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Showing posts from January, 2009

Don’t see “Slumdog Millionaire”. It sucks!

A phony poseur that has been made only to mock India for the viewing pleasure of the First World!! The emperor’s new clothes! That’s “Slumdog Millionaire” for you… Five minutes into this celebrated patchwork of illogical clichés and you are struck by the jarring dialogues. The cumbersome delivery in a language which doesn’t come naturally to most of the actors sounds like someone scratching on walls with one’s finger nails; it ruins the possibility of a connection… Had this film been made by an Indian director, it would’ve been trashed as a rotting old hat, which literally stands out only because of its stench, but since the man making it happens to be from the West, we’re all left celebrating the emperor’s new clothes. The film borrows an undoubtedly interesting narrative style – from films like “City of God” – but then uses it to weave in a collection of clichés from the Third World’s underbelly for the viewing pleasure of a First World audience. The real slumdog in the movie is not


I still remember the early morning of November 4, 2008, as the US Presidential election results started pouring in, I realized that something unbelievably historic was happening in America. I just couldn’t stop wondering how a Black – African American (since so many mails and messages have told me!) – could become the President of the United States of America; the same country that had earlier re-elected George Bush as the President! The whole experience was so tumultuous! I couldn’t help recall old books about America that I had read. Books about the Civil War that President Abraham Lincoln had presided over; the war that eventually resulted in the emancipation of blacks. As I wrote in my editorial in The Sunday Indian on November 9, 2008, my favourite book, of course, was Uncle Tom’s Cabin. The book – which passionately documented the immense pain of black slaves – is perhaps the greatest read for any human wishing to understand the meaning of the term ‘depth of character’, and is gu


For the last few days, since the beginning of the Israeli military operations in Gaza, media – both print and television – has been riddled with scores of pictures of Palestinian kids, grievously injured in the air attacks by Israeli Defense Forces, or IDF. And every time I have seen those pictures, I have felt revulsion towards the blitzkrieg that has been launched by Israel to take the fangs out of Hamas. Yet, ironically, when I tried to think a little deeper about it, I was left wondering why the global media has not put forward the pictures of even Israeli kids who have got killed, injured or hit with impunity in the past due to a barrage of rockets and missiles, and even suicide attacks, that Hamas has made a habit of targeting on Israel. In hindsight, if one looks at the happenings in Gaza in isolation, it goes without saying that every newly initiated observer would easily term Israel a bloodthirsty chauvinist country that knows nothing more than just blowing apart probably any


I was quite young when the Harshad Mehta scam hit the headlines and the stock markets crashed. Since I was never fascinated by gambling money in stocks and was busy chasing my own dreams, I did not pay much attention to the hysterical front page stories that used to come out in newspapers! But yes, I was concerned about the direction of India both as an economy and a society. The abysmal GDP growth rates reported in those days used to make me think about the future of entrepreneurs in India. India’s pathetic education, health and infrastructure scenario used to make my blood boil in anger and frustration. I sometimes thought India doesn’t have a future. I still get angry at the state of India. But now I am convinced that India has indeed a great future – particularly at a time when we seem to be getting bad news from everywhere. For a while, I was flabbergasted when some colleagues informed me about the downfall of Satyam and Ramalinga Raju. But then I thought for a while and realized