Saturday, February 21, 2009

I - Speak

Some people who know me, and ofcourse some who don’t know me, may think that I am being a typical bong by supporting another. I don’t mind. Because, I have always believed, I don’t mind, because I don’t have a mind! Anyhow, I had almost decided to write a Bong Series (Coming Soon - The Bong Identity, The Bong Supremacy & The Bong Ultimatum). How can Bongs be covered in one single page!!

I always finish my write up in one single page, about 700 words. I know, I know, I have started boasting too much. I just cant’ help it. I am getting rave reviews from the 2 ½ fans who religiously read my blog and comment. Why the ½? Coz, two of them have names, one is an anonymous commentor!!

Mr. Somnath Chatterjee roared as Speaker during the Parliament’s Question Hour to all MPs present “…this session is suspended sine die. You are wasting public money. You don’t deserve to be here. I am sure voters will realize & wish you loose in the next elections…...” I may have said more than what Mr. Chatterjee said exactly. But, I never said “ad verbatim” either! But the intent is very clear. I am not proclaiming what he did or said as right or wrong. He spoke like a true passionate Bengali.

In the lives of all of us, there comes that few times when someone takes over the reins of our control. Control on our speech, on our body, our reflexes, probably the whole of us. We tend to just forget everything around us, who we are representing, the position we hold, how people want us to behave. In those moments the most unweighed, unprejudiced, pure & raw emotions, which most of the times are distasteful to others & could be harmful to “I” come out in the open. But “I” tolerated many a times, bore the brunt of acting diplomatic, suffered too much for being the way she is not. Thresholds are barred and “I” cannot take it anymore. That is when “I” takes over us. For those few moments, we just become, “I”.

Ofcourse, Mr. Chatterjee did not mean any real harm or curse in reality any of the MPs present or absent during the session (there is never 100% attendance at Parliament). He knows & we all know, what he wished will never come true either. Public money will be wasted time & again. Question Hour will remain a question mark in Parliament. Most of the dumb asses present & absent will be re-elected courtesy our dumm-o-cracy. But the real Somnath probably could not take it anymore. He had been watching the parliamentary circus for days and months. As a speaker, he was helpless. How long can someone try making jumping monkeys climb down & sit at one place? Wish as one may against it, there will always remain a clear difference between literate & educated people. The ones who can barely read & write, do so barely, existing all their lives. Ones who understand what they read & write what they think is right cannot barely exist. They need to live life. That is when these sudden crazy moments of truth come along to ensure one is breathing & living life on “I” terms.

Just can’ help but compare Mr. Chatterjee to a character of my school days! Have you ever heard of a cricket coach chasing the best batsman of the team with a bat raised in his hands, between a match, only because he lifted the ball in the air in the gap to take two runs. He was instructed to play on the ground & take singles! Have you ever heard about a teacher who, leave alone a slap, actually kicked the School Captain infront of the entire school! He was one man who could not withstand any misdemeanor infront of him. Once caught, one had to not just bear a tight slap, but some real chaste & passionate Bengali curses from this true passionate Bengali. He had trysts with his “I” more often that Mr. Chatterjee for sure.

Mr. Pankaj Kumar Bagchi. Banga as we still fondly call him, hope is still the same firebrand as we remember him. He is our very own Royal ‘Banga’ Tiger!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Kiss & Make Up

I really don’t know how many people would be interested to read any further the moment I mention my inspiration to write this piece. But then once you go past the initial shock, I am hoping it would make some sense to many. Couple of days back I was switching channels and I stopped at an interview session of one of the actors who am sure is no competition to any of the top stars of our film industry and yet according to me is envied more than hated. I believe people are jealous of him more than actually disliking him. And it is not for his acting talent but to make most of his films “a must watch” just because of the trailers of the film. I still cherish the mornings when we used fight for the radio to hear trailers of latest movies followed by half rendition of the most promising song from the movie. I believe that’s how the man who made play back singing of ‘sex-symbol’ status – Kedarnath Bhattacharya or Kumar Sanu as we know him became a sex symbol. More about him later.

If you are still reading, hold your breath. Now props the name that needs introduction no more the moment the name is spelt. He is Emran Hashmi. Why is he infamous, everyone knows. Why I think he is felt jealous of, is for the same reason. On top of it, the number of hits songs; some amazingly romantic, some soothing & some foot tapping scores, filmed on him makes a unique combination to match. At first instant, I cannot recollect any one having such a fan following, with as many hits & ofcourse, as many lip locks as he has. Suddenly, another face comes onto my screen. A face, who has been lovingly acclaimed for almost all films that he has done. Ironically, one movie where he is disowned by the movie goers, reviewers & makers who royally “Mughlai-fry” him has Emran’s most (in)famous onscreen lip smacker as his co-star. This man has been associated with the so-called parallel cinema since he first acted in “The English August”. A great book, I hear; an amazing movie, I swear. (Do I rhyme?)

To me, Rahul Bose is the intellectual man’s Emran Hashmi. Most guys, I mean, men who are straight, would want to get into the ‘act’ as many times as Emran or Rahul would have. But it’s the Emrans who are typecast as the ones with ‘fire under the belly’ whereas; Rahuls are the ones with “fire in their belly’. I don’t remember a movie in which Rahul Bose has not locked lips with his heroine. Softly or wildly, is not the question. He has done what Emran has. But it’s poor Emran who is being burnt in the fire and Rahul is the man of desire. (Did I rhyme again?) No hero does what he does on his own accord. It’s the Director. Infact, it’s what the script demands! Isn’t it? Now, I don’t know if they change the script after a hero signs? Or a hero signs after reading a script & knowing all the nitty-gritty details of it. However, there remains some common thread between the two. Someone must be giving them tips, about the lips. (Oops, am I writing prose or poetry? I rhyme again!!)

Thinking back of occasions when two people with the same performance, one being applauded & the other sidelined by being criticized as that’s what were expected of her/him and that’s all s/he can do!! Could I think of any? I could not stop counting how many times would have I been on either sides of the coin. Be it as a kid in school, in college, at home or at work, with friends or relatives or the so called judges of the situation. I mean there have been times when my siblings have been spanked for doing the same thing for which I have got away with just a little scolding. I have been suspended to bunk class & someone has been just let off with a wink. When I was caught red handed by my father smoking during college days, I was almost disowned. One of my friends had his pocket money increased for his new habit!!

We all believe we control our lives. Some things may be under our control. Some things are never under our control. And yet some which you think are under your control but are actually just perceptions, in the minds of others & self. The best we can do is trying and manage them. Infact, Perception Management is what we do, most of our lives. As kids with our parents and as parents with our kids. As an employee with our employer and as a Boss with our subordinates. As an actor, like a star & vice versa.

I don’t know if Emran wanted such a perception. Or for that matter, if Rahul has created his image. But both of them are sure enjoying what they do… kiss & make up for their roles.