January 09, 2010

Of Manipulative Directors, and Google searches

Dear Sanjay Bhansali & Karan Johar,

Why this obsession with diseases and illnesses? I can't help thinking that both of you have realised that the only way you can evoke empathy for your characters is to make them dying, barely alive, or people with abnormal lives.

You're both manipulative. You know it. Filmmaking to you isn't about telling a story. It's more a strategy on what works best, and what can bring out maximum tissue paper. With *normal* characters in your films being as insane as a girl who giggles while running over bridges every night, I'm guessing that the only way to make sure the audience doesn't go "Phtooey!" is to have the character on the verge of death, or blind-mute-deaf, or autistic.

I won't bring Paa & Taare Zameen Par into this. They created characters that you can come to like, and can imagine liking even if they didn't have their problems. Now that, dear geniuses, is what you should really be doing.

I know both films will probably work. At least Bhansali's will have a good actor to hold things together. But here's the deal - I don't think either deserves to work. (Yes, even before I see them - that is how biased I am. I think of it as just knowing the 2 geniuses and what they come up with.)

Just a message for you - could one of you go back to doing talk shows, and could the other just find another profession? Thanks. Love you too.


Till the next movie,
Mudra

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W.r.t. the various searches that bring people to my blog:

1. Are Gujjus really serious about marrying vegetarians?
Ans. Yes. You will have to turn vegetarian, or take to eating chicken under your desk at work.

2. How to say I love you in Gujju.
Ans. A line that'll drive the message home forcefully, would be, "I love you more than I could ever love diamonds, stocks, food, Narendra Modi and chaat. Put together!" (The only problem is that he/she won't believe you. Nevertheless, they won't mind.)

3. How to know if you're losing her.
Ans. I'm a little foggy about how this leads you to my blog. Now there are very few things (really very few things) that I don't profess to be an authority on, but this is one of them. Sorry boss. Try asking Dear Diana. (2nd Dear Diana joke in a week.)

4. Ischool ke tem pe girl
Ans. Yes, right-thinking minds laugh at this song. I'd linked it years ago for a laugh. Now, though, knowing that there are people out there who actually took that song and its people seriously - that opens up a whole new world. You think email and communication and Wiki are why the internet is amazing? No. The internet is amazing because once upon a time, only people in Jharkhand/Bihar knew of this song.

Now imagine you're someone who grew up in Bihar in the early 90s. Then you got educated, and you left the homeland for colleges in other states of the country. You became an engineer. You took the foreign university entrances, you made it to an Ivy League for an MBA. Your family was overjoyed. The cup of kheer runneth over. You left for Stanford, leaving your mother teary-eyed, your father proud, and all the villagers couldn't stop talking about, "Ramu vilayat jaavat rahi, tum sune?"

You settled into Stanford life. You aced everything. Then, one day, early in January, you're sitting in your dorm room. It's been 7 months since you came to Stanford - 7 months that have been rewarding to say the least. But it's cold as hell outside. And suddenly, you begin to miss everything. You miss the warmth, and the smell of earth. You miss animals. You miss the singing, and dancing, and the weddings. You miss the language. You miss the colours, the smells, the feeling of home, the laughter.

You have 3 options.

1. You could cry and let it out.
- But as research has shown, most people don't cry alone. Even your tear glands get the concept of "utter futility".

2. You could call home.
- This costs a bomb. Plus all that will happen is that your mother will ask you if you're eating enough, your father will tell you to beware of foreign girls, etc. Somewhere, you might begin to cry. And that will only make them panic like never before, imagining that you got beaten up by racists, and then you failed a course.

3. You could log onto YouTube and watch Ischool ke Tem Pe. With its shots of scenery from your childhood, the actress who was your first crush, the school uniforms that remind you of your own, and that strong belief in romances (from which, incidentally, springs your desire to send "wil u b my frand" scraps on Orkut just to relive your childhood)... You get a taste of home which also leaves you... *ta-da* happy.

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Disclaimer: Bihari stereotypes all in fun. For the record, I'm a fan of Ischool ke Tem Pe, Yun na Sharma, Altaf Raja in general, Ravi Kishen, Nagma, and anything Bhojpuri that comes on TV. :)

Updated to add: Recommended reading for the week.

9 comments:

~Lopa said...

Hahaha, loved your letter to Bhansali & Karan Johar... and ya those are some searches which brings result linked to your blog... well how i had found out your blog is, tour record creating post, with hundreds comments i guess... yeah I am talking about one abt gujju characteristic :)

Actually i was writing a post on " you know you are Dutch when..." As we moved to Netherlands and i obviously had some of my observations to share and then suddenly it clicked what would be a result for gujjus and i googeld and that landed to me to your post... well being a gujju myself, even i wouldnt have come up with such a list, so that lead me to follow this blog, and here i am ! :)

Avantika A. said...

Lol! I recently heard a song called 'Manjoo baith Balero ma'. The next song in the album was titled 'thaara gaal tamatar'. I didnt have the courage to hit play on that one though! :D

Rakesh said...

he he and to think that a brain like yours teeming with not useful but so very interesting stuff will grow up to become a mundane CA. tsk tsk...

perplexed said...

Oh this post was fun!!! haha.. i can;t stop laughing! good stuff!!

koel said...

Avantika,
I read your post and looked up the song on youtube. I have to salute you for listening to the song. I managed about 45 secs.

Mudra - what are the movies that "inspired" the rant? funny stuff as usual though.

Karthik Sivaramakrishnan said...

'as insane as a girl who giggles while running over bridges every night'

I laughed my guts out imagining this sentence vividly.

Spaz Kumari said...

i am also a heeyoooge fan of ravi kishen, if ravi kishen is the dude who is in raaz pichle janam ka; the one who goes "musafir hamaare saath hai, saaraTHEE bhi humhaarey saath hai, (insert something else) saara hinduSTAAAAN humaare saath hai!!!!"

Asterix said...

Was in an internet-free zone for a week (Bangalore of all places!). Good to be back and read all this! :)

I gotta hear 'ischool ke tem pe' one of these days!!

Dishita said...

loved this post.