Saturday, February 28, 2009

Karkare family gets relief, finally....

In honour of slain former ATS chief Hemant Karkare, Mahanagar Gas will today allot a CNG station to his family.

The CNG station will be located at Tardeo and the Karkares will be felicitated by Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Murli Deora.

Karkare, along with encounter specialist Vijay Salaskar and Additional Commissioner of Police Ashok Kamte, were killed by terrorists on November 26 during the Mumbai terror attacks. He is survived by his wife Kavitha and children Juhi, Sayali and Akash.

This piece of news is welcome. I wonder what took it so long for the govt to do something for the family of Karkare. And I am also amazed at this gesture. This will probably be the first time that such a generous gift is being given away to a slain cop. I am ashamed to think that in a country where Abhinav Bhindra gets crores for winning a medal, the dead NSG commandos have only earned a measly lakh or two. While Bhindra does not really need the money, the families of these dead soldiers could use some financial help. But for a reason that escapes my little brain, our govt thinks that 2-3 lakhs is enough to feed a family forever. Maybe it's because the govt officials do not really pay any bills, so probably they are unaware of the "badhti hui mehengai"...?

I don't mean to undermine Bhindra's success. His medal is a source of honor, pride and inspiration for everyone. But can it be compared to laying down one's life for the country?

I laud this gesture of the Union Pertoleum & Natural Gas ministry. And I hope that we, as a nation, can make life a little less difficult for the families of our dead soldiers.

Monday, February 23, 2009

I have been wanting to write something about Slumdog Millionaire ever since I watched it. But since everyone was already talking so much about it, it kinda seemed rhetoric. Anyway, what difference would it have made? But today, as Indians cheer for the Oscars that the film won, I just cannot stop myself.

Slumdog Millionaire won 8 Oscars. Smile Pinki won 1 too. But why are we happy? Slumdog is a Brit film, shot in India. Just like A Mighty Heart was a Hollywood film shot in India. So let us not fool ourselves into believing that Indian cinema has been honored. But yes, Pookutty and Rahman have won Oscars for their talents. Their Awards are well deserved, and so are the congratulations.

But I just wish that they had won their Awards for a better film, for better work.

Slumdog is one of the lousiest films I have ever seen. The film is nothing, but a delibrate attempt to glorify poverty and show India in the worst possible light. Films that focus on the plight of poor kids, blind, slumdwellers, riot affected etc are always a big hit at the Oscars. After all, isn't that exactly what the Westren World wants to see? They want to see us as an undeveloped country with people killing each other, kids having their eyes poked out etc. All this makes them feel better about themselves. Danny understands this perfectly, and has made sure to use this to his advantage.

For thos of you who are not in the know, the film does not have the title of the book. The original book is called Q & A. The questions in the original book have been changed, to make the plot more interesting, or shall we say, moving? Danny has employed very possible trick to show us in a bad light. From cameras, to lighting, to locations, everything has been done extremely carefully. The director has meticulously avoided all locations and shots where India can be shown in a decent way. Except for the Taj, of course. But then, Danny compesates for that also by showing "the real India" immediately after.

If Danny wants to massage Western egos, who am I to object. I am so glad that SRk did not do this film. It is beneath his stature in Bollywood. It is degrading to every Indian. I respect Shahrukh a lot more just for this one decision. I am sure he must be as glad as I, that he did not do the "nasty quizmaster" bit. Though I have no doubt that Rahman is a genius, just like Gulzar, I wish they'd won their Awards for something better. We have seen both of them do so much better work, haven't we?

Their work in Slumdog is almost as mediocre as the film itself. Yeah, 3 Oscars in India don't hurt. But I m surprised that this is the standard of Oscars. I mean, we have seen much better music and lyrics and films....does this mean that we are way ahead of the Oscars? I'd like to think so!