Feb 20, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire : A Review

Being a movie fanatic , from the first time I saw Slumdog Millionaire listed in the "Top 250 movies" of imdb.com, I was dying to watch this movie, and now I have watched this movie I am dying with rage.

After waiting for weeks (bloody load shedding!) and hearing rave reviews till I got tired , I watched this movie to find a terribly over hyped ridiculous fairy tale. Just a glorified fairy tale full of stereotypes and cliches but thanks to the marketing and western prejudice towards third world countries, it's getting rave reviews, has already won numerous awards, a 34th position on the imdb top 250 movies and is on its way to the Oscars.

I take movies as a form of art and also a medium of getting your ideas across the audience and it pains me to see such movies winning accolades. It saddens me to see people's ability to think logically subconsciously bullied by the media hype.

Let's play the Who wants to be a scumdog exploitaires? Quiz. Starting with a question for:

Rs. 1000: Does it take two hours to know the story of Slumdog Millionaire?
The film is very predictable,you can tell the whole story of the film in approximately 10 mins.All the characters are either black or white,excepting the hero's brother.The climax was a let down,typical of bollywood films(a frantic climax where somehow everything becomes right!)

Rs. 4000 : Is hindi for the villianious characters and low class characters whereas English is for any portagonist even if he is uneducated?
Language: The language in which the characters speak is the soul of a movie. Cidade de Deus, Shichinin no samurai, Ladri di biciclette were made in native language and so the originality of the movie was intact. Here kid learns to speak English so well when he lived in the slums of India and never learned to read. Okay, "whole movie can't be in subtitles" but then why do the prostitutes and the abusive husband of latika speaks in Hindi. Does it mean that hindi is spoken by the low class or villainous characters only. Why do the policemen speak English in Indian accent even when they are most probably more educated than Jamal.

Rs. 16000: Which is the most pathetic scene in the movie history?
A kid jumps into a pool of excreta to get an autograph of Amitabh Bachchan.And he gets the autograph!!!. What a pathetic scene!

Rs. 250,000: What is Real India and Real America?
The kid gets beated and tells the American , "This is real India" and the American lady handles him a $100 bill saying that's " real America"? WTF!!!! What do you mean?Since when do people tip with $100 bills, and this AFTER the people themselves have been robbed? Are Americans so foolish and so ego-trip centered?

Rs. 1 Million:Who wrote the history of Taj Mahal? And who can work as guides in Taj Mahal? How did Mumtaz die?
A lazy G***Fu**ing Indian wrote the history of Taj Mahal. Mumtaaz died in a road accident. AND tourists are so naive that they believe this!!

Rs. 2 Million:How did Amitabh Bachchan use to treat the participants of his show "Kaun Banega Crorepati?"
He makes such sarcastic comments like "chaiwala", "easier than making chai" and tries to humiliate his guest. Audience laugh at his sarcastic remarks and cheer. And he is very worried about someone winning so much money that he risks his image and feeds wrong answers. And it's a LIVE SHOW!

Rs. 5 Million: How does one know who invented revolver?
By looking his brother (who doesn't know himself) use a colt revolver to kill someone. What not many people (even who own a colt revolver) know someone knows by just seeing it being used.

Rs. 10 Million: How are the societies of the third world countries?
Morally Bankrupt. Not only there is poverty but there is misery everywhere.Nothing else!

And Finally the question of

Rs. 20 Million: Should Slumdog Millionaire win the Oscars or any more awards?
I will be Damned if it does. What wrong with Danny Boyle , I wonder. But still who knows, it the mass opinion that matters. Besides Oscar hasn't that good record of appreciating the good movies...take the example of "Shakespeare in Love" over "Saving Private Ryan". So the correct answer would be "ASK THE AUDIENCE".

Thanks for Reading patiently!

Feb 16, 2009

Valentine's Day, Hike at Shivapuri and the InkSpots!

Having been single for as long as I can remember and having a short lived relationship that left me embittered and shattered (for a while though), I could not care less about The Valentine's Day but thanks to the delicacy of the feelings that we tend to attach with this thing called "Love" , I was apprehensive to the arrival of this year's valentine day. I was wondering what shall I do this day so as not to feel bad for not having someone to love. Frankly, I don't give a damn about my relationship status. I find it unnatural for me to be in a relationship. An introvert, reserved personality with a critical attitude towards frivolousness and what more, a not so good looking face...not a wonder , I find valentine's day alone.

Well, this Feb 14 , along with some tough friends with mine, I planned to celebrate by embarking on an Xtreme hike at Shivapuri National Park. I call it Xtreme owing to the fact that we rarely traveled through the hiking trails, instead we took the difficult shortcuts that's straight through the jungle and up the waterfalls. It was a tiring experience but I enjoyed it immemsely coz I love hiking and I love testing myself to the extreme. As a saying goes "How can you know about yourself fully if you haven't pushed yourself to the limit? " And these experiences are my effort to push myself to the limit and know who I am. A tiresome uphill hike to the Baghdwar and after a short rest again an uphill hike to the top of the hill...I can't describe the pain and the joy as well. Shivapuri is really one of the most wonderful place for hike lovers and for lovers as well.

Panting fast and loud, while I was applying my greatest effort to take one more step uphill and trying to convince myself that the destination was about to come .just a couple of steps more, a thought struck me... "What could Love mean to me?"


I don't know the answer but I think love should make our life simpler and easier and not complicate it. If it doesn't complicate your life, it will surely help to bring out the best in you. For me that's an important need in life...bringing out the best in yourself. I found myself humming this song by InkSpots (Afican American Vocal Group that ganied popularity during 1920s and 1930s):
If I didn't care more than words can say
If I didn't care would I feel this way?
If this isn't love then why do I thrill?
And what makes my head go 'round and 'round
While my heart stands still?

If I didn't care would it be the same?
Would my ev'ry prayer begin and end with just your name?
If I didn't care...

Feb 11, 2009

Self Ownership In Nepalese Society

When looked upon from the vantage point of freedom, Nepalese society seems to be in infant stage. A mature society implies respect for the right of an individual to enjoy maximum freedom as to what to do with his life, actions and property and hence live a life he chooses while respecting similar rights of others. This viewpoint of a mature society arises from the concept of self-ownership which may seem bizarre to a society like ours. Despite gaining political and civil liberties to some extent as a result of various political movements and revolutions and the impact of globalization, Nepalese society hasn’t yet embraced the concept of respect for the rule of law and social and economic freedom.

What is self-ownership?

The concept of self-ownership can be traced back to John Locke who said the individual "has a right to decide what would become of him and what he would do, and as having a right to reap the benefits of what he did." To put it simply, the concept of self ownership means that every person owns himself and is responsible for all his actions, which means that you have the highest claim to your life. No other person or groups of person own your life nor do you own the life of others. If anyone else would have a higher claim to your life than you do then it would imply that you are a slave, not a free person. Every person is equal and therefore they also have the highest claim to their life. So, what person “A” does with his life or his body shouldn’t be of any concern to “B” until and unless A doesn’t breach B’s rights of self ownership. No individual has the right to initiate force to take away other person’s life or liberty. The right to own oneself is hence, "self-evident."

Another facet of self-ownership is that the state is merely a body representing individuals for the sole purpose of safe-guarding the natural rights of its people. Government officials don’t enjoy any rights more then we civilians do. Officials don’t have the right to take away someone else’s life, liberty or property without their voluntary consent. Since we don’t have these rights, naturally our representatives can’t have that right. One cannot give what one doesn’t have is a universal truth. Rights to life, liberty and property don’t come from the state they are with us from birth. State is there to safeguard our rights.

Self-Ownership and Personal freedom

A society with respect for self-ownership rights gives maximum freedom of choice to individuals; making them responsible for their own actions which in turn drives the society towards progression through better decisions, competition and innovations. Only in such societies is a person free to choose the course of his life, his religious values, his culture and traditions and live a dignified life.

Self-Ownership and Private Property

The concept of self-ownership and private property are interdependent. Self-ownership states that property is something a person acquires by using his labor and liberty. Property is part of the nature which individual turns to valuable use or something he/she acquires through voluntary exchange. A person has the highest claim over his justly acquired property. No one has the right to exert forceful aggression against anyone else’s property. A person is free to choose what to do with his property. He can choose to destroy it, lend it, throw it, utilize it, underutilize it and whatnots until and unless there isn’t any aggression on somebody else’s property.

Why is it necessary for a prosperous society?

As we can see that in a society where self-ownership rights of the individuals are respected, every person has to be responsible for himself. He/She cannot think of prospering on someone else’s expenses. Every decision she makes and every action she performs is of utmost importance to her as the consequences are to be borne by him/her. When a person feels responsible for herself, she starts acting for her own best interests seriously. When every one feels responsible for their life and starts working to improve their life sincerely, society moves towards progression.

The property right of a person acts as an incentive for him to work more and be prosperous. The people who put more efforts in their life get more whereas people unwilling to work for themselves won’t prosper or survive because they can’t forcefully take someone else’s property. Property right motivates people to work more, innovate new things, use their resources more efficiently and productively which contributes in the economy of a society.

What is the present condition in Nepalese Society?

Self –ownership is a new concept for our society. There are many instances where our culture and practices prevent people from becoming self-responsible. Let take the example of the practice of inheritance. According to our culture and our law, a person inherits the wealth of his parents. A person regardless of his wishes, has to give his property to his wife and children. The children who receive huge wealth from their parents without having to work for it take it for granted. There is no incentive for them to work hard and make a fortune for themselves. If someone’s father is earning well, then the son doesn’t think it necessary to work for his living as he is sooner or later going to inherit the wealth.

Another example can be the tendency of Nepalese people living with their parents even after attaining adulthood. The free scholarship and free lodging –fooding we receive from our parents is making us less responsible in our studies and life. Most of our youngsters today complain more and take less responsibility for their life.

On a higher level, if we look at our society, even a small problem in the neighborhood awaits the government’s action. A strict government is the panacea to all the problems. “The government should take more action…”, “Our government should provide us this and that …..”, “That’s not my job, the government should do it…” are one of the most common phrases we hear everyday. Our expectations from government ranges from free education, free health services to employment. Our expectations from the government are not only too many but ridiculous as well. Letting government be responsible for many aspects of our life, we have increased the government’s control on our lives. There are very few aspects of our life which are free from government control. Letting government take decisions for us, every child born in Nepal has an increasing debt of more than Rs.13000 on his head.

Lack of respect for self-ownership rights appear time and again in our news. Husbands killing their wives for dowry issues and feeling no regret, labour unions shutting down industries, various women groups attacking the beauty pageants and refusing to let the participants make their decision on whether the pageants are using them as commodities or not, security personnel killing civilians, ruling party seizing the property of civilian and refusing to return them are some very common news in our media.

Conclusion

The society with respect for self-ownership rights is the most practical, ethical and prosperous society. It’s the society where its members learn to be responsible for their lives and enjoy maximum freedom to shape up and live their lives as they choose. Due to responsible citizens, the resource in such societies are utilized most efficiently and productively. A free and responsible society is the ultimate stage of any civilization. Sadly, our society lags far behind in this regard. While we are talking about a new prosperous Nepal, every Nepalese should realize that the pathway to our goals is a free and responsible society and works towards the attainment of the same.

Feb 9, 2009

Namaste! Welcome to my blog.

Well, procrastination , I believe is the greatest obstacle to success. It's already more than a year since the day i had a click in my mind and I decided to create a blog of my own and post something into it. I dreamed of posting my articles and being a famous blogger and it's after a year I am actually typing my first post in my blog...that's procrastination. It is one of the greatest weakness of mine and I guess yours too. Whether one can overcome procrastination and act separates wishful dreamers from successful people. Because as you see, every person can have an idea, dream...anyone who has ever taken a shower has an idea but it's the person who comes out , dries herself and does something about it who makes the difference. I am glad that i have taken my first step and i hope to continue for a long long time. I say this because I have come around so many blogs (many of them were quite good) die out after a while. I hope i will be able to continue blogging for a long time. Thank you for visiting my blog! I will be posting my articles and some wonderful I come across in this blog. Hope to get your comments. Thank you!