Showing posts from November, 2010


I was reading Art India’s review about chintan upadyay’s oeuvre, where it says that his conception of an artist is ‘Warholian’. Wtf is warholian. Warhol was a great artist. He had a certain distinct vision, a distinct style. But when Chintan Upadyay can be ‘warhol like’ why should he be a ‘warholian’? Well, my trouble is not with chintan or Warhol but with this tendency by writers, reporters to turn everything ‘ian’ to give undue depth to an argument, especially when people’s styles don’t remain styles but apparently a discipline due to the suffix ‘ian’. So we get warholian, lovecraftian, well why not pawarian? I have certain distinct traits, well none expressed to the world with any beauty or originality but in my world I am quite pawarian and this pawarian-ness is quite important to me. So to sum up my request, stop turning famous people’s traits into disciplines.

Circumventing manufactured voices

I am gravely worried for the fate of India’s cultural empire. More than the Indian army or its embassies and aid packages, it’s the movie machine of Mumbai that has helped India raise its cultural flag beyond India. From Afghanistan to Japan, from Russia to south east Asia, Bollywood has found devout followers everywhere. This cultural advocacy helps corporate bodies when they march their imperialist marches into these countries. Hey, a dancing, overtly emotional Indian is better than a Kung-fu fighting Chinese.   But, Bollywood is losing its hold here at home. Its becoming a caricature of it's imagined self. The ‘desi’ moviegoer is increasingly being subjected to only Punjabi and Gujarati London/Canada dreams. The mainstream movies are rarely even shot in India at all. Since the moneyed few rules what is to be made, the available palette is primarily composed of galling stories of people falling in love in some white suburb of NY or some such world of big white people, where surpr

Bhansali boo hoo - Guzaarish

I know, it might sound unduly parochial and unaccommodating of minorities perhaps, but why is Sanjay Leela Bhansali stuck on European sensibility? I am not questioning his choice of Goan catholic community as the backdrop for his stories (But even then there aren’t as many white people in Goa who dance the flamingo and wear jackets all the time or wear the Spanish gypsy dresses. In the movie most of the actors are very fair. Hmmm, perhaps it’s the Indian movies prerogative.), but his artistic liberty that is very narrowly defined by a certain romance with European visual culture and obscene opulence. What really bothers is, we don’t have many poetic visionaries creating beautiful cinemas, and the one we have is hopelessly afflicted with myopic obsession with a certain style that robs much from his story telling. Guzaarish is beautiful at times, but then it was actually supposed to be about life’s wonder and an individual’s choice. The beauty s