Wednesday, March 31, 2010

lost post

One day Comrade (oops) N. received the following email in his inbox. I had a plan of posting it here on my blog. Not sure what happened to the plan, but applying the rule of better late than never, I present to you now ... more "self chauvinism" (exaggerated).
... Even if it be not so, here are two movie recommendations, one short and other even shorter, for we are all hard pressed to succeed and supersede with little time for digressions that benefits us.

Both are available in youtube, so please accept my thanks to Google on behalf of the have-nots. If you have already watched any of these, I am shocked that you never told me about them!

One is Renoir's "The river" (not so sure about the article). This is a simple movie, yet very very complex if you choose to dive, it is about India (and as the auteur said "about India without tigers or elephants") yet it could be about any riverbank locality, it is about three silly girls' coming of age yet it could be about how human beings deal with expectation, loss and unwanted turns in life. But all the while I was watching it, I had one of my (not oft-noticed) pleasant smiling expression on my face - because the movie was just beautiful, simply beautiful ... it is hard to describe when something which is simple and beautiful. The emotion was far from realism, there was an attempt to tell a story; tell a story like one's mom or grandmom or some old person tells a story, pausing when needed, with utmost care to ensure the kid is enjoying the story and creating a sweet-loving caring atmos. It does not remain just the story or the person or the candies that are stacked on the side ... everything blends and you just have a wonderful time. When the story ends, well... it ends. The feeling stays for a while and even water tastes better for the next half hour. As you can imagine, this was clearly a director's movie - the editing was superb, the colours ... amazing and the movie never gave me a chance to notice how the players were acting. As long as the movie was in motion, I was concerned about the characters as I would do in a dream where I never even think of figuring out who is behind the mask.

The shorter one is "The great train robbery" (1903 version). It was a notable first, you can read up all of that. Its a 10 min movie, about <15 shots. Each shot is beautiful ... each shot is shot with a static camera (panning only in two shots) and every shot could be printed on a 11x14 canvas and it would make a fascinating photograph. The contrast and the composition is of the highest quality. The other
great thing about the movie is that it tells a very simple tale, for someone in 2009, yet at about 3 mins in the movie, which is when I thought of noticing the time, I felt that the movie has been going on for quite a while. People talk about compact, solid lectures; here is a compact solid movie. It is surprising that you could show so much without moving the camera, without sophisticated acting, without a
complicated storyline just by thoughtful direction. I had to see to believe it.

Written in June, 2009. Posted in 2010.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Congrats dear.

Feb 25, 2010.
Women Reservation bill was passed in the Upper House of the Indian parliament.
After 14 years.
Scuffles. Impropriety. Rowdiness. Scorns. Attacks.
Yet, the bill was tabled and passed.

The bad is not going to sleep well.

For once, I applaud the determination of the current ruling party, Indian National Congress. It is not UPA anymore.

Congratulations and wishing you all the best. All housewives and working women (of India). And Mom.

Who manage their work, (public and/or private) relations and finance better than many MBAs, MPs and Ministers.

Salut! Let's drink to a sensible future.

Friday, March 5, 2010

It's not me, it's YOU

Media hounds didn't miss any chance of reporting this piece of sensational news "Many women think rape victims are partly to blame, says new survey". As expected, it even got the glorious cover-page spot, thanks to the credibility of BBC News who reported the findings. Here is a link to the original report.

BBC Survey (Feb 15, 2010) :

The first impression this generates is a complete heresy against our individuality, our social identity. In the survey of 1000 people in London,
"More than half of those of both sexes questioned said there were some circumstances when a rape victim should accept responsibility for an attack."
Only careful examination of the survey, and reading between the lines, reveal the actually interesting facts. Taken in the right spirit, and boldly declaring the place and nature of the survey (including the kind of people surveyed), the conclusions may actually shed light on some facets of the surveyed society. But it is far from becoming a global truth. And that is why I demur.

First point to note is that the survey was done in a cosmopoliton city (London, but could have been New York across the ocean). Where the usual practice of one-night-dating ends with a "drink" at someone's house. And where bars are the defined place to "meet new people". Thus,
"One-third blamed victims who had dressed provocatively or gone back to the attacker's house for a drink."
Still yet, I am sure these same one-third would deplore wedding crashers arguing that open-gate does not automatically imply open-invitation.

With due acknowledgement to Stan Lee, let me quote "with liberty comes responsibility". There are many places who don't share the same liberatarian standards as the top "night-life" cities. Not only places in south Asia or Africa or remote islands but even some southern cities in the southern states of the USA. I believe there is an overdose of liberty all over the world. Overdoing anything, even charity, is suicidal
"Almost three quarters of the women who believed this said if a victim got into bed with the assailant before an attack they should accept some responsibility."

My next criticism against hidden meaning is in the context of
"When asked about their own experiences, more than a third of those polled said they had been in a situation where they could have been made to have sex against their will. Women are more likely to have been in this situation - 40% compared to 20%."
Take a deep breath, recount some of the violent, brutal rape stories from non-Western countries that sometimes come to limelight and appreciate the difference in the nature of "forced sex" across the planet. Not many capital cities cannot boast of a night when a women wouldn't be crazy to think
"Meanwhile, the survey suggested that many people are relaxed about their safety. Almost half of people have walked home via side streets on their own."

The deterrents against rape are more realistic in only a handful countries; here I am referring to the actual implementation of the law. But even so,
"The survey also found more than one in 10 people were unsure whether they would report being raped to the police, and 2% said they would definitely not do so. The main reasons were being too embarrassed or ashamed (55%), wanting to forget it had happened (41%) and not wanting to go to court (38%). "
We largely made the stigma associated with skin colour a history; I personally maintain thar no job, when done with sincerity and in the right spirit, is inferior to another just because of the title it carries; hereditary nobility carries negative sentiment in many circles. Why can't we do the same for rape and violence against women (or weak)? Look beyond what was imposed upon a person. Correlate actions with the actor. Only count the pennies I have earned for myself.

Rape is hard to prove, rape comes with a permanent stain on every involved person as soon as their names gets disclosed (including the victim). Often the victim stands to lose everything in her attempt to regain her dignity. I agree that getting drunk and having sex is not exactly abduction of modesty against free will and I feel a lot of the surveyees related rape to something like that. Definitely not many actual victims were part of the it (which is actually good, assuming the survey was done on randomly chosen women). And definitely not people who are aware of the kind of rape that plagues the less libertarian, more conservative societies of the world, where policing depends more on assumed moral standards than written words.

Cough-Aid Sleep-Aid

Having trouble falling asleep ?

Running to the local pharmacy may not be a viable option... its past shutter-time or the pharmacist isn't gonna hand you any sleep aids without prescription (which you obviously don't have) or maybe because the sweet lady at the pharmacy knows your entire family.

And this awesome idea strikes you. To take a heavy dose of the cough syrup in the cupboard. Benadryl, Vicks NyQuil are common ones. You might have something sphancy but most likely it will contain some amount of anti-histamine (unless of course the doctor was on your side while writing the prescription). Tell you what ... it actually works.

Just a note of caution. Giving full credit to your ingenious idea, midnights are not the time to adventure and experiment. Take a small dose if you are really serious. And don't repeat this often ... seek professional medical help. These over-the-counter drugs are notorious for habit forming. Also be cautious about the dosage; overdose of sleeping medicine often lead to fatal condition.

This is a public service announcement.