Thursday, January 29, 2009

Slumdog and the controversies! - My take

~~Incomplete and Unedited as of now~~
~~Would be updated very soon~~

Slumdog Millionaire has already bagged so many awards internationally and has been acclaimed in every corner of the world but like any other success this one also comes with its share of controversies!

1. Use of the word Slumdog
The controversy came up due to the use of word 'Slumdog' and is pretty much justified. Why should a demeaning word like Slumdog be used to refer to people from a particular strata of society, even if they belong to the poor class living in slums (that doesn't make them dogs!). A translation in Hindi would be like "Gali ka kutta" and you dont say that to anyone you meet from lower strata of society. This is not at all acceptable in India and I believe most (if not all) foreign cultures won't bear any such derogatory remarks. Just because someone is unfortunate to live in those conditions, doesn't mean you call him names. 
As far as the description of life of a slum-dweller is concerned, I think the movie tries to project it in true light but the word "Slumdog" is uncalled for.

2. India shining or India whining
The biggest controversy of all. Does the movie reflect a true image of India? Definitely not but is the movie even attempting to do that? - Well I don't know. Yesterday itself I heard some of the sharpest minds in the country debating over the issue and discussing if this should agitate us or not! As in any controversy, the opinion was divided. Some commented, "India is my family and if anyone projects it in poor light, I cannot bear that" while others contested if the movie is even supposed to project a picture of the country at all. "All it projects is the life of a slum-dweller in India. It has nothing to do with the country image as such" I think both the groups had some valid points. The movie is not supposed to proejct the image of the country and neither does it try to do that but on the other hand, the big assumption of people in the world being rational is not true as well. You project slums of Brazil in City of God and people believe that is all Brazil is. Similar being the case with movies like Hotel Rwanda and Blood Diamond. 

3. Not the best Indian movie
Going to Oscar, does it mean it is the best Indian movie ever? Personally I dont see a connection but for many this is not the case. There have been hues and cries over this issue (Same comments were heard a few years back when Lagaan was nominated under foreign film category in Oscars). The arguments they propose goes like- no movie ever has gone to Oscars (with counted exceptions), not many have won any big academy prizes, none has been acclaimed so much by International audience, which this movie has got! My question to these people would be - So what exactly do you want? since none of the movies (including good ones) have received much appreciation internationally, should we just stop making movies or should we put a ban on them to appreciate any decent or good Indian movie?!! 
People must not forget two things about movies and nominations - 1) Movie watching is a personal experience. Others might not like a movie the same way as you like it.  And 2) Movies compete with contemporary movies (across countries but from the same year) to make it to the nomination list and not across years! 
Times change - Things change - Movie viewing experience changes - Movie topics change - Audience choice changes!
So it would be unfair to compare lets say Sholay or DDLJ or Deewar with Slumdog millionaire.

And by the way, why is all that jazz about comparing it with older Indian movies? SM is not an Indian movie at all. It is a movie on India (and with Indian actors) by British for Americans. 

4. Not the best of Rehman's work
The first reaction I heard to Rehman winning academy award was not a "wow!" but a "why?". The very first comment was - "why give him award for the work which is not so brilliant as his previous masterpieces were? Why didnt he get anything for RDB or Saathiya?" Again the same arguments as above apply. 
Apart from the above arguments, one more thing people should focus on here (in case of music) is that appreciating music is very different from appreciating movies. People might take long enough time to appreciate a different genre of music. For an instance, my father doesnt like Rehman music at all and I hate the "ooooonnnnnn" of Reshamiya more than anything in the world! Indian music genre is very different from popular European and American genres and hence, Indians not getting much appreciation for music there is pretty much understandable. How many of you like or have even heard any Japanese song?

5. Had it been the same if an Indian director made this movie?
Well frankly, a fair enough question and I don't think an Indian director would have been able to create such a big hype around the movie. Some of the other Indian movies which have made it to big awards could at best attract a niche audience segment. Meera Nair connected well with foreign audience while Hrishikesh Mukherjee had a huge fan following in India but none of them could match the SM hype. (Please note that I am not comparing HM's or MN's movies with SM, I am just commenting about the global buzz around the movie). This buzz, however, can be justified by the fact that the movie has an international angle to it - as already said, movie on India by British for American and also the fact that he projected only what the international audience wants to see in a movie on a developing country!

6. Role of Marketing in today's cine-world


7. What is Oscars all about?
and many more..

~to be updated very soon

Monday, January 19, 2009

Virus attack!

Last few days have been really miserable when I had to create a hell lot number of files after an unknown virus attacked my system! [:(] The virus deleted all the files created within last 20 days. It was like my Hard disk time travelled to 20 days back and hence a huge chunk of very crucial data was lost.


To give you an idea of what I lost in all this - The data includes my resumes (with campus lateral placements currently going on), various documents related to the points on the resume, more than 5 project related documents, a number of composed (but not sent) mails, a number of eurotrip related blog posts etc. etc.

So for most of these docments, I had no choice but to rework and create them again. Not an easy thing to do as most of the supporting documents are not there as well !!

Anyways if you have any idea about the virus, do leave a comment or write to me at abhi[dot]taneja[at]gmail[dot]com

Sunday, January 11, 2009

You are beautiful!

This post is my dedication to one of the most beautiful girl I have ever met. She is Nina Flink from Finland and I met her in Toulouse, France on exchange program. She also happened to have come on exchange to the same University and had opted for the same module as I had.


Please do not try to read anything between the lines - there is nothing in there. She is amazingly beautiful and incredibly cute. She is intelligent and has a great sense of humour. She used to be one of the primary motivation to attend the classes there! [:P]

You can check her pics at link

Here is my dedication to her:



And a beautiful song from 1960s (Lyrics with English translation below)




"You're Beautiful"

My life is brilliant.
My love is pure.
I saw an angel.
Of that I'm sure.
She smiled at me on the subway.
She was with another man.
But I won't lose no sleep on that,
'Cause I've got a plan.

You're beautiful. You're beautiful.
You're beautiful, it's true.
I saw your face in a crowded place,
And I don't know what to do,
'Cause I'll never be with you.

Yeah, she caught my eye,
As we walked on by.
She could see from my face that I was Flying high,
And I don't think that I'll see her again,
But we shared a moment that will last till the end.

You're beautiful. You're beautiful.
You're beautiful, it's true.
I saw your face in a crowded place,
And I don't know what to do,
'Cause I'll never be with you.

You're beautiful. You're beautiful.
You're beautiful, it's true.
There must be an angel with a smile on her face,
When she thought up that I should be with you.
But it's time to face the truth,
I will never be with you.



"Ye Chand Sa Roshan Chehra" (Kashmir ki Kali -1964)

ye chaand sa roshan chehara, zulfon ka rang sunehra
(This glowing face like the moon, the gliding locks)
ye jheel si neeli aankhein, koi raaz hai in mein gehra
(These eyes blue like a lake, Within them lies a deep secret)
tareef karun kya us ki, jisne tumhein banaya
(what praise can I offer to the one who created you)

ek cheez qayamat bhi hai logon se suna karte the
(There is such a thing as qayamat, I used to hear from people)
tumhein dekh ke maine mana wo theek kaha karte the
(Upon seeing you, I admitted they used to speak the truth)
hai chal mein teri zalim kuchh aisi ada ka jadoo
(There is, in your mannerism, o merciless, the wizardy of such wrath)
sau baar sambhala dil ko per hoke raha bekabu
(I protected my heart a hundred times, but it was insitently irrepressible)
tareef karun kya uski jisne tumhein banaya
(What praise can I offer to the one who created you)

ye chaand sa roshan chehara, zulfon ka rang sunahra
(This glowing face like the moon, the gliding locks)
ye jheel si neeli aankhein, koi raaz hai in mein gehra
(These eyes blue like a lake, Within them lies a deep secret)
tareef karun kya us ki, jisne tumhein banaya
(what praise can I offer to the one who created you)

har subah kiran ki lali hai rang tere gaalon ka
(The rosiness of morning rays, is the colour of your cheeks)
har shaam ki chadar kali saya hai tere balon ka 
(The black veil in every evening is te shadow of your hair)
tu balkhati ek nadiya har mauj teri angdayi
(You are an ever flowing river, every wave is your yawn)
jo in maujon mein dooba usne hi duniya paayi
(The one who drowns in these waves, is the only one who attained joys of the world)
tareef karun kya uski jisne tumhein banaya
(What praise can I offer for the one who created you)

ye chaand sa roshan chehara, zulfon ka rang sunahra
(This glowing face like the moon, the gliding locks)
ye jheel si neeli aankhein, koi raaz hai in mein gehra
(These eyes blue like a lake, Within them lies a deep secret)
tareef karun kya us ki, jisne tumhein banaya
(what praise can I offer to the one who created you)

main khoj mein hoon manzil ki aur manzil paas hai mere
(I am in search of destination and the destination is close to me)
mukhde se hata do anchal ho jayein duur andhere
(Move the veil from your face, for the darkness to wither)
mana ki ye jalwe kar denge mujhe deewana
(I admit that your splendour shall drive me into a frenzy)
jee bhar ke zara main dekhun andaz tera mastana
(Let me appreciate to my heart's content, your intoxicating vanity)
tareef karun kya uski jisne tumhein banaya
(What praise can I offer to the one who created you)

ye chaand sa roshan chehara, zulfon ka rang sunahra
(This glowing face like the moon, the gliding locks)
ye jheel si neeli aankhein, koi raaz hai in mein gehra
(These eyes blue like a lake, Within them lies a deep secret)
tareef karun kya us ki, jisne tumhein banaya
(what praise can I offer to the one who created you)


PS: I used Green to highlight her name because I think she liked green best and also looked best in it. [:)]

EuroTrip Index

Hello Dear Readers,
Although already very late but I am going to write about some of the incidents which happened during the 3 months stay in Europe. Following is a short list (Not really that short but likely to grow more) of such incidents. The posts would be made in back dates (on the other blog) - the dates when the incident really happened and I would be updating the hyperlinks in this post.
 
Paris -The Arrival 
Sarkar falling of the escalator in Paris 

Amsterdam Trip 
Sarkar and the wine bottle cork 
Sarkar running off before the show 
Missed Train # 1 
The difference was in the air - Women commoditised 

Nice Trip 
The beautiful beaches! 

Bordeaux Trip 
A dead city but a nice beach at Arcachon 

Austria Trip 
The Ice Caves 
The Turku Junta 
2 hrs to tour 

Budapest Strassbourg Italy Trip 
The train to Milan - Reserved to a non-existent seat 
2 Euros at Milan station 
The time crunch to tour 

Rome Spain Portugal Trip 
That beautiful girl (on the way Toulouse-Barcelona) 
The Aquarium 
Give up in Madrid 

Scandi Trip 
Shopping at the last moment, literally! 
Beghar in Paris! 
Missed train 
Lalla @ Paris 
The inefficient ticketing system 
IIM A junta Bergen Fjord trip 
The snow games at Myrdal 
The inefficient ticketing system again! 
The Burger King at Oslo 
The chaos at Stockholm - 1 (before reservation) 
The chaos at Stockholm - 2 (just the time to board cruise) 
Meeting with 3 IIMA and Rajat Gupta and Rajatdeep at Helsinki 
The Soumolina island 
Rovaniemi - Snow all around, -10°C Santa ki zabardasti Got frozen, almost! 
Aurora Borealis

Paris Trip 
Planning is such a bullshit - Swiss and Belgium 
Planning is such a bullshit - Eiffel top 

Swiss Trip 
The Reservation drama - It always happen in France 
Phir se dhokha! 
Kapil Barve 
Luzern trip  and the amazing Lion monument 
The Indian couple (Hotel businessman) on the way to Engelberg 
The notice at Mt. Titlis 
Fell in thigh height Ice @ -16°C at 3300m altitude! 
Fell again but this time on hard ground and the chased by a dog! 
Meeting with Gaurav and Sushi in Interlaken 
Atul Sethi 
Free night travel for the first time! 

Germany Trip 
The sweeper at Frankfurt 
Berlin (Tourist office, tours and S-Bahn) 
Almost missed another train! 
IIMA and IIML junta @ HHL Leipzig 
Who says trains in Europe are not delayed? 

Prague Trip 
The search for hostels 
Night life!  :P 
The Punjabi shopkeeper 
ABSINTHE: 2 Litres of Beer, 1 shot of Vodka and 1 shot of Absinthe 
The bartender The drunk guy and the free shot of Vodka 

Toulouse 
Flink Nina 
IIMA junta 
Sarkar and ek chhoti si love story 
Sarkar and beer 
PGP Office and the fines! 
Aniket - new Indian friend in Toulouse 
Yainik and his gang!


~AbhiTaneja

Thursday, January 01, 2009

New Year

This dawn of the new year has arrived with a special message. A message to Never give up. A desire to succeed. A passion for winning. And an inspiration to bring more to life!

So lets start off this year with some outstanding music from the past. The music that stands for Inspiration, Success, Life, Love and a lot more. Lets cherish the past and get ready for the future.

Inspiration

Success


Life



And finally The Love


Let the New Year bring in more success, happiness, love and life to all our lives. Amen!

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