Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Oh, the horror of it all

I saw 'Khatta Meetha' last night - by accident, as it happens. For those of you familiar with my hemming-and-hawing style, you've got to have picked up on the fact that something is very wrong. H does *not* cut to the chase like this. Unless she's spending it all on the title - remember that Delhi piece? It remains my favourite one to-date. Anyhow, it was the only movie we could get tickets for on a Tuesday night which saw 89.56% of the population of Ahmedabad struggle to fit into 3 cinema halls. True story.

I didn't want to see it, but we were already there, it was beginning to rain; let's just say we thought we could do worse than to sit in a movie hall and watch what we naively presumed would be just another mindless flick.

It wasn't. It was the head-fuck from hell. I can *do* mindless - I don't have a chip on my elegant Parsi shoulder about that; but this was just wrong. The moral axis of the movie's semiosphere was so skewed, it was bloody horizontal. A flat-line; no heartbeat. Whether it's the hero's "lovable hooligan" of a side-kick staring in on an unsuspecting woman bathing, or the hero slapping the love of his life because she ignored his diktat to boycott their college exam, this movie affords innumerable examples of everything that we know to be wrong, even as it holds up the mirror to a society which winks, nudges, and condones these 'slights'. I could barely breathe in there; that is how angry this movie made me.

What exacerbated things, of course, was seeing the full-to-capacity theatre wet itself laughing at inanities so over-the-top/phy-sic(k)al-slap-sticky/done-to-death/racist-sexist-classist, that even my pet toad, had I one, would have sickened at the sight/sound of it. I despair (it *can* be used as a verb. Shut up). And fear.

To echo my-10-minute-ago-self, Oh, the horror of it all.

Monday, July 26, 2010


No longer paranoid about proliferation (nuclear, literary or otherwise),
Consumed as always by the anxiety of authorship, she writes.

Yes, it's been a while. I still read too much to write often; no, I won't let that always stop me, and yes, these might indeed be (in)famous last words.

It isn't like I've had nothing to say - there've been thingspeopleplaces I've donebeenwithseen. But. Such is the life of a procrastinator who puts off indefinitely that which she doesn't, absolutely, have to *do* right this instant. It is, therefore, now or pretty certainly never. The strange thing is, this hasn't been one of those days when to write was not an option. It's just another gray (the only spelling the Americans ever got right - so much prettier than grey, IMHO) afternoon, and there is much that is beautiful about my lush environs. I'm in town, at work, whiling away my time instead of reading (what is admittedly a darn fine history book) 'The Flaws in the Jewel', which divides the British Raj into four rather audaciously labelled phases: "Greed, Scorn, Fear, Indifference". Dismiss these terms as facile at your own risk - they're rather handy and contain more than a grain of truth.

The bit that interests me most is 'Indifference'. Remember we're not talking about boots you no longer use or a coat you no longer wear. We're talking about a realm. About millions of people. About a historical course which can never double back to that which it was before the *event* under discussion distorted it irretrievably. Indifference. What a loaded, destructive, beautiful word. A 'terrible beauty', to borrow from one of my favourite paradoxes.

I'd take this somewhere, I would, but I'm going to go watch Salt instead.

Hold this thought. Muse (Calliope, please) over it. Savour it like a swig of Cointreau which burns your innards on its way down, and revel in the oppressive heat it generates in you.

I'll probably be back.