The World & Me

This is my reflection of the events in the world and my life. If something catches ur interest, do leave ur ideas and comments on the article.

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Location: New Delhi, India

I am a simple God-loving person who believes in simple pleasures of life and loves hanging out with friends and family and have lots fun.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Apna Asmaan or decide?

Before Taare Zameen Par (TZP - for us abbreviation crazy people), there was Apna Asmaan. Made on the subject of Learning Disability and the inability of Indian parents to handle it, as we're driven by measuring success by numbers (marks in the exam or paycheck). The movie also had various sub-themes which were equally relevant and necessary to be highlighted. The only sad part is that I don't think it did as well as TZP. Surely it didn't make 85 crore in 8 weeks. I thought Apna Asmaan was much better than TZP.

Directed by Kaushik Roy and a strong ensemble cast boasting of the best names in small budget movie genre - Irfaan Khan, Shobhana (remember Mitr), Anupam Kher and Rajat Kapoor in lead roles. The movie Apna Asmaan, in my opinion, towers over TZP. All the actors were so natural that I never felt like I was sitting and watching a movie, it felt so real. If Darsheel stole your heart away by his portrayal of Ishaan Awasthi then Dhruv Piyush Panjnani will make you love him, hate him and empathize with him, in less than 2 hours through his Buddhi Raj Kumar/ Aryabhatt. The director and editor need a huge pat on their back for being so proficient at story telling.

The movie takes us through the life of Buddhi (played by Dhruv) - a young teenage boy with slow learning skills and a flair for sketching and drawing. His parents (Irfaan and Shobhana) being typical Indian parents want him to succeed in arithmetic so that he can make something of himself. More importantly, Shobhana (the mom) - who was gold medalist in Math in college, wants to live her father's wish for her to become a great mathematician through her son, who is least interested in Math. The relationship between the husband and wife has also become slightly strained because of their son's condition with both of them trying their best to get the son "cured" of his condition - something that is not possible - as explained by Rajat Kapoor (Buddhi's neuro doctor). Life seems to be a constant struggle for everyone till Irfaan and Shobhana chance upon Anupam Kher (a miracle doctor with a miracle drug) claiming to completely cure brain damages and turning the person into a superhuman in terms of intelligence. At first, the parents are hesitant about subjecting their son to the drug. But, one night, after a heated discussion between Irfaan Khan and Shobhana; Irfaan decides to administer the drug to Buddhi himself. At first, they panic as there are some adverse reaction of the drug on Buddhi. Then, suddenly, Buddhi wakes up and starts talking like a normal human being. The only side-effect of the drug is a type of amnesia where the person doesn't recognize faces and so Buddhi doesn't recognize his family. The parents don't seem to be too alarmed by it because now their son is a normal person with exceptional mathematical skills. Soon, his mathematical genius makes him a celebrity. All this while another part of his brain stops functioning and he treats his loved ones like he doesn't know them and that they are after his money. His parents also realize that Anupam Kher was involved in drug racketing and drug administered to Buddhi is very lethal for him; thus they decide to get back their son by administering him the antidote. And they get back their non mathematically inclined son back.

The catch-line of the movie is "How far will you go to make a genius?". Very very relevant in today's India of so called "Reality Shows" with kids performing and often times acting like adults - all the natak that the directors think boost TRPs. I'm reminded of a scene from the movie "Amadeus", where a father tells his son that he doesn't believe in taking him around like a show monkey, like Mozart's father does to Mozart.

Children, genius or not, need to be protected from being treated like show monkeys. It takes away their childhood from them, it did for Mozart. And if you think by talking about Mozart I'm talking history, then go and talk to any child actor and they will tell you what I mean. I remember long long ago I had read a fictional story written on the subject of child actors and the only thing I remember now, and probably will remember for rest of my life, is how the child would long to go and out play with her friends, but her mother wouldn't let her because she was an actress and she couldn't afford getting hurt while playing.

Apna Asmaan isn't about child actors, but it highlights the same issue - Making your kid into a show monkey and put him/her in front of an audience and expect them to be always at certain behaviour. Leave the kids alone, let them be kids. This was the thought lingering in my head at the end of the movie. And I repeat myself again, by saying the it was much much better than TZP.

The one thing that Apna Asmaan didn't pay attention to and TZP did was their packaging. But, I wouldn't hold it against them, as they probably didn't have a production powerhouse like Amir Khan's to back their movie. The promotions for the movie reflected its budget. I hope it did well in its genre - the small budget movie.

It had some of the finest and natural performances by some really superb actors.....I'm slowly becoming an Irfaan and Rajat Kapoor fan now. They are so good at their craft - acting in the movies. I wish them all the best and all those of you who haven't seen the movie, please rent the DVD or VHS and watch it right away. Its a must watch for everyone - especially parents.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Too much to say...too lazy to say it

Ever got a feeling that you are out of touch from yourself. It is an out of body experience of the painful sorts, enlightening - just like the other one, but this one is painful too. I don't know what's happening....I find myself suddenly writing about the painful angles of life. This was an unfamiliar territory for me till about 4 years ago.

When I came to US (the land of dream and opportunity) and in addition to the fulfillment of dreams and securing opportunity, I also got my share of trials and tribulations. I don't know whether I was successful or not, but I do know that 4 years down the lane, I'm not the same naive girl I was.

It is true that only once you step outside the safer confines of your home, do you realize the protection family provides (physically and emotionally). With that also comes independence of thought and behaviour and a chance to learn to make your own choices and face the result of it all by yourself.

Then we mature into adults and become confident in making our own choices and forming our opinions. A certain by product is generated in the intermediate steps of this process, which isn't desirable at all, but can't be avoided and that is - ill temper.

As far as I know we all experience it, I did too. A new found independence gave me a sense of freedom which was difficult to handle in the beginning. I think it was more of a defense mechanism developed to protect the freedom lest someone tries to take it away from me. And what do you do if you see your loved one act like that? - I have always wondered.

I think the answer is that you remember why you love them and that they are after all humans. The rest I think I have to ask my mom because she has seen me act my worst with her, but she didn't stop loving me. I know you might say because she is my mom....but let me tell you....she can make you feel loved or unloved. She is very objective about her likes & dislikes, rules and principles. I always tell her that I've been her problem child and she says I just have too much energy and yes she does agree that I don't have tendency to settle down in one soon as something gets comfortable for me I want a change.

My answer is that I have a short attention span and also I can't sustain high energy levels for too long and I don't think anyone can. But I have improved my stamina in terms of paying attention....if only I could also improve my physical stamina. I keep starting and stopping my exercise schedule. There is no lack of motivation, its got to do with my vacation from self.

I realise that I have come a full circle in this discussion....thus, coming back to what I said in the beginning - Vacation from self. Not very pleasing, but necessary, teaches you a lot about yourself, the world outside your perspective. And let me tell you, if you think you can avoid this phase, think again.

Life is like a wave, it goes up and comes down all the time.....but the out of body experience is fine just one time because a wave in the negative region of the graph doesn't need to go to minus infinity all the time.....minus 20 would just be fine.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Back to Blogosphere

Yes, ladies and gentlemen and web crawlers I'm back and active on the blogging circuit.

It was a long break (well deserved, I don't think so). But, now I'm back and here to stay. December was my last post and in the blogging world, as we all know, its light years ago. My absence was because of multiple reasons - Poor time management, laziness, job hunting, apt hunting and self hunting. The last reason is slightly wierd, but most special.

It was one of my down cycles that had kept me away from one of my favourite activities..blogging. Its a popular belief that life is can be best explained as following the wave theory. This means that life takes you up the roller coaster and down it and doesn't really give a whole lot of time to catch a breath properly. I guess, that is the thrill. It also is painful, I've almost been to the borders and back of one of most painful state of mind a person can get into. That story, is for another post though. Here I want to talk about some other reasons which were off-springs of this root cause.

My lack of interest in myself led to poor time management and laziness slowly started setting in. And before, I knew it I was late in doing anything and everything. Went on for quiet sometime until I was finally jolted out of it by my guardian angel (you know who you are). And what a 440 volt jolt it was.....definitely brought me back to conscious and enjoying life, like before.

I do realise that my life is quiet mundane and simple by many standards of enjoying life.....but you know what I'm having fun and I'm happy and nobody can tell me that I need to do a whole lot of other things to enjoy life. Enjoying life, by definition, is very very personal for the individual as it is defined by them. Its not an absolute state and I'm loving my state of mind right now and my life just the way it is.

I would definitely like to sharpen my skills and blow away the dust settled on my brain and knowledge.....but since its been such a long time, I guess it will take sometime. Another shock treatment might not be a good idea, but definitely something less drastic than that is the need of the hour.

And then, I had three important tasks. First of the first thing a student does when they are in their final year college.....job hunting. Making sure my monetary independence is taken care off was quiet a task. I had my shares of hope and despair in the process. And my guardian angel stood by me rock solid all through it and kept boosting my morale. And then my happiness knew no bounds when I landed the job at Deloitte, the dream company for us consultants type. The day when I got the news will definitely go down in my autobiography as one of high points of my life, especially after 12th and VTU.

After my appointment, I was faced with the daunting task of finding accomodation, as I had shifted out of my older place. It was a slight struggle and whole lot of money spending, but I was able to get my current residence without toiling as much as I did for the job.

Last but not the least, after I took care of my monetary needs and security and basic needs, it was time to give some time to myself. Talk to me, the me, who I had lost somewhere through the 3 years of corporate boot camp. I set out in search of her and slowly I'm discovering pieces of her. As I gather the pieces and put them together; all I can say to my two angles , my twin pillars of strength is that: "I will be back. The Neha, you knew, will be back soon. With some nuances still intact. Hey, no one's perfect. But, that is part of being me and love it or hate it, its gonna be there.......kyunki:

"Hum to bhai jaise hain, waise rahenge. Ab koi khush ho ya ho khafa, hum nahi badlenge apnee adaa. Samjhe na samjhe koi hum yahee kahenge."