Apur Sansar


Apur Sansar

Apur Sansar is known as “The World of Apu” in English.

What is lost in translation is the duality of the word “Sansar” in Bengali—-it means both family as well as world.

Apu’s detachment from Nature is now complete—–the movie starts with him residing in a dingy one-room near the train lines—-the same train, which symbolized the advent of the outside world in “Pather Panchali”, has by now totally lost its wonderment for Apu for whom the incessant cacophony is nothing but an irritant.

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Courage In the Rains


What’s the definition of a crisis?

Is it when the city that never sleeps is submerged in water after being lashed with rains even Cherrapunji (once the wettest place in the world) cannot emulate?

Is it when more than 650 (and counting) people die?

Nope. Crisis is when you go to the loo, in need for a desperate dump and find that there is no TOIlet paper anywhere in the house.

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“He is just like his father—-all crazy dreams and impractical schemes” says Sarbojaya about her son Apu to his uncle.

“Aparajito” (Unvanquished), the second part of the Apu Trilogy and thematically the most nuanced, is about Apu’s aspirations.

Apu is now in the cusp of boyhood and manhood–gawky, dissatisfied and increasingly feeling constricted by his rural surroundings. On one hand is the strong pull of tradition—–his mother and his elders want him to continue the family profession of priesthood and stay in the village. And on the other hand is the desire to break free.

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Pather Panchali—An Intensely Personal Review


Pather Panchali
People often approached Rabindranath Tagore to name their sons and daughters——-while doing so, he would also compose a Haiku-type “dedication” to the new born.

One of the babies he “christened” was Satyajit Ray and what he composed for Ray is instantly recognizable as one of Tagore’s most famous short poems (though not many know it was for Satyajit Ray).

Translated to English (for those who have read the original, forgive me for my purely functional non-poetic translation), it says:

” I have been gone everywhere, spent a lot of money—travelled to the mountains, seen the sea…….trying always to find beauty. I now realize that all the time I wandered the earth, I missed seeing the splendour that lay before me, just 2 steps from my door—–a dewdrop glistening on a blade of grass”.

If ever someone lived upto their “dedication” it was Satyajit Ray.

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Jaye Jaya Lalithe


Jayalalitha has a raaga named after her—-Jaya Jaya Lalithe composed for her by the Carnatic music guru Balamurali Krishna. As Telegraph notes: not even Tansen has the privilege.

Pity that there already was a song for Jayalalitha— “Amma Dekh” sung by Bali (not Bala) Bramha(not Krishna) Bhatt for the movie “Stuntman”

The height of sycophancy—-if there is one.

Aguilera Does Guantanamo


Our friendly neighborhood terrorists have gone Gandhian in Guantanamo. Protesting against their ‘indefinite detention and inhuman conditions”, they have started refusing to eat food and water. Of course, they won’t be dying anytime soon.

According to Al Jazeera,

US military officials said detainees who refuse food are given medical treatment including intravenous hydration, water, the sports energy drink Gatorade, a nutritional supplement called Ensure and are admitted to hospital if needed.

As Ashok Kumar would say, while watering his plants “Ensure (Insure) and be secure.”

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Saving Shane's Marriage


So you are having marital problems. Wife is threatening to leave you pissed off at your meandering ways.

Want to make a gesture to show that all your philandering days are over ?

Varrry simple. Ask your girl friend do a threesome (educated people call it a menag e trois) with you and your wife. If that romantic gesture does not melt your wife’s heart, then nothing will.

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Dulhe Raja


Poor Junaid Miandad.

All his life he has had to endure Javed Miandad, who by all accounts is not the easiest person to get along with.

And now to make things even worse, he has decided to marry the world’s most dangerous man’s daughter.

First of all, he just painted a target symbol on his forehead. Chota Rajan’s sharpshooters must be licking their lips in the anticipation for a “hit” that hits home.

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Cold Relatives


Accept it. All of us have them. Relatives you do not feel close to but yet have to keep up pretenses with. Meet them by chance in a family gathering and facile smiles and insincere greetings are exchanged—-both parties know how hollow the exchange is and yet both play along for the sake of congeniality.

I find Indo-US relations to be likewise. Dr Singh’s visit to US has been hailed as historic by the Indian press and almost totally ignored (with the exception of passing references in Washington Post and New York Times) by the American mainstream media (which falls over itself to cover a state visit by the Premier of China, any European head-of-state or by the Israeli Prime Minister). Unfortunately, like a meeting of two relatives who have had a stormy history, an Indo-US summit inevitably has a lot of fake bonhomie and a faux sense of significance which is pretty self-evident to everyone including the players in the charade.

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Hottie Hottie Bong Bong


While doing some blogsurfing, I came across this somewhat catty vitriol on someone’s page ( a lady’s)

Now the one who really stood out was this woman called Vijaya Balan (think that was her name). Apparently, she’s Mallu, but she really looked like a quintessentially Bengali woman. Wore her sexuality on her sleeve. You know what Bengali women, especially from Calcutta, are like? Overtly sexual — it’s not like they dress like Mallika Sherawat or something. On the contrary, they’ll wear these rather ethnic saris and big bindis but then then they’ll arch their bodies in this overly seductive manner and Continue Reading »