Saturday, August 18, 2007

Wax and Vain

LOL is the word

Aishwarya Rai, the much touted queen bee of Hindi Cinema, the crossover dream of India and latest addendum to Bachchan parivar had her wax doll displayed at Tussads, New York

Is the wax model an exact replica of the lady? I think it is the other way round! The lady with frigid expressions is an abberated replica of the doll! Aberrated because she can flutter her eyelid. Somehow the virtual overwhelms the real. Case of simulacrum turned on itself! A reflexive hyperreality?

I still believe it might have been a hoax, she might have stood there herself and people would have believed it ;)

Thursday, August 16, 2007


Let's look at some of the mint ads which force you to think out of the box or make you wonder where's the box itself! Mentos: Supposedly eating Mentos brightens your otherwise dark corners of brain and you become uber genius by embarassing others for your squeaky footwear in a classical music concert (in SSS no it is not Senior SchutzStaffel, Herr Hitler is in peace with himself, it is Surbahar Sangeet Sammelan) Or it can be about fooling your prof (who is anyways teaching law of addition i.e. it is associative) , thereby taking you to newer forms of intelligence. Elevating you from your aam zindagi to a new kewl mentos zindagi. Chlormint: The first ad with the paanwallah showed Indians are deeply involved in philosophy that the ultimate revelation and the truths can be known on a nukkad. The existential dillema's of western trained mind of rationales, reasones and cause and effect analysis are eliminated by quasi-Zen like unquestioning the question. The whole question of 'Hum Chlormint kyun khaate hain' is answered by a paanwallah. On the other front the still-in-70s Pappi gets to know dimensions of other kinds while musing over kissing habits of SouthAmerican fresh fishes (yes Saiyyan more Guppy, dete nahi pappi). The latest one is about the eternal and timelessness of the world and specifically of chlormint. It is so subtly put by a paying homage to the India's best sport (no procreation doode but kabaddi) Orbit White: Orbit has consistently used gaay mata (holy cow!) as its symbol the great animal specialist with English deeply rooted (and routed) in India. Dr. Dhurandar Bhatawadekar shows the sheer power of Orbit. Doc in a subtle and sublime manner teaches us that after all man is a social animal. A brilliant mix of entertainment, education and advertisement - enterducads!! Coincidently Utpal Dutt played the role of ace detective Dhurandar Bhatawadekar in Hindi Move Rang Birangi (1983). The ad captures way globalization will make a new Indi-English where Orbit is needed by all bachelor-men and bachelor-women. The ad always ends up with Mr. Butt-of-a-wader giving a Eureka moment. Its working! Minto-Fresh: Now this is the ultimate social leveller. The ad creates a unique blend from Laila-Majnu tragedy (albeit this is not), rural amorous aspirations and the forward looking lad from mera gaon mera desh. The message is not hidden behind incoherent syllogism but a simple message: 'Laila ko jab karna thha impress majnu ne khayi minto fresh, bole to ekdum fresh'. The end shows reversal of the fairytale of Frog Prince with the villain turning back to his frog-dom. But there are literalist people who can't read between the frames Polo: For the diehard mint fans for whom life is what happens between fag, Polo is the still the Dalda of Ghee! Offlate it has bear the brunt of punk ads but the image of old man dancing away to young tunes (unfortunately I am unable get the video/image of the really old ad) still lingers in my otherwise cluttered mind. The tagline still holds strong: 'Mint with a whole' which has sustained many reactionary ads and tomfoolery. The latest one shows a granny finding 'kiss ka hint' from Polo power mint.

Monday, August 13, 2007

A Ketchup of Kitsch

Hindi Cinema or should I say Bollywood has further crystallized the already stark abyss between the so called class, mass and kitsch!

I used to relish Zee Cinema and (late entrant) Star Gold for movies like Zakhmi Aurat, Red Rose and a host of other movies which could not get the recognition from masses (and the sneering critics sitting smugly atop the ivory tower).

The lost gems and voice of hundreds of hungry (and whistling) junta a race loosing out to multiplexed, perplexed crowd (seriously its been a while since I have gone in a multiplex).

The last hope for kitsch is also dying, have a look at Star Gold's movie schedule for today (13th Aug)

02:25 V Trailers - Star Gold
02:30 Jawani Diwani
04:35 Main Meri Patni Aur Woh
08:10 V Trailers - Star Gold
08:30 Jhankar Beats
09:00 23rd March 1931 Shaheed
13:30 Khakee
17:00 Sarfarosh
20:30 Swades.... We The People

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

String of characters - 2

Now this post is awesome: Passion for Cinema
[Note it is in Hindi]

Actually I found Tej Sapru an interesting character actor and my mom had told me that he is a veteran actor named Sapru's son. So after writing String of characters I was trying to do some manual web mining (how bout making Amitabh the new generation web miner in High tech Kala Pathhar?!?, no no please no brickbats for this crass semi-tech PJ even I couldnt digest it so barfed it out) and got hold of the link - awesome piece of work, just need to touch up the language a little bit.

quarklore's take on work

काम का काम है हो जाना
और हमारा काम है चादर तान के सो जाना

Jagjit Singh and Ghulam Ali

Well the concert did take place, but the overall experience was a tad disappointing the last solo from Jagjit Singh at Ambedkar Bhavan, Bangalore. There was something missing with the whole arrangement. A ghazal concert where sound and proper acoustic setup is utmost importance the organizers missed the whole point.

To start off there was a lot of problem Jagjit Singh had to face because of audio and repeated howling because of feedback. He had to point that time and again. He also seemed to be in a hurry to finish it off. Personally I prefer still the old school ways of harmonium, tabla to accompany a crooning voice rather than violin, keyboard and flute. Somewhere the sounds didn't blend to create magic.

Ustad Ghulam Ali was a pleasant surprise, all the while he seemed so enthusiastic and cheerful even amongst his instrumentalists. Jokes and अठखेलियां where a plenty as was some serious facts about ghazal, nazm, raag in a light manner to inform audience. His attitude was great that people should not only hear the stuff but also understand it well and get to know a little bit of nuances also

One thing that I liked about Ustad Ghulam Ali was he could not stand improper behaviour from the audience be it howling, whistling or clapping in between shers and he handled the audience in firm yet polite manner with a touch of class. All the while it seemed he has taken us to a ride in the world of ghazals where we are sailing in a vast ocean of emotions with him enjoying the twists and turns with the audience. An extremely humble and yet humorous person.

The overall setup was not that good an experience but it was great listening to the great Ustad whom I had till now met only through digitally embossed circular disks

Monday, August 06, 2007

Amul Macho

Somehow I like the word Macho. Not because of the obvious allusions towards a popular North Indian expletives but the way it is pronounced, the way your lips move to produce that sound. Anyways this is not about psycho-sexo-lingual aspects of English words but the Amul Macho - Toying ad. I have a special affinity towards the ad not because of the sexual connotations but use of the word 'toying' and how I got to know the difference between toy and toying,

The ban has added a feeble thread to debate of censor vs. sensual (errr) censor vs. freedom of speech. Well it is really hard to decide who should decide what people ought to see? Cultural chauvinists and conservatives will bay the blood of maadarn (modern), fair lasses (or was it laissez-faire?) and west-apers

And the moderners would heap invectives over desis, bhaiyyas and behenji's about freedom of speech

What about us, innocent people who just want to build over our Engliss vocabulary?


Well yes blame it on media and hype.


1.a pl. of medium.
2.(usually used with a plural verb) the means of communication, as radio and television, newspapers, and magazines, that reach or influence people widely: The media are covering the speech tonight.
3.pertaining to or concerned with such means: a job in media research.
(taken from

Well nowadays media has gone super-meta. Media bashing is done in media itself. Talkshows, debates etc all heap invectives on media and how we are going the western paparazzi ways.

Well coming to the point it is related to our dear and old Sanzu baba - the apple of sore Indian movie watcher's eyes. Few days back surfing through TV I watched Times Now for few seconds. They where juxtaposing Mr. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi with Mr. Sanjay Dutt (vald Sunil Dutt) on topics of Gandhigiri and getting jailed in the same Yerawada Jail, Pune. Everything under the broken sun was discussed his new tax free payroll of INR 7 per day to his career plan of promotion to INR 9 (errr or was it higher?!). It was only a minute after that that a second news item started bashing media over going gag over Mr. Dutt and ignoring fate of an innocent child being held in prison because his dad is incarcerated and the maternal grandparents are willing to accept it!