Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Baba Business

Last Sunday, I happen to visit a temple which belongs to a chain of temples across the country which has a terrific brand name. It was like many other temples, the atmosphere was a mix of spirituality, divinity and peace with few of the priests preaching people and a television showing the same thing.
Most of the priests or Babas were young, energetic and, good-looking to an extent that the female friend accompanying almost lost her heart to some of them.
Preaching spirituality has suddenly become a huge business in India. Go open your television set and you will find loads of channel dedicated only for this purpose. You will find Babas with loads of hair at least six inches below where they ought to be, lecturing about the arts of living. You won't be able to miss the quintals of garlands around their necks, the shine at their faces and their obscene obesity. Believe me; you can't have such a shining skin if you do not stay in the comforts of air conditioners, have the best of luxuries devised by science and completely avoid the cruelties of real life faced by a common man.
Like most of the senior generation, my grand mother is a very religious woman to the extent of, I dare say, blind faith. So was my late grand father. They were always too eager to host the spiritual gurus so often visiting the temple next to their houses. They all lived a much disciplined life. Get up early in the morning, get fresh, take bath which is a distant dream for most of my friends slogging in the corporate world, do their business, have food of such quality I can't afford in my salary and as the sun sets in, ask their assistants to count their daily and the process could take hours.
I had always heard, ditching the "Moh-Maya" and taking "Sanyas" in order to get "Moksha" is the most difficult way to opt for life. It needs courage. And then I used to see the bundles of green papers and wonder about my future career.
I see the entire concept of Baba preaching business is a fraud cashing in on the lack of belief people have in themselves and God. Belief in God means belief in self as God is nothing but your inner soul. Your inner conscience should guide you how to live your life. In case you have a chaos in your life, talk to people you care for and who care for you. Why to go to a stranger and ask to solve your problems by drawing parallel between your situation and any incarnation of God.
Most of them claim to believe in Hindu mythology and preach you taking instances from it. But do they follow the same? Go check, they all travel in luxury cars which you may not even get a chance to touch in your lifetime, stay in shelter even an industrialists might find difficult to afford.
One of such famous Baba's has even got a family. Does it not sound like an entirely disobeying the Hindu mythology. We have 4 "Ashrams" in our mythology representing different stages in life. And as per this, how can one exist in "Grihasth" and "Sanyas" ashram at one instance. Just look at the dramaticism he brings into his lectures especially during the festival which is most closely related to ideally most distant feeling to "Sadhuisim", lust. And he has been given the status of "Saint".
If I have read my history correctly, "Saints" are the creatures staying miles away from the luxuries of this mortal world.
But with the time inducing advancement in every aspect of life, the definition of "Saint" also seems to be changing. "Saintism" and preaching spirituality is nothing but yet another money making industry in the process of attaining maturity.
I hope God is watching the business run on his name and starts claiming the royalty one day.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Pyare Mohan!!!

Two of the most overrated actors in bollywood, a director apt at making love stories like “Dil” to vulgar epic like “Masti”, an effort to make a comedy by wasting of couple of talented actors at the cost of utilizing the so called high profile stars. That is what Inder Kumar’s “Pyare Mohan” is all about. Thankfully there are not much of poetic dialogues having potential to cause headache.

Movie starts with Boman Irani, playing an underworld don, going into the masquerade of death. With his death, die your hopes of seeing situational comedy in the first half. Pyaare and Mohan are modern deaf and blind of and old flick of B&W era, “Dosti”. “Pyare” and “Mohan” might have been physically challenged but they are blessed with every other possible art be it dancing, martial arts, singing, playing music instruments with an expertise one might take ages to achieve. They can cross buildings in such a way that could have made even Spiderman proud. But director has a justification for that. They were both stuntmen in films and an accident on the sets is the genesis of their disabilities. With in a few minutes they are able to do something I’ve not been able to do in my entire life. They fall in love that too at first sight. There loves rather cleavage revealing beautiful bomb Amrita Rao and the macho daughter of a macho father Isha Deol ditch them and rush to Bangkok. They happen to witness a murder committed by my hope for comedy in the movie, Boman Irani but strangely get acquiesced for the same. Next is the most realistic phase of the movie, TV channels showing the news again and again to an extent so that everyone gets to know about. Hence our heroes land up in Bangkok. They break commissioner’s car which is such a big crime that they end up in central jail and meet their beloveds. Somehow they all manage to run away and catch a transporter to get them India at the cost of USD 50k. Bloody it’ll take me at least 3 years to save that much if my VISA processing starts tomorrow and I go to airport straightaway after getting it. Finally we reach a typical multi star-cast movie climax where couple of heroes beat up millions of villains. Only difference is, the heroes were deaf and blind this time.

Vivek Anand Oberoi, changed name doesn’t seem to bring him any luck, and Fardeen Khan, perfect example of “you should know the place you should be born”, try making you laugh with some age old jokes and pathetic acting. Both of them deserve an oscar for putting the most expressionless faces to the camera. Every time I see a comedy movie, I badly miss Govinda in it.

Isha deol has been a real macho that seems to have bullied Amrita Rao for handing over her dialogues.

Boman Irani has been a waste of the talent. So has been the guy who has played his brother.

But the movie is not as bad as some of the recent movies I have seen. Especially the songs are audible and thankfully no Himesh Reshamiya to counter with.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Being Gay


Disclaimer: Ladies, gentlemen and the others, before you get any ideas, let me assure you that my sexual orientation is as straight as possible. In case you disagree, get a babe in front of me. My way of hungrily ogling at her as if she is some alien and I've never ever seen her, will be a proof enough for you to prove it. I am writing this post about homosexuality because I've always found the entire phenomena more than strange.

Assuming my disclaimer has been credible enough, let's start. Some days back, I was having a conversation with two females about a notoriously romantic Mumbai beach. Although the romanticism was replaced by a wierd topic, homosexuality in few minutes. Being torch bearer of our so called intellectually rich and mentally bold generation, they were in complete agreement with the concept. Their argument had a clear majority of 67% in a population of 3. "Let be open minded enough for the people to decide who they want as their partners". This is what I got to hear again and again.

People from UP have a very unique and common trait. Being true democrats, they always support majority. Go check the political trends in the state. It's just the mere existence of a 13 letter word constitution has denied us a government which has no opposition.

However, I defied this trend that evening. For all heterosexuals out there, I fought till the very last that evening and came out winning.

But being a gay, life would really be difficult. Let's discuss a normal scenario. Approximately half of the population would always be of your opposite sex. So you have to choose from a population of 50%. At least half of that will get rejected based on your search parameters assuming you are not desperate enough to have none. We are left with just 25%. At least half of them will reject you assuming based on their search parameters assuming they are not desperate enough to have none. And then the battle starts. 50% fighting for 12.5%.

For a gay, hardly 2 out for 100 might have that tendency. Hardly 1% speaks out about it and let the others know about their deviation from manly/womanly traits. Even if we broaden our base for selection/rejection parameters, the chances of finding the right partners are less than 1%. Provided they have the selection base of 100%, this is a real bad choice.

Now for the famous argument of freedom to choose love irrespective of sex, why not make animal sex socially acceptable too. Let the freedom of choosing love rest with the individual, be it male/female/animal/ghosts/anything else you can think off.

I can buy the point of getting emotionally attracted/dependent on someone or anyone. But getting sexually attracted? Sexual attraction between opposite sex is a law of nature. If you deny that, it should be treated that as an abnormality needing medical attention. Imagine, what if everyone turns gay? Wish Mandel had thought about this angel in reproduction cycle of life and given a new philosophy/theory.

PS: These are entirely my views expressed on a public forum. So in case you are a gay, please forgive me because I can't start loving you.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Maine Baba Ko Dekha Hai!!!

Banaras, ever since I heard about the movie, I was thrilled and filled with nostalgia. Having spent 4 years of my student life, decision to watch the movie was completely forced by a desire to see the city on 70mm. This desire was satisfied, but this was the only desire to be satisfied.

Movie starts with an orphan scene with Naseeruddin Shah aka Baba seeing an orphan infant and picked up by a sweeper. The kid is names Sohan and Baba inexplicably changes his name to Soham. Perhaps Himesh Reshamiya composed the background score thinking the name is Soham and the mistake was realized half way through the movie was done.

The kid grows up on the Ghats of Banaras and somehow manages to pick up the knowledge of music in depth. Oh yeah, he has a six pack too. I always wonder how come most of the bollywood heroes are born and brought up on streets and yet manage to have six pack iron pumped bodies. Also, no matter what, all have them manage to hold on to a babe. Bloody, I still belong to the under privileged strata of the society in this regard.

The guy belongs to a lower caste and faces adversities to such an effect that heroine's dad doesn't let him even touch his feet. However, he does not have much of a problem if his daughter romances with the hero in front of his own eyes and in public. Try doing it in Banaras. Having known the city well, it'll remind Adam that once he gifted you his apples and it's high time he should get them back.

Our love birds happily roam around on the streets of BHU with hands in hands. This reminds me of my friends in college days that had the privilege of a female company. You do it once and would realize the meaning of the phrase "Protective brothers for their sisters" again and again on next few days.

Suddenly the hero gets killed, heroine turns insane and the real pain starts. They get a psychiatrist to get her treated whose every breath seems to be his last. A psychiatrist for his life is shown to be psychologically so weak that even an insane girl can make him cry every time he sees her. By the time you decide to quit the movie before your patience runs out to see "The End" on screen, there is a twist in the tale. Baba turns out to be a ghost who died centuries ago. His existence is doubted by mortals. But he is charismatic to an extent that he can give some well known and respected Babas run for their money. He can treat lung cancer of final stage by just a look of his. Now every soul which is showed to have a mix of divinity in it starts claiming that " Maine baba ko dekha hai". In fact the movie should have been named so, "Maine baba ko dekha hai".

Some incidents hurt the heroine, who has a never ending name when pronounced, Shwetambari so much that she decides to move from the dirty, dusty, badly managed Banaras to a beautifully built see facing, at least Rs. 20,000/- per square feet worth bungalow in Mauritius and gets into the easiest business of preaching people. Finally movie ends after a lot of spiritually combined emotional shit.

Director has tried his best to be consistent about the ground rule set by Ramu's "Vastu Shastra". Ghosts are most of the times in whites.

In fact the movie sets a good platform about a real comic sequel. If you have been stupid enough to buy the tickets and see the movie (buying the ticket and not watching it could have been an intelligent move), imagine what if Shwetambari turns out to be a lesbian with her hot assistant or his male assistant had an affair with her mother Dimple or the Police Inspector had hots for Dimple's brother Mahamaaya or…..its all open to imagination.