Posted in Books

Edge of Eternity by Ken Follett

Ken Follett has done it again. This is the last time I am reading this arrogant haughty fellow. Lost all respect for him. I doubted he must be racial for the way he wrote about World war II painting the US and allies like saints and trivializing the Hiroshima Nagasaki bombing in Japan by the US (Winter of the world). Such a fellow can never be trusted, I must have known.

For someone who glorified the democracies and villainified communism, it is therefore natural not to write a page about how the USSR remained a reason for PM Indira Gandhi to crush the nefarious designs of Nixon and Kissinger who sided and plotted with Pakistan. Mrs. Gandhi taught the duo the lesson they never forgot in life. Mrs Gandhi was there lot before Margaret Thatcher became UK’s PM. She bifurcated Pakistan into two and created Bangladesh out of the eastern half. The terror supporting elected governments of the US always favoured Pakistan over India that remained neutral (as a non-aligned nation at least officially). The looming threat of USSR which was India’s ally thwarted any US mischief from fighting/invading India on behalf of/along with Pakistan.

What kind of author is this man who seems to be suffering from selective amnesia for the only reason that he wants to show only US/West in good light. He underplays the work done by communists and overplays the democracy card (read America). Communism has had its advantage. Indian state of Kerala is a standing example. China, even if India’s dire adversary, has developed uniformly because of communist principles only. Is democracy a panacea for all. Capitalists are bloodsucking leeches basically. They are no better than communists who are the polar opposite.

This Follett fellow must write about the British atrocities as well if he is so bent on writing from pages of history. How about starting with Jallian Walah Bagh. Queen Elizabeth shamelessly sports the Kohinoor diamond stolen from India. If UK is to be stripped off all the stolen wealth from native people and nations some day, then they will go bankrupt before sundown. Gives me ample satisfaction that the Pakistanis are now taking over the UK. Soon England will become the first ever caliphate of Europe. Serves them right.

Day is not for when all Brits will be on welfare. Karma is best served cold. Asians are ruling the roost everywhere. We need no certification from these racist fellows. How many native human races/aborigines as well as wildlife these Brits have rendered extinct. Ethnic cleansing.

There wasn’t an iota of sympathy in the book for the blacks – it is mere superficial and inaccurate recording of events. It is a coincidence that the Black Lives Matter movement is gaining momentum now, with Trump losing the US elections. Follett’s racial reference to Saudi diplomat referring to Indian servant is deliberate racial slight.

US invading smaller nations is open secret. How many countries destroyed. How many economies devastated. How many societies plundered for gain. All in the name of Democracy I hope? Who made with the oil and gas in Iraq or Syria. Who stands to gain from fallen nations. UK is the main ally note.

DON’T READ. DON’T WASTE A PENNY ON KEN FOLLETT. How he even saves the face of Germans from Nazi era portraying them as decent (Franck) family! Sickening. This guy is not bothered about values. He is only for making money. He will touch any low.

India is now a heaven for good writing including in English language. Such a rich literary culture we have. Soft power that never lived sucking others’ blood and making a living on the grave of native races. Proudly an Indian, proudly a Hindu. Churchill was No.1 scoundrel who bled nations and shamelessly built his country stealing from hapless defenceless Asian African nations. And if this Churchill is portrayed as kind of hero in UK, then we will have scum like Follett only, what else.

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I was not even in standard 5 (in 1970s) when I heard my granny and my mom discuss Kennedy’s assassination (which happened before my birth). My granny read the Warren report. She was born in 1926. Our relative took our copy and never returned.

One more snippet from such an innocent pre-teen age. My granny told me, Jackie Kennedy threw her wedding ring into Kennedy’s grave which meant she ought not to have (re)married Onassis! My god, she (my granny) hardly studied upto third standard! Years later may be in 1990s, there was a news in local media that one of the Kennedy children and Jackie happened to live anonymously at Mahabalipuram near Chennai in a seaside villa. After an year or a couple of years they were found out when they flew back to US. This is unconfirmed report. I don’t know how my brain has retained this kind of information from my very young years to this day! Especially such very specific details!

My political interest i owe therefore entirely to my granny. She read both the Hindu (English paper) and the Tamil newspaper Dina Thanthi every single day. She showed me once a photo and lead story in Tamil newspaper and told me about Bhutto’s hanging. That was the first time I heard about Pakistan/started taking note of Pakistan. My granny told me Zia hung Bhutto.

My little women! My granny and my mom were very intelligent, sharp women. I take immense pride in that, my mom was working in 1965-66 a good half century ago. Very strong unflinching character. The kind of info they processed and the books they read! Clearly women in sari donning a bindi in forehead are not as naive as some fools in the west think. Yet our women were very homely and devoted to family.

In 1999-91 I was doing my masters in Econometrics in Madras University (final year) after graduating with a degree in Maths in 1989. So my economics knowledge was not too great but I tried best to learn. With Math background, economics was like greek and latin to me.

What I cannot forget from my PG days is the visit to my department by a professor from University of Kiev, Ukraine. He was on a tour of India and for his last leg, he was visiting Madras. He spoke to us for 2 hrs. In 1990/91, India was not even in globalization phase. Yet, even I remember how rich India was. The professor told our class, he was bedazzled by the kind of foodstuff (vegetables, fruits), spices, handicrafts, wealth (gold, silks etc) and merchandise that India boasted. All local made. No shortages, no queues anywhere. He did tell us how they in USSR had to stand in queue for even buying their daily bread which was their staple food. He couldn’t believe that India was portrayed a poor country in USSR or elsewhere in the west including in Europe. On contrary he found that everything was in abundance in India. He said, he just couldn’t have enough of India. He saw big hoardings of the Hindi film “Brashtachchar’ starring Rajnikanth in the metros and asked the hosts the meaning for the title of the film. When he was told the meaning was ‘corruption’ he couldn’t believe Indians had this kind of liberty to make film on govt corruption to be screened for masses. He was moved relating this story to us. He said he was shopping at Raymonds, shopped for all things made in India, crafts, silver, whatever. He was dumbfounded by the quality of merchandise, the textiles, the spirit of India, the magnetism and spirituality of the Hindu dharma.

This professor came visiting to lecture us on communism and Russian model economy but he found that India had a robust mixed economy from grassroots level. He said he was taking back home lessons from India. From India model.

He also told us about Gorbachev who was their president then. I vaguely remember the words Perestroika and Glasnost from newspapers in those years. He asked us whether we knew about it all. It amazes me only now that we had firsthand information on the Balkanization of the Soviet Union right from the horse’s mouth. Perfect timing. Right then, I must say I did not appreciate that I was one of a kind of witness that day to history unfolding in our very times, in front of our very eyes. My department was lukewarm but hopefully the story in Delhi campuses was different. In that age when information was not spread like wildfire, we were aware of only the bringing down of the Berlin wall, not much else. Besides, India is always consumed first by our own domestic events and happenings. A lot was happening with Rajiv Gandhi gearing back for midterm elections. My personal life went for a toss. Last on my agenda was interest on Soviet Union matters. The Kiev professor said soon Ukraine would be a free independent nation. But he also was concerned about those like Lithuania, Estonia etc., that he doubted may not be faring well without help from Russia. Despite myself I enjoyed the long interactive session although we were all being lulled to our inevitable daily dose of afternoon siesta. Our classroom faced the Bay of Bengal and the gentle sea breeze was blowing sweet.

After the Ukranian left, the cold war came to an end and the USSR broke up into handful of independent nations that started looking towards west.

I was thinking about this professor whose name I cannot recall as I toured Georgia and also Azerbaijan in last 3 years that look like poorer cousins of European countries. I had a firsthand view of the Russian infrastructure that looked perfectly fine to me.

As far as I am concerned, these breakaway nations from the erstwhile USSR are not yet commercialized or corrupted because, they were under the protective wings of Russia. Even if supposedly human rights may have been stifled by the Russians, the kind of REAL development we have in these countries is astonishing. Marvelous. My husband is an engineer by profession and he has decades of rich experience in industrial engineering including in O&G, expressways with flyovers and underpasses, even reservoirs. I value his views therefore. I loved even the soviet cabs. They were roomy and unlike anything you might ever have seen in US or Europe or Middle East or India. Automobile engineering of a different but sophisticated kind. Highways are another league no way inferior to US. All other European nations (that i have toured) are like beggar nations really compared to the truly wealthy Georgia and Azerbaijan that are rich in mineral resources, nature and beauty not yet corrupted or stolen by the greedy west. Rivers are lush. Population is less. No absolute poverty. Ideal and idyllic lifestyle. If given an option, I would rather choose to live in Georgia over Switzerland or Austria! Simple but heartwarming peasant lifestyle still with a good standard of living. Hundreds of Indian medical aspirants attend universities in Georgia. I hope these breakaway Soviet nations remain cautious and don’t let their guards down. Let it not be the case of frying pan to fire. Azerbaijan highways omg! Totally a different level of engineering and technology including when it comes to oil & gas! Georgian wine! Even food is native not confined to mere burgers and fries. The west is fake. Dear Soviet block nations, do not trust America or UK. Never.

Our Georgian cab driver presented us with a big bottle of home brewn red wine from his cellar. As we were flying back to Doha where we could not bring liquor, we polished off every drop right there in Georgia! I relished the vegetarian Georgian cuisine that was so authentic, and their homemade energy bars with local dryfruits and nuts. Unforgettable holiday! Cheap and best! Highly recommend! Georgian villages were charming. The leeside of the Ural mountains is awesome. This country is underexplored and not high on tourist radar. Do it before it becomes one more sore tourist spot. Slightly affluent Azerbaijan is dangerously inclined towards Iran which is not healthy. So far so good, but we have to wait and watch. Big bro Russia kept everyone in check no doubt.

Dear Georgia and Azerbaijan, kick capitalist trademarks Marks & Spencers, Burger King etc., out of your nations and close your doors to the west even if you do not want to be with Russia. These are no saints but wolves in sheep clothing. You will be fine on your own. Don’t be in a hurry to sell yourselves to US for peanuts.

Posted in Pictures Desi

Why Is ‘Metti Oli’ Still No.1 Soap In Tamil Television.

Lockdown saw return of the old guard as far as tv soaps are concerned. ‘Metti Oli’ made one more comeback to our homes and is concurrently doing two channels easily even after all these years. How can it be possible to retain such a rapt audience interest during repeat telecasts?

Well, for these very simple and at the same time thought-provoking reasons:

*For truly middle class values.

*No glamorous or cosmetic content

*Down to earth portrayal of characters, characterization and scene settings

*No erosion or watering down of morality or ethics of the community in general

*No graphic or violence content

*No vulgar content

*Family oriented underscoring relationships and family and old world values

*No hidden agenda underlying the script and screenplay

*Honest portrayal of circumstances without exaggeration

*No villainification of family members deliberately pitted against each other

*No hero worship of a singular character

*Every character is fallible and no character is too perfect

*No spite or vengeance or intense hatred or malice beyond acceptable standards

*No sister-in-law planning to poison the new bride

*No brother-in-law rooting for his sister-in-law

*No daughter-in-law hatching plot to oust her mother-in-law

*No mother-in-law pining to strangulate her daughter-in-law

*No maligning of characters or character assassination

*No kids talking too much for their age

*No customary prison scene

*No alcohol consuming or smoking character

*No extra marital affairs

*No clandestine affairs

*No home breakers

*No brother-in-law scheming to usurp family business

*No plotting of murders in temple precincts

*No sense of hopelessness

*New hope even in dire situations

*No overt negativity

*Relatable to our very own lives and environment

*Nothing flashy or fancy

*More forgiving, more generous

*Dignity and earnestness in character portrayal

*Immense patience and tolerance and goodwill in/of characters

*Over-all feel-good factor

*Wholesome family entertainment that you can watch with family

*You watch this serial for the story content not for the glamour of characters or their clothes.

*No single hero/villain. Equal importance to all role players.

*Joint families crux of the story. Joint families are fast disappearing in India replaced by nuclear families.

*Life humbles characters. Life overwhelms characters who swallow pride and shame frame to frame to keep the family in-tact. Which is what matters over anything and everything. Family stays united at any cost.

I hope there is a lot to learn from this very decent and grounded and low-cost/budget production. You don’t need to invent conspiracies to cheat and kill and dupe and shortchange to have a roaring audience. I don’t watch soaps at all but years back, Metti Oli on its very first run was compulsive enough for me to let down my guard and watch some episodes from midway. Recently I caught my mother-in-law still hanging on to the old do over others. I leaned over from my dining to take a peek at what was playing in the tv screen and found that Metti Oli is still charming and appealing to my heart. This is the secret to success. It is easy to warm hearts without damaging anyone or pouring poison into someone. Let each one of us remind ourselves of this. We can take a leaf or two out of Metti Oli even for our very personal life.

Posted in Pictures Desi

What is Art.

After 8 years since it was released, i caught up with watching our superstar thalaiva Rajni Kanth’s Sivaji, tamil film, only last evening in Prime. Of course I have loved the songs tuned in by AR Rahman always, given a voice by S P Balasubramanyam. Rajnis pictures are gross (no pun intended) entertainers. I like him over Kamal Hasan in that, he seems to treat his heroines with a bit more of respect. In case of Kamal, I have the opinion that he is vulgar with his women on screen and makes you squirm in your seat. He can never become the family entertainer that Rajni is.

I have enjoyed Rajni’s Robot made by director Shankar in the cinemas starring Aishwarya Roy opposite him. In Sivaji, it was a visual treat watching the car fight scene although generally i abhor violence. Mostly switch off death scenes/violent scenes or fast forward. Switch off tv if they show macabre scenes or present gloomy news with disturbing visuals. No point in carrying that baggage in your mind. According to some people, i am already negative! The truth is, I block a lot of negativity from my life and focus much more on positivity than I really speak about. Never psycho or terror or scary pictures for me. To fill my home with positive vibes, I play bhajans, classical music etc., in an effort to offset any negative energy present. Mind is cleared of clutter.

As for art, i am no connoisseur of art but having a spouse with artistic leaning has helped me appreciate art better. Europe tour was much more enjoyable thanks to our familiarity with art, that way. While most tourists just walked past, we stood rooted for a time studying art and debating the artists’ mindset. Thanks to my husband who himself is a scrap artist as well (he is a self-taught amateur artist) and thanks to my friends who are Rangoli specialists, i am discovering the many facets of art such as myriad surfaces, tools etc., apart from about some remarkable art installations. The art installations are a challenge to our imagination. Thought provoking. They define a new plane of art taking art to another dimension.

In celluloid pictures, i have been able to somewhat guess what can constitute art. By art here, i am not talking of award winning pictures. Art also need not have to be limited to scene settings. Art can be sublime as well relating to frames. For instance, the word ‘art’ hit me when i watched the car fight scene in Sivaji last evening. One thought in my mind then was that, this car fight sequence is like an art installation. Modern art. Abstract. The wastage hurt me nonetheless. Still I have to appreciate the stunts director and the screenplay-direction that came up with such a stunning and unprecedented scene for the first time in Tamil silver screen. Not ruling out the possibility of copying from Hollywood. Or even Bollywood. But knowing director Shankar and his originality, I have no doubts that this is his matchless ingenuity. This is what I thought of when watching ‘Robot’ dubbed in Hindi as well. Once I watched Shankar’s interview and the director said, how ideas keep popping up in his mind and how he imagines them in 3D and tries to visualize them in his mind’s eye and how he tries to match up film making with exactly what he pictured in his mind. This conceptualization that is strikingly similar to his visualization is what his pictures are all about. Great director of Indian cinema. Legend. Many of his Tamil productions are dubbed/remade in Hindi including Robot, Hindustani etc.

‘Prarthana’ the outdoor theatre also used to be my favourite drive-in cinemas by the sea (although the sea is invisible). I think now it is redundant. Not too sure how it is faring now in the digital age of Prime/Netflix and Inox cinemas. Looks like the scene is shot here. No copyright infringement intended. This is what sets Shankar’s films apart.

(This is a dubbed scene from Hindi version ūüėÄ that hardly does any justice to the sequence. Better footage in Prime HD)

To me, anything with an aesthetic appeal to not only your eyes, but also to your heart and mind, qualifies as art. Art is ever evolving. One is reminded of Dan Brown’s ‘Origin’ with its gala science/art museum that is surreal. Art transcends levels and planes and is of a multi-dimension that is beyond one’s imagination here. I am lucky that i could expand my horizons of thinking where it concerns art. The possibilities are endless. The rustle of a leaf in the soft breeze is art as much as the buzzing bee about it. The gentle roll of the waves is an art as every beautiful twilight and sunset. Corona has spared us time to pause and take stock of art that is omnipresent about us 360 degrees. Nature or otherwise. And most importantly you don’t have to have this creative genius to reckon art for what it is. All it takes is the elusive eye that can wring art out of the ordinary.

Posted in Pictures Desi

Lockdown Watch: Recommended Flicks

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Updated: April 29, 2020.

Watched ‘Lunch Box’ this evening in memory of the fine actor Irrfan Khan. I remember him from ‘Life of Pi’ and ‘Talvar’ and of course ‘The slumdog millaionaire.’ His role in Talvar that I watched once in flight made me change my opinion on the notorious (real life) Delhi murder case. Even today’s picture was such a gem. Irrfan’s character so original like the script. Well crafted. No other actor could have fit in.¬† Just too perfect. That’s what I was thinking.

Mother Goddess cherrypicks the best always from Her Garden.

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India is on total lockdown since mid March except for essential services.

How do most of us spend our time.

Watching pix in tv, Netflix and Prime of course. Besides cooking, cleaning, mopping, washing, drying that is.

I am on a picture-watching spree as well. I recommend the following Mallu pix (based in Kerala) plus some Tamil films.

MUST WATCH. You will learn the difference between third rate Bollywood and true and original/authentic Indian cinema which is regional,¬† that way. I just can’t stand Hindi pictures, sorry. To me, Hindi filmdom died with Sanjeev Kumar, Rajesh Kanna, Vinod Mehra and Shashi Kapoor. I miss the charm of Hindi films of the ’70s when Dharmendra and Amitabh Bachchan were the heartthrobs of ladies. Now I feel like throwing up looking at Kareena Kapoor and co. Can’t get more gross.

All the same, the south Indian films have been getting better and better. Tamil cinema of the 70s was matchless and far ahead of times. Groundbreaking pictures were made. Heavy subjects. Please catch ‘Apoorva Ragangal’ starring a very young Kamal Hasan and Rajni Kanth and Sri Vidya in black & white, in K Balachander’s direction, in Amazon Prime. Comes with subtitles. But knowing Tamil sure helps. Because certains idioms and puns have to be heard in local language.

Growing up on south Indian films, I can hardly stand the hollow pictures churned out by Bollywood. With superficial heroes. Heroes shaving their chests ugh omg!!! Rajni Kanth and Chiranjeevi may be overrated superstars down south, but they are a mere 10% of south Indian film scene. The rest, you have to discover. The magic called Indian cinema can work wonders for you,

I will post the flicks that I have watched since lockdown. Highly and heavily recommended:

  1. Trance  (Mallu)
  2. Charlie (Mallu)
  3. Driving Licence (Mallu) (good)
  4. Anveshanam (Mallu)
  5. Uyarae (Mallu)
  6. Lunch Box (Hindi)
  7. Silsila (Hindi)
  8. Ghar (Hindi)
  9. Kumbalangi Nights (Mallu) (sweet)
  10. Ayyappanum Koshiyum (Mallu) (the best best best, go for it)
  11. Amar Prem (Hindi)
  12. Vikruthi (Mallu) (good)
  13. Thappad (Hindi)
  14. Lift Boy (Hindi) (good)
  15. Kabhi Kabhi (Hindi)
  16. Anand (Hindi)
  17. Captain Philips (Hollywood)
  18. Avatar (watched a 1000 times)
  19. Choti si baath (Hindi)(sweet)
  20. Kaadhalum Kadandhu Pogum (Thamizh)
  21. Nadigaiyar Thilagam (biopic Tamil)
  22. Khatta Meetha (Hindi) (sweet)
  23. Padman (Hindi) (unmissable)
  24. One Child Nation (documentary)
  25. Helen (Mallu)
  26. Unda (Mallu) (one of the best)
  27. Badla (Hindi)
  28. Sui Dhaaga (Hindi) (one of the best)
  29. Life in a metro (Hindi)
  30. Wild wild country (documentary)
  31. To Let (Tamil)
  32. Varane Avashyamund (Mallu)
  33. Chandana – the daughter of the Elephant whisperer (Sinhalese) (documentary)(for elephant/wildlife lovers)
  34. Mahout: the Great Elephant Walk (Documentary)
  35. Mom (Hindi)
  36. Palm trees in the snow
  37. Visaranai (Tamil) (violence content)
  38. Sillu Karuppatti (Tamil) (sweet, unmissable)
  39. Rajnigandha (sweet)
  40. Shakuntala Devi (Hindi) (by far the best, best, best)
  41. Sufiyum Sujathayum (Mallu)
  42. Aakaashantinte Niram (Mallu) (slow pace)
  43. Good news (Hindi)
  44. Parineeta (Hindi)
  45. Stories by Rabindranath Tagore (Netflix)
  46. A suitable boy (Netflix)
  47. Soorarai Potru (Tamil) (inspired by true story)

In my watchlist:

  1. Bangalore days (Mallu)
  2. Super Deluxe (Tamil)
  3. Joseph (Mallu)
  4. Lucifer (Mallu)
  5. Thanmathra (Mallu)
  6. Hindi Medium (Hindi)
  7. Anjaam Pathira (Mallu)
  8. Maheshinde Prathikaram (Mallu)
  9. Thannir mathan dinangal (Mallu)
  10. Thondi muthalum drikshashiyum (Mallu)
  11. Pranjiyettan and the saint (Mallu)
  12. Nandhanam (Mallu)

Other Tamil flicks I recommend: (no Art/Award film):

  1. Papanasam (2016)
  2. Sindhu Bhairavi (1985)
  3. Anbe Sivam (2000s)
  4. Saivam (recent past)
  5. Vinnai Thaandi Varuvaayaa (2000s)
  6. 96 (2018)
  7. Kaadhal (2000s)
  8. Asuran (caution: violence content) (latest)
  9. Kalyana Agadhigal (1980s)
  10. Poove Poochoodavaa (1980s)
  11. Autograph (2000s)
  12. Pirivom Sandhippom (2000s)
  13. Aval oru thodarkadhai (1970s) (b&w)
  14. Avargal (1970s) (b&w)
  15. Apoorva Ragangal (1970s) (b&w) (print not good)
  16. Aval Appadi Thaan (1070s) (b&w)
  17. Oru Nadigai Nadagam Paarkiraal (1970s) (b&w)
  18. Sila Nerangalil Sila Manidhargal (1970s) (b&w)Thanneer Thanneer (1980s)
  19. Raja Parvai (1980-81)
  20. Thunai (1980s)
  21. Keladi Kanmani (1990s)
  22. Kumki
  23. Thillana Mohanaambal (never tire of this classic) (1950s) (eastman colour)

After watching these, let me know why we need Hollywood at all. None of these come under Art film category. Rather, box office hits. Indian regional films can be real good. Sensitive and sensible portrayal of characters. Screenplay and direction a cut above the rest. Great editing with class cinematography. For the art of story telling, you only have to watch ‘Charlie.’ We don’t make sci-fis here sorry. We live in the present, logical world. Not imaginary, illusory. South movies not to be judged with Bollywood eyes. Let me say this, most of the nice and agreeable Hindi pictures have been remakes from south. But I do love mega movies of Bollywood like Padmaavat, not denying. For relaxation at home without headache, for making you pause and think and self-reflect, to be at peace with yourself, to feel good about yourself – you need the south Indian pictures. Bollywood to me mostly is junk. There have been some nice, thoughtful ones like those of Vidya Balan for instance, but a vast majority is utter crap. I am used to watching tanned mustached unruly Tamil heroes with dusky oily haired heroines because, that is how my folks are. I can’t palate the ‘Zindagi na milegi dho barah’ nonsense sorry. It is not my world. I will never belong there.

Posted in Pictures Desi

Review: Trance (Malayalam)

Must Watch!

Anwar Rasheed film, acid biting truth. What is happening in India today, what is happening in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and not just the southern states but in the entire country… this mass hysteria, mass christian missionary conversion funded by the foreign church… the christian mafia owning most of Indian media trying to undermine Indian democratic process especially our general elections with planted and/or bought-over intellectuals, cultivated liberals and left wingers (Award wapsi for instance), with the church as the largest real estate owner in Hindu majority India… etc., etc… This must have been corrected right about the time of India’s independence from the British in 1947. Why is Modi winning. Precisely for this reason. The Hindus of India have finally woken up. Some sections still need a rude kick in their groins to rouse them from their dangerous stupor of ignorance.

The miracle aspect in ‘Trance’ is just the tip of the ice berg really. Catholicism/Christianity today is the biggest selling business-trade and No.1 global mafia. I am aware of this universal fraud for decades now, which is why I don’t subscribe to CRY, UNICEF etc., etc., not even PETA. Every damn single charity like them is a facade hiding missionary propaganda and black money. The masses, especially Indian and African are the scapegoats. How deep this cancer has penetrated into India is mindboggling. From tribal belts in the deep to urban centers on the surface, the evangelical mission/ conversion mafia network is far reaching with its deadly tentacles. At par or even worse than Islamic terrorism. In truth, both the Abrahmic folds are equally lethal. Such a greed! Acquisitions and more acquisitions. Is this all they are after.

Show me one another democratic secular nation (not being inherently christian) where this nonsense is permissible. What is happening in India today is human rights violation of highest order. Bribing and emotionally blackmailing for conversion, trapping the hapless in vicious debts funded by the church (this is true of the lower middle classes of Hindu society), unaudited undisclosed fundings from foreign NGOs, tax evasions,… and more than all the privilege to play the minority card and your whim and fancy to manipulate the majority Hindu in India! This is christianity of you!

Hats off to the Trance team for unmasking the true face of Christianity at least as far as India is concerned. I got to watch in person once, a Filipino catholic prayer. I don’t want to reveal where. I happened to be a guest somewhere in Middle East a few years back. A group of girls started praying. First it started with mild prayers – like a plea. Like a loud conversation with god (!), now that itself shook me to the core. Then the momentum built up. And then the crescendo reached a peak as if the girls were possessed as they demanded and screamed and shouted at god whatever!!! To the extent that I started panicking! Omg, in Hindu Dharma we we sing, we dance by way of prayer but i have never witnessed any tamasha or horror show like this! I grew scared of christianity (as I am of Islam always) right then and felt a relief i was not part of this kind of scheme. My mother worked as a teacher in a catholic institution. I am not totally unfamiliar with church. Upto my 13th year, I was a regular visitor to my mother’s convent chapel. We lit candles during Christmas. But that never made us any less Hindu. Never did I feel any bonhomie with Christ. More like a ritual to me. My faith in Hindu Dharma has been that strong and unwavering. Even as a kid, I remember not trusting Jesus!!! Our prayers were more symbolic. My mother had her share of health woes. We never knew they were grave enough to kill her in a young age. But one thing I remember her telling us was, her catholic convent nuns kept calling her to miracle healing meetings. Yes, even in late 1970s and early ’80s, these meetings happened. We used to laugh it off. We thought of this more like a pest, and we shrugged off the invites. And yes again, we were invited as family to these mass gatherings or healing sessions. My mother was an extremely pious practising Hindu. At the same time she would light a candle in her convent chapel. Like more out of respect than faith. Her catholic colleagues hardly understood that kind of sentiment.

It was only as the years, then decades rolled that I became aware what a conceited web of lies and fraud this christian missionary work is. Brainwashing the unsuspecting. If it has to get to that, they wouldn’t rule out even hypnotizing/mesmerizing the gullible. Many times in my life i have been accosted by evangelists in market thoroughfare or at bus stops or at supermarkets or whatever asking me to spare them a few minutes or accompany them to church so that they could tell me about Jesus Christ. Of course they do it to all Hindus and we grin and bear this atrocious nuisance. It was never my intention to abuse their God, but I always took the opportunity to berate their son of god to them just to drive home a point. I wanted to give them back exactly what they dished out to others. I have been bombarded with Bibles by way of unsolicited mail. Happens to all Indians. Only Hindus sorry. Christian missionaries would open the front gate and walk in our house asking us to convert. They don’t even leave our temples free. In front of the temples, they put up speakers and tell us we are worshiping the satan – i mean, our Hindu Gods. Yes, only in front of Hindu temples, never in front of mosques. You know what will happen if they would only approach any muslim for conversion. Yes, this is India for you. Despite Modi, this is still going on nonstop. Modi blocked the foreign NGO funding for conversions, but the story is different now. One comes to learn that, micro funding to individual christian accounts is still happening in entire India to outsmart Modi’s moves. These christian predators are simply unstoppable.

You just have to follow the Facebook page ‘Noconversion’ to take a look at the Trance like mega meetings taking place along the length and breadth of India to turn this majority Hindu nation to christian. In fact, they have a name for it ‘the Joshua project.’ India is unfinished business for them.

Funny, the christians want to make India christian, and the muslims want to make India shariah country. Joshua project or Ghazwa Hind? These blood sucking abrahamics have the entire world under their thumb, but that is not enough for them. They want now to possess the land of Dharma. They will go to any extreme to see that one of these two monstrous belief systems of theirs is planted in this country uprooting Dharma. Never. Not in a million, million years will that happen. Just see Wuhan. The coronavirus. I am a firm believer, but i believe in Dharma not in the Abrahamic. Never. Dharma will re-establish itself. Dharma needs no fake propaganda or territorial expansion compulsion like Islam or Christianity so desperately seek to survive. Both these have expanded by destroying native faiths, by erasing native roots. They have this urge to wipe the original always and super impose themselves over natives – which is not true of Hindu Dharma.

In the Trance film, the miracle meetings have focused only on fake healing miracles. One major aspect was missing: that of conversion.

Accepted, as such the film is lengthy and can’t go on over this.

Fahd Fazil is an outstanding actor, i grew up watching his father’s directorial delights in Tamil cinema like ‘Poove poochooda vaa.’ Fazil was a gentle director. Nazriya Nazim is as beautiful and youthful as ever. I have never had an iota of respect for Gautam Menon who I strongly believe is a crypto christian himself, involved with mass conversions in Tamil Nadu. His targets are reportedly Tamil cinema actors, etc. How far this is true is not verifiable but somehow, I believe the grapevine reported in social media. Somehow just despise him, don’t know why. As a copycat director who steals from Hollywood, he never impressed me somehow. I want to believe the worst of him!

Mallu pictures are a class apart. So realistic. Sad, they don’t have all India audience. South Indian films are a cut above the rest of the crap. Especially the third rate Bollywood pictures churned out without a soul these days. Resul Pookkutty who won BAFTA, Academy and Oscar awards with AR Rahman for his sound effects was wasted in the picture. Who was he even roped in.

The honesty of Trance is surprising. So very gutsy. Kerala has had nun rape cases in recent past and the criminally accused pastor has been let off the hook. A nun even killed herself. The church in Kerala is all powerful. Communists hide uncomfortable truths.

This kind of honesty also kinds of troubles me at the same time. So here i am directly challenging the Trance team. How many times you mention Jesus so openly and boldly in the picture. How did the picture even go beyond the censor board? Is this an edited version. If so, how about the full length. Do you the Trance team have the same unwavering grit and honesty in you to shout out Allah and make a film on terror? On Love Jehad in Kerala? On the two Hindu/Christian girls brainwashed and converted, and now in Afghan jail after joining a global network of terror? Or even on TJ currently hogging the headlines for their misdeeds? Real life stories. Any takers? Will Fahd Fasil do the lead role. Will Anwar Rasheed direct such a script. Shame on you guys if you do not have it in you to wash your own dirty linen in public.¬† Or are we looking at one more cowardly hypocrite Aamir Khan here. Wonder who financed ‘Trance.’ The source is Middle East???

So is all your show of bravery and heroism limited to only criticizing Hindu or Christian folds? Why do you take us for granted? Because we have the ability to look up the mirror and laugh at ourselves? We are literate? We are sensible? We are responsible? You know what is left unsaid.

So we have to give it the Christians and Hindus of India for receiving such pictures with a standing ovation and grand success. Box office hit. Just imagine a picture on Islam on similar lines, you will know where we score on civilization and culture. On even democracy and secularism. You will also know of the true colours of the communist parties.

Indian christians may be proselytizing like prostituting, yet they are an educated lot. They don’t pose dangers to Indian society. To Indian christians, India comes first like for Indian hindus. Which is why we hindus grudgingly tolerate their nonsense. Can’t vouch for such a trust on indian muslims, sorry.

‘Trance’ has been a great picture with its shortfalls. May be award winning material for future. Must be made tax free for screening all across India. This christian missionary fraud needs to be exposed. Soul vultures feeding on the most vulnerable amongst us. If Jesus Christ wants to convert you to christianity, then he is a shrewd businessman, not god. Jesus Christ is not Stayfree or Whisper dear christians, please don’t try to market him door to door!

I have known western christians and arab muslims. These originals are not at all as fanatical or nonsensical as the Asian christians or muslims are. Respects for them.

 

Posted in Pictures Foreign

Review: Crazy Rich Asians

Watched this sweet Chinese romance this forenoon. Almost felt like my fave M&B paperback.

First of all I want to raise a point here. What is this term ‘Asian.’ By Asian, mostly in America, they mean Chinese. America also clubs India, Pakistan calling us ‘South Asia’ as if we lack our identity. We are of the Indian subcontinent. Don’t America put us on the same board as Pakis, calling us Indians South Asians. In UK, the grooming gangs of Brit teen girls are Paki muslims not Indians or Chinese or Japanese. The UK media refers to these criminal gangs generally as ‘Asian.’ It is insulting.

So the title made me wonder which Asian this was about.

Also mostly the Chinese are stereotyped as the Kungfu type martial arts people. Their films are monotonous right from the times of Bruce Lee. Jackie Chan confirmed albeit with a difference what was chinese all about. So I was hardly prepared for this picture.

The film is completely shot in Singapore. I have been as a tourist in Singapore for more than a week over twenty years back. That Singapore is now history as I can see. The picture is a recent one – from 2018. Twenty years is a long, long time.

But I have to say, still a lot about Singapore may not have changed especially concerning their street food, train and taxi services and pan Asian culture. I saw a very few other faces than chinese in the film. It does no justice to the inherent multi-cultural set-up of Singapore. Leave alone representation.

Rachel, a chinese american professor with New York University follows her singaporean chinese boyfriend to the island nation to attend a family wedding of his. The infamous Asian snobbishness greets her to her dismay. It is chinese in the picture. It could have been Indian. Such a typical Asian mentality i must say! Omg, have I not been through this grind, married for over a quarter century! Is my family any different! I can author a book on the subject!

Whether Indian or Chinese, we have our way of forcing our dreams and ambitions on our children. I am sorry to admit this is exactly how Indian society is. Our children are not our property. We never realize this and take them for granted. We refuse to give them space and allow them to grow independently. Well this is one side of the coin.

During my four year residence in Malaysia, I have met with equally ambitious chinese parents like Indians. It used to surprise me always. I used to think back then, we Indians found our match only in the chinese! Our cultural values may be different but also somewhat similar in many ways. The elderly dominating the family, the family molding young minds from a tender age grooming them for a future business or profession, arranged marriages, marriages of convenience, extraordinary importance accorded to academics, etc., etc.. South Indians are less muted, but our north Indian brothers and sisters are boisterous like, nobody can enjoy life like them if you ask me. The world thinks we Indians and Chinese hardly enjoy life, but it is so much untrue. Our north Indians have to compete with the chinese on equal footing when it comes to partying! Again, i have been in Malaysia for four chinese new years. From casinos to local pubs to flashy cars, the chinese way of life used to completely amaze me. May be because who i saw then were Malaysian chinese not mainland chinese. Even their supper and dinner rituals every evening used to be a gala event. Every single day it happened without a break. Work hard in the day. Party hard at night. Booze flowed yet for not a single day, the chinese reported late for work. Something Indians can never ever manage. The significance and respect the chinese attached to wining and dining was a surprise to me in those days. Food and eating together were revered not to be disturbed for any reason! Most of our friends then were chinese who came home. It was an other world totally! I never got confused with Li or Chin or Lai or Cheng! Neither did they all look the same!

The kind of crazy rich chinese as in the film, I can imagine. We have such old rich families in India too. They don’t belong in our universe.

I liked the fact that young Rachel cared nothing for Nick (her boyfriend)’s family background. She was clear about what she wanted. She was mature enough to give him up to his mean mother on moral highground. That was stupendous. Her strength of character and integrity touched a chord in me. As she and her friend aver, sometimes some of us have just that left with us- those of us bereft of a family background and social circle that come by default of birth to the lucky few. No we don’t have to wait for anyone’s acceptance where we may never belong in a million years!

In my Malaysian days I knew many hardworking middle class chinese as well. The chinese women especially were very smart. When it came to money matters, the chinese were very shrewd. Corporate empires to side walk cafes, the chinese ran everything as family enterprise. Family restaurants were popular in Malaysia. The families worked as a single unit. I only once told them about my vegetarian habits and how for me, even the cooking pan has to be fresh. They kept it in their memory for our entire period of residence. Father was the chef and daughter was the waitress. Billing was by the son and the wife dishwashed. The chinese family values used to be so much like Indian even if the chinese were more westernized. One thing that cannot happen with Indians is this westernization!!! The south east Asians like the chinese and thai are easiest to adapt to the western influence and culture. Yet like us Indians having Ayurveda, the chinese took only their own herbal medicine. Their cuisine was as indigenous as our Indian. The contradictions were interesting!

The single mother of Rachel who brought up her daughter all alone by herself – this is again a very common chinese trait. Many of their families break up. Loose morality and alcohol are the reason although some may think I am cheeky to say that. But it is the truth. We have this single mother condition now in India too. Very brave and intelligent and hardworking women these single mothers are! However, the joint family sentiments are no exaggeration either. Joint family system is the very fabric of Asian societies be it Indian or Chinese or Japanese. Only in recent times we are having nuclear families. In fact for filing IT returns, we Hindus still have a category named HUF (Hindu Family) – where we can file tax as a single unit. This applies to joint family businesses where brothers may be carrying on traditional trades jointly for ages. Even cousins and extended families for generations may come under a single HUF umbrella. Even now this is common scene in India. Only business families can understand this custom and this breeding culture. Outsiders generally won’t. I am not blaming Rachel here but it is not easy for anyone to get a sense of this mindset unless you live this life.

After a long time I was kind of transported to Malaysia! A male chinese colleague of my husband used to get me my veggie ‘kuihs’ every evening from¬† kampongs (villages) that were tucked in too interior. The dumplings we make in India by name ‘modak’ (kozhukattai in Tamil) but we don’t stuff non-veg filling. Some similarities there. Then the rice eating country people! I used to identify more with South East Asians like Malays, Chinese, Thai, Indos over the wheat eating north Indians for this single reason: they ate lots of rice like us south Indians!!! They can’t do without rice totally! Chinese are also much more than ginseng and fried rice and jasmine tea. And mathematics! There is a humane side to them that is hardly portrayed rightly in films/media. Fortunately, I have seen that side of theirs in Malaysia.

The bachelorette and bachelor parties are now common even in India. Once reserved for the well-off, now getting popular with the middle-class. The richie rich can get away with anything stupid literally. Why can’t we follow just the good things for a change from the west. Why do we have to ape their worst habits. The big, fat Indian weddings are worldwide popular. This film is centered around one big fat chinese wedding. Obscenely extravagant. Somehow I believe in nice warm and cosy marriages not in pompous weddings. Haven’t lavish weddings become showcase of one’s social status. Once upon a time on earth, character and wisdom made masses look up to someone as role models. Today money power is what buys one societal respect and recognizance sadly.

The curse of Asia is: the rich and the poor live side by side without any qualms. You can see dirt poor being the next door neighbour of the stinky rich. I respect the dignity in some poor people and not-so-rich who hold their head high come what may. It won’t take some of us more than a minute to tick someone off for their boorish, haughty attitude who think they are good because of their material possessions and ‘birth conenctions’ but we keep our ground for peace’ sake and for sanity’s sake. It is not worth it.

Finally all is well that ends well. Fairy tale wedding that left me with a good aftertaste! The cast is perfect. Light dreamy magical story. Made my sunday! I must say, our Asian guys have to have some guts and stop being Mamas’ boys!!! Sigh!

 

 

Posted in Pictures Desi

Review: Queen (Tamil Web Series)

Queen (Tamil Web Series) is on MX Player.

Directed by Gautam Menon (No.1 copycat and idea thief from Hollywood and crypto (?) christian allegedly responsible for maximum conversion to Christianity along with actor Joseph Vijay in Tamil film industry), starring Ramya Krishnan as Jayalalitha…. yes, this is supposedly the life story of the most beloved woman from Tamil Nadu by the masses, our ex-CM Jayalalitha Jayaram, who died an untimely (and an unnatural?) death just a couple or more years ago…

Eyes pregnant with tears, i am glued to my screen even though most of JJ’s private life was public as well. Her rise from stardom to the state politics. Her topping the entire state in the school final SSLC board exams, her reluctance to join the showbiz world, her short lived love story, her gradual climb to power with authority and strength… We will never see a woman like her for a long time… I missed Indira Gandhi mostly. In fact it was a working day for us in our school when Mrs. Gandhi got assassinated. But what I missed about Indira Ji, I caught up with in JJ. She was the one and only queen. Queen of the masses. Intelligent, shrewd, with an inborn compassion for fellow women. She did not bow down to anybody. May be that cost her her life who knows.

As ever, I got my first opinion on JJ from my maternal granny. I think she attended JJ’s ‘Bharatnatyam’ arangetram (south classical dance debut stage performance) at RR Sabha in Mylapore. The function was presided over by thespian Tamil actor Shivaji Ganesan, reigning hero of silver screens at par with MGR in those days. Shivaji referred to Jayalalitha, the 15 year old, as ‘thanga padhumai’ (golden doll) that made to headlines in Tamil dailies like ‘Dina Thanthi’ then. Her first film happened almost immediately. This interesting snippet was missing in Queen although i do not expect the director to cover all grounds. Supposedly, JJ’s dance recital pictures in black & white were splashed in Tamil magazines and newspapers that won her her entry into the tinsel world.

Jayalalitha was a contracted actor working with M G Ramachandran, popularly known as MGR, who became Tamil Nadu’s chief minister in 1977. Before her for MGR, there was Saroja Devi, and after her there were Manjula and Latha. MGR’s ‘contracts’ were ‘popular’ indeed. It was also common knowledge that Jayalalitha’s impending marriage to Shobhan Babu, Andhra actor, was done away by MGR. JJ was manipulated throughout her life. First it was her mother who stage-managed her, then it was her co-actor MGR before she fell into the hands of some ‘vested interests.’

Shobhan Babu passed away a few years before JJ. Every time I pass his house and his bust (what for??), i can’t help thinking of his love affair with Jayalalitha in the ’70s. In fact on his demise, I half-expected JJ to turn up for his funeral. No chance, still. There was and is a secret love child, now into her 40s, as grapevines had/have it. Shobhan became one more man who hardened Jayalalitha into toughest woman with his cowardice.

JJ’s relationship with MGR may have been an open book but looking at the old black & white and colour pictures that came later, the bond that they shared is pretty evident. There is more than hero worship in JJ’s eyes for MGR. True, she had none to blame. Much of her pain and suffering was self-inflicted. After Vaijayanthi Mala, Rekha and Hema Malini from Tamil Nadu who graced Bollywood, it should have been Jayalalitha next before Sri Devi’s turn. Reportedly she turned down a Raj Kapoor offer on MGR’s diktat. MGR could have made a star out of JJ, but she also in turn seems to have paid a heavy price. A stint in Bollywood could have changed Jayalalitha’s life completely freeing her from MGR’s clutches.

I have no memory of JJ’s film life. By mid ’70s she was already out of films entering the next phase of her life. But it was the time when I discovered pictures. The earliest memory of mine about Jayalalitha is her appointment as propaganda secretary for ADMK. We had a maid in our house when I was a little girl. She was smitten with MGR those days. I remember her spinning colourful tales to me and my sis from MGR picture stories as she hounded the cinemas almost every week. Almost always the heroine of the subject would be Jayalalitha. My fondest memory is pleading our teenage maid to tell us the story of ‘Kannithai’ (virgin mother). Many many more films of those times. This might have been between 1972-1978 )ofcourse by 1978 MGR was already the CM and JJ had quit films since long). This is how Jayalalitha became familiar to me at a very young age. I hadn’t watched a single film of her until we bought our own tv (in 1977) but I had listened to her film stories from a huge fan of hers describing to me scene by scene, dialogue by dialogue. The on-screen and off-screen pair’s unbeatable winning combo was also JJ’s debut film ‘Aayirathil oruvan’ (one in a thousand). They went on to dazzle the silver screens for a decade almost as lead hero and heroine.

I don’t remember having any political opinion on JJ therefore when she entered politics somewhat backdoor. Jayalalitha became a part of active memory for most of us only since she became our chief minister for the first time in 1991. I remember watching live her oath taking in tv. This is however for the next series.

The series closes with a rising Jayalalitha, pushed from MGR’s funeral cortege by Janaki Ramachandran’s kith and kin. Her phenomenal rise in Tamil Nadu politics is national news. The single shove that sent her reeling down the carriage forever uplifted her in public memory as the still was played repeatedly in tv winning JJ public sympathy. That combined with the sympathy wave for Congress after Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination (ADMK had tied up with congress for 1991 elections) saw her becoming the state’s first woman chief minister. She was only 43 then. The next series will hopefully start with her ascension to power and her way of conducting administration.

We Tamils have felt safest and securest when Jayalalitha was around. Civic administration was its best – long before Swachch Bharat got enforced. Every ten foot stood a cop on patrol day and night around the city. I was once surprised to find two women constables in Aalaiamman temple in T. Nagar where I had gone visiting (2003 or 2004) for cooking and offering sweet jaggery pongal for Mother Goddess within the temple premises. The temple, even if at the heart of the city, was deserted that noon. Two women cops gave me and my aunt some interesting company. They even drew water with us from the temple well for cooking ‘pongal’. May be that kind of overt security was not the need of the hour but there was not a square inch of the metro that was not under police surveillance in Jayalalitha period. Impeccable law and order. CCTVs arrived later. I have a lot to say on JJ. I have blogged much in the past about her. But nothing is concise enough to put down here. I will keep some info for the next series of Queen. I have seen JJ touch women’s life. In this part of the world, it mattered. It is such a basic but powerful thing that couldn’t be missed. Health center physicians met regularly every week in Rippon Building in JJ’s times. I came to know of this through the car driver of a lady gynaec who used to have an easy time in DMK reign. New born girl babies’ health and infant mortality stats were high on agenda, as JJ took a personal interest in women’s affairs. Never were the health centers run with such an efficacy as in JJ’s period. Even today if you walk into govt primary health centers run by state govt in Tamil Nadu, you can see how well it is run and managed and how hygiene is maintained. And it is almost free or heavily subsidized. Rare to see corporation/govt run clinics on their toes. She put into place a good and functional system regularizing the basics. Hopefully the set-up holds good after her.

Watching Queen, I reminded myself the reason why JJ accorded priority to women’s issues. She became the one true ‘kannithai.’ – the unwed Amma.

Jayalalitha passed away in power on her fourth term as the state’s CM. She returned to power effortlessly not even battling it out tough the final time as her deteriorating health took a heavy toll on her after her brief spell in Bangalore prison. The masses were aware, how much of her wealth was self-earned. Long before she joined politics, JJ was already a star. She was born with silver spoon and attended the finest convent in the city. If JJ had to suffer a sentence for corruption, I wonder what must be the case of EVERY SINGLE INDIAN POLITICIAN. Vendetta politics killed Jayalalitha. Disloyalty¬† shadowed JJ right through her life. What a tragedy. Not having a single human being to love or trust being so powerful, so beautiful, so successful, so classy, so wealthy. The unfairness of her Bangalore prison stint still hurts me and millions of Tamils. She did not deserve it. Okay, let me wait for the next series.

Ramya Krishnan is trying her best to justify her role as Jayalalitha in Queen but she has large shoes to fill in. I don’t have the names of those who have played the roles of younger JJ – first as a pre-teen and upto 15 years first and then as JJ in her twenties. They both have done a stupendous job. The MGR character selection is also good. It is possible that the actors have been chosen for their resemblance to original characters and also for their good mimicking of the stars’ mannerisms. JJ’s pout especially with her slightly upturned lower lip. Very characteristic of her and the one who played JJ in her twenties has tried her best. Still has not got it! Okay almost there.

Back in 1960s or 70s we had no mass media. Only by late 70s and early 80s, most of us got home even a black & white tv set. So it is interesting to watch the MGR JJ scenes being played out. Not much of info on Sandhya, also an actress and JJ’s mother. Not a happy childhood for JJ. Her whole life was an untold tragedy even if she was too good for the state. How could someone have lived such a lonely life entirely, yet become the CM of a male chauvinist province. Who cried for Jayalalitha when she lay lifeless. Which kith and kin. Her loneliness from the start is what breaks my heart.

Jayalalitha Jayaram will always be my heroine No.1. Bollywood did not have the fortune of having her because she was destined for greater glory. Although I became aware of her from the 1990s only, ever since i had paid her great attention. Her upright governance, how she took things head on and made the men squirm at her foot – won her accolades from every quarter. She toughed it out bravely and singly in an all-male world. Not even in my wildest dreams did i think that her chapter would draw to a close so soon. I will wait for the next series of Queen.

There is no point in making this biopic if it is not going to be true or honest enough. I hope the director-producer keep this vital point in mind. I have nothing to say on screenplay/direction because this is a known script. You know what is coming.

Posted in Pictures Desi

Who cares whether Tiger is Zinda or not.

Can’t be making a more stupid film.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/how-sushma-swarajs-intervention-led-to-evacuation-of-kerala-nurses-from-iraq/articleshow/70578015.cms

The thing is, only women from non Islamic countries serve as field nurses or nursing assistants in any part of the world. Right there the Paki nurse concept fails in the picture Tiger Zinda Hai. Islamic field nurses serving kafir patients must be blasphemy, right! Did the makers of ‘Tiger zinda hai’ realize that. You just committed a grievous one misters. Women nurses from islamic countries may be restricted to serving their own hospitals, and who knows in fact to only female patients. Mostly in Middle East, we see either Indian nurses or Filipino nurses or at least Sri Lankan nurses, none other. Even in India, it is rare to come across a muslim female nurse for the simple reason, the community may not be permitting them to serve non muslim patients. So 99.99% of the broadminded serving Indian nurses are either Hindu or Christian. I am yet to come across a muslim female nurse working for a medical hospital in India. I have to laud the Christian community in India for their service mindedness when it comes to working with the sick. As far as it comes to serving humanity in the most earnest way, I doubt whether muslims have such a generous big heart. To touch and clean a kafir male patient, hold his bedpan. Will a trained islamic field woman nurse do it. Can she do it. Can she change his dress and dressings.. Can she give him a sponge bath. Whole body bath. Just who are you kidding guys. Hindu Dharma and even Christianity for that matter, do not set boundaries when it comes to serving humanity. There is just no limit to serving mankind for us. Producer-director of ‘Tiger zinda hai’ – you made a complete and cruel mockery of one of the noblest professions of the world serving fellow humans who are suffering and who need a healing touch. Show me a single muslim woman staff nurse doing the kind of motherly-sisterly selfless humanitarian service to a kafir male patient. Interestingly, the contrary holds true. Non kafir male or female assistants and paramedics can nurse muslim men or women when they may be sick. One way road.

It is upsetting therefore to watch such white lies like: (praying) (here too!)(Tableeghi jamaat or what) Pakistani muslim women nurses cast on EQUAL FOOTING with serving Indian nurses working in a hospital in war torn region of Middle East. You cannot ridicule the sisterhood of Indian nursing community more. Outright assault on our entire medical fraternity and principles. Pakistanis are world renowned for taking lives, never for gifting life.

Secondly, our intelligence agency doing a job with theirs is insane, an insult to my India and especially our Kashmiris. Just read about a Kashmiri Hindu woman’s travails. How the Pathans came down in 1947 from Pakistan raping from home to home any and every Hindu Kashmiri little girl to granny. India has had a Mumbai 26/11 not long ago. A Kargil before that when our soldiers were captured, tortured to death with their bodies mutilated beyond recognition. India has also suffered multiple bomb blasts orchestrated by ISI in various cities including in our Stock Exchange and in business districts of busy metros. Even for making money across the border, one should not be making such thoughtless films. Oh, ‘Tiger zinda hai’ is not a thoughtless film. Probably it was made after considerable and careful thought to portray terrorists as good samaritans and plant a seed of self doubt and mistrust in the minds of the Indian masses. By whom? I am coming to that.

Thirdly, Cannot digest Pakistan flag flying level with ours. In a real life incident our ex Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj did rescue some 45 Indian nurses stranded in war torn parts of middle east. In which Pak had zero role to play. It is reckless and demeaning to credit Pak with anything as good as this one, even if this is just a picture.

Fourthly it means, the film must have been funded by the D gang from across the border, no second thoughts on that. You can guess from the casting crew: Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif. To paint a rosy picture of their terrorist intelligence agency, one must be hand in gloves with them. One of them. Why was the picture even released in India. How did our sensor board approve it.

What is the need to project our adversaries to this extent is what I cannot understand. More than trying to show them as THE BEST, the producers have gone to the length of showcasing their spies in good light.

You have to be sick for producing such a trash film, it’s an assault on our intelligence and I felt like puking. Bastards.

Finally showing our own Indian muslim in Salman’s team to be the ultimate sacrificing patriotic guy is the last straw. I do respect some (not all) Indian muslims, but any trust, I will not put in them. I am not comfortable with them. I tolerate because we have to be polite and civil to each other for the nation’s sake. Where such a decorum has to be maintained, and/or if situation demands, I will play up to my expected role.

As far as India is concerned, no combined effort on any front with Pakistan. Pak lies in history. We don’t want to have anything to do with them. Never.

‘Tiger zinda hai’¬† is out and out a terror project. I regret I had to see it.¬† I regret watching this nonsense. GLORIFICATION OF TERRORISTAN, TERROR AND TERRORISM at its best.

 

Posted in Pictures Foreign

Unbroken (English)

Watched this second world war picture ‘Unbroken’ based on real life story of American military man Louie Zamperini. No idea who the cast were.

Louie is an Olympic athlete representing America in the 1936 games. Later his flight with Phil, Mac and other military men crashes. The duo Louie and Phil survive a grueling and record 47 days baked and famished, adrift in the ocean before being saved (?) by the Japanese military.

The land is no better as the two men discover. ‘The bird’ as nicknamed by the POW American soldiers, is in charge of their garrison. The Japanese man exhibits a sadistic streak isolating Zamp and taking his wrath out on him repeatedly, trying to break his spirit. As the war is drawing to a close, the jail warden fails to break Zamp who undauntedly challenges the cruel Japanese in his own way. From getting battered and bruised for no reason to working the coal mines of Japan to lifting heavy iron bars, Louie’s mental strength is stretched maximum to break his spirit. His stamina, pretty impressive! Without such a stamina to match his unyielding willpower, our hero would have been lost. May be it got to do with his Olympic training. The one and a half month in the sea must also have hardened our man. When all ploys fail, Zamp is tempted with bribes that could change his plight overnight. Louie Zamperini refuses to bow down, remaining strong until the end.

Reminded me of our own national hero Abhinandan who with his MIG downed the F16 flewn by  Pak airforce man in the aftermath of Balakot. How proud he made India!

War is over and the the prisoners of war return to America after the ordeal. Louie and Phil get married and have families, remaining friends life long. Louie turns to god as he discovers peace in forgiveness over revenge. He realizes his dream of running in Tokyo Olympics in grand old age (his 80s). He makes peace with his former Japanese captors but Bird still refuses to see him. The film ends here.

War pictures are not my cup of tea. However this one was different. No explicit brutal war scenes that could make one flinch.

War is not rosy.

I only have this question to ask America. So you know war brutality. Still why do you force it on so many nations. How much more oil do you want. I can say this because I am an unbiased Hindu from neutral India. I am neither a muslim nor a christian both by race and/or religion. I belong everywhere and nowhere. I also know that, none can play games with my strong India. That gives me a sense of security.

Hollywood may make a war picture like this one, but Japan won’t. I have never seen a picture on Hiroshima Nagasaki bombings that wiped millions in a flash of a second. There have been Pearl Harbour, The Schindlers’ List etc., etc. They have been good. But nothing from Asian perspective. A coin has two sides.

They say all is fair in war and love.

Neither the First world war nor the Second world war concerned most other nations, especially Asian. As if India’s 1000 year siege under the islamic invaders and the British was inadequate, these wars were unnecessarily inflicted upon us. India was robbed totally by the Brits and left threadbare. And today these guys have the audacity to talk about immigrants. How about returning our stolen Kohinoor diamond Queen Elizabeth? Only UK can royally boast the loots from Asia and Africa with such a misplaced pride. And now a phony care for wildlife. After shooting to extinction nearly most of the world’s exotic species in African and Indian wilds. Natives have always lived with wildlife. Never hunted them down.

As for America, I wonder how many Americans ponder over the Indians wiped out entirely – ethnic cleansed to some ninety nine percent. Who will make films on the Red Indians. Or Aborigines of Australia. Or the Maoris of New Zealand.

Sorry, such pictures still fail to move me. Pretty much like Louie Zamperini, I remain untouched! But I respect the fierce individual spirit of Zamp. This is what captivated me most about the picture. What he endured, how he endured. First of all there was no self-pity. There was no question of giving up on life. His survival was a constant factor. You knew that from his attitude. Revenge lay in mere staying alive, a fellow American POW in Tokyo tells Zamp in their camp.  How true. Living well is the ultimate tit-for-tat.

In a nation that is re-discovering our lost identity since Independence from the British, after a terror reign of nearly 800 years under the Moghuls etc., India is only now picking up pieces and trying to move on. War movies therefore have least effect on me.

Sometimes I feel even a sense of anger when I watch such pictures. The goodness of it all, I appreciate. But not having the courage or honesty to tell the whole or entire story comes as a big disappointment.  But then after all, history is scripted by winner with additions and deletions replete. Although Zamp impressed me with his physical stamina and mental strength, Bird earned my respect as well, refusing to see Zamp on reconciliation. Japan had much, much to lose.

Posted in Pictures Desi

Pariyerum Perumal (Tamil) and Petta (Tamil)

Close on the heels of Petta, the Rajni Kanth superhit in the cinemas, happened to watch the Pongal screening of Pariyerum Perumal in tv. Nothing to write about Petta except that you see the young Rajni of his 30s-40s from late 80s and 90s with the same inimitable hairstyle, body and action of his. Why, Rajni even goes the extra mile to reenact the cigarette trick for his fans, his trademark style from 1970s which catapulted him to instant fame in Tamil cinema. That brings to your eyes the Rajni who we all fell in love with as school/college kids. He was such a fun in those days (no more now)! Well, Petta is somewhat an attempt to recapture that lost magic for Tamil audience. To some extent I must say, the production team succeeded. The picture is a reminder why Rajni became legend Rajnikanth the Superstar. And now touching 70, he has made the junior actor-directors Sashi Kumar and Vijay Sethupathi look pale and insignificant which is incredulous! I have always loved these two and I admire their current works. They are the best that could be happening to present day Tamil cinema, and yet how Rajni overshot them to cult status is unbelievable OMG! Nawazuddin Siddique’s first Tamil role I hope? He must know he will have to only play second fiddle in south stories yet he has made a brave attempt speaking Tamil without a dubbing artist’s help? The heroines Simran and Trisha are not even in the game! Such is the powerful screen presence of Rajni Kanth that all other stars fade in his presence! Neither has Rajni lost touch with his most natural acting form, that which pulled him to the forefront. In comparison, how unfit and pathetic the bloated heroes of today look! Weak and insufficient – that goes for Nawazuddin Siddhiqui! This is the only point I want to make about Petta: Age is just a number. The vigour and vitality called Rajni Kanth remains with you long after you leave the IMAX studios. Many language people watched the picture, different nationalities. How the crowds come to their feet when the Thalaivaa makes his first screen appearance!!! Kudos to new director Karthik Subburaj for not letting the film drag for a single moment. No time even for humour and romance in the considerably lengthy picture. You don’t fidget for 2.5 hours in your seat at all anytime which could be the greatest scoring point for the director. And finally the cinematography merits a standing ovation: Uttar Pradesh captured at its best. Overhead shots of locations known and imprinted in the memory of Indian masses given a fresh and interesting look and angle. Really appreciate that!

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I was aware Pariyerum Perumal received critical acclaim. Because it was screened yesterday the day of Pongal, I was busy and so happened to miss the opening scene and one or two more scenes. Caught up with that mostly in You Tube, yet waiting for a repeat watch.

One of the best of 2018, a clear contender for national/international Awards this year, you cannot relate a story better. Mari Selvaraj who has penned the screen play and dialogues is a man to watch out for. Directed by Pa Ranjith now known for this genre of scripts, the film still meets more than your expectations. I haven’t heard a story told more earnestly. At the end of day, I found myself shedding quiet tears in shame. Rather than vengeance as sought by Petta Rajnikanth, Pariyan seeks introspection. His character is solid. I grew up watching KB films, but I reckon, this generation of film makers is a different breed and their powerful way of storytelling may not subscribe to conventional norms yet their message reaches you across the most impressive way it can. It is not always the sophisticated Mani Ratnam way or KB way but it is raw and bare naked truth that we cannot overlook. Compulsive and lingering.

About the film content, it is tight script with not a single frame wasted. For a reasonably new team this is commendable. No loose ends untied. Not a single extra word spoken. Just what is necessary.

And what a timing! We have just had the 10% reservation quota for FCs passed in both houses in the Parliament which I view as darkest day in Indian democracy. I wish those who pushed for the bill happened to watch the picture.

Wouldn’t want to discuss it anymore. The film comes with subtitles. It has to be viewed with an open and fresh mind. And an unbiased one.

Just that the questions asked by Kadhir who plays the lead role Pari keep ringing in my ears:

Why should I not (come here)?

What is that you (people) want?

I will be here and I will learn what I want to . You can do nothing about it and I will do what I want to do.

Translated into English, the dialogues lose their intended effect. They come out so well in native Thamizh. The hero’s indignation for the injustice he suffers is substantiated and appreciable, still he abstains from nurturing vengeance. Something our communal political parties must take note of. Distinct demarcation between the two emotions that could very well overlap is the highlight of the script. The biggest strength of the story and character.

What a powerful medium Cinema can be. You cannot make every Indian read a book, but you can make them watch a film with a little success. It is only very recently I completed reading the ‘controversial (?!)’ Tamil novel ‘Madhorubhagan’ authored by Perumal Murugan (blog post pending) The author was forced to edit his original script and I got to read only the edited version. The book is now out in English titled ‘One part woman.’

It is heartening to see these new age Tamil film directors emerge bold from shadows. At the same time a word of caution: do not allow yourselves to be carried away or be used as a pawn in any political game by vested interests. Nobody is your friend. I would want our PM Modi to see the picture as well. To really understand what is Indian culture, how basic it is and how it is not the prerogative of the upper caste Hindu. Indian/Hindu culture also thrives at grass roots level: in our villages. Which is why Gandhi called some of us ‘Harijan’ – the children of Hari, Maha Vishnu.

Another well crafted character in the picture: Pariyan’s father. No comedy track but Yogi Babu seems to have taken the place of Vadivel in Tamil Cinema. Way to go! Love his innocence. Jo’s father and the climax of the picture and the final closing note almost like a post script give the story a beautiful and heart warming finish. I was bracing myself for a sadistic twisted end like some of them do: director Ameer of Paruthi Veeran has that cruel streak. Pa Ranjith has resisted it, hats off! Very wise of Mari Selvaraj and Ranjith to end the picture the way they did. This is why the Ameers of the world never win our sympathy. You don’t have to do like Bharathi Raja with his ‘Alaigal Oivadhillai’ kind of ‘they lived happily forever after’ thing. To leave you with the question hanging in mid air is brilliant direction.