Monthly Archives: March 2010

DH Lawrence Poem : Snake

A snake came to my water-trough
On a hot, hot day, and I in pyjamas for the heat,
To drink there.
In the deep, strange-scented shade of the great dark carob-tree
I came down the steps with my pitcher
And must wait, must stand and wait, for there he was at the trough before

He reached down from a fissure in the earth-wall in the gloom
And trailed his yellow-brown slackness soft-bellied down, over the edge of
the stone trough
And rested his throat upon the stone bottom,
And where the water had dripped from the tap, in a small clearness,
He sipped with his straight mouth,
Softly drank through his straight gums, into his slack long body,

Someone was before me at my water-trough,
And I, like a second comer, waiting.

He lifted his head from his drinking, as cattle do,
And looked at me vaguely, as drinking cattle do,
And flickered his two-forked tongue from his lips, and mused a moment,
And stooped and drank a little more,
Being earth-brown, earth-golden from the burning bowels of the earth
On the day of Sicilian July, with Etna smoking.
The voice of my education said to me
He must be killed,
For in Sicily the black, black snakes are innocent, the gold are venomous.

And voices in me said, If you were a man
You would take a stick and break him now, and finish him off.

But must I confess how I liked him,
How glad I was he had come like a guest in quiet, to drink at my water-trough
And depart peaceful, pacified, and thankless,
Into the burning bowels of this earth?

Was it cowardice, that I dared not kill him? Was it perversity, that I longed to talk to him? Was it humility, to feel so honoured?
I felt so honoured.

And yet those voices:
If you were not afraid, you would kill him!

And truly I was afraid, I was most afraid, But even so, honoured still more
That he should seek my hospitality
From out the dark door of the secret earth.

He drank enough
And lifted his head, dreamily, as one who has drunken,
And flickered his tongue like a forked night on the air, so black,
Seeming to lick his lips,
And looked around like a god, unseeing, into the air,
And slowly turned his head,
And slowly, very slowly, as if thrice adream,
Proceeded to draw his slow length curving round
And climb again the broken bank of my wall-face.

And as he put his head into that dreadful hole,
And as he slowly drew up, snake-easing his shoulders, and entered farther,
A sort of horror, a sort of protest against his withdrawing into that horrid black hole,
Deliberately going into the blackness, and slowly drawing himself after,
Overcame me now his back was turned.

I looked round, I put down my pitcher,
I picked up a clumsy log
And threw it at the water-trough with a clatter.

I think it did not hit him,
But suddenly that part of him that was left behind convulsed in undignified haste.
Writhed like lightning, and was gone
Into the black hole, the earth-lipped fissure in the wall-front,
At which, in the intense still noon, I stared with fascination.

And immediately I regretted it.
I thought how paltry, how vulgar, what a mean act!
I despised myself and the voices of my accursed human education.

And I thought of the albatross
And I wished he would come back, my snake.

For he seemed to me again like a king,
Like a king in exile, uncrowned in the underworld,
Now due to be crowned again.

And so, I missed my chance with one of the lords
Of life.
And I have something to expiate:
A pettiness.

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Posted by on March 30, 2010 in literature, poem


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Dil Se Lyrics : Satrangi Re

Tu Hi Tu, Tu Hi Tu Satrangi Re
Tu Hi Tu, Tu Hi Tu Manrangi Re…

Dil Ka Saaya Humsaaya Satrangi Re, Man rangi Re
Koi Noor Hai Tu Kyun Door Hai Tu
Jab Paas Hai Tu Ehsaas Hai Tu
Koi Khwab Hai Ya Parchhaai Hai Satrangi Re, Man rangi Re
Is Baar Bata Moonh-zor Hawa Thehregi Kahan

Ishq Par Zor Nahin Hai Yeh Voh Aatish Ghalib
Jo Lagaye Na Lage Aur Bujhaye Na Bane

Aankhon Ne Kuch Aise Chhua, Halka Halka Uns Hua
Halka Halka Uns Hua Dil Ko Mehsoos Hua
Tu Hi Tu, Tu Hi Tu, Jeene Ki Saari Khushboo
Tu Hi Tu, Tu Hi Tu, Aarzoo Aarzoo
Teri Jism Ki Aanch Ko Chhoote Hi
Mere Saans Sulagne Lagte Hain
Mujhe Ishq Dilaase Deta Hai
Mere Dard Bilakhne Lagte Hain

Tu Hi Tu, Tu Hi Tu, Jeene Ki Saari Khushboo
Tu Hi Tu, Tu Hi Tu, Aarzoo Aarzoo
Chhooti Hai Mujhe Sargoshi Se
Aankhon Mein Ghuli Khamoshi Se
Mai Farsh Pe Sajde Karta Hoon
Kuch Hosh Mein Kuch Behoshi Se

Teri Raahon Mein Uljha Uljha Hoon
Teri Baahon Mein Uljha Uljha
Suljhane De Hosh Mujhe Teri Chaahon Mein Uljha Hoon
Mera Jeena Junoon Mera Marna Junoon
Ab Iske Siva Nahin Koi Sukoon
Mera Jeena Junoon Mera Marna Junoon
Tu Hi Tu, Tu Hi Tu Satrangi Re
Tu Hi Tu, Tu Hi Tu Manrangi Re

Ishq Par Zor Nahin …

Mujhe Maut Ki God Mei Soney De
Teri Rooh Mein Jism Duboney De
Satrangi Re, Man rangi Re…

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Posted by on March 29, 2010 in bollywood, lyrics, movies


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don’t indulge in duties that don’t concern you

There was once a washerman who had a donkey and a dog. One night when the whole world was sleeping, a thief broke into the house. The washer man was fast asleep too but the donkey and the dog were awake. The dog decided not to bark since the master did not take good care of him and wanted to teach him a lesson.

The donkey got worried and said to the dog that if he doesn’t bark, the donkey will have to do something himself. The dog did not change his mind and the donkey started braying loudly.

Hearing the donkey bray, the thief ran away. The master woke up and started beating the donkey for braying in the middle of the night for no reason.

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Posted by on March 28, 2010 in general


Ankhiyon Ke Jharokhon Se : ‘Love Story’ By Erich Segal

Its been exactly 40 years and 40 days since ‘Love Story’ was first published. The publication of this novel was more of an afterthought than a piece of original literary work. The movie ‘Love Story’ whose screenplay was written by Erich Segal, was later adapted it into a novel which would serve as a pre-cursor to the movie and help in promoting the film. Hence, the novel came out on 14th Feb, 1970 while the movie released later, in December of the same year.

The book went on to become a best-seller and the movie too was a huge hit, and some lines from the movie have achieved so much popularity that they are oft repeated in quotes and romantic write-ups, one of them being ‘Love means never having to say sorry’. Although Erich Segal went on to write quite a few novels like ‘Oliver’s Story’ [which was a sequel to ‘Love Story’], ‘Class’ and ‘Doctors’ ; but none of them could match upto the success and fame of ‘Love Story’. This is a book for keeps, the romance is so beautifully portrayed and with so much innocence and honesty.

As most of us have read the book or know the story, I shall not delve much into it. I would just like to pay a small tribute to writer, Erich Segal, who passed away earlier this year, on 17th Jan. It was a huge loss to the literary world. And people who have been affected by the book, directly or indirectly, must have sent a small wish up there; may his soul rest in peace.

Coming back to the post, when Rajshri Films decided to adapt the book into movie, Ankhiyon Ke Jharokhon Se was born. Keeping the tradition of family entertainers, this movie too matched the innocence and honest depiction of love. Sachin and Ranjeeta in lead roles excelled. And so did Madan Puri in a small cameo as Arun’s dad. But the movie truly belonged to Sachin and Ravindra Jain; Sachin for his mature performance and Ravindra Jain for his wonderful music and lyrics.

With the backdrop of a college, the movie starts with a tiff/competition between Arun and Lily. This went on to become a formula for a whole lot of movies, where the guy-gal are up in arms against each other in first half hour and then coyly in love soon after they get to know each other well. Even to this day, movies have this formulaic approach.

Anyways, Arun is an extrovert guy with playful nature, and he is smart and intelligent. He happens to be rich and that also brings in a bit of arrogance. While Lily is a girl from a modest family, and they live with limited resources. When Lily tops the class, it hurts Arun’s ego as he was the previous topper and now stands second in class; and this ego leads to the boy-gang ragging Lily with reference to her Christian background and lack of knowledge in Hindi literature.

Arun pushes her into a contest of sorts, in Hindi; that’s when Lily matches wits with him in a doha duel where she chants dohas of Kabir and Rahim. The war of words, or should I say dohas is perfectly pitched where Lily makes Arun realise that arrogance is not a good quality and Arun ends the contest by saying that she should accept his friendship in all humility.

But this is just the beginning of the love story. Everything runs smoothly until the couple decide to marry. Arun informs his rich dad about his love interest, which has to now surmount cultural and religious differences. When Madan Puri visits Lily’s house, I was scared it would be a repeat of the ‘Bobby’ scene of Pran embarrassing Premnath by talking of his riches, social status and cultural barriers. But this movie being a Rajshri Films, no such drama happens.

This is one of the most crucial and differentiating turning point in the novel ‘Love Story’. While In the novel, Oliver’s dad does not approve of the marriage ; Arun’s dad  is more than happy to go with his son’s choice. This juncture also marks the difference between the book and the movie. In the book, Oliver’s dad disowns him. Oliver and Jennifer get married and settle down. But their days of hardship have just begun. When they decide to start a family and are unable to, they visit a doc who diagnoses Jennifer’s condition.

But in the movie, when all things are running smoothly Lily suddenly takes to bed. She had fallen ill before too, but no one knew the severity of her suffering. She is finally diagnosed of blood cancer and she has very less time left. This concept was later picked up in many a movie, with variations in screenplay. Most memorable being Hrishi da’s Mili and Mani Ratnam’s Gitanjali. And Erich Segal should be credited with this sensitive love progression in which one of the partners is terminally ill. The true test of love is when we can accept someone for who they are and stay with them despite their inadequacies; take them ‘in illness and in health’; and be with them till the end of their lives. The movie epitomises the sacrificial nature of love and shows what selfless love is all about.

Arun’s dad is very supportive of him, but Lily does not wish Arun to go through the trauma when she learns of her own illness. This is where the movie was a welcome change from the novel. In the novel, Oliver and Jennifer are strapped for cash and so he requests financial assisstance from his dad for her treatment; he still does not mention to his dad about her illness.

How Arun and Oliver deal with this situation forms rest of the story. How they unselfishly decide to show happy and fulfilling days to their loved-ones, despite knowing their condition and how they cope-up with life is not just romantic but tear-jerkingly sweet.

While the book explores the heartlessness of a person, Oliver’s dad; it also shows to what extent a person in love can go, Oliver. Its a beautiful story of love and difficult times that it can make us go through. But its all worth it, if love is all a person seeks. Its better to live a short life filled with love, than a long one without it.


Posted by on March 26, 2010 in bollywood, books, literature, movies


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katrina kaif : latest brand ambassador of ‘lux’

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Posted by on March 25, 2010 in bollywood


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Kieslowski’s genius : Tracing back ‘12B’ to ‘Sliding doors’ to ‘Przypadek’

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both.
And be one traveller, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth

Its a grave irony that I want to discuss a movie about chance, but I start with a poem which is about choice. The above poem, The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost, is one which all of us face in our everyday life. Choices that are left to us and what considerations we take in making the right decision. The poem is not just about a road, thats just metaphorical for life. At every step we have a difficult decision to make; be it home, be it workplace. And we always leave behind an untreaded path, hoping that someday we would comeby it again. Somehow I believe that even if we get a chance to revisit the path, 99 out of 100 times, we would end up making the same choices that we made the last time around. Because man is a born free but bound everywhere by chains, we are slaves of the situation we are put in.

Kaminey too had this angle where Shahid mutters about how life is made/unmade not by what path we take, but by what we leave behind. That may or may not be true, but that’s how life is; always giving us choices.

But, what happens when life does not give us that choice? What happens when destiny takes its own course? When we are left with ‘no choice’ but to go with whats offered to us. That’s the tricky situation that Witek is stuck in Przypadek[Blind Chance]. When God makes the decision, we only have to bear the brunt of it or fightback the situation which was not of our making to begin with. Witek fights the battle, goes against odds and does what best he can do. Does it all turn out good for him? Does he come out unscathed and bitterless? Thats for you to watch.

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.

In 2001, Jeeva directed a movie 12B starring Sham and Jyothika. The movie starts with Shakti preparing to attend a job interview. While Shakti is at the bus stop, waiting for the bus number 12B, destiny has other plans for him. He spots a charming girl, forgets all about the interview and starts pursuing her. Its obvious that he misses the bus. Is this going to be a life altering turn? Well, the director takes us through parallel series of events which shows us how Shakti’s life turns out having missed the bus; and having taken the bus and attended the interview.

The guy who attends the interview, gets the job and an affable co-worker who ends up liking him. But Shakti is miffed with life because he could not get close to the girl whom he had spotted in the bus-stop. And the guy who misses the bus arrives late to the interview and finally lands up in a small time job at a garage. But he gets the girl of his dream, she loves him too. Will either of the turn of events change his life? A very interesting premise indeed.

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

But it comes undone when we realise that the movie was plagiarized. Just 3 years prior to this movie, came Sliding Doors in 1998. Gwyneth Paltrow’s character Helen is caught in a dichotomy. The movie begins with her being fired from a job. And here’s where the movie separates into two parallel worlds. One in which she misses the train in the tube station on her way home and other in which is makes it to the train.

Both scenarios have different outcomes and with their own set of complications. In the situation where she misses the train, she calls for a cab and while boarding in her purse gets snatched. She gets injured in her struggle to get back the purse and she finally lands in a hospital. This entire string of events gives her boyfriend enough time to fool around with another woman.

Had she not missed the train, she would have reached home in time and would’ve caught her boyfriend with his pants down, literally. This is shown in another sequence of events. And this is how the movie unfolds. Drawing parallels between the two lives separated by chance, where voluntary actions find no meaning as the characters are situation-driven. The bitter/sweet experiences of Helen is shown in both scenarios, the laughter and tears, romance and separation.

The movie was nominated in quite a few awards category, but many were unaware of the fact that the concept of the movie has actually been lifted from a Polish movie. In early 80’s, Kieslowski made a fantastic movie titled Przypadek.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Kieslowski handled a complex socio-political environment under the times of a totalitarian regime. He had the guts and gumption to fight the system and talk about it through his films. And another masterstroke was the fact that this movie had a 3-way sequence unlike Sliding Doors and 12B which handled just two. The very fact that he placed his hero, Witek, right in the center of a melting-pot situation speaks volumes about his conviction.

The movie actually tells the story of a strict communist regime through Witek. By taking Witek, played superbly by Boguslaw Linda, through three different paths, Kieslowski gives out the message that no one could’ve escaped brushing against the system. This political message is handled with subtlety where Witek, a medical student who is supposed to be apolitical, still gets embroiled in the affairs of the state and in different capacities.

Witek is made to face the system, first as a political activist who joins the communist party. This happens when he catches the train and meets an old war-horse of the commies. He sympathises with the ruling party and feels that as a youth its his responsibility to join the party and spread the message of communists. His girlfriend isn’t happy with this, but he has applied already.

In another scenario, Witek bumps into a beer-drinking guy and is unable to catch his train. He gets into a fight with the police and is sentenced to community service. This drives him against the system and now he joins the anti-Communist party. So, now he faces the brunt while fighting against the system.

In the third and final scenario, Witek misses the train and goes back home with his girlfriend. He is happily married, settled and teaching medicine. He is truly unpolitical until a situation comes up in the college where he is forced to take sides. But does he?

The fantastic part of the movie is the climax. The build-up is superb, and in all three scenarios Kieslowski shows the hand of God in the end. Although the three situations were poles apart, the end is however the same. Whether Witek catches/misses the train, destiny follows him nevertheless. His final outcome, irrespective of the situation he is put in, is the same. What is that outcome? What is does destinty hold for Witek? Do watch the movie to know more.

Kieslowski’s genius lies in the fact that he made a movie on the concept of parallel worlds when all of Poland was gripped in the non-republic regime. And his movie speaks of those times, tackling the very issues through a visual medium. His protagonist gets a chance, not a choice though, to revisit the same point from where his life takes a crucial turn; thereby partially fulfilling Robert Frost’s words of taking the untreaded path. While other movies like Run Lola Run, Sliding Doors etc have been made on this concept, they fail to deliver a punch. The movies have either become a rom-com or a thriller or candyfloss, none of the writer/director explored the opporunity to go beyond the obvious. This is where Kieslowski’s efforts are to be appreciated, for having thought of this concept in 1980’s, while the next movie based on this concept came a good decade and a half later, taking wholesome inspiration from Kieslowski.

This post was first published on PFC

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Posted by on March 23, 2010 in movies, world cinema


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movie reviews : love sex aur dhokha

Love Sex Aur Dhokha (LSD)As was expected, the movie has garnered awesome reviews from everyone. Its a path-breaking movie, so please go watch it. Don’t go by the title, as the movie does not have any sex or sleaze and it isn’t titillating either. Let me put down some snippets which will make it easier for you to decide on the movie.

From Rajeev Masand’s review: Dibakar Banerjee’s Love, Sex aur Dhoka is the most riveting Hindi film in recent memory. It’s one of those films that grab your attention the momentyou’ve settled into your seat, and it doesn’t let go till the very end. It’s provocative, it’s unsettling and occasionally disturbing too. But not for one minute in its roughly 108-minute running time does it allow you to so much as tilt your head down to look at your watch or your mobile phone.

You will be shocked, you will be startled, but walking out of the theatre, you know you have just seen what is possibly the most important Hindi film since Satya and Dil Chahta Hai. Not only does it redefine the concept of “realistic cinema”, it opens a world of possibilities in terms of how you can shoot films now.

From Anupama Chopra’s review: The film, with three inter-connected stories on love, sex and betrayal, is a grim, deeply unsettling and yet compelling portrait of urban India.

But the film is a worthy experiment created by one of Bollywood’s most imaginative and original directors.

From Raja Sen’s review: And so in an industry where our output is mostly infantile, Dibakar Banerjee has taken that much-nudged envelope, ripped it apart, and mailed out a magnificently tawdry postcard. He’s made a film which lets Hindi cinema sit back, take a deep glug of adulthood, and wipe Haywards 5000 foam from its ‘stache as it leers at the girl in stockings. Bollywood has just grown up the only way it could, with Love, Sex and Dhokha.

LSD, which features three very differently themed storylines seen through varied handheld, security and spy cameras, is so finely written that it avoids the obvious pitfalls expertly, and makes the treatment — that deliciously voyeuristic treatment — a completely organic part of the storytelling process.

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Posted by on March 20, 2010 in bollywood, movie review, movies


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