Serial Bus

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Archive for the ‘India’ Category

Why 3 Idiots might become a Flop

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Since every idiot worth his/her salt is opining on the row between Chetan Bhagat and Vidhu Vinod Chopra & Co, I thought I should contribute to such a rich national debate. This story has dominated the news cycle in India for the last few days and before it starts testing people’s patience, I wanted to express my solidarity for Chetan.

Let me put in a few disclaimers – I am a big Aamir fan, I have always admired VVC’s vision, I can’t stop loving Raju Hirani’s knack for comedy and some of us have long appreciated Abhijat Joshi, the supposed dark horse. Despite some minor flaws, I loved ‘3 Idiots’. I have not read Five Point Someone (or any other book written by Chetan) and for this reason, VVC might have questioned my right to even have an opinion. However, my solidarity with Chetan has nothing to do with VVC’s deranged outburst at the now-famous press conference. I am not letting it cloud my judgment in the same way that I am discounting Chetan’s melodramatic statements on the television – he has been supplying a lot of lowly grist that is the staple in most news channels now-a-days. I keep wondering if the writer in him is incapable of escaping cliches. Also, legally, Chetan’s gripes have no locus standi and he knows it well. The contract he signed with VVC & Co in 2005 is now a part of the dirty linen that is hanging dry in public. The contract has been abided by and nobody can even contemplate a lawsuit. That said, here is why I believe Chetan has been wronged.

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Written by serialbus

January 2, 2010 at 10:44 pm

My Name is Singh, Rocket Singh!

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By the time I post this, Aamir Khan must have moved to another city of India. There is no telling whether it will be big or small, famous or obscure. A legion of his fans and curious onlookers await the fifth clue. Though Aamir calls it an Alternate Reality Game, what he is doing would be interesting by any other name too. And unprecedented. His bharat-darshan has raised film marketing to a new level. Though film-makers have long strived to create buzz around upcoming movies, never has it taken on the kind of aura as in recent times. It is high time that they instituted a Filmfare and an Oscar for Best Marketing of a Feature Film.

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Written by serialbus

December 17, 2009 at 11:32 pm

I Do Not Worship Thee, O Motherland!

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Should Muslims in India refrain from singing Vande Mataram?

To answer the question fairly, one must consider some other questions such as:

Should the state government of Maharashtra make it compulsory for cinema halls to play Jana Gana Mana before every show and exhort the audience to stand up for it?

Should Turkey make it unlawful for women to wear scarfs as a symbol of their piety?

Should China continue to ban the practice of Falun Gong?

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Written by serialbus

November 7, 2009 at 11:26 pm

Why I Know English Better Than I Know Sanskrit

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The following is a faux excerpt of the famous ‘Minute on Indian Education’ by Lord Macaulay doing rounds on the internet. It struck as a bit incredulous to me. Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay was a highly learned man and 1835 was hardly the Golden Age of the Indian subcontinent. Unrest must have been rife – beggars and thieves might have commonplace. But, someone has taken the pain of creating an authentic-looking excerpt from his famous minute to the British Parliament on 02Feb1835.

Macaulay

Macaulay

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Written by serialbus

November 1, 2009 at 3:04 pm

Posted in Development, History, India

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Happy Diwali and Sal Mubarak

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Obama scored another first. No, not the first American president to win the Nobel in the first year of presidency. That too – but perhaps more sanguinely, the first American president to light a ceremonial diya at White House on occasion of Diwali. He also recorded a video message to convey Diwali greetings to a cross-section of minority groups in the US of Indian heritage. As I watched his message, I thought of all the possible machinations in the background that would have culminated in Obama recording the message.

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Written by serialbus

October 25, 2009 at 1:58 pm

‘Road, Movie’: The Next Slumdog

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Normally, people make such pronouncements after watching a movie but I am basing this on the trailer: I think ‘Road, Movie’ could very well be the next Slumdog Millionaire.

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September 19, 2009 at 1:36 pm

A Book-Banning Nation

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I can imagine a lot of things that could really harm us – like nuclear bombs, cigarettes and speeding vehicles. But books? I have never known a book that exploded as soon as you read the preface. I feel sorry for the gentlemanly Jaswant Singh who has been thrown under the bus by his colleagues for publishing a book (Jinnah – India, Partition, Independence) that does not demonize Jinnah. I feel sorrier that a society could be so intolerant of books. Books?!!

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Written by serialbus

August 22, 2009 at 9:36 pm