Saturday, March 31, 2007

Western double standards

Do you want an example of western hypocrisy and double-standards?

When Muslims protest against the representation of Mohammed, it's barbaric. But when Catholics exhibit righteous outrage at a chocolate Jesus, that's because the artist was being provocative close to festival time!

I thought the juxtaposition of Chocolate, Easter, and Jesus, was quite a profound statement.

A line from the Quran that the Western world and Israel need to learn
Your Lord may destroy your enemies and make you inheritors in the land. Then He will see how you conduct yourselves.
To hell with all these foolish beliefs!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Why do they need reservation?

When they don't have the right to live life on their own terms?
On the surface, Bibipur, a tiny village in Haryana's Karnal district, seems the epitome of untroubled rural life. Brahmin homes occupy the front while Dalits huddle together in semi-finished quarters in the rear, making do without water and toilets. Every morning, Bibipur's Dalit women trudge to fields owned by Brahmins to relieve themselves — aware that they do so by the latter's magnanimity. In a word, this is life as it is expected to be.

Institutional prejudice
A Dalit temple's encounter with official India

This is what the much vaunted, most peaceful religion in the world, of philosophers and Saints, of messages of universality and peace, does to people.

Death to all religions!

I don't think that these 'upper-caste' people in Haryana and the politicians and bureaucrats who have supported them deserve to live. If they don't act like humans to other humans they should be killed like the vermin they are.

Who will destroy this status-quo?

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Mozhi - Language

If you see one Tamil movie this year, then let it be Mozhi.

This is not a review of Mozhi. This is a paean to it.

I'm an unabashed Prakash Raj (nee Rai) fan. The man seems to have realized what the audience wants, and is delivering it - earning accolades in spades from critics and viewers alike. Although he's type-cast as an actor in other movies, in his own productions, he's making sure that his roles are different and apt. He doesn't play a 21 year-old college kid, as others of his age are wont to do. Hat's off to you Sir!

Mozhi is simply brilliant in its execution. Let me repeat that. Mozhi is simply brilliant in its execution.

From the simple things, like the noise the kids make, to the posters Viji (Prakash Raj) and Karthik (Prithvi Raj) have in their house, the music they listen to, to the background score in the Pichakaran/Pannayar ponnu intro sequence, authenticity is the basic scent of this movie. And let me tell you it smells like a bed of fresh roses.

On the other hand, I am not a fan of Jyothika. Sorry I meant to say, I was not a fan of Jyothika, till I saw her as Archana. Her presence on the screen is incandescent. Her anger is raw and untrammeled. She's made up her lack of dialogue brilliantly - her every look is a poem. The real pain is going to be when we need to see her when she acts, or to be more precise, doesn't, in other movies after Mozhi.

With Prakash Raj and Jyothika lighting up the screen, that left very little space for Prithvi Raj and Swarnamalya. I was literally unable to tear my eyes off Viji and Archana for long enough to note how well others had acted. Brahmanandam and Bhaskar have played roles which add a lot to the execution.

The best Tamil actor according to me is Kamal Hassan. I've been a fan of Kamal for as long as I can remember. As a kid I was taken to the theater to watch Moondram Pirai; after that I made up tall stories of Kamal visiting my house, according to my aunts and parents. In Nayagan, MMKR, Apoorva Sahotharargal, and Kurudhippunal, he has out-performed all else on screen. But I have seen a better actor, a more intelligent cinephile, and above all, a man who knows his limits. My allegiances have now shifted to Prakash Raj.

Mozhi is at its heart a very simple movie. A very very well made, well told, story. Radhamohan has extracted sterling performances from each and every actor who has a frame. The girl who falls in love with Karthik adds an Escher-esque dimension to the proceedings.

Above all, you can see that the people who made this movie had fun! And you'll definitely have fun watching it.

Apparently the movie will be releasing on DVD soon for just Rs 34. I'm planning to buy one as soon as it's available. Heck, I'll probably buy one to give to a few of my friends too.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Healthy snacks in B'lore

Hungry for some healthy snacks in B'lore?

Head to Fresh and Natural - they have some nice and vague salads and sandwiches. Kimchi salad, Spicy native salad, Chopsuey salad, etc. Very nice fresh veggies and nice dressings too!

Like one of the many salad and sandwich bars in US, these guys also have soups, sandwiches, and fresh juices.

They've got branches in 4 places in B'lore - Koramangala, IndraNagar and JayaNagar 7th block being those I recall. The rates are reasonable - for a salad and sandwich it was Rs 70 - more than enough as a snack for two.

The branch in 7th block JayaNagar is very close to JSS circle, turn toward RV road from JSS circle and take the first left. Fresh and Natural is before the second left.

Their neighbour is an intriguing 'Chocolat' which serves exorbitantly priced - you guessed it! - chocolate based desserts. Rs 150 seemed to be the median price. But the desserts were pretty decent - I had a reasonably good for India, New York-style Cheesecake...

Chocolate is healthy - for me ;-)...