Monday, November 10, 2008

Average is OK

'I wanted my children to be the BEST; anything wrong in that?' my mom used to scold me... Well, I wasn't (still am not) the best in anything, but whats wrong with that!

Having been a regular kind of kid, a regular kind of student, a regular kind of professional, I am leading a very regular kind of life. I do want to be very famous and very rich and very powerful and want to remove poverty from this world; and these are very regular kind of desires. Like a regular guy, I have fallen down and continued stumbling and have simply carried on; allowing time to blur my memory. Very much like a regular person I think I am unique, I am capable, I am bound to be successful, etc etc. And like an ordinary human-being, I allow myself to forget my dreams. Very regularly, I conflict myself.

I want to be 'big' (physically, I have achieved it!). I want to 'change the world'. I want to be influential and 'pull some strings!'. I want to be a 'contributor to society and not a burden'. I want to be a 'leader of men'. I want to be 'rich'.
Everyone wants these things, so whats great about me? Maybe the truth is nothing. And that might be so difficult to accept. I live thinking that 'someday' my dreams will be realised, but dreams are realised through sweat, blood and sacrifice; none of which i am willing to give. And that is difficult to accept. But if six billion people become big and powerful and rich, there will be a crisis. A crisis that will ultimately result in 'average'.

It is okay to be average I guess. Like the song from Fiddler on the Roof, 'If I were a Rich Man...' proclaims I would do a lot of things If I were a rich man!

Big is glorified. It may not be so enjoyable to be hugely successful after all. If I have to first work hard at being successful and then worry about how to continue being so; I would rather be average and enjoy the simple pleasures of life. Screw success. I may not be big, rich, powerful or influential; but I am lazy, I love food, I love movies, I love hanging out with friends and I better be happy! Not many people can afford these things! As long as I am me, I am OK. I am average and Average is OK.

PS: A friend recently said 'I am not in a hurry to achieve something yet'.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Sanjeev Nanda gets 5 years RI...

My Observations:
1. Saneev Nanda is the grandson of an ex-Army chief.
2. Nanda can still appeal against the court's ruling.
3. The Nandas were very emotional in the court.
4. It was a BMW.


1. So?
Should he be punished extra for being the grandson of a successful man?
Does his crime become larger?
Is the intense media scrutiny not a rigorous punishment?

Man's actions have more far-reaching implications than he allows himslf to understand. Surely, the respected Shri SM Nanda would not have anticipated that just because he is the navy chief, his grandson will receive extra attention from the judiciary and the media. Sanjeev Nanda mowed down 6 people while on a drunken drive. But what is of more noteworthiness, is that he is the grandson of 'someone'. He is already a hugely popular person, thanks to the media. So every thing he does is much bigger and larger than otherwise! Now, lets swap a few elements - if he had an ordinary birth, would he be subjected to such investigation? Or if he had been involved in a positive contribution to the society, would it be seen only on its merit? I guess the answer to both questions is a No. 

Would he have enjoyed attention all through his life because he is the grandson of SM Nanda? Of course, yes. So he might have to as well deal with this (negative) attention.

2. The court ruling does not hold much ground. In India, one can always appeal against a lower court's rulings, as long as funds are not an issue. The lawyers are capable of poking paradigm-shifting-holes in the other party's argument-balloon. A ruling is only temporary, can always be overturned/postponed. In these circumstances, what significance does 'justice' have? I am just too tired seeing these 'high-profile' cases being discussed with sudden, irritating bursts of enthusiasm. 

3. 'Sanjeev Nanda held back his tears.'
'Nanda's family broke down in the court.'

Maybe I am just too ignorant, but were they more at peace with themselves before the judgement? Does only the ruling bring out their tears; not the brutally murderous driving? Does the death of three innocent policemen not stifle their soul? What has the family tried to do in the (long) meanwhile? Did they help the vitims' families apart from just offering money?

This observation actually holds great scope for an understanding into such families. Sure, the family was hoping for a more lenient sentence - fair enough. They are crying that their son is to be jailed for 5 years. They are crying because the son's carrer will get affected. They are crying for their lost reputation in the society. But what could have been their initial reaction nine years ago? Shock? - I guess their first reaction would have been, 'Did anyone see you?'; 'How can we avoid a case?'; 'Jo ho gaya so ho gaya! Ab kya karen?'; so on and so forth. As time progressed, they would have gradually gained a confidence which told them that Sanjeev would not be jailed. (I mean, the expensive lawyer's fees must give them some psychological solace!) What really caused their new-found despair is when this bubble of self-justification burst. It is a pity that they are crying for all the wrong reasons. The loss of life is of no consequence. The grief that the accident caused to the victims' families is lost. They are not even crying that their foreign educated son didnt learn his driving lessons properly!

I am unaware if Sanjeev is a good person. But surely he deserves punishment, understanding, a chance and support to sincerely repent and correct himself. He can be a role model for other youth - his experiences can be of great value. They could go a long way in educating others about drunken driving. 

4. BMW, Pulsar, etc...

I just dont think they are suited for Indian roads. They are great vehicles, no doubt. But they are not capable of handling our roads and road-dwellers. Safety of an automobile has to be studied from a different point of view. Does driving a BMW induce me to more aggressive driving not suited for the roads? Can we understand the mindset of person driving a machine capable of doing more than just the ordinary?

Do we care?

Friday, August 29, 2008

Rock On!!_Movie Review

Movie: Rock On!!
Director: Abhishek Kapoor
Cast: Farhan Akhtar (Introducing), Arjun Rampal
Rating: ***
Rock On!! is a thrilling experience. The story of a rock band and its reunion after a period of years has been handled deftly, portraying complex relationships with much understanding and sensitivity. A remarkable attempt in an otherwise cliched Hindi film industry, Rock On!! manages to provide a complete package of emotions delivered through the members of a broken rock band. Combining light moments with an intense theme is a challenge; and Abhishek Kapoor has done it well. (Although, the movie bears a distinct Farhan stamp).
The performances of the movie are convincing. Farhan Akhtar handles two very different sides of a character with ease and panache. The wild and rebellious 'Adi' is as enchanting as the cold and pensive 'Adi' is indifferent. Arjun Rampal plays a silent man with deep feelings-his best work till date, I would say. Purab Kohli and Luke Kelley have short but well etched characters. They fit into the narrative well and provide the essential bonding for a band. But, the most truthfully created role is that of Sakhshi. A wife who loves her husband and is trying to bring life into her existence, Sakshi goes the extra mile to get close to Adi by making him happy. Her efforts make their relationship more meaningful and satisfying.
The movie does not have a fascinating story-line, but makes up for it by some really great cinematography (Jason West) and powerful music (Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy). The music is incredible and truly is the soul of the movie. Rock music in the hindi film industry never sounded better. The camerawork is superior and captures the essence of a rock concert. The smoke and lights on stage are good enough to give rock fans goosebumps.
The high points of the movie, for me, are the argument between Adi and Sakshi, the reunion of Adi and Joe, the wild photography session and the final concert. Each of the scenes have been handled with a unique sensibility and the director deserves congratulations for the same. The movie is aimed at the youth and will be well received in the Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore centres and other multiplexes. The movie will surely Rock On!!