Saturday, March 28, 2009

A B.E.A.utiful Quote

Duniya jise kehte hain jaadu ka khilona jae to mitti hai...kho jae to sona hai

- Nida Fazli

DEV D- Its Addictive

So what is Dev D all about? Is it just sleaze, sex, sensationalism or a cocktail of all these?
Well, cocktail is a nice word to begin a review of this movie with. To answer the question above, I would describe it as a mirror to our society, a mirror which seductively glares back at us and forces us to look within and acknowledge the twisted sense of morality which guides our thoughts and actions.

On the surface, it is the oft- repeated tale of a spoilt, rich kid who uses his loss in love as an excuse to destroy his own life and those of his loved ones. But scratch the surface and you will find yourself on a dizzy journey that begins and ends inside your head. Anurag Kashyap takes you on a cinematic trip, the headiness of which alcohol and cocaine would find hard to match.

Kashyap uses subtle innuendos to make striking social comments- be it Paro’s unfulfilled libido forcing her to violently shake a hand- pump or the hilayen sign on a DTC bus (with the prefix ‘M’ rubbed out) or Chanda, the prostitute’s urge to get a college degree.

The film begins in the earthy milieu of rural Punjab where Dev returns after completing his education in the UK. His physical encounters with Paro and their subsequent misunderstandings resulting in Paro’s marriage bring out the strength of Paro’s character, highlighting Dev’s inherent weaknesses at the same time. Mahi Gill delights as the feisty, foul- mouthed Paro who questions every cliché faced by the Indian woman.

From the rusty fields of Punjab, the heart- broken Dev travels to the dingy, psychedelic haze of Delhi’s Pahargunj; mirroring his descent from earthly purity into a hallucinatory hell. There he gives into the temptations of substance relief, visiting seedy bars and guzzling Thumbs Up (vodka ke saath) to give temporary warmth to his parched heart. You can almost feel his head spinning, thanks to the brilliant cinematography and background score.

In Pahargunj, he meets Chunni, the pimp who leads him to Chanda’s bed. Chanda’s character is where Kashyap smartly turns the classic Devdas on its head. The story of the young prostitute disowned by her parents and ridiculed by society because of an MMS scandal in her school days, is a comment on how fickle our definition of a slut (or anything for that matter) really is. Chanda’s joi de vivre is unbridled by parental discord as she relentlessly pursues her aspirations. If she finds them in a brothel, then so be it.
Kalki Koechlin makes a stunning debut as the now –innocent, now- corrupt girl- woman Chanda.

Dev and Chanda’s journey together is one of acceptance of their twisted past and present and their redemption, which they make each other realize in their own unique ways.

As the flawed protagonist, Abhay Deol proves his worth as a thinking man’s hero. He achieves the difficult feat of making the audience despise him, hate his crude ways and yet ache for him deep inside.

The musical score by Amit Trivedi is a character in itself, moving the story forward and bringing across the angst and changing mental state of the characters.

But what shines through Dev D IS Anurag Kashyap’s stamp of brilliance. The director makes his presence felt in every frame of the film as we watch his vision, creativity and arrogance find wings on celluloid.

As the end credits roll out upside down, you realize that this hangover would not leave you soon.

PS: In the song emosional atyachaar, there is a line which goes ek, do, teen, chaar, cheee….. Wondering what’s missing?...It’s Kashyap’s debut film PAANCH which is still stuck with the Censor Board. !!

Friday, March 27, 2009

The House With The Broken Window

Deep inside the post- apocalyptic city of my mind
Amidst the ruins of my harrowed existence
At the end of a dilapidated street
There stands a crumbling house- the house with the broken window

There is a sign on the only door which says- YOU ARE NOT WELCOME
The door itself is firmly locked
With the key hidden away in the secret vaults of my heart
And the protective shields around the house playing their part

So that no one but I can go in
And that too, not of my own free will
But when the beast living in the house commits another sin
Or, is it a little child; frightened of the outside,
looking for an escape within??

Inside, cobwebs of broken dreams and incomplete love float around
And silence is the only sound
The acrid smell of despair mixes with the sweet aroma of desire
And paranoia rubs against hope to start a wild fire

In this strange house, I am everything and I am nothing
I am the slave and I am the king
I am the preacher and I am the sinner
I am the loser and I am the winner

Many-a-curious passer by has knocked on the door
Or tried to break the lock, to force his way in
But any attempt to cross the threshold
Is met with a single piercing scream- YOU ARE NOT WELCOME

People say it’s haunted, that house
But I choose to disagree
It is my place of worship, my sacred space
The only place where I can ever be FREE!!!

Friday, March 20, 2009


This has been a loooonnngggggg time coming. I have thought about it, got down to writing it once, hastily removed it due to commitment phobia, and then endlessly agonized over it. But now, with not much on the agenda and my urge to write slowly overpowering my reluctance, here I begin my Random Thoughts. So roll out the red carpet and bring out the champagne!!

Let me begin with a brief introduction of the purpose and relevance of this blog. Well, to put it simply, it is not really relevant in the larger scheme of things. But it will serve a purpose. It will satisfy my urge to grasp the flowing stream of thoughts running through my put it in a corner and watch it....touch it...and feel it...and if it quenches some of your thirst as well....all the better!