Monday, November 19, 2007
Then press "Search" (Alternatively, you can also press 'I'm feeling lucky', if you are really in the mood!)
What you get is this.
Yeah !...It is the ultimate answer.
The answer to Life, the Universe and Everything.
The answer that took the most powerful computer 'Deep Thought' 7½ million years to compute and check the answer !
The answer for which an even more powerful computer was built to compute the 'ultimate question' - the Earth.
But why the hell am I going on and on about 42? Why is it so relevant today?
Well you see my friends, it is the number which seems to continuously elude the greatest living batsman of our times - Sachin Tendulkar.
He is stuck on 41 and I now know the reason why.....
Coz once he reaches that magic number he will finally have the answer.......
The answer to Life, the Universe and Everything.
For more reasons on why Sachin is not getting century number 42 , read this, this and this.
For more on Douglas Adams's analysis on the wonderful 'gentleman's game'....Read this.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
There are although numerous mis-conceptions/mis-communications which are rampant and which need to be cleared out
1. No SEZ as such was planned in Nandigram in the first place. It was part of over 10000 acres of land 'given' to the Salim group for their massive 'infrastructural development' projects. Similar land was earmarked in Uluberia and Purulia and even near Digha.
The Salim group had originally come in only and only for 'housing' projects. It was the West Bengal government which sugar-coated the deal with a "Chemical Hub' proposal.
2. The land was given on behalf of the landowners, who as we know were not the people who tilled the land. Those who 'tilled' the land were the 'bargadars' (vide Operation Barga in the early 70's). These bargadars have no legal right of the land but could take some or all share of the produce of the land. The land still belonged to the landowners although it was the bargadar who lived and toiled there.
Now the very same government which gave the bargadar this 'fair-deal' was taking it back from him. This was like a stab-in-the-back for the small farmer.
3. The Opposition (and the coalition partners) which is now making a huge hue and cry did not oppose the deal when it was ratified by the state assembly (Mamata staged a walkout). They did the same for the Tata project at Singur and the Jindal project.
4. That the land-acquisition game has long since been over yet the place is under seige is an abject failure of the state machinery. What the Buddhadev Bhattacharya government didn't count on was a full fledged peasant's revolt like a 'Telengana' or 'Jharkhand' situation. Very soon Nandigram too could snowball into these pockets within so called well-governed states which are now completely detached from the Union of India and any 'Indian' is treated as an outsider.
5. Cleansing of the hinterland to make way for industrial growth has been a well used tool by communist governments around the world. Russia and China have been doing it for decades and next year's Beijing Olympics will be testimony to that.
6. Many of the agitators are disgruntled CPI(M) workers. This explains why there has been such flagrant display of firepower on both sides. The CPI(M) has a routine stockpile of small and large ammunition for any 'contingency' situation and does not hesitate to use them on a regular basis.
6. People (Mainly left-leaners) also point out to no alternative sites for such chemical hubs or SEZ's. I suggest them to just take a walk up or down the Hooghly from Kolkata. You will find acres and acres of sick jute mills and rotting industrial wasteland . And it has been so for at least a couple of decades. If that is not alternative location.....then I don't know what is.
7. The moot question now is - Human Rights have been violated. Guardians of civil society have acted as goons and people have been killed. What is the solution?
Certainly not colourful processions or sit-ins or demonstrations.
A complicated situation will require a complicated solution.
For another detailed insight into the issue go here
Monday, October 22, 2007
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Thursday, July 26, 2007
One of the best things about the so-called parallel cinema movement in the 80's was the amazing variety of subjects that it chose to portray it’s cinematic idiom with. Moving away from the urban-mainstream clutter of boy-meets-girl themes and angry young man against entire corrupt system (although not in entirety), the film-makers chose to scourge the hinterland and look for something different, even unique.Shyam Benegal's “Trikaal – Past, Present and Future” is one the most delightful of those films. I had seen this film several times earlier, on Doordarshan where they would show such wonderful movies from directors like Benegal, Govind Nihalani, Gautam Ghosh, Budhadev Dasgupta, Adoor Gopalakrishnan and others. Today with so many dedicated movie channels, does even one of them show those movies. I cannot recall seeing a benegal film (barring Bose, which was interspersed with so many ad breaks that it made the long movie seem longer and much more tiresome) or a Nihalani film (not even Thakshak or Dev which he made with big stars) for a long time.
Such were the treats of the pre-satellite television era.
The movie is a colorful atmospheric insight into the Souza-Sourez family pushed into a crisis by the death of the head of the family, Ernesto. The family is now under the head of the matriarch Dona Maria (Leela Naidu) who refuses to accept the death of her husband and attempts to bring back his spirit through a séance , which she conducts at least three times during the course of the movie.
Despite being led by Naseeruddin Shah, this film is essentially about cameos. And there are numerous. K K Raina as the false teethed, hen-pecked house husband, Anita Kanwar as the ever crying ever-sulking wife (delightful to watch), Keith Stevenson as the Doctor Pereira, Salim Ghouse as the priest. In fact the film features a veritable whos-who of actors, most of whom made a name for themselves in television. Neena Gupta, Jayant Kripalani, Soni Razdan, Akash Khurana and so on.
Most of the film revolves around............... well, nothing in particular. Come to think of it, it is no more a story than it is a slice of a life that has ceased to exist, as the elder Ruiz Pereira (Naseer) ruefully contemplates.(Even the roads that were used earlier aren't used anymore , as the cab driver informs us). The theme of a forgotten past recurs throughout the film. The old housekeeper refuses to divulge anything. The Souza-Sourez family house is itself in ruins.
Two or three other "themes" run in the movie. The fate of Portugese in post-independence Goa is brilliantly captures in the fears of the lead characters, who are faced in a dilemma whether to join the Indian Nation which they feel alien to or to go back to Portugal where they know they will face persecution because they are 'aliens' there. The character of Leon (Dalip Tahil playing a revolutionary) with whom the sympathies of Dona Maria (and the audience) lies, solves the dilemma for us.Then there is the love story of Anna (Sushma Prakash). She is engaged to Erasmo (Lucky Ali, credited as Maqsoom Ali). However Anna has a childhood crush on Leon. To complicate matters, young Ruiz (Kunal Kapoor in an inspired performance) is head over heels in love with her and sings songs professing his love to her all through out.
Which brings us to the music. How many times in cinema do you see a scene in a film with four real-life singers playing parts. And if those singers be Remo Fernandez, Alisha Chinoy, Lucky Ali and Ila Arun. In these times even geting them on the same stage would be difficult !!!
Remo infuses the typical Goan charm through his love-ballads and his duet with Alisha in the engagement dance is a treat. Arun too gets to flex her vocal chords.
A movie which should be watched for the sheer joy of seeing all these characters come to life in the deft hands of Benegal!
Sunday, June 10, 2007
Sunday, February 18, 2007
How similar is the poster to that for Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl !!!