Thursday, March 5, 2009

ARR Oscars, Slumdog millionaire and India

I am happy abt ARR's oscars for the reason that he and indian music get some international exposure. I do not know though if I should feel dissatisfied or proud that one of his not-so-bad compositions won the Oscar. Also, I am very concerned about the picture of India, painted by Slumdog Millionaire. There is no doubt that the movie has a really good story line and an effective screenplay but it was brutal reality and showing the most pathetic side of India to an international audience doesnt sound like such a good idea especially when many of them are unaware that civilization began with us (and the Egyptians and the Greeks). I realize the effect since I live in a foreign country amongst foreigners, many of whom have hardly any exposure to India. I had one of them ask me about the movie and I was actually glad he voiced it instead of just creating his own impressions and letting out caustic remarks some where, some time. I told him that if this was his first taste of India, I was sorry (and embarassed) about it and I gave him the swades DVD - also depicts reality but at the same time brings them out with a context and is evenly balanced !

This also made me wonder about why human beings have a tendency to like or appreciate bad news or misery -is it because the regular happy life is too mundane for us and we need a sort of perverted excitement from the wacky and unbelievably pathetic life of some less fortunate people ? The villain in ''Tomorrow never dies'' was right - no news is better than bad news ! Is this why the Pulitzer prize is awarded to a foto depicting an emaciated child in Somalia with a carcass on one side and a vulture waiting on the other side for the child to die and not a general webshots-like scenic pic ? Is this why White Tiger (another book depicting India at its worst) won the booker prize ? Is this why Balachandar movies are so popular - because almost none of them have the regular ''they-lived-happily-ever-after'' ending ?

I will be fair and look at the other side that art is at its best when the heart that represents it is moved and pained, substantiated with a lot of proof by numerous artists whose best works were done when they were heart-broken or in their death beds. The other point being spreading the ''naked'' truth awakens in some people, the desire to help, to reach out and do something for mankind and in some others, the hope to live and the yearning to cherish life, realizing how blessed they have been in comparison to the others.

I am not sure if I am saying all this to convince myself about the general human psyche or if this is a saving grace for my eternal optimistic attitude......but atleast it helps me assimilate the thoughts and not clutter my brain - I am strong believer of what Sherlock Holmes or rather Conan Doyle says w.r.t the brain being an attic with limited space and the more you store in it, the more cluttered it becomes and the more difficult it becomes to retrieve something that you often need ! (FYI: in case you havent read it already, I would suggest reading Sherlock Holmes. Even if you are not a detective story reader, I am sure you will appreciate the language and style of writing - complete collection is online http://www.ignisart.com/camdenhouse/)

Well, now that my attic is a little less full (:D), I can move on to the smaller articles that I want to retrieve.....
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Website Hit Counter I had decided to have a counter only after I hit a 1000 views and since it happened last week (as on 14 Dec 2009), now is the time to see some stats :)