Saturday, October 18, 2008

aye dil hai mushkil jeena yahan, zara hat ke zara bach ke, yeh hai Mumbai meri jaan

so, after a longgg time, I saw a good movie. Mumbai meri jaan, is a story about different characters and how they were affected by the 11 July 2006 Bombay train bombings, where a series of seven bomb plasts took over a period of 11 minutes across Bombay stations.

So you have a news reporter, played by Soha Ali Khan who has done an extremely good job, whose job is perhaps to be highly desensitized to ongoings but once her fiancee gets killed, she begins to really understand the trappings of her job. What I like about this track is it portrays very much what the world is going through now, the emergence of sensational kind of news. The more sensational, the better the TRP. It doesn't matter anymore if you are invading someone's personal space, all that matters is sound bytes. and pehlai pehlai, it was very much restriced to celebrities, but now everyone is fair game.

Then there's the suspicious of all muslims guy, played by Kay Kay, who I think has set the bar to the point where Im thinking if Kay Kay is in it it must be good, alrite minus Drona but you know what I mean. So anyway this is the guy who in his detective suspicious mode goes to the extent to going to the muslim guy's house and finding out where was he on the blast day, and when his misconceptions get cleared he realizes that not every muslim is a terrorist. At work once I was asked almost cautiously immediately after finding out I was a muslim, what do you think of Dawood? I have always been one to call a spade a spade and it made me a little irritated that the person would think I would even try to defend a criminal. What is wrong is wrong, your religion is your personal thing and in no way allows you to use that as your shield in doing wrong things. After I said that, I was asked so you are pretty vocal about this. Why wouldnt, I be, I am not trying to dissociate myself, I just find it wrong to even consider these kind of people as muslims.

moving on, theres paresh rawal and supporting actors, who play roles of cops. Paresh Rawal is awesome in this movie. This track is very real, its a portrayal of how cops sit on the fence trying to balance what is wrong and what is chalta hai. an aquaintance,V, was telling his story once on how he broke a signal on his bike once in delhi and the cop caught him and asked him to pay. He only had some 50 rupees or something his pocket, so was indignant and was like "theek hai ticket deido"( give me the ticket) something on those lines. the cop goes from the dhamki mode into the acha jaanei do mode and is like lets finish the story here only. V was like forget it just give me a ticket, I dont have any money on me. The cop is like you dont have any money? And starts scolding him how can you leave house without any money? How much do you have? V is like I have 50. The cop is like ok give me 30 and we can forget everything. At the time, V was saying his story it was more like the light-this-happens-only-in-india kinda stories tone. But in reality, its actually very sad. Its become very common to bash cops. Our family's only encounter with cops in India hasnt been great so its added to their image. In reality, I know its the same case of equating all muslims as terrorists. and not everyone can be measured on the same scale.

this isn't restricted to cops. it permeates the whole society. at one local bank in India, we had gone for some papework and one oe of the clerks, directly asked us for some karcha paani, since of course because you live abroad you of course are the golden goose. At the time, I was shocked beyond belief, and had a major argument with my mom why she is feeding into this vicious circle. her answer was like jaanei do, coz they do have the power to make everything extremely difficult for you. and they will use it, since thats the only power they have.

Then there's this poor man, played well again by Irfan Khan, who is simply trying to fit in this upper middle class/rich snobbery. Not even fit in I would say just trying to be a fleeting part of it. He is happy in his own world, but pple dont allow him even a basic dignity. He fights back in other ways, I wont give out the whole story, but realizes his wrong doing and tries to rectify it. This again is very common, you see it everywhere, people speaking condescendingly to the watchman of your society, the housemaid etc. It breeds contempt for each other.

Then there's the educated guy, again played super well by Madhavan, who loves his city and doesn't want to move to the greener pastures of the USA. He travels by local train and not cause he cant afford it, but because it is faster and environmental friendly. One of my favourite lines in the movie where the NRI friend is like be it here in India or in the US, the new generation will become immune to violence and tragedy.

On a similar tangent though, yesterday I went to see the movie W with a bunch of friends, its a movie based on George Bush, we reached the theatre really early and t our shock ther ewas a huge line for the 11 pm show an hour before! The movie was well boring, I fell asleep couple of times. But what was shocking to me, is how involved the youth are or at least care about the elected governement and are curious to know more. Topic at our dinner was heavily about politics, most people do think Obama can win, but no one is confident that he will definetly win. Then there was talks of how there are so many videos on youtube that are anti Obama and say he is a terrorist and how the republican party is even propagating this and how the "mob" at the rally was using words like treason and kill him. But what really shocked me, and the point of saying this story, was when a friend mentioned how he was at a bar watching the debate and people were like there is so much hatred still and shayad if he does become president, he will be killed.

But what bugged him and what bugs me too, was that people were so matter of fact about it and if it happens, Khuda na Khasta, it will be more like oh we expected this and not so much why is this happening? It really scares me that we are slowly becoming immune. We become so fixated in our own little world, that nothing not even tragedy happening all around can affect you. Its like we are watching a long movie and as long as we aren't in the movie, its all good.

if you watch only one movie in the remaining of this year, watch mumbai meri jaan


Ashraf's Pen 6:15 AM  

Obama is the president now.

Guess we know half the story. Lets see what the second half holds.

However I think there is no world leader however popular he may be , who does not face a threat to his life. There are always crazies and anarchists out there.

But for all the white supremacists there are also the secret service guys ready to take a bullet if the need be for the president.

So its now less about race than ever

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