Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Shame, shame!

I was sitting with my mom the other day, watching tv when she reverted to her annoying habit of changing the channels. She eventually settled on an Oriya channel. Here I should perhaps tell you that it is a language that I understand. So anyways, we came across a trailer which I honestly would've never mentioned had it not been for a scene of the movie (as shown in the trailer) that shocked me and seriously annoyed me.

The scene has the female lead (or who I presume is the female lead) in a short denim skirt, a top, with her hair pulled up. The male lead is standing next to her. The trailer begins medias res and the guy is telling the girl something which in English translates into, "Madam, when guys will see girls in such short clothes, if they won't whistle, what will they do, ring temple bells?" (In Hindi it translates into, "Madam, jab ladkiyaan itne chote-chote kapde pehenegi toh ladke un ko dekh kar seeti nai bajaenge toh kya mandir ki ghantiya bajaenge?")

I was horrified! I mean, this seemed to promote the idea that eve teasing (and even molestation, who knows?) justified if the victim is not "appropriately" dressed! In a vernacular language cinema...where the same character of the story is supposed to be a saviour of sorts.

I am not against the movie. I just want someone to notice this unacceptable dialogue and please ask the movie people to edit the scene out! 

Sunday, 1 July 2012


In April this year, I was interning at a leading publishing house (naming no names) and one of my jobs was to assess unsolicited manuscripts, which is way more fun than it sounds. What I basically had to do was go through the pile of the manuscripts that the publishing house received (and mind you, it's a LOT...they get as far as 5-6 manuscripts per day!) and assess whether it has the potential to make a nice read or whether it is, well, not good enough (to put it mildly). Maybe this is not how you're supposed to do it, I don't know frankly but I always enjoyed reading the letters written by the aspiring authors along with their manuscripts. I've a thing for letters and more importantly, I have a thing for peeping into others' lives, just a bit. Not in a creepy way.

Anyway, I remember one day, getting a letter from Alleppey, Kerala. I cannot remember how the manuscript was, or even what it was about. I cannot even remember what that guy did for a living. But I do remember him writing that he lives in Alleppey, which he described as one of the most beautiful places in the world. I had gone to Alleppey only the gone December, and remembering it, I could not help but agree with him. I immediately remember driving down on a long road with streams of water running parallel (which the local driver said was a river, even though it was too narrow to be a river; and my dad said was a very minor backwater), bursting with beautiful purple flowers, with life of the people residing there going on in it's everyday everyday-ness. I also remember the beautiful houseboats where we went, the picturesque backwaters, everything! That man was correct; Alleppey has to be one of the most beautiful places on earth!

One of the most vivid memory of the houseboat experience is waking up in the morning and going to the top deck & sit & just look at the serene waters roll out in front of us, while seeing the local people inhabiting the small strips and sometimes even chunks of land getting ready for their daily activities. It was so different from what I am used to....for one, they would commute through tiny boats and canoe. I clicked a picture of a local fisherman (see picture below) going on about his daily job, in his tiny little canoe to catch some fish.

I like this picture because it, to me, shows life. Life, de-romanticised but not disrespected. It shows a man, going on about his work and I wonder whether living in that place day in and day out, whether every morning, on his way to work, he ever stops and takes in the beauty, the glorious beauty of that place. I don't know.

Kerala in all is a beautiful place. If you can, please try to visit Alleppey. Or at least, anywhere in Kerala. I cannot stress to you enough just how beautiful the place is! I mean, look at the pictures on this post and make your own assessment... I have taken these pictures myself, they haven't been photoshoped and I am an average (at the very most) photographer. Any how, I hope this made you want to go to Alleppey!