Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Day

For a day that comes once in 4 years, Google has doodled a rare two-in –one doodle that commemorates not only the leap day but also the 220th birth anniversary of the Italian composer Gìoachino Rossini. Since the leap years and leap days are usually associated with frogs, the leaping amphibians, the Google doodle on February 29, 2012 has a number of frogs ; all four of them .Of the four frogs in the scene, one is at the piano and the soprano is the one leaping.

February 29 being the one day in Irish Culture when a woman can propose to man and he’d be fined if he refused.

As the Leap Day based premise episode on 30 Rock goes- Nothing counts on Leap Day. Do make sure you do something on that one extra day.

Shout out to the leap year babies ! Happy Birthday Leaplings..

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Love quotes

Never love anyone who treats you like you’re ordinary.- Oscar Wilde

Love, the poet said, is women’s whole existence.- Virginia Woolf

Will you love me in December as you do in May? - Jack Kerouac

Love is a great beautifier. – Louisa May Alcott

My heart has more rooms in it than a whore house. -Gabriel García Márquez

If you love someone, the greatest gift you can give them is your presence.- Thich Nhat Hanh

A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous.- Ingrid Bergman

I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.- Marilyn Monroe

And in the end, the love you take, is equal to the love you make.- The Beatles

Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired. - Robert Frost

I’ve looked at love from both sides now, from give and take, and still somehow, it’s love’s illusions I recall. I really don’t know love at all. – Joni Mitchell

Birds do it, bees do it, even educated flees do it; let’s do it, let’s fall in love. - Cole Porter

Love is like quicksilver in the hand. Leave the fingers open and it stays. Clutch it and it darts away. – Dorothy Parker

Love is not love which alters when it alterations find, or bends with the remover to remove. Oh no! It is an ever-fixed mark that looks on tempests and is never shaken. – William Shakespeare

All discarded lovers should be given a second chance, but with somebody else. – Mae West

The best thing to hold onto life is each other. – Audrey Hepburn

How long do you want to be loved? Is forever enough, is forever enough? – The Dixie Chicks

Affection is responsible for nine-tenths of whatever solid and durable happiness there is in our lives. – C.S. Lewis

All love shifts and changes. I don’t know if you can be wholeheartedly in love all the time. – Julie Andrews

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while someone deeply gives you courage.- Lao Tzu

If you live a hundred, I want to live a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you .- A.A.Milne

It’s useless to hold a person to anything he says while he’s in love, drunk, or running for office. – Shirley MacLaine

I saw that nothing was permanent. You don’t want to possess anything that is dear to you because you might lose it. – Yoko Ono

You can search through the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.- Buddha

I have learned not to worry about love; but to honour its coming with all my heart. – Alice Walker

Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies. – Aristotle

If you love me, let me know. If not, please gently let me go. – Anonymous

Change everything except your loves.- Voltaire

Love must be as much a light, as it is a flame. – Henry David Thoreau

The power of love, as the basis of a State , has never been tried. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking together in the same direction . – Antoine de Saint Exupery

Great love affairs start with Champagne and end with tisane. – Honore de Balzac

It is wrong to think that love comes from a long companionship and preserving courtship.Love is the offspring of spiritual affinity and unless that affinity is created in a moment, it will not be created for years or even generations.- Khalil Gibran

If you wish to be loved, love! – Seneca

Love is space and time measured by heart. – Marcel Proust

For every beauty there is an eye somewhere to see it. For every truth there is an ear somewhere to hear it. For every love there is a heart somewhere to receive it. – Ivan Panin

Love and desire are the spirit’s wings to great deeds.- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is to love and be loved in return.- David Bowie

If someone thinks that love and peace is a cliché that must have been left behind in the Sixties, that’s his problem. Love and peace are eternal. – John Lennon

Because the world is round, it turns me on. Because the wind is high, it blows my mind. Because the sky is blue, it makes me weep. – The Beatles

Have you noticed that, with whatever quality of love you have experienced, that when true love arises, it opens up both your mind and emotions? It’s openness to whatever is happening. - Adyashanti

Monday, February 27, 2012

Why Filmfare isn’t the Oscars

Filmfare is often compared to Oscars because they are the oldest awards with years of history and heritage. The truth is far from it though. Filmfare used to be good two decades ago, but during the past 20 years that Filmfare has changed. Before that, it was about celebrating the art of cinema and the famed black lady statuette was hard to get hands on. Curiously, it’s a case of competition making everyone worse rather than the making them better, funnier and edgier. Television combined with celebrity tabloid culture is clearly responsible for this development. The Indian film awards are run by media houses. They have an agenda. They want the maximum eyeballs and TRP’s. But here’s what is puzzling- unlike 6-7 years ago, today, the news of who won a Filmfare are live tweeted by journalists and flashed on news channels. That is one whole week before their actual ‘exclusive telecast’ in the age of instant information flow.

I am convinced that the Filmfare or any other awards ceremony is a boring event sprinkled with a couple of doses of laughter. It is these very select moments and stray smiles that are canned and then edited and packaged to give the audience a ‘sleek product’. That the awards are making a monkey out of the audiences is a point that gone amiss and what’s more, the people still tune in and it doesn’t matter to them. For them it’s the performances and the song and dance routine which makes it more of a nautanki than an award which is revered and holds gravitas.

If Indian films awards are so good, do them live.
But here is why they won’t do it. A live telecast exposes the deficiencies and is very difficult to manipulate .When its live, there is nowhere to hide and edit and polish a dull show , where the presence of an actor or nominee is directly related to whether he/she knows beforehand if he/she is winning or not. And then in a deal of scratching backs, the nominee performs on stage! Voila!Bravo! It should be the awards night, not the emcee night or the superstar night. The audience is again taken for a ride, because some award producer has decided that this what the audiences like.

Granted television audience is required, Even the Oscars need them, so they keep on thinking of ways to be fresh and appeal to the widest possible demographic. And it’s not as if the show is only aired in the US. It’s seen worldwide – from the employees calling in late on Monday in Perth to otherwise late wakers in Mumbai, as also people in United Kingdom, probably after their Sunday mass.Even the Oscar frontrunners are jittery because they have the most secretive voting process. Once the secret ballots are polled, the auditing firm PricewaterHouseCoopers oversees the proceedings and no one knows who won until the envelope is opened on stage in front of a live audience.

In that respect, Filmfare is a long long way off. The novelty, the thrill, the suspense, the excitement ;call what you may is not there. The list of nominees are ridiculous and shows shameless pandering to the stars. It’s like watching a fixed match except we are not the bookies and don’t get money out of the whole scam. More than often, it’s a straight cut deal, you perform on the night and you get a trophy. Sometimes the presenters are a dead give away of the eventual winners. They are either parents, sons, girlfriends, cousins or relatives. All’s well in a nepotistic family. Contrast to the Oscars where the previous years winners are the presenters. Eg . Christian Bale who won for Supporting Actor last year presented for Best Supporting Actress this year and gave the statue to Octavia Spencer today.
The other thing that is usually lamented online by keen cinéastes is the sheer number of awards coming up .In fact the truth is, India has far less awards. In the US, prior to the Oscars, there is long list of awards - Golden Globes, SAG, Actors’ Guild, Producers’ Guild, Directors Guild, Editors Guild, awards from various Critics Circles, Film festivals and many more. What is the key however is that each of these awards have a credibility factor. None of the Indian awards can claim that. On a live chat session earlier today, IBN’s Film Critic Rajeev Masand answering to my question on Oscar’s credibility replied “ Its because the voters are the same professionals of the industry

What must be added is that the academy is almost 6000 members strong and impossible to influence. Yes, one can try publicity and canvassing in the Oscar season but that doesn’t guarantee anything.. Eg Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.

Filmfare is an award where public voting also is taken into account and its concept is similar to MTV Awards where invariably the best films never win in any case. And those Indian awards which have a holier than thou attitude of being co-judged by the jury, the jury comprises of a select dozen people which not a suitable number by any stretch. India still awaits a democratic credible film award .I will close this up by pointing to the difference in quality between The Oscars and awards in India. In the Best Actor category this year, Ranbir Kapoor is sweeping the circuit clean with not a single upset as there is no other option. However, today if anyone among Demian Bechir, Gary Oldman, Brad Pitt or George Clooney had won instead of Jean Dujardin for Leading Actor, it would still have been well deserved. The nominations truly mean something, they are not vacuous. And speaking of quality and class, the announcement is not preceded by parroting the names of sponsors but a simple line
The Oscar goes to….

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Peer pressure

Peer pressure noun

Social pressure by one’s peer group to take a certain action, confirm to certain values or otherwise conform in order to be accepted.

ii) An intangible pressure to be equal to or better than your peers.

iii) It’s a powerful force, which keeps us from learning from others’ mistake.

Peer pressure is to have a pre- placement offer,

It is to outscore your classmates, to out-earn your contemporaries,

Peer pressure is to be able to flaunt online,

To be able so your parents can boast about you,

Peer pressure is to have a credit–card with your name on it,

Peer pressure is to ace a Myers-Briggs test,

Peer pressure is to have a foreign vacation,

It is this pressure that tells you to have a date on Valentines,

It is to be witty and clever by half on social networks,

Peer pressure dictates a 4 wheeler on your list,

Peer pressure is when you have to support a team that always wins and risk being called glory hunters. Peer pressure is the way people comply and let the status quo be.

Somehow most of these peer pressures have monetary links and tones. To be able to be classified as a success , one ticks off several of those peer pressures and by successfully negotiating them , puts more peer pressure on others who haven’t quite been able to. So you see how it’s a vicious circle.

Peer pressure is when the comparative degree is used in our talks more than the positive or the superlative one. Everyone wants to be outstanding but seldom stand out from the set that succumbs to these pressures and acquiesces with the routine.

Every sort of peer pressure can be ignored and slowly they would cease to be the convention. Success sometimes comes on your fourth attempt, third career or second inspiration. The question is ..What is stopping you?

That’s right, nothing.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Oscar favourites

The Oscar season is almost up in full swing. The Academy awards this year return to be hosted by Billy Crystal after an 8 year gap .Watch the promotional campaign down here featuring Megan Fox.

As the year closes, all the biggies have been released, the frontrunners and dark horses identified. The films with expectations sometimes disappoint and unknown films delight and sparkle out of the blue. This year there are 9 films up for the biggest prize of Best Picture. Hugo leads the nominations but The Artist is the film with the momentum and with a chance of a sweep. Sweeps make the awards boring . As it is, its difficult to predict, but nonetheless, those tagged as should win are my picks to win, would win are the most likely to win and could win are the slight underdogs and dark horses for the statuette.

Best Picture


Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Midnight in Paris


The Artist

The Descendants

The Help

The Tree of Life

War Horse

Would win -The Artist

Could win- The Descendants

Best Director

Alexander Payne - The Descendants

Michel Hazanavicius – The Artist

Martin Scorcese – Hugo

Woody Allen - Midnight in Paris

Terence Mallick - The Tree of Life

This is a category in which Michel Hazanavicius’ best work is against not the best works of the other four. And trends indicate his best is good enough for the win.

Would win - Michel Hazanavicius

Best Leading Actor

Demián Bichir- A Better Life

George Clooney -The Descendants

Brad Pitt - Moneyball

Jean Dujardin - The Artist

Gary Oldman – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Okay this looks tight. Demián Bichir was really good as a Mexican immigrant single father in A Better Life but a win here looks far fetched. And Gary Oldman didn’t win at BAFTA so he also is an outsider. Pick your lead from the rest. It’s still tight.

Would win Jean Dujardin

Could win George Clooney

Should win Brad Pitt

Best Leading Actress

Viola Davis – The Help

Meryl Streep – The Iron Lady

Michelle Wiliams – My Week with Marilyn

Rooney Mara – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Glenn Close – Albert Nobbs

Would win Viola Davis

Could win Meryl Streep

Best Supporting Actress

Jessica Chastain – The Help

Octavia Spencer – The Help

Bérnicé Bejo- The Artist

Melissa McCarthy – Bridesmaids

Janet McTeer- Albert Nobbs

Should Win Octavia Spencer

Could win Jessica Chastain, Bérnicé Bejo

Best Supporting Actor

Kenneth Branagh – My Week with Marilyn

Jonah Hill – Moneyball

Nick Nolte – Warrior

Christopher Plummer- Beginners

Max Von Syndow - Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Would Win Christopher Plummer

Best Original Screenplay

Woody Allen - Midnight in Paris

JC Chandor - Margin Call

Asghar Farhadi - A Separation

Michel Hazanavicius - The Artist

Kristen Wiig, Annie Mumulo – Bridesmaids

Would win - Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist

Should win - Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris

Best Adapted Screenplay

George Clooney, Beau Willimon, Grant Hesloy - The Ides of March

Alexander Payne, Jim Rash- The Descendents

John Logan - Hugo

Aaron Sorkin, Steve Zaillian, Stan Chervin - Moneyball

Bridget O’Connor, Peter Straughan - Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

All 5 films are worthy and the best are more or less even here. Moneyball though has a slight edge.

Should win - Aaron Sorkin, Steve Zaillian, Stan Chervin - Moneyball

Best Foreign Language Film

Bullhead (Belgium)

Footnote (Israel)

A Separation (Iran)

Monsieur Lazhar (Canada)

In Darkness (Poland)

A Separation with a nomination for Original screenplay looks the front-runner for this.

But a surprise might just occur, although unlikely.

Best Animation Film

A Cat in Paris

Chico & Rita

Kung Fu Panda 2

Puss in Boots


One thing is certain, regular winners Pixar studios won’t win anything with no nominations this year. My pick is Rango, set in a milieu that is not squeaky clean, with an inspired Johnny Depp voicing the grotesque chameleon.

Should win Rango

The Academy Awards will be held at Kodak Theatre, Los Angeles on February 26, 2012. Should be fun to watch!!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Short story - long time no see

He saw her across the banquet hall and nodded in acknowledgement. She knew that he would be by her side sooner rather than later. He seemed to be hanging out with a couple of friends and catching up. She also turned her gaze away from them and over to the dais , where the newly married couple were being greeted and presented gifts at their stylish reception. She had arrived maybe 10 minutes apart from him. Probably knowing that old school mates who could make it, would be here tonight.Bumping into known faces aside, almost everyone indulges a February wedding .

After a while, he came and tapped her and she said

“ So you found time?”

“ I would always have time for you .”

“ Didn’t seem like it , but whatever.” She shrugged

“ How have you been? Does it take a party to see you now?” He asked

“ This is not a party! Who was that girl?”

He turned around and saw. She continued.

“The one you were talking to before coming over here?”

“She…I was crushing on her somewhile ago”

“Oh! Does she know?”

“I don’t ..yes, she knew”

“ She didn’t like you back?”

“ Empty pocketed, likes and loves can be pretty one-sided. The prospect of progress and the whiff of money trumps the infatuation.”

“pffff.. is she seeing someone now?”


“Too bad”

Then he opened up a bit more.

“I mean, we had our moments. But it was never meant to be. I had sent her a self-made 4 minute long video with her as the theme, wishing her on her birthday. It was pretty cool!”


“Never as much as got a reply. A week or so later, I moved on. Speaking of which ..when did you move on? It must be hard to see your school crush getting married.” As he turned the conversational query on her.

“That was when we were younger. See, when you were talking about that girl over there; you had a smile on your face, which meant that you had made peace. Likewise, I am happy for him. I don’t have any issues. Its all some time in the past.”


And she continued “ What do you want to be in life?”


“Happy! I choose to be happy!”

Then he remembered, as she quoted John Lennon, why she and him were such good friends in school. He nodded, a smile escaping his lips. He queried

“What are you doing on the 12th?”

“I am busy, I have to catch a film…..with you.”

“Of course !” he said , as both grinned wider.

“yup, long time no see, you see!” she finished.