Some coffee and a handful of celeb news: Breakfast of today’s generation

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The first thing she does when she gets the morning paper is snatch the entertainment supplement and devour all its content, with occasional remarks and rebukes. In her favourites tab of Google Chrome you will only find entertainment websites, filled with celebrity news and gossip. So it made me wonder what do people look for in these celebrities, they follow them on Twitter and drool over their photos on Instagram.

Recently I came across (accidentally) photos Rihaana has uploaded on her Instagram, I mean why anyone would like to see your naked butt, when you are known for your singing. It’s hideous and even pornographic at times when celebrities would entice their fans with their nude photos when they should be doing the same with their talent.

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Then again it’s not all about nudity or dirty pics, I mean look at the fan following of Miley Cyrus, Man that woman has not given a single hit in months, but managed to stay in the news with her punk look. But you still get that being celebrities this is what they are paid to do, being in the spotlight for oh so wrong reasons.

But my question is what do the readers or more so if I can say viewers as there is hardly anything to read, get from them. I have discovered two types of viewers, one that pathetically wants to be them, follows their fashion-their meals-their yoga style and then there are those who gets a pleasure from looking at their failures, their cracked up life and their break-ups. I mean Taylor Swift’s fans know more about her list of ex-boyfriends than about her singing career, because that’s how they try to connect with them-find something common between them and the celebrity.

The first type will buy cheaper version of their celebrity clothes online, put their perfumes or have what they recommend, in one word mimic them. Now don’t confuse this with their admiration for that celebrity or his/her work-they don’t like Angelina Jolie for her acting or Lady Gaga for her singing, but they like them just because they are the celebrities in news. This type only harbours the dream of leading such a life, but only with clothes- jewellery – food, they are the fake celebrities in their own little world of friends, and that’s what they look forward to.

Now the second type is the one that craves to find some connect with these celebrities on a very humane level, they don’t desire to be fake celebrities instead they desire the celebrities to be like them. They love to see their fallout with drug addiction or their patchy break-up and murmur to themselves, see I knew you were just like us.

But why do we have this urge to connect or follow these twisted up celebrities? What’s up with the growing number of Beyonce fans as compared to Alicia Keys. I mean how many actually follow their celebrities because of their work and not because they have been in some scandal or have flashed in public?

It’s not that this is completely new, our parents too loved Monroe or George Clooney but for their work not for their clandestine life (which they definitely had). But that was not because they didn’t have the inclination to such news, but because they didn’t have the required means.  So today given the various means our society has, we are seeing the rise of a generation thriving on such low and shallow thinking. They are glued to their TV or computer screens, just to see who is dating whom, who had an abortion or who ate what for lunch. Even celebrity babies are not spared.

I am appalled at times to see that series like Gossip Girl and Jersey Shore are actually running into fifth or sixth seasons, that is proof enough what our generation is craving for.

And thanks to the growing number of such websites that thinks talking about “How her side boob was peeking through her dress” is a news people should know, the number of takers for such crap is rising. If you check the web, these websites are cropping up like mushrooms, and running to fuel the demand that our generation is generating. So I guess it’s a vicious circle from which at least I would like to keep a safe distance.

Dance Baby Dance

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Sweat trickling down your forehead, heart pumping so hard you feel it vibrating through your entire body, your soles are thumping to the music and your mind is living freely. That’s how I felt when I first started moving my body and my soul to music. It was within my small living room, with a tiny space between the sofas that I squeezed in my moves.

I still remember dancing away to “Nimbuda Nimbuda” from Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, swooning to Kaho Na Pyaar Hai’s number, and that was time of cassettes. And then there was this rock-n-roll collection of my parents which I played in the evening. I was a trained classical dancer but never got any expertise on western moves. But somehow dance flowed through my veins. So from a small room I shifted to stages of school and college.

I still remember how excited as well as anxious I was before my first performance, it was at this school picnic and I had choreographed the dance too. The garden was filled with eager yet impatient students, who can be very ruthless if you sucked. But this intimated little soul did what she loved and from that day the world loved it with her.

I never understood my relation with dance, it was unsaid, it was restless and it was an unspoken bond. Dance comes to me in the middle of a hot-afternoon or at mid-night or even after getting up from bed. It can be random grooving to any music, or it can be clean-practiced steps to a particular number, all i needed was to dance. I never questioned did this uncanny thirst for dance, this attraction that was getting deeper. Instead I went on dancing at birthday’s on popular demand, or dance within the four walls of my room. I never allowed this relation to grow, in fear that it may take over my life.

I loved it when the audience praised my performance, it gave me satisfaction but I was satiated with that much.  I never dared to take it forward, I never followed it. I never acknowledged the importance it holds in my life, I always treated it as something to do in free time. And as the free time decreased so did my dance.

After joining my first job in Delhi I remembered how I use to crave for some privacy and some space to even move my body. While listening to music in metro I use to mentally choreograph the moves, at times even tapping my feet with it. But it was the all-consuming TIME that ate up my first love. Now dance was just reduced to clubs and pubs, and that’s degeneration of my art.

So from today no more watching dance videos on Youtube, no more getting bogged down by monotony of life, it’s time to regain what I lost, it’s time to Dance.

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That unfortunate day I watched “One Day”

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The trailer was interesting, the concept seemed cliché but still had a curiosity element to it. Also it came from the director of “An Education” a movie I liked. To top that the cast of Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess made a cute romantic couple, or that’s what I thought. But never did I imagine that my brain cells would be traumatized by a romantic flick.

The film is a torture on your senses, it would make you hate love, make you hate friendship and above all hate these two characters. The naivety of the girl and the abrasive nature of the boy seemed old-fashioned but one still expected something out of it. But you would wait for something to happen throughout the entire film.

The only innovative part of the narration is the unique ways of showcasing time-lapse. The film has no soul, it just portrays two individuals without any connection. The plot runs on very obvious lines, you can actually predict all the moves, even the scene of the accident. The plot is strained, the narrative excessively boring and it will leave you with nothing but a bad headache.

The performances are more ghastly, Hathaway performs like a newbie, her expressions are stoic and there is hardly any chemistry between the two characters. The fact that they had feelings for each other even after two decades is appalling as the characters never evolved with each other. There was the “oh so needed” vacation, the skinny dipping, loitering in Paris, the parties and even a wedding and a kid, but nothing could save the film from its destined disaster, since it lacked sincerity.

Even if you are bored to death and out of things to do, go sleep but don’t try to watch this movie.

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A Painful “Detachment” : The Review

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“The whole thing is fucked”…that’s what you are left feeling at the end of this movie. It wrings out your emotions, it pings at your thoughts, and it hits you.

Detachment is a film that is layered with plots but all connected by one single thread, that of the failing education system of USA.

From the very start we are made to face the crassness of the problem, abusive students, helpless teachers, a system barred of respect-discipline and above all care. And to an Indian educated student it came to me as a shock. We all have heard about the public school systems of America and how they function, but this gave a different perspective.

We have seen many American flicks talking about their education system and the rapid degeneration of student-teacher relationship. Most of them emphasized the problem from a student’s perspective, but this gave a more balanced outlook-showed the collapsing worlds of both the teachers and students caught in the dead-end.

The film realistically depicts the mind-set of the students, their outlook towards education and how they look at their teachers. Can we ever imagine a student throwing away a teacher’s bag, asking him to fuck-off or else he will beat the hell out of him, its appalling, in no other country do we see such complete lack of respect for a teacher. And the problem is deep-rooted. The film shows the lackadaisical nature of the parents, their complete negligence and at one point Adrien Brody says that there should be some tests before one can be a parent, raise a child because that’s where the problem generates.

Detachment is a film hard to digest, especially if you have grown learning to respect and look up to your teachers. The most depressing part of the film is the struggle of the teachers, while one of them feels completely miserable and invisible to the world, the other pops pills to face his daily ordeal. While some prevail thinking they can bring some kind of change and persevere towards it, some merely accepts the way things have evolved and give in.detachment-movie-poster-large

Adrien Brody’s performance has once again taken the film to a notch higher. His character tries to be selfless, disconnected and indifferent to the surrounding. He tries to get into the thought process of the students,  tries to connect with them but the journey takes it toll.

The treatment of the film is cliché, the repertoire of past images flashing now and then is something we have seen a lot in recent films and becomes repetitive at the end. Also the plot of Adrien’s past weighs down upon the character giving it less space to develop.

But the use of animation to draw subtle imagery of the emotions helps to lighten the mood. One illustration that really hit me was that of this counsellor (played by Lucy Liu) who takes incessant calls from indifferent and abusive parents and the animation shows the telephone cord wrapping around the counselor’s neck and killing her.

The film is sordid, pensive and will leave your mind confused and disturbed, but it will also bring you close to a growing concern.

WOTE-you can’t get enough

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I hated bands who play covers, somehow they always ruin the song. But the day I discovered this band, I loved their take on famous covers. Walk off the Earth became famous from their Youtube video playing Gotye’s Grammy winning “Somebody that I used to Know” but with a twist, all five band members playing it on one single guitar. And it sounded at least for me way better than the original.


This band was literally born on Youtube, they thrived and grew through their Youtube channel. But it was their quirky take on music that made their music popular. Their covers had some added flavour that made it stand out from the original, like the one of Taylor Swift’s “Trouble” which till now is my favourite. The music was played through mouth, kind of beat boxing and had this amazing effect.

Apart from covers their originals too has this pump to it that would force you to wobble your head and tap your feet, and if you are in the mood do a little jig too.

Their album R.E.V.O has their original tracks and each song has its distinct flavour, so be it “Summer Vibe” with its summery feel or “Red Hands” with a fierce force, their originals brought out their musical enigma.

But the best part about this off-beat band is their constant struggle and effort to bring something new in every song, be it visually or musically. Their every new song, be it a cover or an original has some new added flavour, something that is strikingly apart from their earlier ones, and that is the creativity that this band invokes. Their songs are celebrations of life, their take on music is energetic and infused with vibrancy.

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So if you want to listen something new, something that will set your mood for the day, follow their Youtube Channel and be amazed every time.

“The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” a potpourri of relationships & emotions with added Indian flavours

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Today I finally watched a movie that was pending in my list for a long time. It was the title of the film that struck me as a bit odd for a Hollywood film. But it was only after I realized the connection with India did I understand this bizarre juxtaposition of words “best” and “exotic” for a hotel name, it exudes an innate Indian-ness.

The film started off with 6 different plots and binding them all was this quaint hotel in India, a supposed refuge for the old and the beautiful. It started off like yet another Hollywood film, which tries to explore India and its notion of mysticism. But I was soon proved wrong, it was more to do with foreigners being moulded by this country into discovering their other side.

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The heart of the film is the array of characters, and their growing relationship with each other. All the characters evolve with a distinct identity, be it the widow trying to be independent, or the lonely guy trying to get laid or the one in search of a wealthy suitor, characters have been well played.

But the one that has stood out for me was the one of the skeptic old lady played by Maggie Smith. It was her stuck-up English mentality and her abhorrence for coloured people that set her apart. Be it her persistent behavior of eating only her biscuits and pickles or her consistent rejection of the Indian ways of life, Smith painted a picture of an old-fashioned English woman. On the other hand Dev Patel’s portrayal of a headstrong young guy full of dreams and ideas seemed superficial and strained.

Music binds the film together, from soft mellifluous tunes of sitar to rhythmic beats of dhol, the music has supported the scenes and added to the Indian flavor of the film. It is the background score that has made me connect with many scenes, like the one where like a perfect Bollywood film, dhol starts playing at the end of the scene where Dev proposes to his girlfriend.

It is the subtlety with which the director juxtaposes as well as weaves in intricate Indian customs and behaviors with those of the westerners that gives a fluidity to the plot. It was the way India was shown by a foreigner that most appealed my senses.

Whenever the West talks about India all they can show is the poverty, cows and mosquitoes. But this was one movie brought in a balance that showed the hardships as well as the joys the country has to offer. And if you too want to reconnect with the Indian within you, then this film is worth a watch.