Right from childhood, stories that had their foundation in magic and ‘chamatkars’ always appealed to me. I must have watched 10s of combinations of stories like – Ramu’s son is ill and no doctor is able to cure him; Ramu goes to a godman who whips up a magical powder; Ramu applies the powder on his son’s forehead and the kid is magically cured. As a child, I remember being in awe of the godman and thinking, “Wow! This man is amazing!”. Friends readily contributed their own stories of how the godman was indeed magical.
A commonly used spell in the Harry Potter books is “Stupefy”. When a wizard says the incantation, a jet of red light flies out of the tip of the magic wand and if it hits the target, the recipient gets stunned and knocked out of his senses. I am unsure of the date and time when it happened but sometime early in this century, I am sure that not “Stupefy” but a “Stupidify” spell was fired through TV screens across India. The spell dulled the senses of all who were hit and since then all those stupidified have been running on minimal grey cell usage. One of the obvious effects of the Stupidify spell is a complete failure at keeping ones brains switched on while in front of a TV screen. I believe that even I am regularly under the influence of the spell. So in this brief interval when I do not feel all that stupidified, I am writing to let the world know of this sinister spell.
Post the T20 world cup, Dhoni is said to be making crores more and every other cricketer is making lakhs more. Good for them and best wishes to them. However something that isn’t good for us, is how our tax money was blown by every government in the country during the post world cup money distribution ceremonies. I have nothing against good old Ajit Agarkar or the promising Rohit Sharma, but I think it was not right of the State government to dole out 20 lakhs of tax payer’s money.
What’s the difference between the prime minister’s speech on 15th Aug 1947 and 15th Aug 2007? What’s the difference between the president’s and chief minister’s TV addresses in the 80s and those in 2007? The content and the speakers sure have changed, but there have been no changes in the medium of delivery. While technology and presentation mediums have improved dramatically, government and political addresses are still consistently delivered in a dry boring format. In their current form, these speeches would be watched only if the nation is going through some crisis and people are looking for direction from the leader, a la Mussharaf in a troubled Pakistan. However at other times, I wonder how many countrymen would watch for more than a few minutes….
(Cont…Click the scanned article image on the left). Published as part of my column for the Maharashtra Herald that’s published on alternate Saturdays )
Article touches on movies, regional languages, Hindi and English. Published as part of my column for the Maharashtra Herald that’s published on alternate Saturdays.
I am no movie buff or expert, but I do like to stay in touch with what’s happening in the movies and the changing mannerisms of moviewalas. Only a few years back it seemed like Indian movies would gradually lose out to English movies partly because of the spread of English education but primarily because Indian movies lacked innovation. They were beating the same stories to death. I was certain that Hindi movies were in big trouble once English movies dubbed in Hindi started being screened.