Sunday, January 04, 2009

Movies, Movies, Movies

So, there's this show on TV called Chicks on Flicks. *cringe* And there's an ad running for the New Year where Ira Dubey goes, very, very baldly, "Movies, movies, movies." One wants to slap something hard at that point.

Anywho. Here are some movies I'm waiting to watch. The question is how. Hmmm.
1. Australia: Baz + Nicole + Hugh + whatte cinematography
2. Children of Hangshui: Ruth says so (Ruthie being a great source of what to watch)
3. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: Ruth says so again
4. Slumdog Millionaire: Danny Boyle + Seems like a big deal + I like Anil Kapoor
5. Vaaranam Aayiram, the new Surya movie: For Surya, duh.
6. Burn After Reading: Good Gawde gave it a thumbs up, and in any case: Brad+George+the Coen Bros.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Pakistan, India, Kashmir, Elections, Nonsense and other things.

Important opinions I have on various subjects which the world just can't do without. In no particular order then:
1. Elections over in Kashmir, and I fail to understand why India is turning cartwheels with elation. To see the turnout in the state elctions as a thumping acceptance of India is oh-so-naive. To make it very clear to the general public, here's Kashmiri sentiment in a simple line: Not pro-India, not pro-Pakistan, very pro-autonomy/independence. As was the case many happy years ago when we had our own national anthem, flag, peace and no nonsense about 'my religion vs. yours' doing the rounds. Elections have done nothing to change that feeling. [NDTV has taken a great spin on it with its 'separatism' vs. 'separatists' line. I find it infinitely amusing to watch non-Kashmiris take stances on the situish in Kashmir as if owning the place was a birthright and the preference of the Kashmiri people was a trifle that could be ignored. This cuts across both borders.] What we say is, "Excuse me, if you aren't Kashmiri, stop speaking." C'est ridicule, non? (Ooh. Except if you agree with us.:)
People came out in healthy numbers to vote this time because they want to live under some sort of clean, organised governance. So the idea was, vote for your own people to form an efficient administration. If they didn't vote they'd get a few more years of no basic amenities: 'bijli, sadak, pani' and schools. Education and everything else here still is in pretty bad shape but whatever little there is of it seems to have opened the eyes of the general public some. In any case, this was the first time I have been witness to so much brouhaha over elections in my lifetime. Even kids here were so into it. Folks took the day off and travelled across the state to wherever they were on the voters list. Everyone voted. Not me though. :( I didn't know which voter list I was on. InshaAllah, next time.
2. Pakistan is being silly with its denial post 26/11. It almost verges on ridiculous when it claims to not have any knowledge of unappetising activities in its territory. (I mean, I'm Kashmiri. I KNOW. *rolls eyes*) Sure Pakistan is also the victim of terrorist acts every now and then, but the fact of the matter is, when have the terrorists ever turned out to be from India? They're homegrown mostly. So stop pointing the finger back at India as defense. It's stupid. Poor folks of Pakistan. Are you embarassed by your government? I am. And why is taht Zardadri dude always grinning so scarily? Is he blotto all the time? The rest of the suits are all glum and solemn-looking and he's beaming like glare off the snow.
3. Then. Kashmir on its own: It disturbs me so much to see the moral fibre completely missing in an entire generation of our people, and its trickle-down effect across the state. I speak mostly of the previous generation, my parents' time. These are the folks who have had the reigns of government in Kashmir for the past few decades and the level of corruption, thievery, dishonesty and laziness in-built into the 'system' is astounding. The amount of money that has gone into the pockets of a very few (who then build big mansions in Jammu or Srinagar) while the rest of the people languish in poverty, unemployment and helplessness is very shameful. I know a lot of these peeps myself. My extended family is filled with them. It's taken as a matter of course here this dirty way of life and to try and get something done the straight way, through rules and regulations and processes is almost a joke. We come back to morals, ethics and a sense of right and wrong, and it's clearly missing here. The fear going ahead is that these rich buggers who have the reign of administration in their filthy hands have now passed on the same spineless character and way-of-life to their spoilt young kids, who will also eventually end up inheriting their parents' prestigious posts in government. It's an ugly cycle. On the other hand, I see many young, poor, hard-working kids who seem to have got it right and are making things happen on their own merit. Will this blessed lot be able to do any good? Or will they not be able to get that foot in the door because they don't happen to know the right people. Bleak, I say. I am so glad my folks and us lived in Dubai for a very long time and were not privy to this sickness. We have a nice house, and we've built it on purely halal money. Yay.

4. More on Kashmir. The primarily Islamic nature of life and our culture and how I have witnessed its revival in the past two decades. Say what you will about militancy and the 'Kashmir issue', if nothing else, Islam has started coming back to the people. Going back to the useless previous generation, it's quite clear that they had lost their Imaan in overwhelming form. Whereas, in the past 20 or so years, most everyone, especially the younger lot, have taken a shine to religion again. I can see this in my own family and in my town and village. (This is possibly true of non-Muslims in the region as well but I can't be a reliable source.) Anyway, it's a good thing. I mean, we'll have our fanatics and hardcore religious-pokey-noses, but for the most part, it's worth it. Ignore the small section of nuts and look at the bigger picture.

What am I going on about? Ranting to continue at a later time and place. Am tired.