Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Wednesday

Rarely we come across films that leave an indelible imprint. Something that'll remain etched in your memory and conscience even after days, especially when some scenes keep recurring and reminding you of something...something that makes a point. Is it a valid point? Is it ethical? Is it ideologically sound ... none of these questions seem to matter, what matters is the point made. How the point is made, is it this or that? We really don't care!
This is how I felt watching A Wednesday that premiered on UTV Movies. A movie that said a lot without wasting reels and reels of the film. Astonishingly different perspective as the suspense unravels - perhaps I could not detach myself from it because the Mumbai attacks were still too fresh to disassociate myself from the plot of the film. At the same time I could not take my eyes off the superb portrayal of the key character by Naseeruddin Shah.
A regret - I should've watched it on the big screen, mainly to avoid those long breaks on the TV. I'd love to watch it again as DVDs are already released in the market, this time more to study it as different movie than anything else, because elements like suspense and thrill can hold your breath only during the first viewing.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Taramati Baradari

Few notes on visiting Taramati Baradari with my office team:
Legend has it that Abdullah Qutub Shah (1614-1676), the grandson of Mohd. Quli Qutub Shah, the founder of Hyderabad was a great lover of music, poetry and dance. An admirer of Taramati, the courtesan, he built the Baradari (pavilion with 12 doorways) for her, close to the Golconda fort. He could hear her sing at the Baradari from the fort. Sounds amazing but not incredible! Remember your visit to Golconda and the awesome acoustics of the fort, and how we marvel at the way it was integrated for entertainment and safety during reign of Qutub Shahi rulers.

Cut to 2008 - there you are, in the midst of smog, noise and the din of a booming metropolis, the new Hyderabad rising to prominence with liberalized economy, globalisation and a preferred destination for job outsourcing. This was my third visit to Taramati Baradari in the last two years and I was stunned at the pace at which the surroundings are getting encroached with high rise buildings and other concrete structures. Very soon, this historic monument may lose its identity as a serene spot tucked away from the humdrum of the city. Taramati Baradari, along with Golconda fort, Qutub Shahi tombs and other heritage monuments are literally getting smothered by the uncompromising array of modern constructions. If these were not located on hillocks, probably one would have missed these landmarks of a city -that tell a thousand tales about its rich culture and heritage.

We were lucky to view the sunset, though not so spectacular as earlier when there were fewer building around this place. However, viewing the moonrise with the Golconda fort as the fainting backdrop presented a maginificent sight to behold.

As the monument gleamed in the dynamic lights of myriad hues, a strange quietness filled the air, occasionally disturbed by the vehicular movement on the road.
We attended the Kuchipudi dance performance by Raja Reddy and Radha Reddy in the auditorium (sad, it was not in the open air theatre, perhaps it was too big for this event, as the turn out of people was quite poor). This was organized by APTDC as a part of the Taramati festival. Dinner at Haritha restaurant was just a random pick of rice and curries, since the restaurant was more focused on serving the special invitees for the dance program and the tourists.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

TV - An idiot box?!

No way! According to my six year old niece Shreya. This evening she seemed to be in a real good mood while I was helping her solve some puzzles in Young World in The Hindu. She was pretty much in listening mode so I made an attempt trying to tell her to cut down on TV. Like other kids of her age she's terribly addicted to kids' channels. Coz of this, she sometimes get shouted at by all of us. Also, today's newpaper carried a story called 'Why children should stay clear of the idiot box?' Taking a cue from this story, I hoped my effort in explaining the ill-effects of TV would help in weaning her away, earnestly.

I began by telling Shreya how when we were kids there were hardly any programs on TV especially for kids, how we would spend time playing outside, or going to the library, listening to music, how my father had once put the TV set on the loft while our exams were approaching and so on. She listened to me intently, then I told her someone who watches TV all the time is called a couch potato and why TV is called an idiot box.

The moment she heard me saying idiot box, she immediately retorted " could it be an idiot, it makes your brain smart, it tells you about places and animals, and you watch so much news, you learn so much....", she went on defending the TV programs. I tried my best to tell her that these are good programs but she should not watch all that is shown indiscriminately, I happened to mention some Japanese serials, that show a lot of violence etc....pat came her reply: my karate teacher speaks Japanese, I'm learning karate, it's from Japan, it is very good...."

I had no words for her, I started wondering is TV really an idiot box, may not be, it all depends on the kind of channels you watch!