Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Die! (a fallout of 25-6-2009 perhaps?)

Death is a curious thing.

It glorifies, it exonerates, it gives one a halo.

A halo you wouldn't have had when you were alive.

As a popular movie of the 90's famously declared in a profound voice- Death (pregnant pause) is only the beginning!

Can one achieve in death what one couldn't in life?


Strangely enough many icons have faced death- either literal or professional whilst they were young. And that has added- how do you say- mystique- to their lives. Right from Bjorn Borg (retired at 26 after winning an astounding 6 French Opens and 5 Wimbledons) to Marilyn Monroe, from Benazir Bhutto to Rajiv Gandhi, from Madhubala to Elvis and now Michael Jackson- and of course the greatest death of all- that of Christ- in many ways, their demise has been their final redemption.

That they weren't forgotten, that their deeds lived beyond them is the real proof of resurrection.

So perhaps Rachel Weisz and Arnold Vosloo were right...

Can you show me now that I would not be killed in vain?
Jesus Christ Superstar

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Monday, June 15, 2009

Obama says....

There's this new billboard around town.

And in these times, it takes a lot to shock me, but this one did.

It was only when I sat down to think about it, that I realised that shock was not the word for it.

Of course we're secular. Tolerant. Liberal even. How could you even suggest otherwise? Not in the minority-appeasement-to-prove-it kind of way, but we're just SECULAR. IN CAPITAL LETTERS.

And Obama- well what can one say? He's thunder and lightning, a patch of blue in an overcast sky.

And we hate Bush. We hate him for what he's done in Iraq and Afghanistan.

We love the Clintons. So what if he deigned to visit our humble land at the fag end of his presidency? He's a superstar. That's why we gave him a superstar's welcome. Why he even got to see 5 tigers in our jungles!

But we hate- no - detest Bush. So what if he's the one who looked at India as a separate entity? So what if he gave us the nuclear deal? So what if he for once looked at us as separate from the Indo-Pak rhetoric?

The world hates him. We hate him.

And we love Obama.

Barack Obama, that genius of words, the striking, charismatic leader of.....uh...let me think......USA.

But we have our priorities straight. We fawn over him because he gave a 'tough' message to our neighbourly neighbours. So what if in the very next sentence he pledged them 1.5 billion dollars? He quoted from the Holy Quran for crying out loud!

So here's what we'll do: use that as an advertisement for the religious text. Bah- its not opportunistic, its not taking people for granted. We're offering FREE copies for fuck's sake!

We're not at all insulted as INDIANS that a religion of our country has to be endorsed by an American president's words. As if that justifies its existence. Its not that abhorrent.

Never mind that the always-at-your-'service' saffron brigade- who sometimes want to be butchers and chop people's hands or sometimes want to destroy places of worship, or stop highly immoral acts like girls going to pubs, have been waiting for this sort of thing to get their juices flowing (pun unintended).

Don't we all remember what a furore a Danish cartoon caused all over the world a few years ago?

Of course in the disgusting debating society we're fast becoming, right wingers claim that if there's a poster popularising Hinduism, it is deemed saffronisation, but we condone this.
Because we're liberal! And not to forget the magic word- secular. How can you deride this action of ours?

Never mind that truly liberal people are upset at this.

Its ok...

Chalta hai! Not a big deal...

But enough of the religious fervour. Just put your butt to the grindstone and do your job.

And let us do ours.

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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Best job in the world?

This is a scene from my favourite movie..

Yeah- I know. Its epic, a masterpiece.

But spare a thought for the people who actually light the fires..

Hmmm- maybe working in oxygen depleted, perpetually snowing areas with ice for water, food only in the spring, having to constantly watch the hill in the distance and having to rush to the peak in minutes- no- seconds, not to mention altitude sickness and polycythemia isn't too bad of a life after all!

Kind of makes you rethink the phrase 'no benefits' doesn't it?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

God Save the Queen....

Reality television is a reality I wish would end.

End now, and be consigned to the flames of posterity so we could never find its ashes again.

But once in a while, it does throw up a surprise. Take a look..

The look on that chick's face is priceless!

Susan Boyle- 'Simple' Susan, now internet star and celebrity.

Yet, after coasting through to the finals of another ode to the shit that television is today, she suffered a surprising meltdown.

What with the media digging up her nickname 'Simple' Susan, the fact that she'd never been kissed (she was a fool to have revealed that to a world that abhorrs virginity) and the tremendous 'pressure' to win- she suffered a meltdown of sorts- even threatening to leave the show, unable to cope.

To be fair- she does have a huge voice. And in the finals- BIG SURPRISE! she was beaten by dance group Diversity.

You can watch their winning performance here- www.youtube.com/watch?v=PtwVfJqBfms

Whether Susan's looks played any part in the result will perhaps never be known- but as my mum- a fanatic of reality television- will testify, apparantly the 'best' ALWAYS loses.

All this for a chance to perform in front of the queen.

I have a sneaking suspicion that the 83 year old monarch would have much preferred to hear Boyle, rather than try to understand the point of Diversity's performance. Though of course, Charles would probably like Diversity- it might be his only chance to be king if the dance beats somehow induce an arrythmia in dear old Lizzie's 83 year old heart....

But the way Susan was handled in the media, with reports of her losing her cool, of being oxygen deprived at birth et al raises questions about both the media's scruples and the meaning of reality television. A simple village woman rising to dizzying heights of fame in her middle age and then ending up in therapy is hardly an advertisement for this sort of thing.

Then again, by now she's probably got a million dollar contract and a US tour- so I'll shut the hell up!

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Friday, June 12, 2009

Spectacles and the Whore

Every house has them.

Spectacles I mean. I suspect every house has a whore too, but that's not the issue here.

We have TWO!

And they're consumate professionals.

Now Spectacles, is somewhat of an anachronism in today's times. Public decadence but personal morality is her motto. And she makes no bones of that fact. I suppose it is easy to be liberal with outsiders.

It was another one of the tedious parties the younger generation is frequently subjected to- a crowd full of people I didn't know kept expressing shock that I'd grown up since the last time they saw me. You know, one would think that in 20 years, the 'baby' is bound to grow a little....

Anyway there's nothing these specimens like than to talk about than W.... No. 1. Fishy (as she was called) had been spotted in a prominent Bangalore hotel with a strange man who was not her husband.

Eyes positively popping with an ill concealed mixture of glee and dismay, mouth foaming, Spectacles' sister described every minute disgusting detail of the rendezvous- from the actual meeting to the intertwining of things. Spectacles' eyebrows were rising and soon they had disappeared into her hair. The 'child' sniggered in the corner and got shocked looks from all present. "What?," I asked, " Its nice listening to a bit of good old fashioned family erotica.."

Needless to say, I didn't see the end of the party.

Skip to 2:00 am.

Then we awoke to the incessant tunes to Mary had a little lamb- an exasperating excuse for a doorbell.

Lo and behold- it was Fishy herself.

And she wasn't alone.

They wanted shelter for the night. Spectacles couldn't refuse her own niece could she, however slutty she was?

And so it was- that in the home of ultra moralist Spectacles, Fishy spent a night with- well you know...

Personal morality.

Yeah, right..

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Sunday, June 7, 2009

Vive la France!

Tears and vodka.

Strange combination one would think.

What is it about supporting someome else? Someone who you've never spoken to, someone with whom you have no relationship with....
And yet, we do so- despite all the cribbing about others' money making. We do so because we want to see someone succeed.

And when they achieve something historic, the tears come.

7th June 2009 will be the day tennis changed. The day when one man against all odds pushed himself to the limit to etch his name in tennis history on the treacherous clay of Roland Garros.
It was also the day when sitting thousands of miles away from Paris, a 23 year old for perhaps the first time came of age.

Came of age in realizing that thats what life was about- picking oneself up from dust and ashes and climbing once again to glory.
There are few moments in life when time stands still- few moments when one understands what life really is.

And so when, on the 7th of June 2009, I watched Robin Soderling's ball land in the net and Roger Federer fall to the ground in joy, life took on a new meaning.
And no, its not an exaggeration.
Here was a man, hailed by his peers and the world as perhaps the best ever- a man who had endured 3 defeats on the same stage to the same rival, still hungry for more. It was this- an undying thirst for excellence and an ability to withstand great pressure that differentiated a man from the boys.

For none of us can quite imagine what it is to feel the pressure of the world- the pressure of history, the pressure of destiny- to be the greatest ever. It is something most of us will never know. But to pick oneself up from the ashes and rise again shows remarkable resilience and fortitude.

So yes, this match changed me- for the better. The dawning of a realization that it was not the past that mattered- the future is where we should look to....

Its rare to have true role models but thats what makes sport so astonishing- one on one combat. And a true role model is one who never ever gives up, who goes on trying until he succeeds...

Tears and vodka.

For that was what I will one day tell my kids I had when history was made.....