Thursday, January 31, 2013

To Facebook

आप कहते हैं

व्हाट'स हैप्पेनिंग अरुण?

मैं कहता हूँ 

आपको कैसे मालूम 

कि कल सुबह सुबह हुई 

और कल शाम शाम 

कि कल काले कौए ने 

रास्ते काटे थे 

और भूरी बिल्ली ने 


कि कल मेरे 

ढीले थे मोज़े 

और कसी कसी थी 


कि कल मैं 

अपने आप से 

यही जवाब 

सवाल रहा था 


व्हाट'स हैप्पेनिंग अरुण?

Monday, January 21, 2013

तेरे नाम


कभि कभि इधर युहीं, मैं तुमसे बात करता हूँ;
नहीं हो तुम जो फिर यहाँ, अस्थिर तलाश करता हूँ।

तुम रौशनी में हो बुलंद, तुम हो अँधेरे में बयाँ;
तुम सामने हो यूँ खड़ी, और सामने ही यूँ हवा।

तुम ख्वाब की उनींदी नींद, तुम जागने की गर्म चाय;
तुम बाँधने की पुख्त डोर, तुम भागने के भिन उपाय।

कभि कभि इधर युहीं, मैं तुमसे बात करता हूँ;
नहीं हो तुम जो फिर यहाँ, अस्थिर तलाश करता हूँ।


कभि कभि इधर युहीं, ये शब्दों के जाल;
मिलाते हैं मुझसे, कुछ परिचित सवाल।
सवालों के उत्तर, सभी जानता हूँ;
मगर सोच अपनी, नहीं मानता हूँ।
सर ओखली में, मैं नित डालता हूँ,
गिर कर, संभलकर, फिर लिख डालता हूँ।

Monday, January 07, 2013

"You've got to have faith in people"

I have long admired Woody Allen, especially for his unique ability to seamlessly and with such self-deprecating humorous yet affectionate insight navigate the triple talents of being the writer, director and principal actor. The first film of his I was exposed to (very near its release in 1979) was Manhattan. I remember being blown by his performance, his dialogue, and most importantly by his characterization of this doomed yet beautiful love between a 42 year old experienced yet unsure man and this 17 year old wise little gawky girl (played by an ethereal Mariel Hemingway). The last scene, where he runs across the streets of (a beautifully black & white) New York, just in time to catch her before she leaves for London, is very poignant. To his anxiety about her changing, she says - "You've got to have faith in people". That's what it is all about - You've got to have faith in people.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

FRF or The Art of Stewing Films in less than a Minute

Jab Tak Hai Jaan

Skin in the first half, brawn in the middle and amnesia towards the end can't save this expensive wax fantasy with the pulse of a frozen fish. Surprising low - Music by A.R. Rahman and Lyrics by Gulzar. Not so surprising saving grace - Anushka Sharma. London, Ladakh and Anil Mehta's cinematography royally wasted. (15th November, 2012)

Life of Pi

A tiresomely unending self-consciously excited 3-D ocean, an overdose of secular gyaan with an oriental tadka, and pseudo-scientific discoveries about carnivorous islands and vegetarians coming of age. Money not well spent. (19th December, 2012)


A good first half, and a second which is closer to a sanitised (read boring & predictable) murder mystery from Meerut. Aamir Khan begins with a bang, and stays frozen in those mard ko dard looks thereafter. Rani Mukherjee is quite good. Kareena Kapoor is almost there, especially in the first half. Nawazuddin Siddiqui as the treacherous lame kotha underling (cliche, cliche) and Aditi Vasudev (she was the tomboyish daughter in Do Dooni Chaar) as the star pimp's live-in girlfriend initially sparkle in their respective characters. The dialogues by Farhan Akhtar & Anurag Kashyap manage to draw attention to themselves (you guessed it - mostly in the first half). The music is almost hummable. All in all a leap of faith, without a landing.  (1st January, 2013)

Vicky Donor

What a good script, good set of dialogues, good ensemble cast, and the good old Lajpat Nagar can do to a film. (14th May, 2012)

Neros’s Guests

One of the more quietly powerful documentaries to emerge in recent times in this country - the film owes as much to Deepa Bhatia's skilful yet unobtrusive cinematic structuring as it does to P. Sainath's strength of beliefs and inherent ability to communicate with ease and empathy. (3rd November, 2012)

Paan Singh Tomar

After many years Irrfan Khan achieves the unpretentious assimilation of character one admired him for. The film is good. But the hype was greater. The language used, of the areas around Gwalior, Morena, Bhind, Dholpur (Bundeli), was a delight to hear. Reminded me of wonderful childhood holidays spent at my nana-nani's place in Gwalior, in the early 70s. We would sometimes take the bus from Agra to Gwalior. The route took us through hardcore baaghi country and we crossed the Chambal river on a temporary pontoon bridge (the main one having collapsed). (16th March, 2012)

Jai Bhim Comrade

The citation of the Jury at MIFF 2012 while giving 'Best Film of the Festival Award' to Anand Patwardhan's 3 hours plus documentary 'Jai Bhim Comrade' read - "In recognition of the dedication and commitment for over three decades, not only to documentary cinema but to all the marginalized and oppressed communities of India". I saw the film yesterday. Salute! (2nd March, 2012)

FRF = Film Reviews on Facebook