Monday, June 28, 2010

Tale of a suicide…

Recently the media (mostly the Anglo ones) have gone on a crusade. That of fighting for the case of a suicide victim. Running detailed programs on what drove the person to suicide, how society is cruel, friends family failed the victim and of course asking for prompt action from the government as well. Finally, chastened by media hue and cry the police have launched a detailed investigation.

Meanwhile, page3 personalities are all over the media, asking for the government to look into how cruel the profession of the victim is, how seasonal their income is and how it can’t sustain the lifestyle of the victim though the person is single. Hmm… If you are like me and thought finally the plight of farmers in India is getting deserved attention from the media and you would be naïve as well.

Yes, the case in question is that of Viveka Babji, the erstwhile super model who earned millions as a model for various products during hey days including the Kamasutra condom !!! Sociologists are waxing eloquent as to how cruel their profession is - how they are subject to the vagaries of the market. How their lifestyle and luxurious clothes, drinks and parties are no longer affordable and finally out of sheer desperation they commit suicide!!

Is it just me, of does anyone else think that the media houses got their priorities so wrong and so completely. They also doled out statistics on how a model commits suicide every two years etc. and asked for understanding from the family and society and of course welfare from the government.

Now, ever since the UPA came to power there have been roughly 16000 suicides of farmers every year on average. Yes, this is the harsh reality of Indian agriculture today. With farmers committing suicide, as their responsibilities to their families in terms of Children’s education, marriage and basic necessities in terms of even food, can’t be met. They are usually reeling under debt to money lenders charging 20 percent interest every month !

No large scale reporting from the media on all this, but the bitch who couldn’t sustain her luxury habits of drinking, socializing and partying (== super model’s lifestyle) and commits suicide gets all the attention from the media.

Socially responsible reporting in the NDTV brigade, I am not holding my breath for it…. You don’t either.

Friday, June 25, 2010

How to be in the good books of மாமிஸ்...

மாமிகளை கவர்வது எப்படி ?

I had written an earlier blog about how Maami’s have evolved in their lifetime and made an attempt to understand their mindset. Now, over a period of time, I observed that some people are extremely favorably treated by the Maami’s. But some who do lot of work are not at all viewed favorably by Maamis. It was a paradox for me but I think that I finally got it !!

Specimen 1: Will constantly yell “Vaango” to every guest that enters the house. But will not do a damn thing after that. But for “good manners” this specimen will get top marks from Maamis.

Specimen 2: This species will fake that they don’t know what the Nakshathram, or Thithi is without any motive or purpose wonder when the next Pradosham is etc. Of course, they will get top marks. They may not even remember a single sloka or any of the rituals but they know which buttons to push etc.

Specimen 3: Every sentence will be sprinkled with “Enga Aathulayellam”, “Enga Koilillayellam” etc. kinds of nonsense all around - irrespective of its relevance to the context or occasion.

Speciman 4: This species will cook shit, but will provoke a positive reaction from you. Usually they will serve with a caution “நானே பண்ணினது, சுமாராத்தான் இருக்கும் ...”. Their strategy is to get Maamis in a condescending mood and the reaction invariably is “Paravaillai amma, nannathan irukku” giving marks for “Panividai” and politeness. One such candidate tried the same technique on me, but got a “பரவாயில்லை என்ன கண்றாவின்னாலும் நான் சாப்டுடுவேன்” as a response. She stopped this technique after this with me 

Specmen 5: This is the ultimate one. Mami’s generally frown upon their daughter-in-laws dressing well. This is Tamil serial induced mentality. If you observe the tamil serials, the one with oiled up hair, with a kondai and perennially in a nightie looking like she is about to take a bath any moment is – THE HEROINE ! The one with matching blouse -- is a woman of low values, matching jewelry -- a woman of low morals. God forbid – if there are matching high heels then -- she is THE VILLAIN !!!. So certain females, who regularly go to beauty parlors get eyebrows threaded and usual waxing facials etc. have tuned the fine art of communicating it to Maamis. The strategy is as follows: “பாருங்கோ மாமி (in a musical tone), இன்னிக்கு ப்யூடி பார்லரில் waxingக்கு மயிரே கிடைக்கவில்லை, ஐயோ கடவுளேண்ணு பிரார்த்தனை பண்ணி லலிதா சகஸ்ரநாமம் சொன்னேன், அப்படியே மயிர் எல்லாம் புல்லரித்து நின்னுது, பராக் பராக் ன்னு waxing முடிஞ்சு போச்சு !!!”. Shockingly, at this statement the Mamis will dote over that female and notch her way up in their pecking order of Kudumba Pongal !!!

So my tips…
1. Liberally, use Vaango, Yenna Maami (in a very musical tone) in your conversations.
2. Just wait when the workhorse in the house does everything and after the serving of the food is finished, dart over and ask “Sappittaelaa Maami” (really musical tone), this will swing the full credit your way.
3. If you are a lazy bum, who has no clue whatsoever about kitchen or how to run a household, then get food from outside for all meals during the day. But ensure that Maami hears you reciting slokas for an hour that is it all your sins are forgiven…

More tips are welcome, send them my way…..

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Annoying book parents

Aka Teaching kids right and wrong…

My family recently concluded a function where my son’s upanayanam was performed. We all had fun. It was object lesson in planning and execution I learnt a lot from it as well. What was striking was the new species called “book parents”. This is a set almost as self absorbed as the Maamis we saw and are no less annoying as well.

This is the species, that probably read Dr. Spock’s books and have been reading books on child psychology explaining how to deal with “newborn – vol 1, month old vol -2, two month old vol – 3, so on – you get the idea. They have lost all evolutionary wisdom and instinct by totally surrendering to books/guides.

You can smell book parents a mile away, they can’t bear to see their child realize the value of “NO, you can’t” as a response to anything, period. Even if a child sez, “Mummy, I am going to stab you with a knife” a typical book parent will respond, “here use this blunt knife, so that my chances of survival are better”. Yes, this is not far fetched. One of our friends’ son used this technique to perfection, by threatening to kill himself, provoking a reaction along the lines of “There is nothing wrong in what you did, the world is just a big bad place etc….” and all that non-sense from the parents. One day, in my house the poor kid after damaging something tried the same technique, and was surprised to see me hand over a butcher knife and saying “Go ahead, make my day”. This particular tantrum of his ended that day. To this day, his mom wants to know what magic I did to make him stop that behavior.

Get a clue…. ? Kids don’t know what is right and wrong, it is our job to teach them that. Yes, by using NO effectively and repeatedly till the obnoxious behavior stops. Also, kids need to get used to life, in life you will hear NO pretty often -- guaranteed. You are better of preparing for that as well.

I have seen parents literally dancing to tunes to feed children. Wanting to know which of the toys I wouldn’t mind breaking, so that it can be given for playing etc. These parents are so self absorbed and are missing the very reason parents exist, which is to teach kids right from wrong.

Trust me, when I made a mistake as a kid, I immediately knew it. It made me stop that behavior. Don’t make the classic mistake of letting the child discover everything for itself, it might be too late in its life, when it discovers what is a horrible mistake !!!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Real politik aka Rajneeti - movie review

Rajneeti is a good movie, which makes you feel that it could have been better. I somehow, feel that Prakash Jha’s hands were forced by the censor board and the super censor board (the congress committee). You can’t have a better example of present day RajNeeti than the process the movie producers had to go through to get the movie released !

There are many characters, inspired by mahabaratha, but the one that stands out is the one played by Ranbir kapoor, he has impressed me with the maturity in his performance, portraying naturally a variety of emotions apt to the occasion in each scene in the movie. He is omnipresent in the movie and deservingly so.

Prakash Jha is somewhat mellowed in this movie, this movie is not that hardhitting as Apaharan or any of his prior ventures. The direction is uncomplicated and purposeful. Dialogs are all crisp and very well written. Nana Patekar delivers on his role with the usual aplomb and with the mischief that is deserving of the Krishna characterization. To Jha’s credit, he even got Katrina Kaif to act in a few scenes !

Prakash Jha is carving a niche for himself with his movies, not falling into the (pseudo) artistic trap that Satyajit ray, Adoor Gopalakrishnan etc. fell into. He makes movies that are realistic and are for the masses and most importantly which are easily understood by the masses as well. In that singular aspect, he distinguishes from the pseudo intellectuals who ruled the “artistic” cinema genre in India.