Sunday, August 12, 2012

Of Settling, Connections, The Blue Umbrella, and Anushka Sharma...

The last week I had written I had so many things to write. When I now think and write, I really do not know what exactly to write. The last week went in settling down. I made my first roti in the shape of India's map that was completely burnt ;D Luckily, my room mate knows cooking, so not much of a problem for cooking. I do the dishes and cleaning and he cooks. Also did some other but necessary things, such as bank account opening, water bill transfer, Internet (still waiting for this), &c &c. Will take some days to settle down.

Now this week, attended some International Student Orientations. No one could speak my name properly :\ Chinese students are everywhere. I mean they are the largest block of students on campus. They are so tiny in height and look so young and all of them are doing Phd/Post Doc/Masters. Secondly, no body can beat Americans in their confidence. They are extremely confident people and can speak to anybody about anything with it in a room or a conference. And they speak very loudly. They have been taught since school to discuss and say everything what they feel. They are not at all diplomatic and will say things on your face.   

And one of my classmates is my senior from college :) She graduated in 2004 and I graduated in 2009. Felt so happy when she said she is also from NSIT. We humans are funny people. We tend to look connections everywhere. I remember when I went to college, I felt so happy to see people from my school. Now when I started working, I looked for people from college. When I switched jobs, I looked for people from old company! When people go to study away from Delhi, they look for Delhites. When they go away from India, they look for Indians. That day is not far, when in a galaxy far far away where life is discovered, people will look for other humans from earth. Isn't this an absolutely fascinating thing? This desire/feeling to remain  connected with something familiar..eventually everyone accepts change but as life goes on, it becomes more complicated and perhaps that's why everyone says the phrase "good old days" although they may not have been actually good.

This week I watched The Blue Umbrella, Vishal Bharadwaj's national award winning film. The Iowa Public Library  - I love that place - provides books and DVDs. One can rent as many as he wants. There is a section on Indian films as well. Hindi movies are few but contain many popular titles such as Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, Sholay, Munnabhai and some less popular ones as well, such as Baiju Bawra and Aakrosh. I got the Blue Umbrella from there. I had been wanting to see this film for a long time and luckily I found it here. It is a short film and although it is a children's film based on a novella by Ruskin Bond, I found the underlying theme of the movie to be very nuanced..too difficult for kids to understand the various layers the film has. It talks about guilt, remorse, selfishness, materialism, selflessness, jealousy, and above all the thing that we are looking for - inner peace. Pankaj Kapur is absolutely terrific in the movie. While watching the movie, I was constantly being reminded that I have seen the place where the film was shot. Looked like Khajjiar in Himachal Pradesh..also called Switzerland of India. I had gone to that place on a school trip in Class 12. I haven't had a terrible trip than that one. It was and still remains the worst trip of my life. The actress who brilliantly played Vicky's mom in Vicky Donor also plays a small role in the film. Bharadwaj, like Anurag Kashyap, makes fascinating characters, such as the doctor who calls his wife Lily (original name Leelawati), or the kid who calls his Mama by his name, or Khatri who loves to eat achaar and swindles things from kids. At one point in the movie, Vishal pays a tribute to the one director who has brought about this revolution in the indie film space - Quentin Tarantino. In the film in one scene, a character says, “Saanp bill me ghus ke Kill Bill Kill Bill kar raha tha". Amazing. I love Kill Bill. It is one of my favorite movies. I  still  haven't seen Kill Bill 2 though. Remember a few years back there was a show on Star One - The Great Indian Comedy Show (no not the The Great Indian Laughter Challenge). It was too good. They used to show some amazing spoofs. I recall watching a spoof on Kill Bill, in which Purvi Joshi (what a brilliant actress she is) spoofed Uma Thurman and was on a mission to kill her husband Khemchand Tarantadiya (Quentin Tarantino) :) Where have such good shows disappeared? I cannot find any video link for it. Do let me know if you find one. Back to The Blue won the national award for best children's film but I think it is more suited for adults rather than kids. If you can sit through a slow movie, do watch it..

Also, I watched two back to back episodes of The Front Row. I love that show. How can I miss it! I have really started to like Anushka Sharma a lot. She has grown beautifully as an actress. In the interview with Anupama, she talks with such honesty that it brings this freshness, unlike other heroines who give such cliched answers. Sonam is another rockstar, who is never ever diplomatic. In the interview, Anushka isn't afraid to take names of heroines whose work she loves. She also said that she is doing a film with Katrina Kaif but she knows her place in the industry. 

She says:

Anupama: So you’re not insecure about working with other heroines, working with your contemporaries.

Anushka: Not at all. I’ve done two films. In one film there were three other actresses (“Ladies vs Ricky Bahl”) and now I’m doing Yash Chopra’s film with Katrina Kaif who is one of the biggest stars in the country.

I do have moments when I feel insecure. I do have moments when I feel jealous and that’s normal. It’s a very normal emotion. It’s your action and your attitude and your reaction to that that is important. So my reaction is that, “Yes I am doing a film with Katrina Kaif, but I know my place.” See I value myself and I will not be okay with anybody undervaluing me. I will not overvalue myself at the same time. So I know why I’m doing Yash Chopra’s film, because I have a role that comes full circle. It gives me satisfaction. I finished the film thinking I was happy doing this.

Also, on being asked which film she would have loved to work in, she made a very interesting answer. She said that if there was any film that was being remade, she would love to play the role of Manisha Koirala in Dil Se. I haven't seen Dil Se completely but seen it intermittently and really like it. I still believe that it was  one of Rehman's best music. Satrangi Re is sheer brilliance. The songs of the film are like poetry in motion. That is an excellent choice by Anushka and a smart one too. I really hope her next film starring SRK and Katrina Kaif and directed by Yash Chopra, rumored to be a remake of Daag, does well. She deserves better :)
Do read the interview here

Ok..the thing I have been trying to avoid to write but can't help it. I was fine but for the last few days, I have started to feel lonely. Not exactly homesick. Now the initial period is over and the real grind starts. There is this very weird feeling of loneliness and helplessness that comes at times. As always, I don't speak much with new people and it takes time for me to open up. I know in MBA, you have to network a lot but I don't do this. I can't be too frank with people like others. I feel out of place so many times. That is why I feel I will never be successful in life. In fact, I really do not know what I call success. Everything will turn out fine no? 

Anyways, a difficult week starts from tomorrow. I hope to keep on writing. As I used to say to you, mujhe zyada miss mat karna..thora sa kar lena :\

Dialogue of the Day:
पहाड़ी के पीछे डूबते सूरज को देखते हुए कोई फायदा होता है क्या, पानी में कागज़ की नाव को तैराने का कोई फायदा होता है क्या, इन्द्रधनुष को देख कर कोई फायदा होता है क्या...आत्मा की शांति में नफा नुक्सान नहीं देखा जाता...  
 - Nand Kishore Khatri, The Blue Umbrella

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