous personalized fancies.

Bonnie: But, I thought, you were more like the Chandril of yesteryears (Ekla Pujo Folkla Pujo, remember?)....

Ani: Hahaha..... that was a phase in my adulthood.... the University days.

Bonnie: Speaking of Chandril reminds me of the giant billboards seen this year at major Pujo pandals where he is seen embracing his friends with the toothy grin on his face, all for the lure of lucre, eh... that too for a coconut oil giant!

Ani: That's a way of looking at things, maybe he has evolved. All artistes should, else they might stagnate. Pujo has evolved too, no?

Bonnie: True, DurgaPujo is much more than an annual faith-based ritual now, it's a mammoth social event in Kolkata's calendar. Hence the flow of big money, the corporate giants, the muscle power of the political goons, the hysteria for Pujo themes, the tug-of-war for getting the high-profile celebs for inauguration and even for them showcasing the event as brand-ambassadors.....!

Ani: But don't you think pandal-hopping has become even more difficult a task in general, with the chaotic traffic and the crowding at the big locations?

Bonnie: Absolutely so.... but then, there's the soft option for the unwilling to have a peek at all the big Pujo pandals and the extensive affairs therein right from their drawing rooms, courtesy numerous television channels and their sponsored live broadcasts.

Ani: By the way, what was the latest and most striking feature that came to your notice this year? Let's round up our discussion with that....

Bonnie: Easy-peazy... lemon squeezy... that's an easy one. The most electrifying part of the Pujas is definitely the immersion ceremony, better known as visarjan, or bhaashaan, and this year reached a new high with the disco bhaashaan that beat the immersion blues like crazy..... young guys, often bare-bodied - displaying their well sculpted gym-bred torsos, and gallant girls grooving in a brazen manner on the roads which got converted to mobile discos thanks to strobe lights and what not cruising along gently, right in front of them in a separate lorry, or tempo, blasting the latest remixed tracks at full volume..... unbelievable raw sexuality.... beats the inebriation of intoxicants of other kinds that have been otherwise rampant over the ages.

Ani: Good heavens!

Bonnie: It's not for nothing that Durga Puja has now earned the moniker 'the Rio carnival of the eastern hemisphere'!

Ani: Wow! I thought that the Pujo trends this year had just ranged from the techno-savvy (be it solar lights and bluetooth facilitated, and air-conditioned venues) displays to the umpteen Tagore tributes, but you have narrated a whole new dimension for me.

Thanks, for all the blabber. It was fun chatting up the festive pomp and show. I hope my readers like it too.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Happy Pujo!

Kolkata exemplifies its spirit best during Durga Pujo, the annual autumnal festival that celebrates much more than the ritualistic traditions involving the worship of the Mother Goddess.
The Pujo frenzy, the madness, the excesses are all pervading, and hard to escape or remain indifferent to, for each and every Kolkatan, and he or she need not belong to any particular sect or creed or community for that. 
Yes, it is that time of the year again!
the festive spirit in the air of the city is unmistakable for even the lay visitor.

The entire city is decked up in resplendent colors, and lights.
The energy is simply infectious, the buoyant spirit happily envelops us.
People go all out and spare no effort to soak in the madness, often to get carried away as well.

I wish all my friends and well-wishers happiness and contentment.
May you all light up from within; do your bit to redeem all darkness.
Happy Pujo!