startling banals

31 December 2007

And all this snow
Was hanging
All the way..
Up there?
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23 December 2007

NRIs celebrate Modi victory

Modi win:Champagne flows in US

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22 December 2007

a tired night-
quiet, unchanging
not a leaf moves

while secretly ..

a witches' sabbath
rages insane
in my heart
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19 December 2007

Jab We Met director interview

Imtiaz Ali - the prodigal director has two successful genuinely romantic and fresh movies (Socha Na Tha, Jab We Met- yet to watch). I read a one-page interview in the latest Filmfare (everything else was complete bakwaas) in my dentist's waiting room. Some interesting kissey-
Did you have problems working with Kareena?
IA: Kareena is not exactly my favourite actress .. but she has her good as well as bad films. But she is capable of giving strong performances. She is very well behaved, punctual.. Director's actress - if I had told her to jump in front oif a speeding car - she would have done exactly that.

One day I told her that she won't be wearing any make-up for most scenes and only simple punjabi dresses. She asked me -'Oh.. So you want the no make-up look?" I said - "No! I want you to wear no make-up".

Then once I joked-"Kareena what about your reputation as a star? You should throw a tantrum on the sets now and then.. Come late once in a while"

What about your next film?
IA: I don't have a 3 - film contract etc with any production house. So I am going on holiday now.. To get this film out of my system.

Kya cool peaceful bandaa hai!! :D

On the sets of Jab We Met
picture gallery from BBC

Two post- Socha Na Tha interviews:
Kaffeeklatsch with Imtiaz Ali
Talented Mr. Ali

Good movie.. complete masti. An uncle-aunty were getting naughty in the next seat ;)

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18 December 2007

Lonely road
Crows race a cyclist
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13 December 2007

Aankhein Teri Itni Haseein..

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Homeless in Narmada

Rehengyaa Bongyaa Vasaave
He was one of the 500 tribal people from the Narmada valley who were at Azad Maidan in Bombay for a week in August 1999. Their villages were going to be drowned by Sardar Sarovar Dam. They had accepted the rehabilitation package of the Maharashtra government but received almost nothing. The week was spent in demonstrations, petitions, delegations, being arrested, meetings with ministers and secretaries etc. One day we stopped Bal Thackeray's speech in the Press Club. We kept a watch secretly and shouted him down from outside :D Those were the days of the Shiv Sena BJP govt when their dadagiri was at the height. I had a nice time and took the kids to see Marine Drive, Nariman Point, Colaba, Malabar Hill etc.

The day before they left, their leader Pratibha Shinde came to me with Lotyaa and Jiryaa Kaarbhaari. Both seemed to be near 40 - short, dark and of a small frame. I had heard the story of Lotyaa's family. His parents were no more. He had two brothers. All the years of displacement and struggle had devastated them. One of them had simply gotten off the train somewhere in Madhya Pradesh on the way to Delhi for a morcha and no one had noticed. The youngest - Rehengyaa Bongyaa Vasaave had gone mad and had been left in the Mental Hospital in Thane around two years back. We decided to go to Thane first thing tomorrow morning.

The next day, Lotyaa and Jiryaa were waiting for me. Moving about as a group is easy because traffic stops for a morcha and generally there are police accompanying with their vans and jeeps. But here I had to hold their small hands and cross the road between Azad Maidan, GPO and VT station (The subway work was still going on). They were barefoot. We sat in the local train and they looked completely out of place with their old clothes and turban. While everyone else was trying to occupy as much space as possible, they were sitting as close together as possible. But still with a bright and radiant smile - as if amused by all the people staring at them.

We reached Thane, took a ricksha to the Hospital and went to the office. It was spacious and well-shaded by very old trees and it was very quiet. I was expecting a horrible inhuman atmosphere like other government offices. But the staff, doctors and nurses were kind and helpful. They gave us tea! We learnt that Rehengyaa had been cured and was waiting to be taken back home for 6 months in the recovery ward. They had sent a letter to their village which either did not exist any more or the postman never went there. We had to wait for an hour for the official process. He came out and they cried in each others arms. They left the next night from Bombay Central station. Two faces in a sea of 500 others.
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06 December 2007

6 dec

The day Dr Ambedkar died in his sleep. A man who changed the lives of crores of people, worked tirelessly and selflessly with a firm determination and unshakable confidence in the truth of his beliefs and convictions. A true scholar and compassionate human being. A constant source of inspiration for not only people from his community but everyone who feels strongly about social justice and equality.

Also the day the Babri Masjid was destroyed by insane volunteers of the RSS, VHP, BJP and Shiv Sena - the incident that polarized India for a long time and brought the BJP to power at the Centre and some states. The culprits - L K Advani, Uma Bharti, M M Joshi, Ashok Singhal who are directly responsible for the death of thousands of innocent people have not yet been punished.
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