Archive for the ‘Popular Media’ Category

Clash of the Titans VS Taare Zameen Par

Usually, I do not keep English movie pack, but as Tatasky DTH gives a scheme on each Saturday, I added the pack of English films when it was offered for Rs 5 for one whole month. (Did it thrice in the past one year.. watching English movies at just Rs 5 for the month)

Yesterday, I was watching Clash of the Titans on WB Channel. It was a one break movie and was enjoying /learning Greek mythology. Soon Rimil and Zohra joined.. they were in a Birthday party upstairs. Rimil looked into the movie information (2-3 lines about its story)… and started enjoying.

Soon there was a break and I picked up the Remote Control to scan the other channels. Taare Zameen Par was happening on Zee Cinema, ..watched for sometime .. and then after the long break pressed the Back button to go back to the English movie.

But Zohra (Khushi) insisted on the small boy film, the trailer of which she had been watching the past days. Deepti (my wife) also insisted for TZP. And finally after a 5 minutes argument between Rimil and Zohra, I finally decided that TZP is the option to be chosen.

There is immense fan following for Aamir Khan amongst my children, and whenever there is something worthwhile for children to listen to / watch .. the preference is for them. Exciting to watch in the film .. teeth of the protagonist boy (Ishaan), Aamir’s entrance into the classroom as a Joker and singing – dancing the while swirling his hips. the song Maa about mother’s love for the child.

Lesson – there is a vast amount of packed action on the small / big screen ..but there are few moments of true love and emotions .. which children (and all) need to watch and experience for them to get the taste of love (beyond conflict and violence which is immense in society, and he / she will confront in real life).


Cultural Workshop for Children

Rimil was in Pakur, spending his summer holidays, when his Daddy saw an announcement in the newspaper calling children of 8 to 16 years for a cultural workshop on behalf of Deptt of Arts, Culture and Youth of Jharkhand. Dad ordered the whole team of his family to pack up for Ranchi, for the 20 days workshop.

So the workshop started and as advised by Dad, Rimil opted for Theatre, and left out the other options Classical Singing, Classical Dance and Arts& Crafts, as the children had to choose only one subject. I advised him, .. Listen you can learn Singing from me, Dance you are doing in a Saturday Christian youth meet, and hence take Theatre as it is a conglomeration of various art forms, and is a group activity.

In the Theatre workshop he did the play by Russian writer, Chekhov, ‘The Chameleon’ named Girgit in Hindi. When I went through the original script few minutes ago.. realised that there have been some minor adaptations.. but the idea remains the same.. that of treating a High Official’s son or dog differently than what a treatment a common man or dog gets.

So what did Rimil gained.. skills of how a theatre dialogues and physical movement done to create a scene, a story.. and besides that the joy and experience of working in a group. Yes, theatre helps one to gain the confidence of working in a group.. this is what I have learnt during my engagement in my college years. It has helped me delving deep into the roles that I play.. an impact that an actor has to make to fulfill the role fully, he or she plays.. Remembering Shakespeare, All the World’s a Stage, and each of us play a role.. So let’s do it, at its best.

Parents need to play an immense role in helping their children to flower their talents and interests. Linking it up with Aamir Khan, the young filmi revolutionary.. who is known for his social commitment films/ events.. parents need to invest a lot of their time and money into building .. these Taare Zameen Par (the stars who live with us on ground).

Deepti used to take both the children to the Morhabadi Hockey Stadium ..getting up at 5am, preparing breakfast/ tiffin.. stay over the workshop from 7am to 1030am.. and then return back in auto. On weekends they got my assistance on the bike.. this went on for 20 days.. to end at the final show at Dr Ram Dayal Munda Cultural Centre.. near Hotwar Stadium in Ranchi. An experience for children and their parents !

In my college days I did a play Tota Kahani (The Parrot Story), based on story by Rabindranath Tagore. It was about how the formal schooling system is so boring / non-creative.. that it kills (the thought process). And hence there is a need to take up creative arts ..with children.. so that they can play, enjoy, create, and develop in this process of enhancing their skills.

O Ri Chiraiya

Yesterday we bought a small battery backed ampli-speaker with mike. I had surveyed the market earlier and with family we visited the shop at Ranchi Roshpa Tower, which sold guitar, harmonium etc. Rimil tested the system over there with the song ‘O Ri Chiraiya’. This is the latest sentimental song which came up in the first episode of Aamir Khan’s Satyamev Jayate.

We (means Rimil and myself), had downloaded the song as soon as we viewed it on the TV. StarPlus has uploaded the song just few minutes after the telecast. Rimil has a solo song competition coming up after the summer holidays (a vacation of almost a month 10th May to 10th June, in all Ranchi schools). While we were discussing which song to prepare, this came up.. and we went ahead to google the lyrics… found it and then wrote the song in devnagri script (Hindi) with the help of the latest of Google tools I am using.. Google Transliterate.. which provides support to write Hindi in Mangal font ..while working offline.

So now Rimil has O Ri Chiraiya.. in Roman and Devnagri script in his hand and he has started practicing  singing on the mike. And yes, he is able to get the pick up the music and mood well in his spirit. When we sing together.. I do see a good possibility of him becoming a good co-singer with me.. something like a son-father team ..performing for social causes. Would like to see this dream coming to reality ..even if in small manners !

Last words, there has been a back biting team working on Aamir, as Mr Perfectionist, trying to en-cash the sentiments that people express, and making profit out of it. This is highly cynical, and would rather like to have more dream makers like him to come on the world stage and take the task of social change ahead. Another thought that has come to me.. is to initiate a local Satyamev Jayate Campaign. Any buyers to this idea.. let us work together !


My Experience on Facebook so Far

September 17, 2011 Leave a comment

Was intending to write for a long time,but was not able to open this site. Supposedly Facebook, YouTube and Piratebay is taking a lot of my time on the computer and I am always engaged reading ‘social networking friends’ on it. Many of my ‘serious’ kinda friends keep away from Facebooking or when those into it, are able to break away for sometime, then they feel that they have done a ‘great’ job to have taken a vacation. Even, I think that at times I am too much ‘virtual than real’ .. but I find a similarity with the kind of ..ideology to practice based, humane efforts that I am engaged in.

The sharing of ideas, in the form of ‘what’s on your mind’ status and responding to someone’s posting /commenting is something that if taken seriously can help a lot in networking / sharing of personal opinions .. and matter of fact is that I have taken it seriously. It has helped me connect with a range of people from different age groups and cultures and acquaintance.

I remember that once one of my Facebook friend chatted to understand my sexual choice I my information said about interest in both boys and girls. He is a gay who had sent his invite and I had accepted it, and now he was trying to understand how and why I was interested in boys… Well ..I told him about my work on gender and sexuality.. (There might be more chatting / discussions which I have the liberty to reveal or conceal !).

On another instant I virtually was on a war.. towards breaking an existing ‘real’ friendship. A real friend gave a film analysis and I commented on it. Then he responded, then I.. then he, then I.. and finally the dangerous words started coming – You know you have such an analysis because you .. are an outsider, culturally confused, do not have the courage or the will to take positions.. somewhat like the middle class, etc etc..Well, I told him.. I do not have the patience and the energy to carry on the discussion any further.. and best would be to sit across table on a cup of tea further discuss.  And, tell you,  haven’t sat on it for 2-3 months .. cause I wanted the ‘time’ to heal the mis-understandings.  Further I believe, difference of opinions (attitudes/ behaviour) is what makes us all unique, in this world. And there need not be ‘common understanding’ on all themes, at all times !!

Recently, I have started a Group on Facebook – Men, Masculinity and Feminism.. a space with 150 members, male and female.. sharing mostly public thoughts on sexuality.. but some very personal experience sharing is also there. Wanna check the group, and its approx 15 postings ? And …Facebooking has helped me to share some romantic moods.. from songs, to how we vision the world.. with some of my friends. Are you one of them ???

How a Child is Born ?

January 15, 2011 Leave a comment

The parrot that I referred to in my last post died 4 days later, maybe due to cold winds. It (or maybe she) did not eat for 2 days and we tried giving him paracetamol but she did not regained back… Now the cage lies empty and the little Zohra is not able to watch her play. Well .. by the way, Zohra’s antics are just superb and captivating. She has many names ..Rimil calls her with filmy names like Priya, but her homely name remains Khushi.. for happiness.

This write up comes after a long gap .. just because of some engagements and the non-accessibility to laptop and internet during travel. I have almost stopped traveling with the laptop as last 2 years I suffered a setback when my hard disk crashed, water spill over my laptop, .. in turn giving heavy burden on me financially.

In fact I have virtually become dependent on these electronic equipments like mobile, laptop, camera, digital channels on television, and any damn information / entertainment resource on internet. This dependence is reflected in my daily routines in everyday life. Sleeping tired at night after working online, getting up at 6-7 am ..potty, brushing of teeth, checking of mail or status of torrent downloads, exercising (that’s on almost second day now), breakfast, pushing Rimil to school, then .. just intermittent periods of online working with breaks of caring period for Zohra, … all through the day, and till afternoon, when Rimil arrives from school and starts his cartoon channels.

My engagement with television .. NDTV news, DD Lok Sabha, Colors Big Boss, MTV some adult type reality show, Sony dance /song contests, Star Movies or HBO channel movie, .. Regarding Big Boss.. have seen almost 20 episodes and even Rimil has seen it, but hasn’t got to see adult versions of the same. Deepti (Priyasheela’s home name) is also nowadays interested in how these grown up boys and girls live their real lives together and wonders how this show is so entertaining for a lot of us… soon she will also find it entertaining. My opinion .. the depiction of real lives on the channels has really impacted upon the middle class attitudes and lifestyles.. in their movement.. higher up on the social hierarchical ladder.

Till few days back Rimil had the understanding that Zohra like other new-borns comes out of mother’s stomach by cutting it across. But few days back when he saw ‘3Idiots’ he has got a different understanding.. that a child is born from ‘potty door’ (he shows it physically by bending down’. He is almost near !

Will come again later. Till then .. Bye !

Why this (Another) Blog ?

November 12, 2010 Leave a comment

Hi Everybody !

I celebrated my 37th birthday on 27th october. Have been residing in Ranchi now for 5 years and have done some amount of blogging on blogspot – check …been into development work for almost 15 years now.

The things that I enjoy in life is the  cultural taste of different individuals and communities, and the wide diversity that exists in life around us. My personal experiences have helped me in cherishing this diversity…

Born in Lucknow, with Urdu / Muslim culture, nor regular goer  to Church, studied in Christian college, then college in Muslim University Jamia Millia Islamia, parentage half UP -ite half Bengali (mother a Bengali Christian), both working, etc

And later during / after college venturing at my to search own self, trying new possibilities .. venturing with left and ‘pro-people, anti-development’  groups, exploring tribal life and becoming a part of it with my marriage to Deepti. Now we have two child – Rimil is my 6.5 years son (name means Clouds in Santhali / Mundari tribal langauge) while Zohra is my 7 months daughter (name after Zohra Sehgal, famous theatrist now in her 90s, the name is not in Urdu dictionary which I searched on the net, later my Professor in Jamia told emailed that it is an Arabic word meaning blooming.. and she was born on the Sarhul, the day the Chota Nagpur adivasis were celebrating nature festival and prayig with flowers). With Rimil’s B’day on 30th march and Zohra’s B’day on 18th march, we plan to celebrate it only once .. best would be in April as the March rush of activities will be over !

Thus in a way I have started what I intend to do .. share personal experiences and get to hear responses on the same. The women’s movement has taught many that ‘personal is political’ and maybe this personal expression will help me/us in carving my/our politics of engaging with life / society around me / our selves.

In the past one year my engagement with online life has increased and I would really like to understand whether this engagement will really help in bringing about some change or not .. whether social networking / blogging change the way the life has been for all of us …in India or world.  I am on Facebook

I want to write this blog at least once every week. Let me see how quick and non-filtering can be in expressing what I feel about .. would not like this to be another of those impersonal accounts of events which does not ‘moves’ the reader… Bye !

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