Thursday, July 5, 2012

Gangs of Wasseypur

Aren't you bored out the trite that is passed around as Cinema? Aren't you are tired of the milk chocolate covered, pink candy flavoured, perfectly shaped shit that is thrown in our face on a regular basis. I, for one, craved for an honest-to-God, real, kickass movie so full of badassery that it cannot but be of our own beautifully fucked up corner of the world called Bihar.

So praise be on the land of Balia, where Anurag Kashyap was born. And 40 years later, Gangs of Wasseypur was created.

This cinematic gem's brilliance has many hues.

It has such a cliched story line. Revenge. No-spoiler-alert. It is that simple. And within this simplicity lies its profoundness.

The profoundness that is revealed though the fabulously set backdrop, of Independence, Coal mining and an emerging Socialist/Capitalist economy. It has a subtle existence. Reminiscent of the ocean breeze, when you take a stroll on a star lit night.

And my oh my, is the night star lit! Most of us would not be able to name the many stars that light up GoW. All of them are ablaze with awesomeness. The characters are ferocious. They explode on the screen.

And the words. The sullied and bloody language. The mannerism. The nifty little nuances that delight. Is it real? Is that how it is? Or it was? Yes. Hell bloody yeah. As a true blue Bihari, dharti maiyya ke kasam, that is how it is.

And the promotions. The campaigning. The advertising, that you rarely saw on TV. But everywhere on the Social Network. Micro blog. Macro blog. Tweets and Updates. You tube promos. Dialogue promos. Crazy fans like yours truly blogging about it. And what not. Mind blowing! I have a penchant for Marketing. And I cannot but dream of doing what the GoW Team has done.

For those of you who don't know, I will be embarking on a 16 month long adventure in Phillipines, at Asian Institute of Management (Don't kick me in my lovelies at the last hour SBI) . It is also known as an MBA. I hope it is a Mind Blowing Adventure. And I have a new career goal : I want to be a Marketer/Sales Man for Anurag Kashyap Films Private Limited !

Apart from enthralling me to the hilt, GoW gave me something else. Nostalgia. Heart ache. Occasionally, a painful reminder of how things were or may be still are in the state where I was born and raised. But it also gave me a chance to re-connect to my roots. A reminder of how beautiful and soulful Bihari Culture is. I am talking about the folk songs here and not the swear words. I have never loved Bhojpuri music ever before. And for that matter, Chutney music ( The Hunter Song, which again has a bihari connection). And how lyrical ordinary bihari conversation can be!

"Aaap aaaaa gayyeeee jeee"
"Haaan. Abhiyeeee na aayeee"

Stretch and sing. It is funny. And beautiful at the same time. Even the invectives are delivered in a brutal but sing-song fashion.

Ah. Cinema is a source of abundant joy to me. I have watched the movie three times already.

Remember Sholay? This is my Sholay. Our Wasseypur. It is a lovely shade of dark gray. And the best part ? One half of this delicious movie is still left. August 10, I eagerly await.

p.s. Thank you Yayati Joshi. Your wonderful posts on Cinema inspired me.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Children of the Age

I have my own channel. And a news paper. And a magazine. My own media network. I can be heard. Be seen. And read.I can inspire. Collaborate. Communicate. Even conspire. With almost the entire World. When did ever a Person had so much power? Is there any doubt in your mind, that you do not live in incredible times?

It is interesting, if you observe, how power has been created through the Internet. The cynic in you might say that the Power resides with the ones who own the Telecom Companies, the Fiber Optic Cables, Social Media Platforms and Smartphone companies. But, they are in the business because we, the citizens of this modern, global, all pervading civilisation NEED power. We wanted the POWER to write, to photograph, to videograph, to broadcast , to sing our songs, to beat our drums so that it can be heard. The provider and the reciever are both empowered, this is a win-win situation.

There is an overpowering urge for it, we want more. It will only grow, and get stronger. Our voices are going to get louder. And there will be consequences. There already are some who are afraid of us wielding so much power. And they are going to try and take it away from us. But I will be damned if I let that happen. So will you. Can you let anyone take away the air you breathe? The water you drink? The earth that you walk on? Or the Sun that lights up your life? Never. And I believe this Power is going to be that fundamental to us, if you do not think it is already.

The Internet is evolving into a fundamental right of sorts. And it has the power to esnure that all your other rights are not encroached upon. I am blessed, to be aware and alive in the World of today, inspite of all its shortcomings. I am grateful, to be a Child of the Internet Age. Long Live the Inter Network.

Monday, March 12, 2012

A modern day Warrior Poet

The following is an excerpt from an article published in the Times of India , "Traffic park as entertainment avenue and khau galli. Why not?"  .

Santosh Pandey, who writes under the pen name of Badal, is a cop with a difference. He wields both, the cane and pen with elan. A head constable at the Kotwali division, Pandey's two latest compilations - 'Priayadarshini' and 'Beti' - is ready for release on the occasion of the International Women's Day and the programmes associated with it.
'Priyadarshini ' is based on the life of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi while 'Beti' is on the evils of the female infanticide. Pandey also has eight other titles published and an equal number ready for publication.
The cop has authored books on myriad subjects ranging from childhood and its innocence to dowry and its evil affects. Among the awards that Pandey has won includes the ministry of environment and forest's 'Medini Puraskar Yojana' in 2008, Maharashtra State Hindi Sahitya Academy's Sohanlal Dwivedi award in 2009 and many others.
Excerpts from an interview:
Q. What made you choose the subjects for 'Priyadarshini' and 'Beti'?
A. Indiraji's life, on which 'Priyadarshini' is based upon, had always intrigued me, especially during my visits to her ancestral place Anand Bhavan in Allahabad. There was an unexplained force that used to always drive me every time I visited the place. 'Beti' was an outcome of a Sadhvi Rithambhara sermon. I had often championed the cause of environment and female infanticide as a social worker. My duty as a policeman also helped me to realize the pain when a female baby is found abandoned or discarded. Also, I am a father of a daughter which also helped me to express my turmoil.
Q. Have you experimented in the new books?
A. They are simple, easy and understandable. I did not have a scholastic approach but rather ensured that message reaches deep within the society. Often a poet is confronted by the challenge of sending his message to the masses cutting across the cross-section of the society and I wanted to achieve just that rather than experiment with forms and patterns.
Q. Is there any controversial episode in 'Priyadarshini'?
A. I have consciously steered clear of any controversies. I do not have any intention of getting entangled in controversies. Healthy debates are OK, but not controversies. One should not drag controversies into literature.
Q. Is there any aspect or episode in the life of Indiraji that left you intrigued?
A. There have been several, each one fascinating. But, there was one period in her life that I feel shaped her into what she was in the later part of life. In her school days, Indiraji had formed an active unit of youngsters, labelling it as 'Monkey Brigade', who would act as couriers between satyagrahis during the Independence struggle and help in exchange of vital information by dodging the information networks of the British. This underlined her intense patriotism and unquestionable leadership quality which reflected in the later part of her life.
Q. How do you balance your job as a cop and poet?
A. My job as a policeman has given me an intriguing opportunity to delve into those arenas of life which I would not have got had I been working elsewhere. Various issues, different facets of our society and human life unfurl before me while I am attending my duty. This department is more of a social organization and government pays us salaries for this noble work which I do dutifully. When I am not a policeman, I am a poet and author. I devote most of my leisure time to literature. There are no other distractions in my life.
Q. When are you planning to write about your colleagues?
A. A collection of 120 poetries 'Police: Ek Kavi' is slated to hit the stands soon. In this book, my 25 years' experience and observations as a cop have been brought out in the form of poetry.
Q. Does being a government employee create any hurdles for you as poet?
A. The creative pursuit of an author or poet finds its expression wherever there is a thrust for it. Police or any other department's disciplinary restrictions cannot bind creative energies which flow despites hurdles. My books have been mostly released by our seniors in the department who have also encouraged me.
Q. What is your motivation?
A. The ambience at home is very crucial for a creative person. It is very important to enjoy support from one's family. My sole inspiration was the Late Mahadevi Verma who was an extraordinary Hindi poet and freedom fighter. I had once composed a parody of her celebrated work and she was impressed with it. It was she who had christened me as 'Badal'.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Knol Nugget

1.Procrastination by John Kelly

2. Social Impact Bond : A Social Impact Bond, also known as a Pay for Success Bond, is a contract with the public sector in which a commitment is made to pay for improved social outcomes that result in public sector savings. The expected public sector savings are used as a basis for raising investment for prevention and early intervention services that improve social outcomes.
Social Impact Bonds are not bonds in the conventional sense. While they operate over a fixed period of time, they do not offer a fixed rate of return. Repayment to investors is contingent upon specified social outcomes being achieved and therefore in terms of investment risk Social Impact Bonds are more similar to that of an equity investment.

3. Power : Organized and intelligently directed knowledge

4. Tales of Mere Existence by Lev Yilmaz