Monday, June 30, 2008

Powwows with Prachi

SOLEMN RAMBLINGS / Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I've been watching quite a few heavy documentaries lately... Night and Fog by Alain Resnais, War and Peace, and Father Son and the Holy War by Anand Patwardhan... My mind seems to be constantly running with visuals from these films and everyday, by nightfall, I seem to be losing all my ways and excuses of comprehending life and the millions of people who comprise it... including myself. This notion of homogeneity that one relies on - does not exist. India itself is a country of many worlds. What will the world be like...? Perhaps there will never be equality - of any kind...

Arun Gupta said... (June 26, 2008)
Its kind of ironic, isn't it, that we admire patwardhan for taking up the distant causes of 'right' things and simultanously endure / ensure a 'wrong' thing like ragging right in one's own backyard.

Prachi Mokashi said... (June 27, 2008)
Well I admire Patwardhan's way of influencing ones opinion about certain things... although perhaps it's not the best way... is it? Personally, I don't think I can do the same - for any kind of a situation including ragging... 'To each his own...' Guess this is called being selfish...

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Sitaron Se Aage

The starlet, who is going to be a star, is happy. She has met Shahrukh Khan. She has retrospectively discovered that college was cakewalk, twice over. And she is going to call back in an hour, as her mobile phone battery is down.

Meanwhile, in a 'heritage' campus, some desires (later to be deemed peripheral) are beginning to unfold - again.

माया, महा ठगिनी हम जानी...

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Hindi Bashing

I went to a friend's house. He is cosmopolitan, an artist, and not a north Indian. We were listening to a recording of his little daughter reciting poems. It was all very beautiful. Suddenly the father was heard in the recording instructing the kid "Say - down with Hindi songs". The kid, ironically, said something completely opposite.

I am sick & tired of these closet Hindi bashers.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Losing It at the Movies

I have been wanting to study moviegoing for a very long time. I feel most filmmakers are interested only in the making part - the who, why, when, what, how and where of the screening experience does not interest a majority of them ('Purple Rose of Cairo' by Woody Allen is an interesting exception).

Of what use is a film which has not been seen yet again in a semi-lucid print by a lonely heart (amidst other such losers & oddballs) on a humid monday afternoon, in a smelly hard-on-the-ass moviehall, an hour and Virar fast away from home ?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Social Interaction

Social Interaction: that's what ragging is euphemistically referred to as by some of us in a not-so-ingenious act of double-speak. We get away with it year after year, spawning new armies of happening young things, carrying the legacy of gratuitous violence and equivocation in subterranean self-serving bloodstreams.

How does one tackle this ? How does one deal with this pernicious worm which has found its way into the hearts and minds of the once-upon-a-time chosen ?

The meek were meant to inherit the earth, weren't they ?

P.S. I had sent the above text through email to the community as well. For the FIRST time in my life here I had a hate message (actually an attempt at hate shairi, in Hindi) waiting for me, slipped surreptitiously under my office cabin door.

For the times they are a-changin'.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Not a Jolly Good Fellow

I have not been behaving of late, leaving crotchety comments on neighbourhood blogs. Sample these -
The IPL times that we live in, whether it be in Delhi or elsewhere, human behaviour is likely to be based on greed and possession based unidimensional stimuli. The original sin is to accept the undemocratic and uncaring raj of capital. I sometimes think that at a macro level the present human race has already touched the tipping point. The Flood is nigh. We may as well learn to swim :)
problem is not that you are not (or cannot be) a good filmmaker, problem is that you are shy of acknowledging your filmmaking wholeheartedly - very typical of ug fvc, who are always trying to be generic CD/VC for some reason, as if being a filmmaker is a disease...

Sleeping with the Emigré: Teaching Film in a Design School

Emigré: Someone who leaves one country to settle in another.

I have been teaching filmmaking in a design school for the last 12 years. Our 'mission statement' is to create design informed short filmmakers. But often we end up unwittingly creating film informed designers. In less polite words, many of the alumni (especially the undergraduates) flirt with moving image a little, but eventually gravitate to a conveniently indeterminate (and seemingly more profitable and peer-endorsed) domain called communication design.

I see this as a clear lack of pride in their chosen profession and a waste of our energies. This problem is less visible in the postgraduates though, as they apply directly for the specialisation, and hence their passion for cinema is a given (in most cases).

I can never understand (or appreciate) a 18-year old who does not have clarity about what he/she wants to do as a profession, at least for that moment. I always had clarity - at any given point of time - regarding my chosen profession. I was going to be a space scientist once (like most children); then roads and railroads interested me a lot; then I was going to top the IIT entrance; later I was going to be a journalist; then an IAS/IFS officer; and finally a filmmaker. I remember getting FTII prospectuses for years together, every year, even before I was eligible to apply.

The first time I gave the FTII entrance test in Kolkata, I was supremely confident and was looking around in the examination hall for 'who else' will qualify along with me. Of course I did not make it that year, to my surprise !

Tuesday, June 03, 2008


आजकल महाराष्ट्र में हिन्दी वालों की पिटाई चल रही है। उत्तर प्रदेश और बिहार के अप्रवासी मजदूर महाराष्ट्र के नए हरिजन हैं। और मराठी सभ्रांत (एवं समृद्ध) समाज हरि का नाम ले मौन है।

सालों पहले हिन्दी भाषी होने का मूक आतंक मैने बहुत करीब से अनुभव किया था - बंगाल में बड़े होते समय। घर की चारदिवारी के बाहर हिन्दी बोलने में मुझे शर्म आती थी, क्योंकि हिन्दी अप्रवासी मेडों की भाषा थी (बंगाल की नजर में हर हिन्दी भाषी मारवाडी/मेडो था, हर मेडो के पास बहुत पैसा था और ज्यादातर पैसा भोलेभाले स्थानीय का खून चूस कर नाजायज कमाया गया था)।

मेरा निम्न मध्यम वर्गीय बचपन इन काल्पनिक पैसों के सुखद स्पर्श से वंचित रहा। Instead one had to be constantly on one's guard regarding any publicly visible spending, lest the locals (who were of course free to splurge) detect a Hindi belt capitalist :)

I believe Hindi suffered as a language (and a culture) because of being made the rashtrabhasa. It became rigid, sarkari and boring; it became an unfortunate overt symbol of perceived northern expansion; and its native speakers (including yours truly) deserted it in droves, taking its existence and health for granted.