Saturday, March 30, 2013

Of The Sun and The Wind, Downton Abbey, Khalnayak and Ramayana..

So long time no see..

No post for two weeks. As I had said that March is going to be really crazy and it was. The finals week was over. So, on the ethics paper that I wrote on the New York Post incident, I got 33.25/35. The final letter grade is not yet up. Here is the paper that I wrote:

Spring break started from 18 March to 23 March but I had one extra course where I we had to go a place 40 miles away from here. Waking up at five in the morning everyday was no fun and it was too exhausting. The first day I thought since spring is almost here, I did not carry my gloves. And little did I snowed that day! Walking to college at five in the morning with wind so strong that I just couldn't stand still. I fell down and with no gloves, hands turned blue. I thought something is going to happen to me. I ran to the nearest open shop and stood there for ten fifteen minutes till the hands got warm. And then I ran quickly to college. It has been snowing and is called spring break. A snowy spring..

Talking of the wind force, I don't know what happened but it suddenly reminded of this very short story from the Hindi supplementary reading book "ज्ञान सुधा" that we had in class two or three. The story was called the sun and the wind. It was about a quarrel between the sun and the wind as to who is more stronger. It was a beautiful story. The challenge was to make a passing traveler remove his clothes. However hard the wind blew, the traveler only wrapped his clothes tighter, but when the sun shone, the traveler was overcome with heat and had to take his clothes off. The story is trying to say that kindness effects more than severity. The more force one applies to convince someone, the more defensive they get. Gentle persuasion is the way to go. YouTube has this animated version of the story as well. Children's stories still fascinate me.

I have started watching Season 3 of Downton Abbey. It has become sad. Edith was left at the altar by Anthony who said he couldn't marry her. I feel real pity for Edith because she was always left out. Mary was the elder beautiful sister, Sybil was the more strong feminist one. Edith was not pretty either. She had very few hopes of getting married, so she decided to marry Anthony, who is more than twenty five years elder to her but he chickened out at the last moment. Cora says:
Cora: You are being tested. And you know what they say my darling. Being tested only makes you stronger.
Edith: I don't think it's working with me.
I can identify with Edith so many times :(

And Sybil died during childbirth. Seriously, these people kill all the nice people. Matthew is going to die soon too. 


But my favorite character is Dowager Countess or their grandmother. She is just too witty and funny :)

Dame Maggie Smith as Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham
Mary: “Sybil is entitled to her opinions.”
Dowager Countess: “No. She isn’t until she is married, then her husband will tell her what her opinions are.”

And you know YouTube has this Hindi Movie Channel where we can watch some movies for free.

So, I browsed through it and finally got a chance to watch Khalnayak. No relation with the recent turn of events. Khalnayak was amazing. It talked about a number of issues, such as why people become a criminal, and how in each of us there is a good and a bad side. Har khalnayak m ek nayak chupa hota hai. Ravana me bhi to nayak ke lakshan the. I liked it a lot. Madhuri is lovely in the movie. She truly dances like a dream. She is terrific in the song Choli Ke Peeche. Just see the way she emotes each and every expression. But what I really liked in the movie were the references to Ramayana. Jackie Shroff's character is named Ram Sinha. Ballu Balram, played by Sanjay Dutt, had shades of Ravana to him. Ballu's mom is always reading the Ramayana. When Ganga is going along with Ballu during the song Palki Me Hoke, she drops her ring on the way, just like Sita does. Later, the ring is found by Subhash Ghai who gives the ring to Ram.

Ganga drops her ring

 To signal Ram ala Sita

Subhash Ghai always makes an appearance in his films

When Ram and Ballu are fighting, a number of monkeys are shown signifying the vanar sena

Ballu brings a murti of Lord Ram for Ganga

During the end, Ganga is ostracized for staying with a criminal like Ballu and she has to prove her innocence; Ram also wants to leave her just like Lord Rama did.

What was most interesting was that Ballu comes to the rescue of Ganga that is Ravana comes to save Sita from the world. There were numerous other references to Ramyana. In fact, this excellent piece argues that it is a whole new interpretation of Ramayana. Loved these lines:

The story of Sita’s banishment has always been a difficult moment, not only for the devotees of Ram, but for Indian civilization itself. If Ram could banish and outlaw his chaste wife owing to the demands of a public inclined to think of Sita as having been defiled by her long captivity, what kind of example can he -- the noble and just king, the devout husband, the very incarnation of the Gods -- be said to have created for his subjects? Is not the effect of Ram’s banishment of Sita to render her into an outsider to civilized society, the Other of his conscience? Must not standards of morality appear to be altogether shifting and arbitrary if Ram can place Sita outside the framework of an inclusive morality? As Ramachandra Gandhi has so poignantly observed in a recent work, the story of Sita’s banishment can, in fact, be located within a framework where Sita is not rendered into the Other. For their repeated violation of the ecological order, as when Ram takes the life of Marica, or when Ram shoots dead one of a pair of curlew birds engaged in love-play, Ram and Sita too must enact, by way of atonement and compensation, and by mutual consent, the pain of separation; and this story, when placed into the hands of patriarchs and chauvinists, becomes "distorted into the sexist banishment of Sita by Rama for suspected infidelity in Lanka."

The complete piece from UCLA here:

And finally, I have found an internship. After applying to over 250 companies, there is one offer. It is in Des Moines, the largest city in Iowa. I am more relieved than happy. But still a lot of work needs to be done for finding a full time offer. Some other things need to be sorted out. I hope sab ghar pe bhi theek ho jaye ab. 

More later.

Dialogue of the Day:
"Kasam to jhoote khaate hain" - Ballu, Khalnayak

"I miss him. All the time I miss him. It's not waves, it's constant."
- Izzie, Grey's Anatomy


  1. Sab ho jayega don't worry...I haven't seen Khalnayak so far but the references you discussed are amazing :)


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