Friday, July 10, 2009

Poor Men

When Hamlet draws his last breath,When Othello draws his sword on to himself,When Macbeth shivers seeing the woods move, when Satya wriggles in his own blood at the doorstep of his beloved and when Paruthiveeran bites dust oozing blood painlessly, All i can visualise is the sweet grin on the face of creators of these characters who could etch a character so strong on a page or book and so seamlessly tranfer the imprint the same on to the mind of the audience and finally make it a point to put them through an experience that they cannot excuse themselves for.

Women in cinema had been invariably been pushed to played rosy,coochy coochy second fiddle, and an abberation that occured once in a while had always made a strong impact. Infact every actress now tries to make sure that she plays a strong female role once in her career,which is so because unfortunately, still as a majority,women are treated as a dependent second fiddle(let us not get into the 'discussion of the rise of the corporate women' now. For my own good, I am not in TCS anymore, i am in coimbatore trying to sell soaps to people who form a majority of what India is).

Anyway, the point of the article is that, if women roles were appreciated for being strong, Men in cinema or literature have made stronger and longer impressions in the mind of audience not when they played obvious hero who is invincible, but it is when they played the weak- the weak which every knows but treats it as a huge taboo to acknowledge openly. And some master minds had taken the simplest route to bring this to the forefront. Like they say in cooking shows on TV, 'Boil it with women and garnish it with crime".(Before i go further, this article is not to start a masculine movement or some bullshit like that, it is just my observation from some of my favorite pieces of art).

Othello was a character starngled by the thoughts of being naked to himself about the fact that he has turned vulnerable to the charms of a women who seemed to be manipulating him all the more. But the irony of his fate lay in the falsity of his own imagination which only sprouted from his weakness, that questioned his control over himself that seems to be shared now.

Macbeth struggled to figure out if it was his decision to aim for the throne by putting the king to sleep, or was he just a pawn in the whole plot written and directed by his wife,If not for which he wouldnt have accrued all the guilt.It is astonishing that a man who returned winning a battle had to succumb to words of a woman, well the question remains that he succumbed to the greed for power. I would say you do not need to question that, at the cost of stereotyping men, isnt that what men always sought.

The final frames of Satya still comeback to my mind, as i ponder that how a person who could plot to kill a dozen goons in the most manipulated manner and still escape the police, would walk into a building which he knows will only lock him up to death in a brutal manner.

There really isnt any point that i am trying to make through this article, except that i wish i could sleep well, after this, because, the last time i lost my sleep like this after watching a movie was after 'Requiem for a Dream'. I could survive One flew over cuckoos nest,7/G,Omkara, but Paruthiveeran for its sheer rawness and honesty in its brutality in questioning the heroics and recklessness of men powered and possessed by crime only to be challenged by a woman's undaunted love had a disturbing impact on my mind. The climax justifies itself in amatter of 15 minutes of what all the film was trying to make sense of in an atmosphere alien to most of the people who would watch the movie, but its the characters and their idiosyncracies(as wierd as cutting off a policeman's ear, for the fun of it, only tells you that he will pay for it the way it has to be). The movie stands out as how strongly it justifies its characters, which may be even Satya fails at a few points.

I will stop this piece here, as i have already taken off tangentially. Hope it makes half the sense i wanted it to be.

P.S: I am sure that whoever watched the movie would trash this article for supporting the male character, who technically had to pay for his crimes, while th female's role goes through the brutality for nothing but love. I would still keep the title of this article the same, as the guilt of realising that your previous actions had been the sole reason for your beloved's fate and the helplessness that stays with the character thereby is the worst punishment that anyone can get. Thus, my sincere condolences go to Poor Men


Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Learning Thy Neighbours Language

And so arrive in the Tamil Nadu, ok, excuse me here, its Thamilll nadu to pronounce, and as per norms some britisher or god knows who chose to pass the dictum "From now on , Z followed by a H will be spelt as-" he addressed a huge crowd and tried to pronounce the way it is supposed to be , by dragging his tip of the tongue to the roof of his mouth and shouted "Lla".

Forget the English, they are a queer crowd for sure. Thats my first learning on my way to learn Tamil.

During one of my days of travelling to the countryside for my sales training with the salesman in coimbatore, i had no sense of my whereabouts as the milestone read only in Tamil, which was unlike any other place in India so far. So, i thought i will start with the basics-Buy a Slate and learn to read and write.

And surprise, there are only 30 alphabets, unlike 56 in telugu. I realised why my handwriting in telugu sucked so badly(not that i write beautifully in other languages)there are actually enough twists in telugu words as well that would break your slate pencil.And for all the northindians who hate the Tam crowd, the script seemed similar to hindi(though they wouldnt sound the same, e.g : the mirror image or Hindi Ae is Tamil Ra)

So,the second surprise comes in the form of free will the language offers to pronounce it the way you want it to be. For example, same letter is used to spell Pa,Ba and similarly for Tha/Dha and Cha/Sa. You should empathize with me when in my first days of learning, the only exercises i have are the name boards on retail shops, Ads on buses and the milestones, so i spell Chennai Silks as Chennai Chilks and then give myself an extra option as Sennai Silks, and like a curious kid checking for the answers, i find out its Chennai silks at my own discretion.

With this frustration for a day, I launched onto my salesman to write and spell 'bombay' and when he wrote something which would also spell like pompay, i asked the obvious question. He did the obvious, Laughed me off as an FOB and carried on with his work.

Thats when you realise, how queer are the english and is English. Wouldnt a kid be justified if he spells Coconut as Sosonut. With many such questions and pitfalls, i am enjoying my new learning, especially travelling by the countryside and a sneak peek into the last triad of the sale - Consumer-retailer-salesman.

And after 2 weeks of concentrated learning of the language, i had a relieved and entertaining session of watching a Tamil Movie. More on that next time.