Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Politics of Parodies & Parodies of Politics

In my school days, i was a big fan of Devang Patel's parody songs. We have laughed to our hearts content at the guy making funny faces in parodies like "Aye Raju", "Bamboo No. 5" and "Chaloo Girl" from the PatelScope series of albums.

It's election time again and the new ones have just started floating in the air. The congress launched its 'Jai Ho' campaign for which they paid a whooping US $2,00,000 to the slumdog team for the exclusive rights of the song, just to make a spoof, hoping that would help it in elections, but it was quite disappointing to see the hackneyed Congress version which sounds more like a mockery of the original lyrics. They have plans to target young vote bank with this poll tune which is actually an "ear sore".

The BJP and the ShivSena launched a counter campaging with a parody-of-parody "Bhay ho" and "Kai ho" respectively, although it was too little too late.

The parodies of 'Jai ho' sound boring being serious in their tone, while the amusing and funny ones appeal more. The last gujarat assembly election has seen "M bole to modi, B bole to BJP" and "Kyonki soniya bhi kabhi Italian thi...", while the Delhi assembly election had the spoofs “Jee Karda bhai Jee Karda, Congress nu Jitan da Jee Karda, Desh Bachon da Jee Karda.” and “Kabara Kabara Kabara, Congress ne Dilli ka Kabara kiya”.

Before the US presidential elections a partyman of Obama had sent out a CD with a song called 'Barack the Magic Negro' - a satirical parody sung to the tune of "Puff, the Magic Dragon", which prompted a widespread negative reaction.

Robert Lund of the FuMP(Funny Music Project) with his recent album 'Politicked Off!' is well known for making politicial parodies which are rather meant for pure fun than political propaganda.

But, My favorite remains '99 words for boobs' from Robert Lund, which actually is a parody of a song with political overtone (Nena's superhit cold-war era protest song '99 Luftballons').

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Dev D

I am not a bollywood movies expert, but I read somewhere that there were about 9 films already made about this self-destructive hero ("hero"? - a real looser, i will say). I hadn't seen the previous version of devdas starring shahrukh just because I found the trailers and especially the song "Maar Daala" a real "Emotional Atyachar".

Because It beared the Bindass banner and Anurag Kashyap's name as the director, I had entered the cinema hall with a lot of expectation. But I must admit, to my surprise the film was more superb than I had expected. I enjoyed every bit of the movie except some stupid kids behind my seat shouting silly remarks... One great thing about the film is that this otherwise gloomy story never leaves you grim faced. It's humorous and I couldn't help laughing at even the most tragic scence in the film. You never feel for the lead character Dev's tragedy. Let alone sympathise, it makes you feel the looser deserved that anyway. Much unlike the self-destructing hero Devdas, Dev's destruction is rooted in his world view and the typical Indian male ego, that always tries to rule over other's lives (and bodies ;-) ).

A must watch and destined to become one of the memorable hindi films of our times. I will play the catch phrase "Emosanal Atyachar" once again for the last time, and go to bed coz papa has given the 3rd and last warning to stop it....

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Confusion Unlimited

Interviewer: Describe yourself in brief.
Me: "Confused"

A briefest answer and enough to mess up a job interview. Confused - yeah that's what I am. I don't mind admitting being confused in life (for job interviews I have learned some smarter and standard replies though). I have read many times that "being confused" is a normal behaviour in early adolescence. I am twenty four years now (and supposed to be grown up), but I feel being more confused now than I did when I was a teenager. Now, I expect I always will be.

But I am subject to wanting answers, and I want them now. When life gets cloudy, we immediately want it to be clear. I am confused with so many events happening around me every single day. And that's why somehow... I am attracted to famous quotes from some wise people, hoping to climb a little higher to that "higher plane" which they are on. How cool this guys must be feeling- being wiser than the rest, with those smart and witty one-liners. I am reading a little now-a-days, but have ended up being more confused. And crap... it's such a blow to one's self-confidence and self-esteem. Like this one says, "Ignorance is the root of all evil." Boy... such a serious accusation... While I thought, ignorance was a sign of innocence. May be these guys take pride in projecting themselves as being intellectually superior.

There are some relieving ones too.. Like "I think, that's why, I am confused" (This one is my favorite). To my further relief.. I am not the only one who is confused. There are a lot of other confused people around as well. And may be that's why a whole lot of industries run, making business out of the state of mind of these poor fellows. From astrologers, mind readers, philosophers, agony aunts, yoga centres, ashrams to religious godmen every one gets their pie for having an opinion about something, that others are confused about.

The Bhagvad Gita too has an opinion about it,
“When your intellect, that is confused by the conflicting opinions and the ritualistic doctrine of the Vedas, shall stay steady and firm with the Self, then you shall attain Self-realization.”
-Bhagavad Gita

Are we the cause of all the confusion or is it really that complicated? (Well.. Probably in my case, both hold true..)