And the test begins Time versus You The seasons are changing And the mutually exclusive clause Dictates new terms you cannot fathom Ill prepared, happiness is a bitter pill A distant carillon of bells Clangs to the thump of your heart And you don’t know anymore If that’s a good sign Or a bad omen Time has erased the fine lines Time has made thoughts like dunes Time has seized your sanity And waltzed with it in the wind In this game, you make no moves You stand still and let the ebb flow
If you ever want to make a movie on Tamilians, kindly adopt me.
No, really. You never get it right. I am not saying we never have our biased portrayals of North Indians in films down south. But then,that, my dears, is another’s battle to fight. Let us get back to mine.
I watched Two States last night. And a few months ago I watched Chennai Express. A decade or more ago, I witnessed Juhi Chawla going “Ayyo Appa” in Hum Hain Rahi Pyaar Ke. All these three films had pretty, intelligent and good actresses who were essaying roles of Tamil girls.
I am a Tamil girl but not your typical idea ofMallipoo(jasmine) sporting, sari draped, M.S.Subbalaxmi on the iPod, mantra book thumping one. I honestly don’t know where you got that idea from. We grew up parallel with the times, you know? So while all you North Indians are not seen wearingghaghra cholisandsalwarsuits on an everyday basis, we also resort to alternative clothing. We love our saris andmallipoos, yes. But that is NOT all we wear.
Maybe we won’t even tread into the styling, as mostly you guys at Bollywood mix up your Kerala Kasavu saris for our Kancheevarams and insist that we dress up that way. So I will let you keep your delusions. But I will insist on one thing – get your language right. If your character is a Tamilian, let them SPEAK in Tamil for God’s sake and not that weird mumbo-jumbo that I half expect will magically make a pigeon fly out from behind theirpallus! Get an accent trainer. Or hire me! I will do it for free, as long as you credit me.
So you have Revathy sharing screen space with Alia Bhatt. I wonder how she survived the mutilation of the language during the dubbing sequences if at all they did dub together! Here was a seasoned star, AT your disposal and you let the chance pass, Bollywood.Why? Why? Why?
If you are shooting anything ‘Tamil’, you need to get your production team to work extra hours unless you have one of Matunga’s boys on board who visit Madras in their summer holidays. They will know that women don’t keep walking with baskets of flowers and multi coloured pots ALL The time on the streets of Tamil Nadu as you showed in Chennai Express. No, they don’t do that in Kerala either. We too have bore wells, thankyouverymuch!
And what is with thevibuthi/ sacred ash that everyone seems to sport (alright, or the occasionalchandanyou let them indulge in)? There are OTHER religions people follow down south, too. We have our own Triplicanemamissharingvadaam(sun-dried flour/vegetable) space on the terrace with Muslim aunties who are drying their fish. We also have our own very Stellas and Marias to give your Bandra crowd some serious competition.
The point I am trying to make is- ILOVEyou Bollywood! So much so that, I even left my Tamil cinema land of Chennai to come here. Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE Kollywood too with all its innovative storylines and stunning filmmaking. And I equally get annoyed with it for its repetitive dishevelled thug heroes and occasional sickeningly cute heroines. But presently, I am more of aBombaiyyawho loves apavwith hervadamore than achutneywith hervadai. Maybe it is a phase, maybe it is to stay. But like I said, I don’t like YOU, Bollywood, to disappoint me this way by a complete lack of research about a land I am mighty proud of – Tamil Nadu. I am not clannish, neither am I close minded. I am no fan of Chetan Bhagat nor am I a Chennai Express type. I am just particular that movies get made with a passion and sincerity that they deserve.
Making Alia Bhatt, however drop-down-dead gorgeous that she is, mispronounce Tamil IS not going to make you convincing, Bollywood. It is going to make me laugh at you, point fingers at you and write an entire list of how terrible it was - which is exactly what I just did.
Grow up Bollywood and hire people who will care for you. Who will go at lengths to UNDERSTAND what you are trying to portray. Who will know the stories you are trying to tell and give them the voice it deserves. Make every kind of film you want to make, but make them with authenticity and passion. Without passion, everything is stale. And Bollywood, YOU are what taught me to fall passionately in love with films. Will you please fall in love with yourself, as well?
Tube lights in my office burn like the sun And the air-conditioner hum is a lullaby in the day My already drowsy eyes sprout imaginary swords And fight my eyelids to stay open A bloodbath that masquerades as tears As a gasp escapes like a yawn My thoughts rush and settle on a distant mug And smell its rim dried brown with coffee Hungrier now, it floats to my bedside Sniffs at stationery and longs for the pen Curls up, blanket over the head and snoozes I continue typing about smartphones and speakers
My neighbour plays carols early in the morning and makes
them the earworm for the day. There are cute, ugly, frail, beautiful, gigantic
Christmas trees lined all across the streets in the market place. My friends
are making Christmas baskets. There are serial lights strung on trees and walls
and whatnots! (I am tempted to string some across my head and light 'em up! :P)
There is a smell of love, festivity, togetherness and celebration all
across the city. While Deepavali down South is a definite winner, Bombay is
totally Christmas' city! I think I will burst a nerve with all the Christmas-sy
excitement! Merry Christmas, dear world! Hopefully, there are some beautiful
times ahead for all of us!
19 December 2013
The city on a chilly morning is a quiet, calm almost
unrecognizable expanse. To witness a city waking up generally makes you fall in
love with it. But in a city that never sleeps, it is like seeing it go through
a warm up exercise routine. Just a stretch in its existence! And with this city
you fall in love - for its relentless spirit and strength as much as for its
foggy wintry beauty!
8 December 2013
In this 'maximum city', it so happens that sometimes you can
reach neighbouring cities faster than you can reach neighbouring localities!
30 November 2013
Impromptu plans are not for this city. And if you still make
some, borrow wings or learn to apparate. Or maybe, begin your lessons in
indefinite patience. Nirvana is on its way!
26 October 2013
Situation 1: I am in the house and the door bell rings. I
try opening only to find it locked from the outside. I knock from within, my
all-in-one man who does plumbing electricity and carpentry knocks from the
outside and finally opens the door. Me: aap ne darwaza baahar se band kiya?
Him: Mujhe gussa aa raha hain ki aap aise mere baare mein soch sakti
Me: bhaiyya! Paani loft se kyun gir raha hain.
Mera room poora geela ho gaya!
Incoherent vague villainy mumbles, pipe bursts, blackouts
and what not- Bombay, you & my plumber sure are dramatic!
24 October 2013
True love comes in the flavours of cinnamon and nutmeg, is
brown and steamy and brings a smile on my face every time we meet!
22 October 2013
To escape traffic, I moved to a house near office. Little
did I know the house was on one of the busiest roads around here! Gah! All the
18 October 2013
In mumbai traffic you could grow old, expand your families,
live lifetimes, be born as new avatars and yet you may have not crossed Andheri
east to Andheri west! Such is life also! Thankyouverrymuch for these lessons. I
am saving it for my autobiography!
8 October 2013
The brokers of Mumbai sure think I
am high maintenance! Neither of us are getting anything out of this, are we
There is a voice that lives inside, I know not if in the brain or heart! Time and again, it does confide When to stop and how to start No rhyme or reason to its ways It is always loud ad clear I blindly listen to what it says Albeit with a shudder and fear! And one day I wake up happy To see its words prove true Times betwixt may have been crappy But suddenly gone are the blues!