Thursday, January 27, 2011

Mee ShivajiRaje Bhosale boltoy and the rise of Marathi Cinema !

It has been some time since i have seen a Marathi movie.. And this one was a very pleasant watch after a long time.

Gone are those days when i used to be a regular at Prabhat/Neelayam theaters in Pune for Matinee shows. Also gone are the days of senseless comedies Ashok Saraf and Lakshmikant Berde.

Marathi movies, since then, have become socially relevant and it is certainly a pleasure to watch some of them. The shift possibly began with 'Saat Chya aat Gharaat' when Marathi cinema started focussing on relevant social themes instead of senseless comedies. Shwaas, Dombivili Fast and Natrang are great movies with wonderful performances. I am no expert on Marathi Cinema, but I can certainly sense a change in the mindset of the industry - the proof being the increasing number of movies having social relevance.

Coming back to 'Mee ShivajiRaje Bhosale boltoy', the performances of Sachin Khedekar and Mahesh Majrekar are stellar. Though it might gone in overdrive mode in the second half, it certainly sends across the message to all 'maharashtrians'. One of the learnings from the movies is the maturity in the definition of a 'Maharashtrian'. Sachin Khedekar, in one of the most prominent sections of the movie, defines a 'Marathi Manus' as anybody who has domiciled in the state of Maharashtra and does not limit it to those speaking Marathi. Going by this, even a taxi driver bhaiyya from UP or an Udupi/Marwadi who has setup business in Maharshtra becomes a Maharashtrian. The industry has gone way beyond the petty politics of MNS and others alike. And it is a welcome sign...

A must watch for anybody who has stayed in Maharashtra at any point of time in their lives - I can guarantee that you would be able to relate to it...

Way to go Marathi Cinema !! I am already awaiting the next big one...

<< Opinions expressed are purely my own - Feel free to let me know if you are offended by any of these >>

Monday, January 24, 2011

North American Immigration Diaries - Where 'S/P' is 'XL' !!!

If you are expecting a series like Vampire Diaries etc, then you might as well stop reading here.

However, if you are even remotely interested in immigration related aspects - then you are in the right place !

I have been wanting to write this piece for a long time since i relocated to Canada (although just for a couple of years !). This is about the challenges that immigration poses and the adjustments you make - to fit yourself into a culture that is drastically different from yours.

This is the first of a series, which talks about immigration to North America, its challenges and the possible adjustments or solutions. It certainly may not be suitable to all locations within North America considering the diverse nature of this continent. However, I have tried to be as generic as possible. Enjoy the read !

Where 'S/P' is 'XL'

Welcome to North America - A land where everything is grandiose right from the Christmas turkey to a glass of Coke to the rocky mountains of Colorado. And all these seem even more bigger when you consider the fact that I come from a geography where even a cup of tea has transformed into a 'Cutting Chai' ! That reminds me that an 'S' cup of coffee is easily equivalent to 2 cutting chais.

The first thing you notice when you land in this continent is the size of cars. It seems as if we are living in an era where family planning methods have not yet been discovered and people have to plan well in advance !! There certainly has been quite a bit of debate over this but this love for Gas guzzlers seems to be catching up again.

Courtesy BBC News

The next thing that would take you by surprise is the size of meals. North Americans, without any exceptions, have a great built and you need to understand that this has not happened overnight.. And by the time you understand this fact, you are already having the same diet ! I must, however, admit that diet in North America* is certainly more balanced than what you would have normally had in India.
(*French fries and Mayonnaise excluded !)

And the grandiosity extends to almost everything of daily use - Shoes, size of packs of tissue papers, size of eggs, milk cartons, average length of cigarettes, gloves and sizing of garments.

Garments, the main crux of this blog, are crucial to your appearance. And, if you don't choose them correctly, you may end up wearing baggy pants and baggy shirts all the time. It certainly is a different story if you think it is still fashionable !

'S/P' (stands for Small/Petit(french)) is the smallest size available in North America. You might have significant trouble finding a right sized garment if you tend to fall around the average height a typical Indian male (not sure about females though! - sorry for that).

For a long period now, I have been involved in this epic struggle to get the right size of garments. I have constantly been 'kid'ding about venturing into kids section. One fine day, I decided to give it a try and to my amazement/embarrassment/dilemma, I did find a blazer fitting perfectly !!! It was my day of realisation in North America... (Of course, I don't recommend this to everybody - else I might be sued for dragging somebody into depression !)

And the story goes on - Just that this one is indeed a GRAND story !!

And, as a concluding note, please do note that I have purposely not ventured out into size of condoms and other sensitive topics just to retain the 'G' rating of this blog !!!


Monday, January 17, 2011

Back to Basics !!!

The last three days have been splendid. One great movie a day - this has been the best continuous stretch of extraordinary movies.

DAY 1: 127 Hours

A story about a young adolescent trying to find peace in solitude. An adventurer at heart, Aron, often ventures out solo 'into the wild' away from civilization. On this occasion, unfortunately, gets caught in one of the worst places that one can imagine - Hundred feet below surface, in one of the Canyons in Utah (US), with a boulder crushing his right hand.

This is an inspiring story of survival, will power and spontaneity.

Trailer below: (Source: IMDb)

(Apple devices may not be able to play this - Requires flash)

<< This one is still in theaters - you may be able to catch it one of the screens near you >>

DAY 2: Into the wild

This is a classic directed by Sean Penn. Again, a story of an adventurer who ventures out 'into the wild' away from civilization to 'live'. Wonderfully made, this one is highly recommended to anybody who likes to be 'out there' in the wild.

A lovely story about how he abandons every'thing' he has before he sets out on his journey, a journey which turns out to be an epic journey that makes him understand some basics in life.

This story gets into you and raises some questions which put into question your own identity. One of the best movies i have ever seen in my life.

Trailer below: (Source: IMDb)

(Apple devices may not be able to play this - Requires flash)

DAY 3: The King's Speech

The story of King George VI of Britain and how he overcomes his stammer to give an outstanding inspiring speech when his country needs it the most. Amazing performances from Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush as King George VI and Lionel Logue respectively.

Great mix of history and a simple yet strong story. The story doesn't get dull at any moment during the entire movie and keeps you waiting for the final speech.

Certainly a bright Oscar prospect..

Trailer below: (Source: IMDb)

(Again, your Apple device may not be able to play this)

DAY 4: This blog

I could not resist myself from writing this piece. There are 2 great common learning points across these fantastic movies.

Go back to basics: Start questioning your direction in life - and maybe do a status check of where you are. All that these movies do is inspire us to think more into what we really want and what is 'necessary' and what is 'good to have'.. I know it is easier said than done, but nothing wrong with making an attempt.

Passion: Be it Aron Rolston in '127 Hours' or 'Alexander Supertramp' in 'Into the wild' or King George VI in 'The king's speech', the common underlying driver in each of these is the passion to achieve what you really want. What makes these stories even more powerful is the fact that all these are real stories and not fictional ones.

Let us hope we all figure out what we really want and achieve it too !

But, nothing stops us from giving a try..

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad