Monday, March 29, 2010

Giving Voice to the Voiceless

Arundhati Roy - thanks for speaking for the dispossessed, the forgotten, thanks for speaking the forbidden, the unthinkable.

I may not agree with some of the fire you spew, but there is no doubt in my mind that you make a great deal of sense, generally.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

OshoSpeak – 2010: #1

From ‘Showering without clouds. The Poems and Path of a Woman Mystic’

Sahajo was a devotee of Charandas……a great mystic……….She has already found God at the feet of the master…….If you cannot see God in your Master, then trust will be lacking in you. But it is impossible, it is almost impossible for a man to see this; for him it is possible only through great spiritual endeavour. It is very easy for a woman.

That is why in human history the greatest masters have been men and the greatest disciples have been women. It is difficult to find masters like Mahavira, Buddha, Charandas, Farid or Kabir amongst women. It is difficult to find disciples like Sahajo, Meera, Daya, Rabiya, Theresa amongst men…

“……….There are so many scriptures – the Koran, the Bible, the Gita – and all of these have been uttered by men, no woman has uttered anything like this.” The question is relevant

………………A man can easily be a master, but to be a disciple is difficult for him because to be a disciple one has to be humble. It is difficult for a man to be humble……He can meditate, but it is difficult for him to pray. He meditates and meditates, but in his meditation he does not surrender the ego, he destroys the ego.

……………So egolessness has two forms: one way is to burn the ego – that is the egolessness of Buddha, or Mahavira, a man’s egolessness; and the other is to surrender the ego – the egolessness of Sahajo, Daya, Meera.

…………A woman is at home with surrender: that is why there have been great women disciples……..but the ultimate height in mastery is not possible for them

When the Koran descended on Mohammed he was on a mountain, in solitude. He heard a voice and the voice said, “Read!” He became afraid. He said, “I don’t know how to read.”………..He closed his eyes and started reading. There was an invisible book in front of his eyes and he started reading it……..he could not believe what had happened…….His wife, Ayesha……..became his first disciple – she immediately bowed down at his feet……….Mohammed’s first disciple was a woman, not a man. And Mohammed himself had not trusted what had happened. But a woman trusted, and with her support he also trusted, he gathered courage……….This also happened with Jesus. When Jesus was crucified all the men ran away……..the women remained.

If you have seen the picture of Jesus being taken down from the cross, three women are taking him down; there is no man. One of them was a prostitute, Mary Magdalene. The scholars ran away, the prostitute did not.

Meditation is like swimming – it has to be learned. Love is like drowning. To dissolve your ego will take time. To surrender your ego – you can surrender it right now……..The feminine mind easily surrenders. Women are like the creepers climbing on the trees: for them flexibility is easy and natural. For a tree it is difficult to bend, for a creeper what does bending matter?

…….Krishna lived in a certain way, Mahavira’s life was totally different, Buddha’s life was again different. Where can you find the resemblance between Mohammed’s life and Mahavira’s life? Christ’s and Krishna’s lives were very different – but they all attained………..whatever way they were on, their self-nature was in accord with their way. That is the only thing that they all have in common

Sexual desire is just the porch of love: one has to move on from there………There is nothing wrong with passing through the porch, remember. I am not condemning the porch……………Even in sex you get a little glimpse of bliss, even on the porch something about the palace is revealed……….Even in sex there is some reflection of the divine, but this reflection is nothing more than a reflection of the moon on a lake.

….Buddha said, “Now my religion will last for only five hundred years because women have been allowed in.”………The lifestyle given by Buddha was basically for men. The lifestyle given by Mahavira was also basically for men. Both paths are of will, not of surrender…….there is no possibility for prayer and worship in either of them. Both paths are paths of meditation. The path of meditation does not suit women: it is the path of prayer and love that suits women………Later on women also became interested and said, “Initiate us too!” So Buddha must have become worried……the issue for Buddha was that his path is a path of mediation, so if women were admitted then there would be only two possibilities – either the women would change the path into a path of prayer, or else the path of meditation would change women and make them like men. The second is almost impossible. Only the first is possible: when women come they will change the path of meditation into the path of prayer. And the path is not a path of prayer, it will be distorted

That is why Mahavira simply declared that there could be no liberation in a woman’s body………Mahavira is saying, “For a woman’s body there will be no connection with my path. So if a woman wants to become liberated through my path, she will be liberated by becoming like a man.” That’s the meaning of this.

Sex is the lowest form of love – when you ask for everything and don’t give anything. Compassion is the highest form of love – when you give everything and don’t ask for anything in return…….Nobody ever feels contented with sex, and with compassion one is always contented………….I am not condemning sex, because it is still on the ladder of love. It may be the first rung, but it is still love. And one who will not climb onto the first rung, how will he reach to the last?

Remember, a poor person can become religious – but it needs great intelligence. A rich person can be religious even if he is an idiot: at least he can see that he has everything and it is all insignificant. If a poor man wants to be religious then he must have the intelligence to see the futility even of the things that he has not yet achieved.

Tulsidas is a Hindu. Sahajo is not a Hindu. Kabir and Nanak are neither Hindu nor Mohammedan nor Christian. An enlightened one has never been a Hindu or a Mohammedan or a Christian – and the crowd is always Hindu, Mohammedan, Christian.

Somebody asked the Zen master, Bokuju, “After you became enlightened, what has been your spiritual practice?”

Bokuju said, “I cut wood in the forest, I draw water from the well. When I feel hungry, I eat. When I feel sleepy, I sleep – nothing more than this.” But this much is enough. This is being natural

Friday, March 12, 2010

Movie Review: Hu Tu Tu (is the name of an Indian game) (Hindi Film) (1999)

I guess every director in entitled to directing a dud once in a while. This is Gulzar’s dud.

An ambitious woman politician who sleeps with her political mentor to ease her way upwards, a daughter who is antithetical in her ways, political adversaries and games they play and how karma catches up………is what its all about.

Great actors, Tabu and Nana fall flat on a script that tries too hard to please. Almost all aspects of film-making are so ordinary that the overall impact would have been pretty forgettable had it not been for the fact that it’s so painful to watch Tabu deliver a below-par performance

In fact I have a deep suspicion that this movie has been ghost directed by Meghna Gulzar (Gulzar’s daughter and officially the associate screenplay writer)

And even that rarest of rare event occurs: Lata’s voice is so very discordant. Its difficult to make a call whether she has just not caught on to the mood of the song, of whether she was the wrong choice of singer for the face on-screen.

Vishal’s Marathi touches to the songs are superficial if not downright condescending. Having seen his other movie ‘Kaminey’ and its treatment of the Marathi angle, I am more inclined in favour of the latter.


• The more well-known song being 'Chai Chappa Chai' where both the male and female voices sound discordant when pictured on Sunil Shetty and Tabu.

What could have been a good street-play has been made into a bad movie


Nana Patekar
Sunil Shetty
Suhasini Mulay
Shivaji Satam
Dr.Mohan Agashe
Kulbhushan Kharbanda
Raj Zutshi
Gracy Singh (in a extremely insignificant role, in which she dances much better than Tabu)

Playback: Lata, Hariharan, Roopkumar Rathod, Anuradha Paudwal, Kavita Krishnamurthy, Suresh Wadkar, Vinay Mandke
Associate Screenplay Writer: Meghna Gulzar
Audiography: Narinder Singh
Lyrics: Gulzar
Music: Vishal
Cinematography: Manmohan Singh
Produced by Dhirajlal Shah
Written and Directed by Gulzar

Movie Review: Aankhen (Eyes) (Hindi Film) (2002)

A schizophrenic 6-footer works his ass off for his bank (The Vilasrao Jefferson bank, no less) (a winner of 20 consecutive best employee of the year awards, we mean business here), at the end of a lifetime ends up as a violent employee-bashing boss, bashes one employee too many, gets fired by the board in a public firing involving 60 bank staff, plans a grand bank robbery as revenge, which involves preparing an animated computer simulation singly, chances upon a blind school and devises a grand imaginative larceny, gathers blind accomplices with the blind school teacher as a front (by kidnapping her brother), (his first blind comrade-in-arms had his eyes taken away by a vile uncle to graft onto his son, the second is a blind beggar so rendered by the begging syndicate guru, the third, an athletic type who loses his eyes and girlfriend in a bus accident; not entirely a bad tradeoff when u factor-in that Bipasha’s the girlfriend (Grena is her screen-name, unbelievable)), the theft is successful but not before lots of twists and turns that leave you nauseated and the end is not really the end at all, it’s a preparation for a sequel. Crap!!!

What else did you expect, it’s a Hindi movie!!!! If you want to watch meaningful cinema, go watch ‘Gandhi’

Sushmita overacts consistently, Amitabh overacts in patches (and displays terrible voice modulation), Arjun Rampal barely acts. The rest (wo)/manfully struggle. That’s ‘Aankhen’

Based on Shobhana Desai’s ‘Andhalo Pato’ gujarati play


Amitabh Bachchan
Akshay Kumar
Sushmita Sen
Arjun Rampal
Paresh Rawal
Aditya Panscholi (the new surname spelling doesn’t seem to have worked wonders to his career)
Bipasha Basu – Sp.App – does skin show number 1 and departs
Kashmira Shah – Sp.App - does skin show number 2 and departs
Choreography: Ahmed Khan, Remo

Playback: Amitabh, Alka Yagnik, Sonu Nigam, Vasundhara Das, Aadesh Srivastav, Nitin Raikar, Arun Bakshi and Remo Fernandes
Editor: Shirish Kunder
Lyrics: Prasun Joshi, Nitin Raikar, Praveen Bharadwaj
Background Music: Aadesh Srivastav
Music: Aadesh Srivastav, Jatin Lalit
DoP: Ashok Mehta
Story/Screenplay: Aatish Kapadia, Vipul Amrutlal Shah
Written by Aatish Kapadia
Directed by Vipul Amrutlal Shah

P.S. The main characters Rathod, Srivastava, Verma, Iliyas, Prajapati. All non-Marathi. Do we see a trend here? The world’s largest churner of celluloid dreams based out of a Maharashtrian city and over the years has hardly any references to Marathis’ and Marathi culture. Hmmmmmm……… Not entirely misplaced, this angst of the Marathi manoos, who appears onscreen in the form of servants and maids mostly. (S)/He just doesn’t exist for the Hindi movie-makers…………