Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Requisite India Sojourn post.

My school friend Pradyumna Sharma is a chef in Australia. And since he is in the culinary business , he finds it most amusing to greet everyone with an eyes to the roof inducing " Whats cooking , mate? ". Well if I were to be asked that question now, the answer would be Delhi, that's whats cooking. Its sweltering, volcanic and brain frying-ly hot here. Its so hot that in the afternoon, its not just the heat from the sun above but the heat emanating from the tarred roads below that ensures a crispy well done human roast. The heat waves are so thick you can almost see them,rising up from the ground. you have to squint everytime you step out side the door because the glare is so harsh. Well other than that little detail its all fine and dandy in the home country.

I voted for the first time in my life (discounting a college election) and I am so glad that not only did Mr.Ajay Maken, the congress candidate from central Delhi win, but congress had a clean sweep all over the country. I was also pleasantly surprised to find that the police constables and the election officials at the booth were very courteous and helpful.

Public transportation in Delhi is mots convenient , at least to the places i want to go to. Over crowded , unplanned regions of Delhi like trilokpuri, lakshmi nagar all make me glad I dont live there but also bring me closer to the realization taht we are not out of the woods yet.Travelling in buses is most delightful and memorable. My first trip on a bus was marred by a child puking (It smelled and looked like a banana) and when the conductor and driver ganged up on the father with arguments like " Aapko pata hona chaahiye ne ki yeh ulti karne waala hai?" and " Isko aapne khaana hi kyun khilayan ?" the public came to their rescue. The next day a guy got on with a daffli, one blind eye and started singing a most mellifluous song dedicated to Bholenath. Its amazing how much music is a part of traveling in Delhi. Apart from the traveling beggar-singers, I have found that traveling in a blue line is never bereft of the radio or the casette player blaring away in the background. Its always the early 90s- Tseries- nadeem -Shravan type of music that plays. Now here's the strange part. they never play the original audio cassettes. Whoever the singers are they are definitely not Anuradha Paudwal or Kumar sanu. This has led me to believe that there is an underground music industry in India, that has its own stable of singers who re-sing the popular songs of the time and release them under their own labels, probably at lower rates. Wouldn't it just be easier to copy the original tapes, the logical mind would ask? But then again these people are clearly devoid of the logical bent of mind.*

My group of friends mostly get together at out school smack in the centre of the city. Close to the school is Mandi House which is the HQ of Prasar Bharti and Doordarshan. They have several posters outside their building showing off the hit TV serials on their rosters, titles like Kaanch key Sapnay , Fauji - the Iron Man and Wild Adventures - Balloooning with the Bedi brothers or in hindi - Bedi Bandhuon ke sang yaatrayein.Does anybody still watch DD? Apparently they do in the villages, where Fauji - the iron man is a much awaited every Tuesday night.But the weirdest thing has to be DD+, that is the direct to home service that DD offers. Really? Would anyone actually pay money to set this up at their home ? Isnt DD for those ppl who cannot afford Cable??

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Summer Movie Kickoff : X-Men Origins:Wolverine

Today (May 1) is the first day of the summer movie season and I have lined up around 22 movies I would like to see at the theaters this summer. That is a bit ambitious, especially with my one month in India, but we will try. I got to see Wolverine today (Thursday night, 12:01 show) and if I had to sum it up in one word , it would be .. Bleh! Wolverine is the most loved movie character in the world, at least according to some statistics. He is my second most favorite character after Mr Wayne of course, and it disappoints me to see what has become of the film. I am familiar with Wolverine canon , and I have read some of the origin comics on which the movie is based, and while the movie stays close in parts it just doesn't convey his tragedy. How can you get it wrong when you have so many cool mutants like Deadpool, Cyclops, Blob, Emma Frost ,Sabretooth and finally Gambit. I guess the main problem is that the script is fantastic. Fantastic not as in amazing but as in weirdly impossible. Stuff like this happens in a badly written comic and you are willing to go along to some extent for the fun of it, but that too is impossible here because it just doesn't string together well. He picks up a fight with Gambit just so he can take him to an "island" where the climax is supposed to take place. After the fight they realize they are on the same side and we realize the misunderstanding was just a ruse to give the audience a fight scene. I am quoting the short lived Spidergirl comics when I say " Heroes fighting each other is so 80s". Fine fight over they go to the island. How? Gambit won a plane in a card game , which he conveniently knows how to fly and drops Logan off at the "Island". C'mon, how more lame can you get. I could turn a blind eye to all this , if you could just give me some F-U-N. Apart from a few fight scenes here and there , nothing, nada. Where is the silent nod to the fanboys , where is the esoteric reference? Everyone waited till the end of the credits expecting something cool, all we got was a lame scene of wolverine drinking at a japanese bar. I have had issues with the entire X-men trilogy (expect a blog on that soon), but this is one takes the cake. Hope the rest of the summer doesnt disappoint.

"I am so getting myself that jacket!!"