Monday, 31 August 2009

Quaid-e-Azam: double dhamaka

NDTV finally took the discussion on the current Jaswant Singh's controversial book affirming Jinnah's 'secular' credentials to its logical end, by posing the question "Was partition good for India?", in its recent edition of the "Big Fight".

I am not familiar with the format of this show, but the panelists didn't quite 'fight', i.e., if you discount Ramachandra Guha, cricket writer turned pseudo historian, shouting his lungs off to get his point across via a video stream and Salman Khurshid's exasperation at Tarun Vijay's suggestion that RSS wasn't party to the idea of partition.

The discussions revolved around the possible percentage of Muslims in India if partition hadn't happened and how that would have served 'secular' polity better. The guy from Pioneer (a media house) stuck to his guns in reiterating that India was much better off with the partition. Surprisingly even the 'Hindu' basher, Ramachandra Guha, agreed with the man from Pioneer, going on to add that the atmosphere at that time with the muslims rioting at many places in India wasn't conducive to the idea of an united nation.

Salman Khurshid, our revered 'minority affairs minister', made the point that it was imperative to improve the percentage of minorities to a certain point where they can feel comfortable to hold their own against the majority. The pea brain, however didn't realise that he was suggesting the same thing that led to the partition of India in the first place. So his point of view that India would have been better off without partition didn't strike me as well formed.

Well there was this scion from one of the royal families that made the claim that with 51% of muslims as subjects, his grandfather's kingdom in the 40s was one of the most communally inclusive kingdoms. Funny that I thought that muslims didn't press for a sharia law variant until they touched the magic figure of 60% (like in Malaysia).

RSS wasn't far behind too. Tarun Vijay, a former editor of the RSS daily Panchajanya, made the usual noises about 'Akhand Bharat', and how India needs a strong central leadership to realise that dream. Now having been associated with RSS for a long time (an organisation I deeply admire for their organizational skills and social work), I did expect this line of thought from an RSS spokesman, but that he arrived at this stand based on his travels to Pakistan and Bangladesh where people he met were apparently 'craving to be united again', showed his intellectual dishonesty and the organization he represents on the subject of partition.

I was however surprised when the host played down a clear majority among the audience favouring a 'United India', and declared that the result of the poll is about even. Tiimes have changed since the noisy India-Pakistan bhai bhai nonsense thrown around in 2005, I guess.

The joker of the day was, unsurprisingly, the guest from across the border. Some dude, who was born to the son of the great Pakistani poet Mohammad Iqal (who gave us Saare Jahan se Achha before he decided to join the Muslim League). His claim that about a dozen of his relatives who migrated from UP into Pakistan are now doctors and engineers and that they couldn't have made it if they had stayed back in India was worthy of a puke.

But ofcourse the icing on the cake was, when asked if partition could have been avoided, the gentleman responded by saying that it would have been possible if there were two Quaid-e-Azams - one in India and the other in Pakistan. Even the host couldn't suppress his grin at that.

Wonderful entertainment.

p.s. Now lets see BigDaddys Daughter come up with a comment longer than the post :P

Sunday, 30 August 2009

when 1000 - 754 equals infinity

Two weeks ago 754 was the odds on offer for a Gasquet win in the upcoming US Open, and now after he's drawn to play Nadal in the first round, the odds jump to 1000.

Richard Gasquet is now the illustrious company of Andreas Beck, Florent Serra and Christopher Rochus (the last one being particularly shameful).

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

My Love

I wake up this morning
Feeling very grateful
To my love
From His free gift of life
I’ve never really seen life like this before
I used to be hollow
Now I’m filled to the brim
With the love of my Love
That is out of this world

I was so unworthy
Yet my Love found me
And gave me so much
As if I’m so precious… takes my breath away

My love lifted me up, when I am down
My love wouldn’t let me fall
My love holds me in the palm of His hands
And says that I’m the reflection of the apple of His eyes

I woke up this morning
Felling very grateful
Because my love has found me
And accepted me perfectly with all my imperfections

My love is patient
His mercy is new with every breath I take
My love is ever faithful
My love’s love never changes forever and ever

My love loves me so much that He suffered and died for me
Even if I don’t deserve it

I was hollow
But not anymore
No words can express my gratitude
To my one and only love

By Twipzy

dr`doofus and Twipzy

Hey all,
We've got two new authors posting here from this point on - dr`doofus and Twipzy. They'll write about whatever they like - so it's not just movies anymore - probably poetry and tennis from what I know about them.:)

Welcome, both of you!

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Streetfighter: the legend of Chun Li [* * * * *]

Now here's a hot actress. I've no doubt it's hard to do all that she does in this very hong kong/hollywood movie.

The story is quite cliched, but it's been really long since I saw a good movie about eastern martial arts and I, like most fans of the fighting arts, for one am really glad they made this.

The girl's father is kidnapped by the mafia and she trains to get him back. There's a bit of magic and romance but in the end, she's still alone. Not bad for a hk/hollywood movie to allow that, hm?:)

Watchmen [* * *]

Watchmen is a strangely interesting movie: it's a critique of superheroes and their excessive violence (they trash buildings and frighten people for eg.).

It's esp strange to see a movie about their growing disillusionment since we've never seen them in a very human light - Phantom, the comic, died the minute they tried to move his relationship forward; Superman grew very unpopular when he showed even the slightest anger towards Lux Luthor, etc.

Superheroes, in this movie, are very human. The hurt themselves, they hate their public, some of them fall in love very unsuccessfully with other superheroines ... the movie is very tragic-comic.

The reason that I didn't rate it very high is because it is so jaded it geared my mood down by several notches for a few days. Very much like a Tarantino movie, because the realism doesn't improve your reality, just brings to earth some pollyannas.:)

50 First Dates [* * * * *]

Must watch.:)

Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince [* * * *]

Now, Harry Potter movies are always good, no doubt about that, but perhaps in this one the actors work less hard than in the others and it shows. There's a slightly sloppy self-consciousness visible through the first half of the movie which, thankfully, wears out. Forgive me if I'm overly critical of this movie - it's from a fondness of the original material.

The three actors look old - they're all in their twenties acting like 16 yr olds or less.

The movie is very staccato leaving the viewer far behind the action - you're thinking, "What happened? who died?" and it cuts away to another scene before you figure it out. (Well, almost.:)

It's faithful to the book again, but that's not a good thing. This time I must criticize J K Rowlings herself for being too unclear and trying too many things at once (probably from growing tired of the subject). There's Malfoy trying to do something, Snape trying to help him in his biting fashion, Dumbledore doing something else, Harry following the princi like a lamb for the slaughter, a whole lot of titillating 'snogging' thrown in -- JKR, you've been watching too many bollywood movies, what happened to creativity?

After saying all that, I must admit I was as excited as a 6 yr old through the movie - all my critical faculties suspended by the magic Harry Potter movies are.:p

Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, 2008 [* * * *]

I've been watching so many movies, I've grown lazy about putting a post here about them. So I'll start at the last and move backwards to cover the ground I've lost.:)

This is a movie about the secret life of an 8 yr old.

He's the son of a Nazi Officer running a Concentration 'work' Camp for Jews. Being a gregarious and adventurous boy, he sneaks out and gets a friend - a jewish boy prisoner. Neither of them understand very much of why they're on either side of an electrified fence, but they're both lonely and afraid of punishment.

Anyway, their bond grows without any of the adults knowing about it. The parents are on the brink of divorce when the wife learns what her husband does. Even the son goes through a crisis of conscience about whether his father is a 'good man' or a 'bad man'.

We see a lot of the everyday persecution of jews beyond prison walls, and the uncomprehending acceptance by the children of their circumstances.

There's a twist in the end which would be a spoiler to give away - but it's very sad. The boy decides to join the camp since he saw an exciting propaganda film his father had created from the camp detailing the fun the prisoners had in the evenings, the canteens and restaurants, etc.

The movie is really very karmic with the innocent boy being a victim of the consequences of adult deception and hubris.