Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Who am i ?

In these last few months of 2013, life has asked me this question again and again..who am i ? what do i want ? Its as though God has sent me an angel from up above watching me over my shoulder. I am protected , spoilt by this angel. Its an Art of Living tutorial in a living being. I have learnt a lot about my self. Its like Vipaasna but with verbal communication. I need to ask my doctor friend, does our brain shrink with time ? Am i aging already ?  There are answers i seek from myself.

Where do i see myself in the next 5 years ?

What are my priorities ?

what are my career goals ?

what is an ideal relationship ?

why am i laid-back ?

what do i want ?

why fear ? why paranoia ?

why do i run away from my problems , instead of facing them ?
how unhealthy is my Ego ?

who am i ?

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

A Good Samaritan

Juhu is one of the busiest places in Mumbai. Juhu Beach, a popular hang out for many Indians. In fact many of the city tours has Juhu Beach as one its stops. Plenty of roadside eateries , toys and games are on sale throughout the 3 km beach stretch. The parking lots close to the beach are usually busy. This day Vikram and I are returning back to my car heading home. As we walk close to the car, I notice a Maruti Van parked rather out of the usual spots. A little walk ahead , I notice two men beating somebody. Vikram walks near to that car and i walk straight towards my car and then i see what is happening clearly. One man is beating a woman , his friend is what looks like trying ( Rather passively)  stop him. Now one thing you ought to know about Vikram, he cannot stand injustice on women. A lot  many times I have seen him stand up for women being ill treated. Vikram asks the man, " Sab theek hai ? (Is everything alright )". The man looks up, the way he talks and walks its evident that he is drunk, back answers "Kyun ? tu theek karega kya ?  (why ? would you make it alright ?)".  I ask Vikram to sit in the car and we quietly drive off ( just what any other chicken of a human would do *ashamed*). He starts throwing weight on Vikram. Rather rudely. The words he uttered were filthy. He signaled me to take my friend away.  The women steps out of the car is sobbing and limping. I notice that she is not a woman but a transgender dressed in a saree.  She walks up to Vikram sobbing and reaches out to touch his feet. The goon hurling abuses says that its their personal matter , and we have no business to get ask.  Vikram looks at me , I am pale petrified of whats going to happen. I yell at him to get back in the car.  The parking lot is empty.. what are the fucking chances ! Now this bastard of a man is so low that he is thrashing a woman.. he is a goon.. he can do anything.  Vikram is angry, i can see that, he is controlling because of my pleading. He walks towards us, by now i have sat in the car ,   ready for the boy to sit in and we go. Suddenly, the man reaches out to hit Vikram and there is a fight. Now there is lot of tugging and pulling. yelling of swear words. Vikram is yelling at him. I am shitting bricks, i want to take Vikram and run out of this place. I run out of the car and beg people around us to help. I felt so helpless, petrified & shivering. The goon's friend is trying to separate the two.  People who i asked to help, walked up but then looking at the transgender woman, who can be assumed to be a prostitute they walked off. This is what human life in Mumbai is worth of !  The fight sobers down ,Vikram walks to the car. We drive off.  He kept apologizing for what happened. But this is not right. What just happened is not right. This gentleman stood up to an asshole for hurting a woman. This is half the battle. For all you know , he would have beaten her to death now we have left. We drove to the police station, got two cops to accompany us to the spot. What luck the asshole was still present in that parking lot.  The woman changed her statement a million times. I was parked at a distant, so could only hear a little of what was spoken.  An hour and half later, Vikram walks out of the police station. I hear that the asshole was beaten black and blue to the extent of losing his front teeth. The police buy Vikram a cola, and wonder why would anyone jump into a fight selflessly in such a situation. He has won these policemen hearts. Honestly, I cannot take the image of that bully out of my head.
Vikram will rest tonight knowing that he did a good deed.  That woman would rest tonight thinking that some stranger stood up for her.  I am hoping she never finds herself in a situation like this ever again. That asshole son of   b*tch would writhe in pain realizing that not to mess with another human, they just might turn out to be mightier than you can ever imagine. That goon's friend will twist and turn in his bed tonight thinking  never to mess with a woman. And i will rest tonight thanking God for blessing me with a fine gentleman like Vikram Gupta. God Bless you Vikram ! If God makes a few more of you, this world will be a rocking place to live in. 

Friday, 3 May 2013

100 years of Bollywood

It all began when Dhundiraj Govind Phalke said "lights, camera, action" a century ago. On May 3, 1913, Raja Harishchandra, India's first feature film, released and was declared a hit. It was the beginning of an industry that would snowball into a behemoth, defining India's popular culture like no other. 

A still from the picture Raja Harishchandra

A 100 years later, we bring you some facts about the film that started it all:

Dhundiraj Govind Phalke worked in the Archaelogical Society of India and then as a printer before staking everything he had on making a film. He was inspired to become a filmmaker by 1902 French movie The Life Of Christ, which he saw twice on the same day.

Dadasaheb Phalke quit his printing press career and went to London to learn the technicals of making a movie. He bought a camera, a printing machine, a perforator and raw film. 

Advertisements seeking handsome actors for the lead role brought so much amateur and inadequate talent that Dadasaheb Phalke was forced to add a line saying "ugly faces need not apply."

Dadasaheb Phalke was forced to cast a male actor, Anna Salunke, in the role of queen Taramati because acting was not considered a decent profession for women. He found Anna Salunke in a restaurant, working as a cook. His only female applicants for the role were prostitutes from Mumbai's red-light areas, but even they backed out eventually. The success of Raja Harishchandra meant that for his second film, Mohini Bhasmasur, Dadasaheb Phalke had no trouble finding actresses for the female roles.

His cast and crew were told to say they were working in Dadasaheb's "factory" while filming took place. 

Dadasaheb Phalke was 40 when he made Raja Harishchandra, and some of his friends were convinced he was mad, even trying to have him admitted to an asylum.

Dadasaheb Phalke pledged his life insurance policies, his wife sold her jewellery to raise money for the film.

Raja Harishchandra was partly shot in Mathura Bhawan in Dadar, on a road now renamed Dadasaheb Phalke Road.

The film's outdoor scenes were shot in a village near Pune, where the villagers reportedly mistook the prop swords for real ones.

The title plates that were inserted in between the silent scenes were in English and in Hindi.

Dadasaheb's entire family took part in the making of Raja Harishchandra, with his wife handling much of the technical details and his son playing a major role in the film, that of Harishchandra's son.

To woo his audience away from the stage to the screen, Dadasaheb Phalke promoted his films as: "A performance with 57,000 photographs. A picture two miles long. All for only three annas." He also preceded the film with a dance performance by two European girls for the first few days.

Raja Harishchandra released in Mumbai's Coronation Theatre and ran for 23 days. It was also shown in London in 1914. The story of Harishchandra was not just the subject of Dadasaheb's 1913 film but also of the first Marathi talkie, V Shantaram's Ayodhyecha Raja (1932).

Phalke's story is overwhelming. In 2011 there is a film made to depict the story of his making of the first film, Harishchandrachi Factory.  Dont Miss !!

Happy Birthday Bollywood !!!!!   

(The info in this article is written by Gitanjali for NDTV)