Thursday, December 28, 2006



I think I am off to Goa. I wasn't sure if it would work or not till now so yeah think I am going.
HAPPY NEW YEAR ALL!!
 

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Tra la la la tra la la la la tra la tra laa

Dum Dum Dum Dum
















tra la la la la la la la la la la



















*************************************************************************************
The one month no smoking mark
*************************************************************************************
(Though I still don't know which adults read this blog I am tired of nicotinous and intoxicant censorship, please to be understanding. besides this is pressurizing myself to stick to it. Not for komal twacha or komal lungs but simply to challenge myself. :)

Sunday, December 10, 2006

I am sorry I can't help having a right arm













I just went down the road from my house today to get change, sleepy , in a skirt and spaghetti. This woman saw me and said something to the effect of ' Shameless,vulgar,blasphemy'..I don't know exactly what but judging from her tone and facial expression -that.
I was so disheartened. Because of years of patriarchy blah blah it has become an unquestioned thing that women have to be apologetic about their body. People who I think are rational in every other aspect of life still don't find that weird.
R was saying that day that she hates stoles and dupattas because they are modesty garments. It is bizzare though isn't it that from the dupatta to the hijab , garments have evolved to shroud women's bodies and somewhat asexualize them.
I am not however saying that it is compulsory for supposedly progressive women to go about wearing as little as possible. The opposite stereotype also is true.For instance if I turn up in this extremely loose kurta I'd be said to look like a cow/old whatever.!
Also what is feminine or 'chicky' would automatically be associated with being 'ditsy' or blonde or whatever. That is because it is stereotypically feminine and hence that is dumb??!
Why ? It's just as simple about whatever you are comfortable with isn;t it. It is seemingly trivial but reflects a lot about societal attitudes.My maid always instructs me to not even go to the corner shop showing extra bits of arm or leg!
Now to talk about blank noise
What really is the point of randomly hanging out at the railings, being yourself, not fiddling about with your phone or bag but just standing around coz you want to.
It is so empowering to reverse the gaze, be unapologetic about yourself and that feeling transcends into daily life.

Once you've overcome physically shrouding your body 'protecting' yourself with your elbows and stoles when you navigate through crowded streets, I supposse you begin to shed the mental inhibitions too and start questioning gender stereotypes with more confidence.



One night at about 12. R and I walked into this really shady tea place called Kohinoor where they were shocked to see women so late at night confidently walking in. I really wouldn't have done that two years ago unless we had guys with us or something .
A bunch of women walking around in the middle of the night is not exactly sanity as many of our self appointed male protectors told us on our night walk.
Male spaces and times are so rigidly defined that to rebel against it is regarded as bizarre naivete.
'It's not practical yaar, night time , you know Bangalore na?'
Spaces like shady bars are so restricted to males and women would be labelled if they went to one of those.
I am also more confident about shedding euphemisms even if it means risking the wrath of my maybe fundamentalist male chauvinistic university exam corrector.


--




Photos from the blank noise blog

Monday, November 27, 2006

Hungry Kya?

I totally totally have to tell you 'll about this awesome site called www.hungrybangalore.com.
It has a database of all the restaurants in bangalore that deliver home , listed area wise, along with the menus.All you have to do is add whatever you want to your cart and they call you in five minutes and confirm your order and then bring you your food.
Awesome no? These are times when I feel like being in love with the modern world.

Friday, November 17, 2006

add words tise ments

























I love being a substitute
I love my commute to work.
I love the company.
I love missing the last bus home.

Duh!
So Sony erricson plays with the sentiments of its target market-the corporate world? - plays with the sordidness of an urban life .


With the samsung blah blah phone, you can live two lives at once. Do two things at once. On an exoticised boat in Kerala AND in a board meeting. Helping an old wrinkly woman sleep on a dirty crowded bus and ..
In the inch of target audience that I am.
Be a travel writer and earn like an investment banker.
Be a trekker and not sink your youth in the flat foreboding screen of the computer.(caffeine aided,air conditioned)+perks ***

'I always wanted to quit on Monday Mornings.'
RECLAIM your damn life man with some bloody car.
even if all you can do is chug chug your car through traffic adventures.
'But I swear that monday morning husky voice sticks in my head whenever I am loaded with work and want to run off to some godforsaken part of myanmar.


But , honey , real life is not being advertisement.
real life sucks slightly more
and those bastards know that.

copywriter me become?

picture caption: Underexposed pictures of hot monks in coorg that i took even as the boat i was on was speeding away. And am not the only one guilty of finding them hot! What connection the pic may have to this post is open to postmodernist/Freudian intepretation. ANd i cant seem to upload it so later ok?
Im getting better at writing crap, I know.

To sell or not to sell?

Things that make me forget that I am a wannabe saver of the world and tempt me to sell my soul to a corporate job.


nice shoes,TRAVEL,alcohol and its cousins,food,ridiculously expensive clothes that I want to buy anyway,
Europe-( ah, well the idea of it, I've never been there), cover charge,
books-beautiful big ones with wowwwwwwwwwwwwwww photographs,books,
cameras and lenses!
SILVER jewellery,
an AC,


Antiques of all kinds
gadgets
pretty much a lot.
A semester before college ends,career confusion remains constant.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

haven't slept a wink for some twenty six hours.And all sorts of Hydroxide molecules float around in my blood.

Everything in my mind seems to have deconstructed itself from conditioned , accepted norms.

When the cop says we're making a big deal out of 'normal girl boy teasing', I want to spit at this simplistic bloody view of life.

And I hand some woman one of the blogathon testimonials and she rushes back to me an hour later, finds me amidst the oppressive Brigade Road crowd, Today littered with the shocking presence of girls just leaning over the railing..

Some conversion pamphlet that says God loves me. Umm sorry religion doesn't work for me. All religions have some absolutely beautiful wonderful things about them. They ALLlack something somewhere , have gone utterly preciously ,ruining humanity type wrong with sometings and perhaps, perhaps , they all have most core ideas in common.
They just evolved to give humanity a feeling of security . Thus they varied in places acrss the world.

yeah so this woman felt bad for me that i handed an eve teasing testimonial? and tried to convert me?

Update:

Still haven't slept much. Having nightmares of a little ghost girl called Barbara.
Sylvia Plath- it's her fault- I've been reading too much.

Umm yeah thaats all, spelling grammer mistakes included

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

You are wanted




Savita: age 22 - I was walking down the road. Unknown hands 'accidentally' brushed against my crotch. Time 9 pm.

Mohini: age 25 - A stranger man in his rubbed his erect genitals on me. Time 3 pm.

Farah: age 16- I shouted at a man who was making sounds and looking at my breasts and the public started laughing at me. Time 12 30 pm

Sujata: age 13- I was waiting for my mother to pick me up after school. A man in a car stopped "How much for an hour?" Time 1 30 pm

Pinky: age 11- I was taking the bus to tutions. A hand up the back of my skirt. I was numbed. Time 4 pm

Sonal: age 13 - On the scooter with Appa. Two boys pinched my breasts as they speed by on their bikes. Time 8 20pm

Piya: age 27 2 men above the age of 50 passed comments about my breasts. I spat at them and hit them with my chappal. Time 5 pm

Niti:age 18. an unknown groped my breast and disappeared in the crowd. The hand is yet to be identified. Time 3 pm

Jaysree: age 19. I was walking home and a guy in a car tried to pull me inside.
Time 6 pm

Garima: age 16 was stalked for 1 hour and had to hide in a phone booth. Time: 7 pm

Laxmi: age 37 I was constantly 'accidentally' elbowed in my breasts by a man in front of me. Time: 4 pm

Alka: age 9 A man I don't know whistled at me when I was going to school. My mother did not let me go to school that day. Time 8 .05 am

Nupur: age 32 I was waiting for the bus. 4 cars with men stopped by and asked me to come with them. Time 8 15 pm

Radha: age 50 I was enjoying my daily morning walk until I saw a van kept following me and asking, how much? Time 7 am

Priya: age 17 He held me from the back and tried to drag me into a lane. I bit him and ran away. Time: 6 45 pm.

Meetu: age 7 was getting inside an auto. A man put his hand between my legs.
I am speaking about it after 20 years. Time 5 pm

Gayatri: age 53 I was getting inside a bus. A man put his hand between my legs. I reacted. I slapped him hard. The public also joined in. Time 6 pm

Anusree :age 21 Man on a bicycle rode past and spat on me. Time 6 35 pm.

Mansi: age 17 Anonymous man kept mumbling, whispering that he wanted to 'fuck me'. Time. 4 45 pm.

Sushma: age 31 A man squeezed my breasts hard and disappeared. Time. 9 pm

And you?


Who we are, where we go, what we wear, how we sit, stand, talk, walk in our very own cities. When we demand the need to make our cities non threatening , I don't expect anyone to think of me as their sister or mother, but to really look at women as citizens who have every right to be out on the streets, without any explanation. Sometimes we just love to walk, stand around, hang around, without looking 'available.'

We experience eve teasing, a sexual violation on an everyday basis but we ignore it, by justifying it as 'normal'. The impact of 'eve-teasing' on the victim is often discounted when it is popularly perceived as a joke or a prank. Blank noise feels that this is also damaging and has severe long term consequences on the mental health of most women. Blank noise seeks to enable women to reclaim their space. The idea is to form a collective, confront the issue by raising more questions, deny denial and heal. Blank Noise works with people through performance, blogging, and street interventions.

Blank Noise Project Bangalore calls for women/ girls/ ladies/ of all ages, languages, colour, and shape to be participate in a street intervention on Sunday Nov 12th. Venue: Brigade Road. By participating you will be celebrated as a BNP Action Hero.

We guarantee that this performative action won't ask you to be acrobatic, but to be yourself, and experience the site you act upon transform. Be the stimuli, be an action hero.

Confirm /ask us questions at 98868 40612. This street intervention will be approximately 1.5 hours

Monday, October 30, 2006

I've been instructed to blog and the only ting I feel like saying is in memory of all the plans I've cancelled because it's too late to enjoy an evening without worrying about being raped, robbed, hurt in anyway on the way back.

Monday, October 23, 2006

The Afghan Women


Come ok?
This Friday, 27th Oct , 7 PM , Good Sheperd's Auditorium , Brigade Road


'You are just another invader. You think you bring us a wonderful gift. You call it freedom. Free from God. Free from family. Free from all restrictions.'


'There is a yearning for a day when one person will be as good as another.When laws, not men , will rule us'.


'You live in another Afghanistan'.

Monday, October 16, 2006

To quit or not to quit

is not a question anymore..


You know things. Ofcourse you do.


But do you know that exact feeling when you realize what you've known all along and completely feel and understand it?
Wait, don't go away.. I will explain.
You use polythene bags all the time. One moment in a high school chemistry class you realized that the notorious thin material is made of ethene. Poly ethene. Many ethene molecules.
And your like oh yeaaah!

Or hmm.. more examples? Tell me.

Today I realized what it really means to be completely unfazed by constant discouragement, criticism . How to do your thing and to not give up when it is expected that you will.
I am a sucker for discouragement. I bend , break and QUIT. Stupid as it might sound , I've never really felt the urge to carry on when it becomes untakable.I move on and then feel overburdened by the load of half done QUITS. Invisibly haunting me and following me tainting other paths.
It 's a precious thing to have that tiny pocket of confidence within me though it might be a tad too late in my life. Like duh! it is. To rely on that little stream of confidence .


Today I felt that exact feeling.
  Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 30, 2006

WHEN I've had ENOUGH sleep ....


isn't it the best feeling in the world to go to sleep after reading a book a true book..not some thing remotely connected to education!
and then to wake up in the morning when i want to.
Not forcing myself out of bed with coffee shots and dazing myself through a million things each day. THAT's why i deserve to bunk college today . and do all these deleciously velaaaaaaaaa things like waste my time on orkut.

I found a friend who I knew in primary school!! wow! we were besttt friends then. We had sleepovers and picnics and played all these dream childhood games !
We went to farmhouses and learnt karate. (I have a blue belt in karate but I don't know what it means anymore) .We went to watch hum aapke hain kaun , a bunch of unaccompanied kids and felt very cool about it. In the pre multiplex era in some sidey theatre , that too. There was a whole gang but I only found one on orkut.Make that two actually. The other one joined my new school and have more or less kept track of her.

I found some others who remember vaguely as well. When I went to boarding school I completely lost touch with everyone and here they all are , gown up and living their lives all over the world . What did I expect? For them to be short and thin with baby voices , ready to run out after the lunch bell rang?
For a rootless nomad like me , it's even nicer to find someone who has the same memories as me. I sometimes think my memories are only mine and they were made in places I am unlikely to ever go back again. It's funny how nice it is to look at the past and the relevance it has to your present. What can i possibly have in common with these people though after seperate lives in different schools , colleges, cities , countries? Just that we knew each other in the first few years of our lives , I guess and that's nice , ain't it?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

heeeheehaahaaaheheehhaaahaaas sorry heheeehahaha sorry no i swear hehehehe


Assuming I have an audience and a sensible mature one at that, I don't expect any one to emphatize with me in this post. Because I am not sensible and mature at all.
To get to the point , I always find myself in situations where I have crazy laughing fits in the most inappropriate contexts!
Today , at rehearsal ( serious , tense scene ) and every person on stage is in splits!

Delivering violent dialogues and laughing! How I pity my director but silly as it might sound , it's hard to control laughter when as much as a look from another person can have you in splits!

Most often, the situation won't even be conventionally funny much to the dismay of the mature spectator! And I especially feel like laughing when it is completely quiet and serious. In school we had this thing called astachal where the whole school goes and sits up on the hill in the evening to watch the sunset for fifteen minutes. I've excluded words like introspection , self reflection , meditation.....add it all ok?

Umm so yeah, once I saw this kid piling sand into her mother's lap with great dedication during astachal and my friend and I burst into a bizzare fit of uncontrollable laughter!That got us into so much trouble!!
And another time I die half way through the play and am carried on a stretcher . I used to laugh like crazy then ! !! a dead body covered with a white sheet shaking with laughter. unintentionally intended spookiness. When the real show happened I didn't laugh..THank god for that!And I hope I don't this time too!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Technology means to me
mailing my accounts to my dad's friend in New Zealand on Sunday night ,when morning just begins for them and then having it ready on Monday morning to submit.

Asking my brother in Malaysia through google talk about how to make rice.
..

and i like this poem

These spiritual window-shoppers,
who idly ask, 'How much is that?' Oh, I'm just looking.
They handle a hundred items and put them down,
shadows with no capital.

What is spent is love and two eyes wet with weeping.
But these walk into a shop,
and their whole lives pass suddenly in that moment,
in that shop.

Where did you go? "Nowhere."
What did you have to eat? "Nothing much."

Even if you don't know what you want,
buy _something,_ to be part of the exchanging flow.

Start a huge, foolish project,
like Noah.

It makes absolutely no difference
what people think of you.

Rumi, 'We Are Three', Mathnawi VI, 831-845

Monday, September 04, 2006

Six o clock on a fresh new Monday morning with the promises of turning over a new leaf ...(in RJVOICE)

Wake up at five thirty to make sense of financials that I got my dad to do for me so I appear slightly intelligent in front of teacher.

Go to french class, all the way know that the metre is fast and consciously tell myself it's more important to enjoy the morning air, the empty roads, the green trees


but scream my nostrils off at the auto drive
and make myself sound like a martyr saying I didn't want to fight 'subah subah'.


Discover there is NO french class and nobody's been told.

Come back with auto fight routine and get bizzare mails such as this.


itz tru i dnt kno u bt i feel tht every beauty n sexy feature f ppl shud b told n thts me thts y my frnds call me hash!!!!!!!! wanna b frnds???????
dnt say no or else ill go on d top f forum buildin n thro a paper as if throin a memory frm d top..... i m waitin 4 a reply




Ho Ho merry christmas!!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

You suck!

I like constructive criticism . I really do. But sometimes I feel criticism is unfair and it buzzes in my head like an unwanted shadow clouding over everything else I do, making me rethink the basis on which I have ANY confidence in myself.
I think we should really think about what we say to people because you might end up saying something that will affect their self concept for ever and it's stupid especially coz you didn't even really mean what you said. Especially to children


How does one react to unfair criticism ?

Sunday, August 20, 2006

old friends..

It's so nice to meet old friends after years and pick up just from where you left off.K , my friend from school who lives in Kenya came down and I met her just for a bit .frst time since school. Just for a bit because of my uncharecteristically busy schedule these days..
Anyhow, ya the thing with old friends is you don't know what to expect. They might come back looking completely different with the usual differences - accents, straightened hair, tatoos ,whatever ..but either they are essentially the same and you are chattin away like you don't have drastically different lives.
or you are all awkward and your desperately digging up memories to make conversation. Fortunately for me its mostly been the former and that is nice, no?


Anyhow , I seem to have lost my ID card again ...and the RED TAPE involved to get another one is headachy..for a non proactive fool like me..

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

What are we free from? Who are we? We meaning , the nation? What is a nation? People living within the space confined by political boundaries. Should I feel proud and patriotic about this fair skinned small eyed , mongoloid featured north eastern Indian soldier more than I should feel proud of a scientist in Sri Lanka who looks more like me?
I've never questioned what a nation is while wearing white kurtas with pretty chunnis , singing the national anthem when someone hoisted the flag.
Ok so we are celebrating our freedom from the British over 59 years ago.

But what a strong word freedom is?

Today I was happy I could get to Vasanthnagar really fast with less traffic for a holiday. That's what it means to me today.
Fine.We are free from the british. But are we really free? Isn't it bizzare. Colleges closed yesterday in Delhi because of a security threat on Independence day and before? Isn't that terribly ironic? What do you think we are free from?
But apart from the questions ...Happy Independence Day everyone. We're free in some way.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

picstory

 
 
 


My name is Zarar. I am ten years old.
I hate school. I dropped out.I help these people with work.

'What do you want to do when you grow up?'

scrap


(He comes from an area whre the main occupation is recycling e waste/computer waste used to obtain heavy metal components , work that involves acids , heavt metals and is obviously dangerous.) Smart kid he is but . Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

lechometer

You must've seen these seemingly useless mirrors in the inside of autos. They are called lechometers. Apparently one auto man confessed to some guy i know can't remember who that it is meant for looking at skirts and beyond.
So i finally manage to see what one actually can see through them. hehehe.




 
 
  Posted by Picasa

Friday, August 04, 2006

Statistics clutter a corner of

our morning newspapers while we put our legs up

on a couch and read lazily...


(first two links via indianwriting)


When your happy and you know it clap your hands.


58,000 rape cases pending trial in India.


la la la la la la la la la


China slaughters 50,000 dogs.


'sing a song of six pence pocket full of rye'



50 million girls in India are missing because of female infanticide.

tring tring tring old king kole had a merry old soul.........


In 1999, a total of 1,35,771 cases of crime against women were reported.


'Mary Mary Quite contrary how does your garden grow?'

The Bombay Blasts killed 44 people.
The Delhi Blasts killed 59 people.
The Varanasi blasts killed 20 people
The death toll in Lebanon is 800.

AISHWARYA RAI INJURED HER LEFT TOE.
This is another story about the alleged war going on between Bachchan and SRK, there’s nothing official about this war and the stars in question, Bachchan and SRK have always gone all out to deny it.

Source :Apunkachoice




So,

what

do

statistics

mean
to
YOU?

Friday, July 28, 2006

d e l u r k

Those who read my blog and have never commented are requested to ahem!
Delurk. Comments are fun.



Today the staff at Landmark must have fainted. I ACTUALLY bought a book . Me who plonks for hours and hours ingnoring sarcastic questions about whether I plan to finish the book there.
Yeah so I bought a Murakami book..Sputnik sweetheart. And a pack of catridges

Then there is a huuuuuuuuuuge line so i wait to bill.

An Arab woman comes with a daughter and a basket of( I am not lying) handbags.
When my turn comes , she quickly stretches and puts her stuff for billing. I put on my sugar coated can't be rude voice and tell her I have only TWO things and that I was BEFORE her.( I didnt say that) she whispered something that sounded like ' yeah go ahead but shoved her things for billing.

Sometimes I can't be rude to people even if it means waiting another 10 minutes for her to bill her million handbags. Why why why?

At Forum they didn't let a bunch of visibly poor women in on the pretext that one of them wasn't wearing chappals.

It's so sad , they were so excited and eager to look around Forum.


I've joined a semiotics class which is really interesting. Opens your mind to so much.Should I switch back to my old template?
and BLOGDOG where are you?

Kidnapped

 
 
 
 
/>
L and I just about escaped being kidnapped in Dharamshala. Technically I should write about this here but that will only pay tribute to my pompous assumption that I am this big succumbing to wanderlust every second kinda person. Which I would be if I didn't need to satisfy an attendance requirement that would give me a hall ticket to write an exam , after a set of which I will get a paper with a stamp on it that will qualify me to further my passions in this world . Also maybe I should delete wanderlust and start another one called feminist angst to filter this one of it

Anyhow, so L and I go to Dharamshala. I am the bookish knowledge expert because usually when I have nothing better to do I read travel books and dream. I did not however with my knowledge of even the Tibetan doctor's residence know that there are people in unlikely places who we will have to learn to watch out for.

Kashmiri man will be called Faisal though now I think that was his brother's name.
He spotted L and me outside his shop and said come in.
F: Not for business purpose, come have a look, see what you like...

So in we go looking at a more embellished version of Kashmiri shops that are all over Com Street. Some one tells me how do they make money? I mean, except for the gullible foreigners who buy things from 'exotic ' India..?
I don't know HOW but it ended up in him offering us to take us to Kashmir and us, silly, excited, AGREEING.

He offered us a good price, a ridiculously cheap price and an overnight journey on a Sumo from Dharamshala to Srinagar and accommodation on a houseboat...

Now Y , cynical , untrusting bitch begins to suspect something wrong.
But of course she is still tooooooooooo eager to go to Kashmir. ( Two days after that major October earthquake).
Then we find ourselves in this dingy little room in a narrow lane looking at pictures of the Dal Lake . L goes on about how her aunt , a journalist has shown her all these pics before.
Faisal shows us pictures of himself at various locations with girlfriends from different countries.
'At that time she was my girlfriend'.
(Ten years ago he may have been hot)
By now the cynic explodes.

He tells L: You seem like a very trustable person. It’s your eyes.
This was in acknowledgement of Y's cold , indifferent , bordering on rude behaviour.

He launches a new strategy. A French woman , he said will be coming too. One that he knows well and is friendly.
A man in the meanwhile brings a tray with three tea glasses. True Hindi movie style , he takes the small one , and we are handed tall glasses. This , he explains is Kashmiri tea. Some yellow thing whose taste I can't remember for reasons that will be explained later.

I wanted to be out of this dingy little room soon and be in the all pervading sunlight
He said we could talk to the French woman
L is assigned the task. French woman speaks worse French than me. And sounds more Indian than me.
We left , L gave her number and we agreed to meet for dinner before pushing off at night to paradise on earth
a) Just had an earthquake
b) Was a 24/7 59 year war zone
( I just calculated 59 years don't call me unpatriotic)
The plan was to avoid him for the rest of the day but Dharamshala is a small town. By the end of one day we knew many many many people and they knew we were south Indian women from Bangalore blah blah.
But yeah before all that I started feeling incredibly dizzy. I knew that either
a) There was something in the tea
Or
b) I was too influenced by Hindi movies
But since I survived I thought it'll probably be
c) By now my body is immune to intoxicants.

Yeah so later , that is for the rest of the week we SOMEHOW avoided the Kashmiri man who eventually got the point.
Yeah KLPD for you'll , we didn't end up in a harem in Saudi Arabia.

Anyhow that wasn't all. There was another guy from Arunachal Pradesh who was convinced we had run away from home and more stories later.

Friday, July 21, 2006

You have to listen to Susheela Raman . As J says , you can make love to her music.
And my college apparently is a soft target for terrorist attacks so yeah , may die.

On water , the freedom of expression and then what a brilliant movie it was

.

With blogspot urls being blocked in India, I've been off blogging and reading blogs for a bit. It just makes you realise that the internet isn't necessarily the free democratic belonging to all space that you conceive it to be.
Talking of freedom of speech makes me want to write about Water a film by Deepa Mehta who was forbidden to shoot it in 2000 in Varanasi when people burnt the sets and threatened to kill the Canada based Indian film maker.
The film is about the lives of a group of widows in the 1930's. Hindu widows had to renounce material comforts, shave their head and were even forbidden from eating sweets and fried food.
This was the period when the freedom movement was gaining momentum and Gandhi was just entering the political scene. The story is told from the perspective of Chuyiya a 7 year old girl. In the first scene we see her, young and innocent, a girl with long curly hair chomping on a piece of sugar cane as the bullock cart rattles its way along.
In the next scene, perhaps the most poignant in the movie, she is woken up by her father who asks her if she remembers having been ,married. She says she didn't. Her baba tells her that she is a widow now.
'Till when..?’, she asks, shrugging off sleep .


 
 


Chuiya is taken to an ashram for widows where widows renounce all worldly pleasures to live a life of austerity. The youngest girl in an ashram where very old women have been living since childhood, Chuiya is rebellious and child like. The realities sink in only later.
A child has not yet been conditioned to settle in the niche that a rigid society has reserved for her; she responds instinctively , intuitively to situations. For instance she asks the Hindu priests where male widows went and this is blasphemous to the women who have been conditioned from birth to LIVE for the male. They pray that such a fate never befalls their men and she is accused of uttering inauspicious words. Whether its revenge towards the bossy Madhumati or thoughtfulness for the very old widow whose only desire in life is to eat sweets that she has been denied from the time she was widowed as a child , Chuyiya's response is natural and spontaneous. The child's voice is the rational , unbiased voice.
When she first comes to the ashram , she harbours dreams of returning home but later she realises she can't. She befriends Kalyani (Lisa Ray) who is pimped by the leader of the ashram ,Madhumati (Manorama) and is the only one who is allowed long hair.

Narayan , an idealistic law student enters their lives and falls in love with Kalyani.

 
He is Gandhian and wants to work for the emancipation of widows. Talking of Raja Ram Mohan Roy and admitting to his conservative mother (played by Waheeda Rehman) that he wants to marry a , god forbid, Widow ....does he succeed?
His progressive father supports him but is he really that progressive?
Child abuse in the movie is portrayed realistically , without the drama. Chuiya enters the room saying ' I've come to play'. And it breaks your heart.

The situation of widows in India has improved in the last 70 years or so and a majority of widows don't have to live seperately in ashrams.
As Narayan reasons in the film , it was never about relegion , it was about money , about having one person less to feed in the household. Shakuntala(Seema Biswas) who has led the life of a ‘good widow’ wonders what to do if her faith clashes with her conscience. The characters are important in raising different questions. The rich bramhin male , the pious widow , the child , the educated idealist, the prostitute , the male priest.
He says that there is a new law that has been passed about widow remarriage. When Shakuntala asks him why she doesn't know about it he says that laws that aren't in tandem with religion are ignored.






I don't however think that the argument that portrayal of India as a backward, primitive culture to draw western audiences holds good as this person thinks so.



Please listen. If a widow remains a pure widow, she is respected. If she wants to lose the respect, she can remarry. Nobody goes and burns a widow if she remarries. But if she wants pleasure, naturally she will have to give up name and opt for pleasure.
Does an average Indian woman have an option?
Who prevents her? Tell me.’




Sure , there is technology ,IT , the booker prize , path breaking research in every fuckin field there is but isn't that a small part of the population?
Isn't there hypocrisy as well? The biotechnologist mother and the software engineer father still want to abort a female foetus. It is the same patriarchy that ostracized widows , that murders baby girls , that made a girl’s marriage more important and her Phd not at all.



Water has some brilliant performances. Sarala who plays Chuiya was amazing and surprisingly even John Abraham sheds his glamorous image to do a brilliant job. Lisa Ray is a tad too anglicized but she does a decent job but Nandita Das would have been better.Seema Biswas is good too.The cinematography is lovely with locales in Sri Lanka where Mehta has tried to recreate Varanasi.

You have to watch the movie..It stays with you.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Do you wear fur?

Even if you don't I beg you to watch the video on this site.
Rethink how you can in your day to day life reduce the suffering an animal feels.
I am not honest because I can't bear to watch the video anymore and am writing this instead. Who are we anyway?
Please don't buy fur. Then again what cruelty is more cruel? Killing a racoon dog for fur is worse than killing a goat for meat? Sure slaughter house methods are more humane thatn skinning alive but still.
How can you avoid hurting animals in EVERYWAY if at all you can?

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Are you a girl with brains and do you burn bras??


R and I have this problem of reading gender issues into everything.
Ads, attitudes, conversations well...!!
I will try not to make this one big feminist rant but yeah...as she says recreating space: I can't get over this. If i think a gunshot sounds fun i am boyish, if i think it sounds dangerous i am girlish.">here about the test I've posted below.

I did the test anyway because I am self obsessed and I love taking these tests even though I don't take them seriously.
In the cantonement station , I saw this ad for a newspaper where the woman is shown reading the supplement and the man reading the main paper. Why? Because she is the one who is suppossed to sit at home and is likely to be interested in curtain sales in west Bangalore.Whatever!
I remember when I went 'trekking' outside Hyderabad with a bunch of friends they all said I was as good as a boy. What is that suppossed to mean?
Besides why is it a compliment when a girl is like a boy ( that is , according to society resourceful,independent whatever) and not vice versa?
Infact vice versa would mean pansy, loser etc.

It being a compliment negates the very idea of feminism. That equality is about being man enough.
Man I know I am being very inarticulate and this is a subject that I will write a long well thought out angsty post on but for now you are spared!! Ya another thing that baffled me is this community on
orkut
for girls with brains
Huh? That's an exclusive minority group among females ??

Thursday, July 13, 2006




You Are 50% Boyish and 50% Girlish


You are pretty evenly split down the middle - a total eunuch.

Okay, kidding about the eunuch part. But you do get along with both sexes.

You reject traditional gender roles. However, you don't actively fight them.

You're just you. You don't try to be what people expect you to be.

Your Personality Is Like Acid

A bit wacky, you're very difficult to predict.
One moment you're in your own little happy universe...
And the next, you're on a bad trip to your own personal hell!



You Are 40% Obsessive



You tend to have a few obsessive thoughts, but you generally have them under control.

Sometimes your worries keep you up at night, though they usually don't interfere with your life.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

 


V clicking into the mirror, Me and A. I like this snap.In a random store we walked in to rest and pretend to look at shoes. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

 

Pritesh
tagged me so here goes.


I am thinking about...

How indifferent this
universe is to my need to sleep after lunch instead of having to listen to what post modernism is all about

I want to...
a) not grow up


I wish...
I could draw.
I hear ...
anything that is beautiful and NOT jarring and strange sounds at night that scare me.

I wonder...



to an unhealthy extent
About why this world is so unfair
About whether there is some sort of a pattern to all this , the traffic I navigate on my ride back home , the clouds, why I was so rude to that girl , if there’s an equation to it, like some sort of a choreographed dance of the universe where we are just puppets.
Are we puppets of some force in physics called b say and if some bastard will win the nobel prize for figuring it out and no one will remember that it was Y who thought of it first…Or is it too large for the human mind to comprehend.
I also wonder about whether I will scare you off if I continue and answer myself in the affirmative.




I am...

A neurotic frog

I dance...

to hip hop in Azerbaijani

I sing...
When I am feeling dreamy, on bus journeys and we also sometimes sing vulgar Tamil class at the back of class.
I cry...
for stupid things but when its something big and not comprehensible, I just look cold ,
quiet and feel like sitting at the edge of a river and throwing stones endlessly .

I write:

Angsty
1) blog posts

2) Journal entries ( since the age of 7 )
3) bad poetry (" " " " " " " " ")



I confuse

ya..thats my second name. Just add ..ed

Bad grammar pisses me off .




I need:
My space
Deep conversations with my closest friends
Family
And one tequila shot right now.



And I tag R. It's the only way to make the bitch blog. Posted by Picasa