Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Coffee With Karan- A Few Thoughts From The Show.



Coffee With Karan- A Few Thoughts From The Show.



Recently I was watching a few episodes of Karan Johar’s "Coffee with Karan" chat show now showing a mash up of all the "important" moments on the show  of last season and  one fact which took me by surprise was how many of today’s Bollywood actresses and actors were second generation. Everyone from horse-faced Kareena to chai-bai Parineeti, not to mention Sonam who looks just like her dad in drag, almost every single one of them is a scion of some Bollywood family or the other. The only interesting individual I came across during the entire season of the show was surprise, surprise -Nargis Fakhri who given the cliché of models being airheads was surprisingly witty and well informed especially when contrasted to someone like Aalia who has all the intelligence of someone who never graduated past kindergarten (and never will). And the less said about the men the better, Uday Chopra anyone?

Anyway it pains me to see that even the film world like everything else - every other profession in India is a closed shop nowadays with a selected few families ruling the roost and giving umpteen number of chances to their  untalented offspring in a mutual you scratch my back I scratch yours formula. Come to think of it, the last independent guy- with no godfather and no family background to come up big time was Shah Rukh Khan- not only India’s Biggest Star but a self made one at that (clap/clap). Everyone else seems to depend on family name and connections- which proves that there are millions of people out there, ordinary people who can be better actors than the limited pool who now rule the roost and everyone goes ga-ga about as great actors - I mean people like Ranbir or Hrithik – the best of the average list.

But unfortunately like in all things in India - without a pedigree or a famous surname or a doting father to give you a mega launch vehicle there is no hope for a newcomer to crash into the closed shop of Bollywood and a million dreams die out there unfulfilled. A fact which makes less and less sense when you realize that internationally the movie industry depends on two sets of people- the beautiful and the talented. But it’s a peculiar fact of Bollywood - a perversion even of the international norms- that ugly women become heroines and wooden puppets turn heroes and not even a six pack or a hot bod can compensate for a paralysed face with no acting chops - unless the movie is called the Mask of Zordar or something like that.

Thankfully the scene down south is somewhat better. The South Indian movie industry- collectively called Kollywood, Tollywood, Mollyood, Sandalwood etc actively encourages new comers to show their talent in movies. Any North Indian girl with skin a rich milky shade can turn heroine easily in a South Indian film but of course, only if she is willing to strip to her bikini bottoms and drape herself over a Hero old enough to be her grandfather - at least in dream song sequences, the rest of the movie she should be seen but not heard - which is fortuitous in a way as she won’t know any other Indian language except her default Hindi. And so there are droves of women coming down from Punjab and Gujarat to do just that - willing to act in any movie to achieve stardom. And when TamilNadu Chief Minister Madam Jayalalitha says that she has created more job opportunities than Gujarat Chief minister Mister Modi - she means exactly that- all those Gujju girls coming down south to act in Tamil movies.


So in a way the South Indian film industry is not only helping the nation’s economy by providing jobs to people from other states but also helping national integration by making sure that north Indian heroines like Tamannah Bhatia, Kajal Agarwal and Tapsee Pannu learn Tamil and Telugu. Now isnt that a worthwhile achievement? When you consider the fact that the average North Indian tourist travelling even in the deep south of India talks to the local citizens only in Hindi and expects everyone else around him to understand and reply back in the same language, then you can appreciate the magnitude of the achievement of the film industry when Ileana D’Cruz talks in fluent Telugu to her adoring fans. So the language struggle of the 60’s against Hindi domination is no longer relevant- you want our jobs, you speak our language becomes the moot point.

Anyway to come back to the original premise of this post I wrote this primarily to express my sadness at all these wasted careers. If only these people had not succumbed to the lure of the family profession and taken the easy way out but had made the choice to work hard and carve an independent career (in their field of choice) for themselves not only would they have been happier but we too. As they shared on the show with Karan- their dreams and earlier careers- Parineeti Chopra who worked in sales and marketing might have become another Indra Nooyi or Kiran Mazumdar. Sonam Kapoor could have become a widely read, super popular author- another Shobha De or Chetan Bhagat. And Aalia Bhatt could have passed school. But it was not to be- the lure of nepotism was too high. And hence all these blighted geniuses of other fields are now restricted to wearing bikinis and prancing around in the arms of a hero. Makes you wonder doesn’t it? Is the price of public recognition worth any sacrifice? Or humiliation? I have no answers, do you reader?

P.S. Another cautionary tale comes straight from Hollywood- Will Smith who has pretensions of being another Tom Cruise or Bruce Willis- borrowed a leaf from Bollywood and tried to make an action hero of his talentless son, Jaden. The result was the biggest flop of Will’s career- After Earth- a movie which set Hollywood records for losses. I think Will might have learnt his lesson and send the young man to school after all.


Thursday, April 17, 2014

May the Best Man Win.....



May the Best Man Win



So yesterday I was coming home in a bus from Tirupati (a city in South India) and I happened to get into a conversation with a girl on the seat next to me. after exchanging various pleasantries over the course of the next two hours we finally got to the meat of the matter in the final ten minutes when we were about to get down at Koyambedu bus stop.

As we were about to part soon, we exchanged facebook ids, twitter handles and mobile phone nos. and promised to stay in constant touch and catch up over a weekend soon. And then as a casual aside she told me

She : You know that i have a boyfriend, right?

Me: Yeah, i guessed as much from the constant way you were texting all through the time you were talking to me.

She: Oops, so you guessed from that?

Me: It doesn’t take a genius to guess that. Nowadays everyone has a boyfriend. No one is single anymore. Anyway it matters not.

She: What matters not?

Me : The fact that you have a boyfriend. I don’t mind if you have a boyfriend or a girlfriend. It’s all the same to me and it won’t stop me from flirting with the right person if she comes along.

She : Really? Isn’t that wrong?

Me: Hell no, it isn’t wrong at all. No one knows the future. Who knows if your current boyfriend is your life partner or just a passing cloud? Fate can play strange tricks right? And it’s always better to have a crying shoulder all ready in advance.

She : You are strange.

Me: I am just practical. I don’t mind if a girl has a boyfriend or a girlfriend or even a husband or two tucked away somewhere. As long as i find her interesting and think i have a chance with her, i am ready to get into a contest with her guy to show her who is the better man for her. And may the best man win.

And she laughed and laughed and laughed at that till the whole bus was looking at us two trying to guess what the joke was.

And that’s my philosophy of life- if I am better and if destiny decides i will win. Who cares if there’s another guy already there? Not me. In my view he is just a bench warmer before I get into the ring. All I need is a fighting chance to show who I am. That’s all.

P.S. This post might sound incredibly arrogant to some of you. But those who know me/read me regularly will understand the sense in which I am writing this – my weird sense of humor and the oft-lamented fact that “nobody gets me”

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

காதலை பிரிப்பது எப்படி- பிரிண்ட்ஸ் கிட்ட கேளு.



காதலை பிரிப்பது எப்படி- பிரிண்ட்ஸ் கிட்ட கேளு.



நெத்து நம்ம நன்பர் நக்கல் கண்ணன்னின் காதல பிரிச்சிட்டாங்க ஒரு சதி கும்பல். உங்கலுக்கே தெரியும் நம்ம நன்பர் செம்ம நக்கல் பார்ட்டின்னுட்டு அவருக்கு காதல் பூக்கறதே கஷ்டம். அதயும் மலர்ரதுகுல்ல பிரிச்சு மேஞ்சிட்டாங்க. அவரு எதேச்சையா ஏதோ ஒரு கமெண்ட்டு போட அத வெச்சி இவனுங்க நக்கல் அடிக்க அது பார்த்து அந்த புள்ள அரண்டு மிரண்டு நம்மக்கு எதுக்குடா இந்த பிரச்சனன்னு ஒரே பல்டி அடிச்சு நம்ம நக்கல் நாயகன “அண்ணே’ன்னு” ஒரே போடா போட்டுடுச்சு. எனக்கு இத பார்த்த உடனே ஒரே பீலிங்க்ஸ் ஆகிடுச்சு – என் ப்ளாஷ்பேக் எல்லாம் ஞாபகம் வந்துடிச்சு. அவன் அவன் உயிர பணையம் வெச்சு தலகீழ பல்டி அடிச்சு வாழ்க்கையில செட்டில் ஆக முயற்சி பண்றான்னு விடாம ஒரு நிமிஷத்துல் சட்டுன்னு வெட்டி உட்டுடுராணுங்கலே இவங்கெல்லாம் காதலியோட லவ்ஸ் பண்லா? அப்போ ஏன்யா இந்த பொழப்பு?

நானும் என் கல்லூரி வாழ்க்கையில இந்த மாதிரி பல வல்லூரூகள சந்திச்சு இருக்கேன். அவனுங்களும் திங்க மாட்டான்நுங்க நம்மளையும் அண்ட உடமாட்டாநுங்க. என் கல்லூரி வாழ்க்கையில ஒரு வில்லன் இருந்தான் – பேரு குட்டி ஷியாம் (எங்க கிளாஸ்ல இன்னோரு நெட்ட ஷியாம்மும் இருந்தான்). நான் ரொம்ப நாளா மானசீகமா காதலிச்சு சொல்லணும் சொல்லணும்ன்னு ஒரு நல்ல டைம் தேடிக்கிட்டிருந்த என் டிரீம் கேர்ள் ஆண்ட திடீர்ன்னு ஒரு நாள் கிளாஸ்ல எல்லார் முன்னாடியும் கத்தி சொல்லிட்டான் “மச்சி இன்னிக்கி உன் ஆளோட பர்த்டே, இன்னிக்காச்சும் தைரியமா ப்றோபோஸ் பண்ணுடான்னு” ஒரு கத்து கத்துனான். அத்தொட அந்த பிரியா பொண்ணு ஷுட்ட்டர்ர இழுத்து மூடிட்டு என்ட்ட பேசறதயே கட் பண்ணிட்டா. ஏன்டா மகனே(.........மகனே) இப்படி பண்ணன்னு செவ்வுல்ல ரெண்டு விட்டு கேட்ட “மச்சான் நான் உன்னக்கு ஹெல்ப் பண்ணதாண்டா அப்படி பண்ணேன்ன்னு” நா கூசாம பொய்யி சொன்னான். சனியன் தொலையாரன்னு விட்டுட்டென். அதுல இருந்து எந்த பிரிண்டு ஹெல்ப்’நாலும் கை எடுத்து கும்பிட்டு வேணாம்யா விட்டுடு, இந்த உடம்பு தாங்காதுடான்னு சொல்லிடறேன்.

ஆக மொத்தம் இது மூலமா நான் என்ன சொல்ல வரேன்னா மக்களே. அவன் அவனுக்கு அவசரமா வந்தா அவன் தான் போயாகணும். அதே போல அவன் அவனுக்கு காதல் வந்தா அவன் தான் அத சொல்லியாகணும். நீங்க முந்திக்காதிங்க பாஸ் அவன் சார்புல. விட்ருங்க. நீங்க ஜெய்ச்சவங்க. நாங்க இனிமே தான் ஜெயிக்க வேண்டியவங்க. எங்களையும் வாழவிடுங்க ப்ளீஸ். உங்க ஹெல்ப்பும் வேணாம் ஒண்ணும் வேணாம். நாங்க பார்த்துக்கறோம். நாங்களே சொல்லிகிறோம் இல்லா சொதப்பிக்கிறோம்- நீங்க நடுவ்வுல்ல பூந்து பிரிக்க வேணாம். நட்புக்கு இலக்கணம் அது இல்ல. நீ வாழு எங்களை வாழவிடு- ஓகே’வா நண்பா?