Saturday, December 24, 2016

Blast from the Past

Blast from the Past - My Song Picturisation (Playback) Exercise at FTII was a Robindrosongeet - Noyon Chhedey Geley Choley (I was intensely loyal to Bengal in that phase of my life) - I recorded the song (with Kedar Awati forcing music out of an off-tune piano), as well as shot its visualization (inside the 'Forest' and the dry 'Ayodhya' Pond opposite the Boys Hostel) - Anik Ghosh (then my immediate junior in Direction at FTII) and a young Bengali homemaker from the city played the leads. Here is all of sincere me explaining the nuances of my would be masterpiece to my female lead, in the much-loved dappled light of a Pune winter.

(Posted earlier on Facebook on 24 December, 2013)

Mughals and all that...

One of my great retrospective resentments once I was an adult was the shoddy way we were taught history in middle and high school. The indifferently written and produced text books thought of history as an unending saga of kings, queens and successions, bereft of day to day lives of the people and the society at large. This book does something similar, but in a slightly more sophisticated and engaging manner. I am also quite confused after reading it – Akbar was great and secular but could be cruel and narrow-minded; Aurangzeb was cruel and prejudiced but could be great and liberal, and so on and so forth. The book (The Great Mughals and their India by Dirk Collier) seems to look at the Mughal period of Indian history as one long-running blood-feud, full of remorseless brutality; where kings and courtiers, concubines and consorts did their licentious things, in-between killing and getting killed. Average, or worse.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Talk Fest

The talk fest is about to begin. The listeners are ready - with their ear-plugs. All is well.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Strong Leaders

We have a sickening regard for 'strong' leaders, especially when they die. Death does not change the nature of the crimes - the arrogance, the disregard, the manipulations, the megalomania... And standing tall as a corrupt woman amidst other similarly 'tall' corrupt men is no achievement at all.

From the Others

"BEEING THE OTHER: The Muslim in India" by the veteran journalist Saeed Naqvi is a sometimes self-congratulatory memoir cum reportage of the progressively unsettling experience of being a Muslim in India post 1947. The significant point he makes is that the troika of Gandhi, Nehru and Patel (and not only Jinnah, as is usually believed) were as much responsible for the sub-continent's immature and bloody partition, eager as they were to ascend the 'Hindu' throne in Delhi, with or without what is now Pakistan. He also importantly asserts that the seeds of today's toxic and ubiquitous 'Hindutva' hate wave were sown by none other than the Congress leaders themselves, upto Rajiv Gandhi's times.

Monday, December 05, 2016

Surgical strike

It is presumed that by end of December, 2016 about 95% of the now demonetised 500 and 1000 rupee notes would have been legally exchanged, leaving no black money regained bonanza for the eagerly expectant maai-baap sarkar. The surgical striike might end up hurting the wise medical professionals involved.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Black money

Black money is generated everytime we bribe out of an inconvenience, big or small. I suspect all of us, including the virulently patriotic, are implicated thus. Then there is the perfectly legal black money, like surge pricing, for example...

Monday, November 28, 2016


Fidel Castro: Revolutionary or renegade; Hardly spoken of or enough said ? RIP.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Notes from the hinterland

"The Burning Forest: India’s war in Bastar" by Nandini Sundar is a difficult but essential read. Difficult because in page after unrelenting page the author documents in meticulous detail the grave atrocities committed (as a routine, even boring practice) on tribals in Bastar by state, quasi-state and non-state players, with an astounding and assured sense of impunity and immunity. Essential because even though we really don't care as to what happens to those sub-human poor forest dwellers in distant Chattisgarh, there is half a chance that in some deep recesses of our essential conscience, there may awaken a spark that may light the proverbial fire. The author, however, is not very hopeful. Such are the times...

Demonetisation Blues, Yet Again

There is something terribly invasive and obscene about queuing up for your own money at your very own bank branch (of which one is a 'valued' customer for nearly two decades), and treated as stray cattle being herded with numbered tags. However, while the profanity lasted, enjoyed asking random people about who did they vote for (any guesses?). Thank you Great Leader for small mercies.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Ahmedabad drivers

People with Ahmedabad driving licenses should be banned access to anything moving save their own feet.

Demonetisation Blues

The earth shattering moment when I managed to withdraw my own money from the ATM. Thank you Great Leader for creating new excitements in this relatively mundane existence...

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Once upon a surgical strike

Once upon a time a rat entered a house, and was nibbling at its assets. The head of the house, declared so by 30% of the inmates, decided to act decisively and finish the menace once for all. He carpet bombed the house. The rat probably died. So did the inmates.

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Selfies for home

Everyone is in a mad rush to go somewhere and away... and post a picture back home.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Pakistan in Alpavirama

Pakistan was mostly absent from Alpavirama this time, creating a void necessarily unnecessary. Such unwanted wants is what defines our nation today, egged on by elements who should have been declared necessarily 'wanted', long back.

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Shaadi ka intezzam

Shaadi ka intezzam jor shor se chal raha hai; aap jaroor padharen; saath mein dulha dulhan ko laana na bhulen.

शादी का इंतजाम जोर शोर से चल रहा है; आप जरूर पधारें; साथ में दुल्हा दुल्हन को लाना न भूलें

Monday, September 19, 2016

Smart Phone

A smart phone can easily outsmart you. Ask me.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

I became a Teacher in 1996

I became a Teacher in 1996 - I had taught earlier, once or twice, in spaces here and there, and naturally assumed I knew how to. Twenty years down I am a wee bit wiser...

Mohammad Ali Jinnah

Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the chief architect of mostly Sunni Pakistan, was a Shia, originally from Gujarat, whose adult life was largely spent in Bombay, and who, except for the last decade of his relatively long innings, stood for the idea of a united India and Hindu-Muslim amity. Our history books never talk about this, portraying him instead as petulant, petty and prejudiced.

Saturday, August 13, 2016


Its irritating to find ex-students patronising their ex-institution. Grow up. Your times were no better, or worse. You however may be better, than worse, because of the very same entity.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Organising a Film Fest

The most fun task in the organisation of a film festival is the watching of the films submitted; organisers rarely get to do it themselves.

Friday, July 08, 2016

When talk takes a loong walk ...

When talk takes a loong walk, enamoured of its appeal to itself ... Faculty Forum 2016.

Thursday, July 07, 2016


FTII set to change; that's an oxymoron ...

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Blasts in Medina

Hypocritical on the part of Saudi Arabia and other rich Gulf countries to condemn blasts in Medina, while funding the killings elsewhere, in the name of the Prophet.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Chaalo Dheere Dheere ...

    "Sona No Garbo Shire Ambe Maa, Chaalo Dheere Dheere" - brings back memories from a certain 1997 NID garba - mesmerising, bitter and sweet ...

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Masala Chai with Arun

Coffee with Karan
And Masala Chai with Arun
Which one ?

Monday, June 13, 2016

Only in Kerala

Only in Kerala does the chief minister personally inaugurate a short & documentary film festival; but then only in Kerala does half the population turn up for one, hoping their film will be showing in the next.

Welcome to Thiruvananthapuram

Welcome to Thiruvananthapuram - the outside temperature is 27 degrees centigrade and its raining ! (back in Gardabad its 45)

Kolkata 01

Kolkata is a city I can't stand, but it seduces one to sit sometimes.


I am an attractive, knowledgeable, suave and loaded metrosexual man, popular among my peers and well-loved by other desirables. You don't believe, no ?

Thursday, June 02, 2016

The dearly held decaying dead

Its time the blue blooded film institutes in our country give up the ghosts and let the living take good care of the dearly held decaying dead.

Monday, May 30, 2016

FTII does not want to change

FTII does not want to) change - which 56 year old would ? - ask me...

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Giving Gyan to FTII

The new FTII Director Shri Bhupendra Kainthola and the Academic Council Chairperson Shri Brijendra Pal Singh visited us at NID. It was a pleasure introducing them to the unique features of the NID (Film & Video) Academic structure, including the partially elective-based Credit system of course assessments. FTII (my alma mater) is a great place, with a unique body of students. But it needs to time-discipline itself and acquire simple practices like a Semester-wise (and not weekly) Timetable, a Semester and Diploma end Jury system (instead of exams), Individual Faculty Guides/Supervisors for each individual project, etc. Plus it needs to strengthen the hands of its Internal/Permanent Faculty. 

I am no believer in the primacy of Visiting/Guest Faculty. Its the people who have a long-term and continuing stake in any system who should call the shots. Often they are the only ones left to receive them as well.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Summer in Ahmedabad

The summer has arrived in Ahmedabad in full force - time to migrate to places where the Sun is fun and the days are done.

Monday, May 09, 2016

Bad times to travel

Bad times to travel - with hoards of excited children and their adoring parents unlashed on the unsuspecting.