Sanjay’s note: Last week, I was arguing with some friends who kept insisting Argo was one of the best films of 2012. I disagreed, because I felt a good film should have dealt with Iranian characters more deeply, and provided an insight into the mindsets of both sides involved in the stand-off (Iran and America). My friends thought I was taking the film too seriously, and that Argo does qualify as a great film because it’s a taut thriller and a complete entertainer.

This blog sums up my feelings on why such difference of opinion arises on films. Different people seek and see different things in films, and hence people’s own perceptions and experiences color their review of films. Do read if you’re a cinephile!


CinemaIt is a difficult thing to love a popular art form, especially film. It means that one must accept that there is an assumption of equality of opinion amongst the public in relation to the form in which you have chosen to invest yourself. That is to say, most people feel qualified to watch a film and give their opinion of its quality.

By saying this, I do not wish to imply that people do not have a right to their own opinion. There is no doubt that people should feel comfortable expressing their views, especially within a medium whose target audience is (at least within the mainstream) the broader public. But what I am saying is that there is an assumption in the modern age that the opinions of each individual must be considered objectively equal, and that cinema’s status as the most accessible and publicly digested form makes…

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Rishtedaar-inspired rap

Note: Maama Maami mentioned here are fictional. Real maama maami are very sweet people. “Maama Maami” here epitomize a certain category of folks, who we all encounter in our lives.


Ghar baithe shaanti se gatak raha tha chai,

Jab maama maami ghus aaye andar bin ghanti bajaaye,

Boxers mein ghoomna maana jaata hai indecent,

Jaldi daala pyjama aur lagaai thodi si scent.


“Kaisa chal raha hai beta” mamaji ne poocha,

Bola kar raha hoon kuch entrepreneurship sa,

“Kitna kamaa lete ho” aaya maami se question,

Diya answer toh dekha unke chehre pe frustration.


“Beta yeh sab theek hai, par naukri kab karoge”,

“Kuch saalon mein apni galti ki keemat bharoge”,

“Tumhaari umar ke ladke ban gaye CEO”,

“Monu tumse chhota hai, khareedi hai Pajero”.


Aisi baatein sunke mera mann hua vyaakul,

3 ghante baad maama maami ho gaye gul,

Waapas bhari apne pyaale mein maine phir chai,

Told myself I’ll live once, only defeat is not to try.


Nahi hai Pajero, par Wagon-R ki jai,

Cannot go to Rome, but Taj paas hi hai,

Desk pe din bhar baith khud ko deta tha gaali,

Kiye kuch experiments, toh mann mein hai khushaali.


Aamir Khan ki movie “3 idiots” zaroor dekhein,

Usme ek paatth hai, agar aap sabak lein,

Jeena ek baar toh phir darke kyon jeena,

Chase your random dreams, mauka milega yeh phir na.


Failure hai overrated, kuch nahi khota,

Thoda adjustment hai, but who kab nahi hota,

Zanjeerein hain artificial tod sakte ho,

Zindagi ki gaadi kabhi bhi mod sakte ho.



Many fleeting thoughts

A lot has been written about the tragic incident that occurred on a Delhi bus the night of December 16th, 2012. An innocent, regular girl, wanting no more than to live a regular life, had to undergo heartbreaking suffering. On December 29th, she departed, leaving us all to continue living in a cruel, insane world.

She is gone. The aftermath has consisted of a national outrage against sexual harassment of women in India, many protests, and a dead government waking up to its people’s demands. An atmosphere of conflict and rage still persists all over India, especially in Delhi where I live.

On a personal and spiritual level, I have felt a number of things in the last many days. Thought of jotting them down here.

  • Karma does not explain suffering. How does one explain the suffering that girl went through, on that bus, at the hands of those deranged men? The simplistic explanation offered by Karma, that we pay in this life for actions in our past life, seems perverse in this case. 
  • Life truly is unpredictable. Our plans are made of dust, and we are constantly fooling ourselves into believing they are concrete.
  • I have always believed that the litmus test of fairness is: how do you treat and co-exist with those less powerful than you. Humans have always failed this test. Rich countries exploit poor countries, men exploit women, humans exploit the helpless animal kingdom. As a species, we are morally bankrupt. Other animals never take from nature more than they want. When they fight, it is for the existential need of food and reproduction, never for greed.

I believe in smiling at life’s absurdities, and moving on. However, the suffering of the girl haunts my mind. I can simply pray that her family finds peace someday, and that we can do better as a society in providing a safer country for everyone, especially women and children.