Sunday, December 01, 2013
Saturday, November 30, 2013
But in fact Mr. Tejpal’s claim “The lady continued to participate in the conference with elan” is completely baseless. On 08 November 2013 I was a panelist at THiNK, ironically it was on Rape titled “The Beast in our Midst” . I met the complainant briefly minutes before I went on stage. She was a little lost in her own world. Mr. Tejpal was also hovering over the back stage where the panelists were seated at that time. Suzette Jordan, the park street rape survivor was my co panelist and a friend of the complainant was there as well. She and I both shared with each other that the complainant seems a little distant. Suzette and I, having spoken to many many survivors of abuse besides being survivors ourselves of this ghastly crime, could tell intuitively that there was something that has gone awry with her, though we could not pin point on sexual assault. The issue of whether she was normal or not normal is immaterial, still I feel it is important to make my point. On 10 November 2013, Suzette and I wanted to get a picture with Robert De Niro. We requested one of the Tehelka staffers to help us get a snap with him. We were taken to the backyard. Robert De Niro was standing with the complainant. On seeing her my first reaction was to hug her. She usually in uninhibited in her affection, she kept her hand in between when I reached out to embrace her. I could instantly sense that something was wrong. Suzette and I attributed it to many things. We both discussed her over lunch, subconsciously, it was affecting us but we could not still pinpoint on the problem. Our instincts were guiding us to a direction that we dreaded to go, but we didn’t verbalize our scary thoughts to each other. Suzette and I chatted that she was behaving so because she is stressed. Being the shadow for such a high profile guest is not an easy task we thought.
When we got to know about her case, we could put the puzzle together. We understood that she was in no way “Participating in the conference with elan”. Much that Mr. Tejpal would have liked her to bow down and submit, she chose to speak vociferously, articulately and clearly.Ironic as it could get, I didn’t know much about THiNK, and I went to the event as a speaker only on my friend, the complainant’s behest and the professional relationship that I shared with her and the magazine. More ironically, the one who covered stories on rape found herself becoming the story. But guess, life prepares you for the unforeseen future in strange ways. hai naa?
Friday, September 13, 2013
It is not the severity of the punishment, but the certainty of it that will help bring down rape cases.
It is the fearlessness of the fact that they can get away by causing shame and pain to their target that gives rapists more power. If we are certain that rapists would get caught and pushed in jails with no bias, the rates could come down. For someone who commits the crime of rape, if he knows he would never get caught... the question of being beaten to death or being stoned to death or hanged in public or stabbed to death or hands and limbs being chopped doesn't arise at all.
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
You Hate Me For My Sexuality.
You Shame Me For Being Me.
You Think Our Sanskriti Has No Place For My Sexuality.
Yet, Ganesh Deshmukh, I Love You.
Ganesh Deshmukh You Label Me A Commercial Sex Worker.
Love Is Commercial Too.
You Shun Me Into Closets Of Silence.
I'd Love The Closets, If I were With You.
Ganesh Deshmukh, How Much I Love You.
Ganesh Deshmukh, You Think That I Spoil The Fabric Of Our Society.
You Think That I Bring The World A Bad Name.
Your Article Is Read By A Thousand Hundred Subscribers.
The Article That Mocks My Being, And Makes Me Appear Lame.
Ganesh Deshmukh I Love You.
Ganesh Deshmukh, I Am A Baby Gay.
I Wanted To Peep Out And Welcome Real Life.
You Pushed Me Into Depths Of Being Ostracised,
You Left Me No Option Gannu Boy, Than To End My Miserable Life.
Today, I am Happy In Homo Heaven,
HomoGods Bless Me Here.
Thanks To You Ganesh Deshmukh,
And Your Lovely Article That Fueled All Illogical Fears.
I Love You Ganesh Deshmukh.
Monday, July 01, 2013
That's the question on my lips. I mean, which self respecting thinking actress would allow she to be doomed in a role like this, I wonder. Let me not get into her weighty issues. To put it in a few words, let me just rechristen her as Vidya Balloon. (no. that's not a typo) Ms. Balloons' character is called "Nitu". Nitu is a gaudy, naughty, kinky, dominating Punjabi woman. She is obsessed with fashion magazines. And gets dresses stitched as per the models who flaunt them on those magazine covers. Just that she is some 20 sizes more than the malnourished models in the magazines. She is loud and how! Strangely, she reminded me of Maina from Aiyaa who was as loud and outlandish in her dressing. Nitu is so loud in her dressing that if there were people in mars, they would be having rocket launchers to earth mistaking her dress to be an asteroid.
The film starts with the usual drama that the caricature-ish Indian housewife who cooks food for her husband. Just that she forgets to add salt to the food, almost always. Well, she is namkeen enough, more namkeen than any male character in the film to aptly compensate. Emraan, her pati, is a jackass bank robber. The whole film could be summarized in 4 points.
1. * The husband guy (Sanju is his name.. but you can call him PAPPU) is a robber. He robs a bank with 2 accompanists.
2. * The accompanists leave the cash of this grand heist with the husband guy till the money.
3. * The husband guy meets with an accident and he loses his memory.
4. * The other two guys come back and find that the husband guy has forgotten where he has kept the money.
That's all. It is a series of madness. And it is a disappointment if you are expecting this film to tickle your ribs. The film is a series of gadbads that happen as the two partners in crime try to recover money from this amnesic husband guy.
There are some scenes in the movie that you don't know why. Like vidya balloon. As far as the script goes, she is almost insignificant, and we her garish, OTT dressing has no relevance to the film. Neither does her love for Kink have anything to do with the main storyline. It was rather sad for such a talented actress to be reduced to flesh. I am sure all the Bosom Bhakths would be having a gala time. Of the other meaningless scenes, one of the two partners (Namit Das) who plays of the grand heist with the husband guy is someone who has phone sex, and goes about roaming in his chaddis. I almost turned straight looking at the vulgar scene. It was like a commercial for dora men's underwear. Now, I don't know why he did that drama in chaddis. And what relevance it has with the storyline. It is plain meaningless.
Emraan hashmi has exactly 4 expressions in this film. But should you find any more than 4, I will lose my virginity to you. (Again). One of those are the constipated look. The second one is the look of relief after having a dump. third One is the expression that one has when you can't get it up – no matter what. And the last one is the "my best friend told Katti to me" look.
The film has a generous heart. It has some brand or the other mentioned again and again. Nitu reads "Vogue" and "Femina", the bank that the husband guy has a joint account with nitu is IDBI. The husband guy watches "Zee Cinema". The robbed bank is called ABI and looks like SBI. Plus there are other brands that are very generously mentioned in the film. In fact, someone actually says "IDBI is a horrible bank" in the film. Now, full marks for IDBI to have not sued the film makers and taking it sportingly. (now am I giving IDBI ideas?)
If there is anything good about ghanchakar, it is the title. It is truly what you are if you go and watch this film. My grandma agreed to come with me to this cinema treat only because; saraswati's daughter is acting in this film. She never got to see saraswati's daughter (vidya) but she only got to see nitu. Which is a nice thing. Vidya manages to deconstruct herself from her old roles and mould herself into newer ones. Her intelligence is her greatest asset, and also her worst weakness. Like, look at what happened to Kamal Hasan, he got so experiment-ive with his roles that you expect only a costume drama when you see a Kamal film. I wish good sense prevails, and the otherwise smart and intelligent Ms. Balloon, doesnt demean herself by agreeing to be a kinky-bust-and-thigh show. She is much more than flesh. She is a bundle of fresh talent. Watch this film, and you will realize she is wasted. We all want to see Ms. Balloon fly high in the sky. Always. Don't we?
Saturday, June 22, 2013
- that’s where the heart longs, there only love belongs.
Monday, June 10, 2013
Dear Paromita Vohra,
I know you as the director of Connected Hum Tum. And I am writing this letter in response to what I saw in the first week run of your serial. I know open letters are most dreaded. They open a can of worms and put the worms out on public display. I promise, this one is going to be little different.
On 3rd of June 2013 I ran home early to watch the first episode of Connected HumTum. Though I loved the concept, I should confess that I was keener on watching the show because I have two of your participants in my facebook friends list. The first episode was so-so. It looked like Zee TV was using your programme to promote all of the other woman oriented shows. The audience does have a nose for commercial angles that programmers deploy, and they can smell it out. I was longing to see the participants and what I was treated with was some nonsensical drama by television stars in their character. Abhay was also too wasted in the first episode. It was leaning towards being too silly. And it would have been so, had you not introduced the characters and their vivid lives.
Episode 2, Episode 3, Episode 4 were all very nice and in sync with the concept you had in your mind. The way the unscripted stories were unfolding, made me forget that there was Abhay in the boringly scripted drama. My fondness for the show was growing. Episode after episode your participants made the show more interesting by revealing about their lives. Eavesdropping is our favorite pastime activity, and anything to peep into the lives of some interesting-yet-ordinary people is always exciting. Full credit of the same goes to you for overseeing the edit, that was done so wonderfully.
Then came the 5th episode. It was on a warm Friday night, Friday, the 07th of June 2013 to be precise. I was excited to know about the love life of Sonal Giani, one of your participants. Though personally, I am a friend of Sonal and know about her love life, I was very eager to know how you would introduce her lover. I expected some eye-popping earth-shattering music when you finally introduce Sonal's lover. For I knew that her lover (her Jaanu) is a SHE and not a HE. I should confess, I expected a lot of drama and hungama with at least 10 news articles about how queer Sonal was. Instead, I was pleasantly proven wrong. You simply introduced the female lover of Sonal without any fanfare. It was so casual and so strongly depicted that without spelling anything out, you said everything. And you conveyed the right message to the audience. The message that love is beyond gender. And it didn't matter whether a man loves a man, or a woman loves a woman, or a man loves a man and a woman, or a woman loves a man and a woman, or a transperson loves someone of any gender - whatever the permutation and combination, the word, the feeling, the emotion that stands out is LOVE.
Like sonal, I belong to the LGBTIQ spectrum too. And I was jumping on my sofa in joy when I saw that you made me a "nothing". Your show made sexuality a non issue, and made non-acceptance of love the real issue.
Sexuality is a big deal in India. Often we choose to make an "issue" out of it. In movies, it is never BY THE WAY- SHE IS GAY. It is always, SHE IS GAY… SHE IS GAY… SHE IS GAY. Even in our everyday lives, we encounter several discriminating responses. Treating us better and giving us more attention is bias too, and sometimes that kind of patronizing, is worse than queer phobia. In times like these, when ISSUE based films are a norm, your serial would elevate young minds and make them aware that the different is not queer, the fact that you treat someone differently is.
Thank you Paromita. You have written a new chapter in sensitive programming. I would be enthusiastically watching every show. And I will be generous in my appreciation, and criticism (if any). I want you to know that you have found yourself an admirer. For episode 5 especially, I love you. Please give my Puppy and Jhappi to everyone in your team.
Monday, May 20, 2013