Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Don't spread your legs if you don't mean it!!

Two families moved from Pakistan to New York. When they arrived the two fathers made a bet -- in a year's time, whichever family had become more American would win. A year later they met again. The first man said, "My son is playing baseball, I had McDonalds for breakfast, and I'm on my way to pick up a case of Bud, how about you?" The second man replied, "Fuck off, towelhead."

Ok I thought I would start my blog with a joke because some idiot in ManCom class said that that is a sure shot way to grab attention in a presentation. What that idiot forgot to tell us was that the joke must be relevant. Guess he just assumed that it would be obvious. But I have always been the man who choses to ignore the obvious. You may also chose to point out that this is not a presentation. I know. Isn't it obvious? Dumbass!!

So the deal is that I am finally writing something in my blog out of desperation. Good ideas are hard to come by, especially for me. My ideas don't retain my own attention for ten minutes. This doesn't mean that you should stop coming back to my blog, I've had some pretty decent ideas in the past, just that I cannot remember any of them right now. But they are sure to pop out, albeit infrequently, like the Indian cricket team's unexpected decent performances. You know they are capable of blowing your mind away with a spectacular performance now and then, but you are not sure when, and you are mostly cynical about the next. But you don't stop watching their games do you? You hang on. So hang on to my blog and I assure you that one day I'll write something that will enrapture you with bliss and enlightenment. But please don't expect it in every other blog of mine, too much pressure, and my dad doesn't own a coffee shop too!

Anyway, yesterday our company sponsored a dinner at this restaurant which was preceeded by a dance program by this famous Natya ensemble. Dinner was fine, but it was the dance that got me pretty irritated about our great Indian art form, dance forms in particular. The cabal nature of our heritage upset me. Most of our dances are arts skills for which are acquired through years of extensive practice, they are not for the common man. It is almost that the originators of most of our dances designed this exclusivity. Dance according to me should essentially consist of a few basic steps and a lot of improvisation. The few basic steps are easily learnt and everybody can improvise upto the extent of the inventiveness, enthu and body rhythm he/she has. The enthu part is very important, a dance should be an outlet of frustration, an expression of joy, an escape. Thats it, when you try to incorporate education into it, the dance becomes exclusive. Who wants to do background research when he goes to see a dance? Thats why I like Bhangra or Bihu, and try to avoid Carnatic, Kathak, Manipuri etc like poison. There is a difference between playacting and dance, and the pretentious smiles of the pretty girls in yesterday's program drove the last nail into the coffin of my disgust.

Did I tell you about the dinner? I did? Oh! Good thing is that it doesn't take years of extensive practice to appreciate good Indian food!

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Friday, September 10, 2004


This week was the fourth time I saw that movie, and I can't remember any other movie that I hung on to everyword that was spoken, probably Shawshank redemption, but not many. And I have seen a lot of movies. There have been other classics but Casablanca is something else, every character has something significant to contribute to the flavour of the movie, every dialogue is memorable, every scene has a near perfect setting and relevance, and every song Sam sings makes we want to reach over for that mug of beer (Goddamn I need more).

There is a strange reluctance in all the main characters in the movie, the reluctance of Rick and Elsa to exhibit the feelings they still retain for each other even though the chemistry burns the screen, the reluctance of Lazzlo to acknowledge personal problems and to refuse to allow them to come in the way of his loftier mission or to show any emotion, or Louis who would only observe but would not be observed until he exhibits the hero in himself in the end and viewers never look at him the same way again in subsequent viewings.

And what about the subtleness in the entire movie, everything is simmering underneath, be it the passion and anger Rick has for Elsa, the insecurity Lazzlo feels about his future and Elsa, the hatred the French feel for the Germans, hell even the Germans are refined and well behaved.

You played it for her Sam, now play it for me... The fact that sometimes destiny kicks you when you are just recovering from the end of a beautiful fiendship and trying to get on with it, leaving you to grope around and find another support to get back on your feet and then maybe, just maybe, you end up a better man than you ended up the last time.

I'm meandering, and I guess words cannot do justice to the essence or beauty of the movie, especially my words... What I know is that I will repeat to myself that famous line never actually spoken in the movie 'Play it again Sam', and watch this movie many more times as time goes by

Here's looking at you kid!