Sunday, March 18, 2012

Finally, we have an "Actress" in Bollywood!

Vidya Balan - the first time I saw her on the big screen in Parineeta, I was spellbound by her acting & thought how could the 'Radhika' of my favourite serial Hum Paanch be starring in such a big producer's movie & act so well! I heard comments like 'wife material' for her from my then classmates on Parineeta. I didn't have any problems with the comment per se, but did have issues the way she was commented upon. I enjoy my fundamental right to speech a little too much but on this instance, I didn't exercise this freedom I remember :-) Well, I never thought she would possibly be able to compete with the upcoming trend of being size-zero or being starred in the movies just for the screen presence to attract (stupid) audiences.

Then came the movies like Lage Raho & Guru - she had improved a lot in her 'style' & had started looking really nice (thanks to her designers in these movies). Later came more movies like Bhool Bhulaiyaa or Salaam-E-Ishq - whatever the movie was, whether a super hit or a major flop - there was one thing common in all her movies, it was her acting. She was an 'actor', knew how to act & take on the roles given to her really well. She has very nice looks, smile to reasonably good limits that were enough to make a screen presence. But I always wondered would these suffice for her to succeed - especially in the trend when it was okay if the heroine in the movie need not even know dialogue delivery or giving apt expressions, but she need to have zero fat on her body & wear almost no clothes to show how less fat she has on her body!

Hats off to this lady who acted in the Dirty Picture, I had seen Silk Smita acting when I was a kid, I remember the day when we heard the news of Silk Smita's death in a Telugu news channel. I still want to know who the guy played by Naseeruddin Shah in the movie was in real life. I remember people only cursing Silk Smita for the 'dirty' images she portrayed on the screen. I am happy this movie revealed the truth behind her portraying what she did. 

The daring that this woman Vidya Balan showed by exposing her obscenely fat figure needed for the character she played in the movie (yes, Silk Smita I had seen myself was OBSCENELY FAT & it looked VERY UGLY) & that too in today's world of Bollywood was honestly very, very commendable. That proves the strength of a movie lying in the story & the acting, no matter what the other parameters are & how they are shown on screen.

Yet again - the movie Kahaani, what a story! What an acting! And hence, What a movie!

I thought the 'actresses' in Bollywood are far gone, I was constantly reminded of the movies like Waheeda Rehmaan's Khaamoshi & wondered if I would get to see a heroine-centric movie again with only acting by heroines & not all sorts of stupidity. Thanks to Vidya Balan my answer to this question is in affirmative now!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

10 years - still so fresh in memories!

27th Feb, 2002 - just after we were remembering the damage created by the earthquake to our lives in the past year of 2001. It was about 3:00 PM when we got to hear about the mob setting fire to the Sabarmati express at the Godhra station. People spoke a lot about that, everyone was discussing about various options while the news spread that the coaches were coming to Ahmedabad, honestly I couldn't follow a word of what was happening as that was the first time I was hearing something like that! Almost everybody was sure, there would be something that would happen. What would happen, what impact would it have, how much impact would it have, who all would be affected, when would it start, when would it end if at all....nothing was known. Slowly the day passed & towards late evening, fear started spreading around the city - immense fear. Next day morning, things started & nothing in our country can initiate at such a fast pace as what we know today as the historic riots in Gujarat 2002.

I can't describe the details - but the damage it had done to all the lives has not yet healed entirely. Almost everybody has views about the riots, all sorts of questions - who did it? why they happened? how they happened? About the political icons involved in the riots - all these in the fastest developing city of the country.

I LOVE Ahmedabad - I give most of the credit to that city in making me what I am today. I hate the fact that the city saw such high impactful incidents like the earthquake, riots, floods back-to-back. But each time, it stood back up to normalcy. But of course some things remain silent, unspoken but they remain - in the form of distances between people, distances between friends, distances between communities which were once sharing celebrations of festivals together!

10 long years now - the city has seen amazing development in terms of infrastructure, in terms of ease & peace of life! The only thing it was lacking possibly was the jobs sector which now has not remained a big concern with many IT companies setting up their offices there & also some companies considering some of their outsourcing operations to be set up there.

I keep reading a lot of stuff occasionally on the riots front - news pieces, some video snippets etc. a week back, when I was seeing the documentary by Rajdeep Sardesai on this I remembered the experiences I had also during the riots - there was indefinite curfew which after 1.5 months or so, started opening up just for 30 mins to 1 hour only for women & kids - the shops has stinking eggs, no milk, no vegetables - all we could do is cook some rice & eat it with something like a pickle - we south Indians can survive just with rice & some pickles or some powders. Fear was in the air - police releasing tear gas shells just in our street, sudden curfew announcements happening which would throw current through your spine - we could see mobs going with as many kinds of weapons as possible to just cut down anybody in the rival side - all from our own balcony. It was truly terrifying, there was fire everywhere, lots of well-known shops, restaurants were set ablaze, every road had vehicles burning, some friends described seeing incidents of setting people live on fire!!! I pray such an instance won't happen again! At least I don't have the courage to see it again!

To all of those who suffered in the riots passively, to all those who got jailed for no reason, to all those whose families got affected for no reason, to all those who are probably still suffering & lacking the basic amenities, to all those who died innocently, to all those whose businesses were washed away, to all those whose livelihoods were ripped apart - hats off to their strength! And prayers that the human race gains some wisdom to not let such incidents take place ever again!

Read the Outlook issue of March 5, 2012 here generally on some other related articles.