Jan 14, 2014 - Pakistan, Personal, Politics, rant    No Comments

Things that pissed me off last week

Last week, I wrote a piece called “19 reasons why you should NOT become besties with your BFF’s girlfriend.” Now those of you who have been reading my blog would know that I tend to rant like this occasionally where I try to write in a self-effacing manner to inject some humour without sounding like a patronizing prick but some people just tend to take everything so literally which pisses me off to no end.

Quite obviously, topping the list of things that pissed me off last week are the responses I got on that particular piece.

The first question that I was asked, “Was it biographical?”

If a writer is writing in first person or second person, it does not necessarily mean it is her life story. Sometimes a story sounds better in third person, sometimes it sounds better in first person and the aforementioned story was in second person – a first for me. Yes, I happen to have male friends and I do get along very well with their significant others. I may have borrowed something from one or two of them but it was not my life story, nor was it theirs. It did not say that it was autobiographical.

The second question was, “If you love your BFF love so much (my BFF – as mentioned in that article – was a man), why don’t you date him yourself?”

Like I said earlier, it was not an autobiography. Secondly, telling a woman to date a guy whom she called a man-child on a public forum, not the smartest of ideas I am afraid.

Another comment that came after my response to the first question was, “You sure it did not happen? It read like a kinky dystopian triangle.

Dystopian and love triangle!

If there is one thing I hate more than the abuse of word dystopian, it is the whole concept of romantic triangles. Argh!

The other thing that pissed the hell outta me was Jennifer Lawrence being — well Jennifer Lawrence. Back in the day when she started photo bombing people during award shows, people found it endearing. I did not, but I tolerated it. Two years later, she is still photo bombing and people still think it’s cute, I mean WTF? As if that was not enough, she said that she wanted to push Taylor Swift off the red carpet to sound goofy and the world loved it? I mean popularity of reality TV is an indication of general dumbing down of the society but cheering that on did hurt me in my soul.

Wake up people; go read a book (but nothing by Stephanie Meyers and that 50 shades lady) take a walk in the park, think and reflect and you will realize that no one is that cute. It is all orchestrated. Appreciate it for the amazing personal branding but please don’t fall for it.

Colton Haynes has all my respect for trolling Jennifer Lawrence

 

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Imran Khen being the tool that he is

 

Rounding off the things that pissed me off last week was Imran Khan insulting Sindhis by calling Mahmud Ghaznavi the liberator of the land (he never liberated it, only raided it so it was historically incorrect as well). I mean we all know that he is not the sharpest tool around (he is just a tool) but likening yourself to the invader and looter of the land takes a different level of insensitivity. The fact that Imran Khan actually tweeted that did not piss me because I expect that from him. The fact that some people actually cheered that message pissed me off like nothing else.

Wondering when will we get our heads out of our asses, if we ever will, and see the things they are.

Jan 12, 2014 - Uncategorized    No Comments

Yes, double positives is totally a thing

yeah right

 So basically, this how you beat linguistics – with sarcasm.

Jan 10, 2014 - Humour, Personal, published work    2 Comments

19 reasons why you should NOT become besties with your BFF’s girlfriend

You met her because your BFF was dating her. You end up liking her – partly because she was the love of your BFF’s life and because she was so much fun to bitch with while your BFF was busy doing other stuff – like playing the latest version of Grand Theft Auto and discussing the finer points of La Liga points table with his mates.

You bond over your love of achaar, your hatred for work in development sector and your sartorial choices which range from standard Levi’s to Khaadi, to colorful shoes and eclectic Sunday Bazaar picks. You both think that chai paratha is the best breakfast ever. You both secretly hate the fact that you are adult women who not only listen to Taylor Swift songs but sing them along when appropriate – which is like always. You both agree that no matter how fashionable it is to eat frozen yogurt instead of regular dessert, you will never give in to the fad. You bond over the fact that New Girl is a stupid show and that you loath Zooey Deschanel and her fake lashes with unmitigated gusto and no, her rejection of Jospeh Gordon-Levitt in 500 Days of Summer has nothing to do with that hatred, you just hate her for being so overly cutesy and quirky with her bobby collar dresses and hipster eye wear. Real successful adult women cannot be that cutesy and survive to tell the tale. You both agree that while Ryan Gosling is hot, there is something about Bradley Cooper (probably his voice and the fact that he can rock black bin liners) that tilts the scale in his favour.

You both like overpriced coffee and read obscure books that other people have not heard of. In fact you take immense pleasure in introducing such hidden gems to the world and then preen when the world falls in love with those books and writers. You both take immense pride in being the snarkiest girls around and practice your jabs on your BFF for shit and giggles. You help your BFF plan perfect dates and help him buy the most thoughtful gifts because you do not want her to ever leave your BFF.

You love your BFF even more for falling in love with this perfect girl and you are planning their wedding in your head because you know that you will eventually end up alone and you will ask them to let you stay in their guest bedroom when you are all old and frail and need each other to remind which pills to take with your breakfast and which pills to take before you go to bed.

One day, BFF’s girlfriend brought another dude along – some family friend’s son who is living it up in Dubai – and tries to set you up with him. You look at your BFF’s girl and ask if she has lost her mind? It’s not like you have anything in common with the Dubai dude who is a gold trader and wears more jewelry that you would ever wear – and you do wear jewelry. Next thing you know, BFF’s girlfriend got engaged to the gold trader from Dubai and dumped your BFF with a photo of her engagement ring that she sent via MMS. Like all good things, this too was too good to last and your dreams of a blissful old age died before any of you reached the retirement age.

You are in a dilemma – who do you stay friends with and who do you dump? Your BFF is your BFF but he is basically a man child who is keener on gaming than settling down so you do get why your BFF’s girl did what she did. But then you also judged her for not breaking off with your BFF before she decided to let the richie rich from Dubai court her and you judged her for that. You also hated that because you never judged her before; it was always the two of you judging other people, never each other. Luckily, you all dispersed into three different corners of the globe after that and your friendship shrunk to Facebook likes and whatsapp messaging. This breakup happened quite a few months back but it was only recently that she tied the knot with the richie rich from Dubai and posted the photos on facebook which made you relive your pain.

You know it for a fact that your lives are gonna go on divergent paths – you make presentations in Prezi for a living, shovel snow every morning to get to work and use public transport, while BFF’s former girlfriend will probably live in a palatial house, procreate soon and will have Filipino maids raise her brood while Richie rich gets richer in Dubai.

To paraphrase Adele, you could have had it all but then you didn’t. You think this break up was harder on you than your BFF. He has football and Xbox to console him, what do you have? Absolutely nothing. Not even sad songs because Adele has found new love and is blissfully happy.

You realize that you either need a new girlfriend or you should ask your BFF to move near you and start dating another perfect girl but with his track record, chances are that he will lose her to Zelda or GTA IV or some other video game that will leave you just as heartbroken as you are right now. You realize that you should start acting like an adult and invest for your future because obviously, moving in with BFF and his future wife is not the best retirement plan.

 PS: As you can see, there is no listing or actual 19 reasons. I only wanted to sound like a Buzzfeed article. People at  Buzzfeed, please hire me so I can fulfill my dreams of writing about things like – 16 reasons why Harvey Specter’s suits are better tailored that Don Draper’s.

First published in The Friday Times

 

Email encounters of the other kind!

I get emails – almost anyone who exists in the virtual world gets emails – even if when they do not share that email address with anyone, they still get emails from Nigerian investor wanting to invest in their business and their email provider’s admin. I, unlike other people, get weird emails and I am not talking about spam here.

The emails I get are all not just weird, they cover a very broad range of spectrum. They could be people asking me to give them Urdu language tuition (never taught Urdu in any of my lives and though I speak it fluently and enjoy Urdu literature like any other enthusiast, I cannot teach Urdu Grammar to save my life – sarf-o-nahu anyone?), people sending marriage proposals after reading my articles (they are almost always men from India with a couple of random rishtas from Middle East but I have a feeling that they too would be Indian men), aunties seeking education advice for their sons and daughters (I am supposed to be awesome at fooling universities into providing grants and waiving fees – which I am obviously not – otherwise I would be enrolled in some kind of doctoral program instead of working and dreaming about a life where I would be rich enough to be idle) and people inviting me to expensive “Lawn” exhibitions (people in Pakistan would know what that phenomenon is, the rest don’t need to worry about that and those who know me must wonder why I get those invites considering how sartorially challenged I am).

The point of this whole tirade is that I get weird emails and should not be shocked when I get offers of digital qurbani (slaughtering your goat via skype) and “exclusive” dating services specializing in highly qualified brown people, but nothing prepared me for the email that was waiting for me this morning in my inbox. I actually went WTF out loud on my morning commute – much to the chagrin of an Asian lady sitting next to me at my very unladylike language.

The text of that email was

“I am working on a fiction book which includes a female character’s experiences with online dating. The woman is in her late 40s. I am soliciting stories from women who have dated online. I need unusual, weird, crazy, scary stories. Your name will not be used. Specifics will be changed to protect your privacy. You will NOT be paid for your story.

If you are a single woman – divorced, widowed or never married – who is 40 or older and have met and dated men via online dating websites, please contact. Since this is a Christian novel, stories have to be clean stories. No sex or deviant behaviour, no use of alcohol or drugs and no bad language please. Like I said earlier, keep it clean.

I mean really?

I tried to muster some outrage because the sender thought I was over 40 and over eager (no disrespect for those who go for online dating) enough to have an okcupid profile but come on! How can one not laugh at the message that is clearly bonkers? You want stories of online dating but no salacious details! Why would anyone want to read a book that has nothing going for it? I mean I am no pervert who would want to know details that should not be shared but if you take the bite out of life then what else is left? Would people actually shell out money to read about the stories of online dating for women over forty if it is going to be about creeps stalking your facebook profile, some hand holding of non-platonic kind and group sessions about Jesus saving your sorry selves? That book sounds like a snoozefest even before it is written.

Is there really a market for Christian romance out there? Probably in the Bible belt. I, for one, never thought there was a market for mommy porn but 50 shades proved me and the rest of the snooty people wrong. Who really knows what people actually want, Christian online romance may turn out to be the next big thing, after all Nicholas Sparks’ A Walk to Remember was not only a best seller, it also launched Mindy Moore’s rather tame acting career.

The most screwed up country in the world

I don’t get Pakistan. I really don’t.

And I lived all my life in that country.

After a day reading technical work related documents, I indulged in some random surfing this evening and read this short beautiful piece by Vikram Seth on criminalization of gay sex by the top Indian court. The crux of his piece was that everyone who wishes to ban love between people of different religions and castes and of same sex is basically declaring one thing. “My love is right. Your love is wrong.”

I was quite taken in by that heartfelt piece, but then Vikram Seth is a brilliant writer and has this way with words that makes you think. While browsing through some other links on my facebook feed, I came across this video and am flabbergasted. I mean what is wrong with Pakistan, like seriously?

There is a Z list TV actress who apparently could not find any acting job, so she decided to try her luck at journalism and someone was stupid enough to actually hire her as well. In this clip, she lands in the house of a transvestite/intersex/transgender (because we don’t really know whether people who pose as Khwaja Siras in Pakistan are transvestites, intersex or transgender. They could be anyone of those) person with TV crew, cameras and police.

The Khwaja Sira who goes by the name Naila but is legally named Mohammed Saleem (a man’s name) is at home with another man Nadeem  ul Hassan. The journalist started off in a very patronizing tone   addressing the man as “tum”, a term used either to express familiarity or is for people who are considered inferior rather than a more professional “aap” that most journalists would/should use when interviewing a person. She asked him for how long he has been with Naila/Saleem and Nadeem  said that he has been in that house for over a year. Now we do know that no one who is of sound mind would willingly accept to be in a homosexual relationship in Pakistan – and that too in front of camera and police – because if one is lucky, it is tried as a penal offence and one can end up in jail for at least two years, if one is not lucky, it can be tried under Hadd.

The Khwaja Sira tried to cover that up and told the so called journalist that Nadeem is just staying with him after his parents death and that he is not well. Nadeem himself told her that he is undergoing psychiatric treatment with a doctor in a hospital in Gulshan-e-Iqbal  (a middle class locality in Karachi). She scoffed at that information and said that what kind of mentally ill patient would be aware that he is actually mentally instable. She then proceeded to enter in the inner rooms, checked out the closet as if she had an arrest warrant and pointed out the photos of Saleem/Naila  & Nadeem in wedding finery (they were two separate photo by the way) saying that they were committing sin.

She entered someone’s house without permission with police – I only saw the clip so I don’t know if they even have a court issued warrant to enter into that house but they did so. The local police aided and abetted this travesty passing for journalism. The whole report – if it can be called that – was conducted in a sanctimonious and holier than thou tone. That Z list former actor turned journalist ended her tirade against Nadeem and Saleem/Naila by putting the fear of impending epidemic of homosexuality that will engulf the children of all the viewers if strong measures were not taken against people like Nadeem (a man undergoing psych treatment for heaven knows what?) and  Naila/Saleem a Khwaja Sira. The report ended with Nadeem’s arrest. As a gay man undergoing psych treatment with no relative in the country – his brother lives in Canada – I fear what will happen to Nadeem in the police station.

I don’t get Pakistan, I really don’t. My heart went out for this man who looked lost and had no idea what happened to him. This woman – the Z list actress – couldn’t have found two more vulnerable people to attack, even if she tried, but no one will step up to support them because why invoke the wrath of mullah’s by supporting a man who has admitted to being with someone who was not a woman. This country is afraid to stand up to people who kill and maim innocent people but it is considered fair game to attack people in their home for their life style choices that do not affect anyone else but themselves. Nadeem was shown affection by a Naila/Saleem when he was apparently abandoned by his own family, but now he is arrested because he was not shown affection by the right gender. The word irony does not even begin cover this situation.

It’s about time we claim the title for being the most screwed up country in the world. I mean there is water shortage, energy crisis, population explosion, inflation and what not. The country is plagued with terrorism and sectarian violence but most important matter that should be reported is two people living in a house minding their own business and the arrest of a man who was clearly not all there. On the other hand, people like Malik Ishaq are allowed to roam free and spew more hatred.

PS: This is not the most coherent post but then I am angry, and anger strips away coherence at times. I apologize for that.

PPS: Watch the video at your risk, you might want to break a glass or two to vent after watching this. Trigger Warning.

PPPS: When will PEMRA wake up and take notice of this crap passing on as journalism.

 

 

Legal Status of LGBT in Pakistan

The Pakistani Constitution does not explicitly make mention of sexual orientation or rights of people of alternate lifestyle, but Article 377 of its penal code criminalized all consensual sexual activity outside marriage. As LGBT people cannot get married, any and all consensual sexual activities would be considered illegal and a person can land in jail for anytime between two to ten years for that. In addition, government appointed Islamic Nazariyati council also get to have a say in all matters as all laws, rules, regulations and other such legislation must be compatible with Islam, the official religion of the state so there is a chance that you can be tried under Hudood Ordinance, then you can be put in jail for life or can get life sentence.

 

A case of exploding ovaries

Back in the day when tumblr was launched, I checked it out and decided that it was not for me. I mean it was neither here, nor there. If I wanted to blog, I had my blog, if I wanted to microblog, I had twitter, if I wanted to post cute videos of kittens, I had my youtube account and if I wanted the world to know that I had a crap day at work, I had my facebook page. After lurking around for another 45 minutes, I decided to give it a miss and never went back.

Until earlier this year, that is.  A friend was conducting research on audience influence on creative processes on serialized television drama through social media and wanted my help to sift through data, contact some of the more militant fans, interview them and see the patterns of influence. Boy was I in for a surprise or what! What started off as a favour to a friend for an academic research turned into a social experiment in … wait for it … Fangirling.

The fangirls do a lot of things, they ship, they have feels, they get into shipping wars and they gif. They gif scenes from their favourite TV shows and they gif their reactions to whatever is happening in the TV verse. Gone are the days when a picture was worth a thousand words. In this day and age, only a gif is worth a thousand words. A static picture is valued at a lot less.

No, this is not a disparaging post. I have all the admiration and respect for fangirls and will write a more elaborate piece about them, but if there is one thing that guaranteed a laugh out loud response – at least from this scribe – it was the gifs with explosion of body parts – ovaries to be precise.

Tumblr taught me that handsome men have the capacity to literally explode ovaries. The fangirls explode their ovaries over everything. Johnny Lee Miller’s Sherlock goes snarky in his upper crust British accent, the fangirls explode their ovaries. Gabriel Macht’s portrayal of smooth lawyer Harvey Specter and his crinkly eyed smiles are usually followed by ovaries explosions. Ian Somerhalder brings out his vampire fangs in The Vampire Diaries and there is a general ovary explosion across the globe. Stephen Amell shows off his impressive abs in a shirtless workout session on the superhero show Arrow and the fangirls explode ovaries, multiple time (is that even possible?). All the cute guys that Mindy Lahiri dated in The Mindy Project equals to exploded ovaries. Tom Mison’s 200 year old Ichabod Crane’s complains about inflated taxation on coffee and donuts are also followed by exploded ovaries. Imagine an explosion like that one, there will be so much blood and gut all over.

 

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Men might watch Arrow for action and DC lore, women totally watch it for Stephen Amell’s abs and their ovary explosion abilities

holy fuckGabriel Macht in Suits

 

ian 2Ian Somerhalder, ovary exploder par excellence

 

Miller sherlock
Johnny Lee Miller does not need to go shirtless, his accent is enough to explode ovaries

Yes gif sets of these guys are usually accompanied with gifs of exploding ovaries

ovaries 0

 

ovaries 2  ovaries 4

 

ovaries 5

 

and my personal favourite is

 explosion

Anyways, while thinking about the exploded ovaries and scanning the newspaper; I came across a news that said that UK will be selling pig’s semen to China in an exorbitant £45m export deal. I don’t even want to think how David Cameron worked out this deal but that is a debate for another post – if I ever get around to doing that.

Unlike UK, most other countries produce swines that are not of four legged variety and cannot increase their foreign exchange revenues by selling their reproductive juices, which lead to a discussion among the ladies at work about the two legged creatures whose sperm would sell for a fortune. If the explosion of ovaries on tumblr is any indication to go by then all the names mentioned above would make a load of money.

A totally unscientific survey based on half an hour of tumblr search, water cooler gossip at work, two hour long phone conversations with girlfriends and random conversation with women on subway who moved away after responding to my query – giving me looks that vary from “who left this one out’ to “she must be locked in a padded cell” – reveals that people whose baby makers would fetch top dollar are Jared Leto, David Beckham, Portuguese footballer with killer abs (I am assuming that lady was talking about Christiano Ronaldo), Matt Bomer, (gay man with ridiculous good looks, decent manners and a university degree was the top choice) Captain America, Thor and Iron man (I guess Marvel has done such a good job of branding its super heroes that people refer to the characters instead of actors Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth and Robert Downey Jr. Abhay Deol with his cute dimples was the only desi entry (but my unscientific sample had very few desi women and all the desi women have hots for super hero types).

When I pointed out the omissions such as Brad Pitt and George Clooney, I was told that they are too old (and promiscuous in case of Clooney) and while they might look good, for procreation purposes, the ladies might want to look for younger specimens who reportedly have healthier sperm – such objectification of men on the basis of age was quite refreshing if I may say so. The ladies who wanted to pay a high price for David Beckham’s baby makers were not shaken when it was pointed out that there is a very good chance that a David Beckham male offspring may inherit his squeaky voice. I guess there is no deterrence against the larger than life billboards of the man with washboard abs, killer tattoes and very little clothing – definitely a case of exploding ovaries.

 

Sep 18, 2013 - Feminism, Personal    1 Comment

Living with a rape schedule

“When I was in college, a teacher once said that all women live by a ‘rape schedule.’ I was baffled by the term, but as she went on to explain, I got really freaked out. Because I realized that I knew exactly what she was talking about. And you do too. Because of their constant fear of rape (conscious or not), women do things throughout the day to protect themselves. Whether it’s carrying our keys in our hands as we walk home, locking our car doors as soon as we get in, or not walking down certain streets, we take precautions. While taking precautions is certainly not a bad idea, the fact that certain things women do are so ingrained into our daily routines is truly disturbing. It’s essentially like living in a prison – all the time. We can’t assume that we’re safe anywhere: not on the streets, not in our homes. And we’re so used to feeling unsafe that we don’t even see that there’s something seriously fucked up about it.” —      Jessica Valenti

After reading this excerpt from one of the many amazing piece written by Jessica Valenti, I too looked back at my life and realized that all of this is true. And as I have spent a better part of my life – esp teenage years – in Pakistan, the problem faced by me and women like me is even more complex. As a middle class Pakistani woman, I was raised to look at every man as potential rapist hence things as simple as rolling down the car window and asking for directions have been pondered upon relentlessly, often times not asking men for directions because we thought someone will jump at us.

That was me as a teenager, I overcame that fear as an adult but continued to develop other safeguards. I once drove with a bust tyre instead of changing it like a normal person because it was dark and there was not much traffic on the road. After a particularly scary incident in Islamabad, I even bought myself a taser because I thought I may actually need to use it.

At times I wonder if women in any part of the world are free of this ‘rape schedule’. Do they even realize that this is what they are living with and that they need to break free and that one of the most important ways to fight back is to raise sons who are conscientious and treat women like fellow human beings, and not potential playmates. Are there any mothers among us who do not judge other women in front of their sons explicitly because they want them to grow into decent adults?

Sep 18, 2013 - Books, Personal    1 Comment

Ten Things I’ve Learnt About Love

To say that I loved ‘Ten things I’ve Learnt About Love’ by Sarah Butler would be an understatement. Yes, I loved it but I also felt that I have lived that book, that life, those choices and those regrets.

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I checked out the book because I liked the cover. It is styled as a list and even though I am not a person who makes lists, but I am drawn to them so I picked up the book. The two protagonists – Daniel and Alice – are both lost and looking for something. Alice has returned to London just in time to say good bye to her dying father and Daniel is a man looking for a daughter he’s never met. Every chapter is alternately narrated by Alice and Daniel and starts with a list of ten things which tells us a lot about the characters. It is also my favourite part of the book. I think it helps if we make lists – even if we just want to share them with a shrink.

Reading it was not only emotional but also personal. Let me admit that there are way too many similarities between me and one of the protagonists of the book Alice, for me to feel even remotely neutral about the book. We both lost our mothers when we were very young and then lost our dads at about the same age. We both were youngest daughters and have this weird love hate relationship with our elder sisters. Just like Alice, I too had to sort my dad’s house after his death and then had to put it up on sale. Doing that in a grievous state is perhaps the single most difficult thing that I ever had to do so while I was reading it, I was reliving that time of my life.

I too lost the only home I knew with Dad’s death. It made me reassess my relationship with everything – my work, the rest of the family, my city because when you lose that one anchor that has kept you connected with the rest of the things in your life, you are lost and would be floundering and grappling with the very idea of a home and a sense of belonging. This book is all about that.

It is beautifully written poignant tale where you need to take time between chapters to think and contemplate and ask questions. The characters are not nice nor are they black and white – they are real – like most of us with a bit of good, a bit of bad and a sprinkling of oddities that makes us human and fallible. It’s a sad book yet it still is infused with hope. It is about affection and human connection, about identity that we attach to persons and home and about the hunt for something to hold on to.

It’s a love story but not a typical one. It’s a love story where you both wonder and search for something at the same time. It is also an ode to the city of London which is perhaps the most engaging character of the book.

I am giving this book a solid five star recommendation; readers who want everything spelled out would perhaps give it a two. Other readers may not feel the same connection with the book that I did because Alice and Daniel are not the most likeable characters out there, and you may not feel the same way about London as I do, but I would still like you to give it a try. It’s a great read for self reflection.

Dear Facebook, some of us are more than our biology

Note: This is a rant.

What in the name of internet gods is wrong with FaceBook?

Just because I am a woman of child bearing age who has not disclosed her relationship status, all the suggested likes on my timeline are about dating websites, new moms groups, fertility clinics, potty training, beauty clinics offering to make me smooth and dewy by lasers of all kinds, yoga websites, clothing companies, fashion designers, weight loss website or weight loss website pretending to be women’s health website. I mean seriously?

According to Facebook, people like me have got to be looking for romantic hook ups with other people through dating websites. If they are not looking for their online soul mate, they must either be procreating or trying to procreate through the help of the aforementioned clinics, or trying to potty train their spawn. If you are done with all that, then you must spend a fortune to try and look like teenager with no lines around the forehead and no body hair. You are also suggested to like designers you cannot afford (seriously what percentage of world population can afford Prada or Michael Kors!). If you are done with all that, then it is suggested that you must join yoga or a zumba or an aerobic class because unless you are made to feel horrible about your physique and body type, your internet experience is incomplete.

For the record, I just want to state that I don’t do online dating or speed dating. I am not a mom, young or old. I am currently not potty training anyone and if I ever get down to doing it, I most definitely will do it without plastering it on Faceook. I would also like to state that women are people too and just like their male counterparts, they have body hair. The world will not come to an end if a few women like me refuse to spend $2000 to make their legs smooth and shiny.

Get your act together Facebook, some of us are more than our biology and the identity that is thrust upon us by the society. Some of us take pride in being human beings without predisposed characteristics. It’s about time you realize that women are people too.

 

PS: I live in Canada so this is my personal experience, women living in different parts of the world may have a different facebook targeted marketing experience.

Sep 6, 2013 - Bollywood, Politics    5 Comments

Satyagrah tries everyone’s patience

 

This is not a film review, this is basically a rant. If you want to read a review of this film, try New York Times. Yes, Bollywood now gets reviewed by New York Times.

I should start this non review with the declaration that I only watched Satyagrah for Arjun Rampal.

I don’t watch a lot of Hindi cinema, heck, I don’t even watch all Arjun Rampal films but I wanted to watch this one. There is no doubt that Arjun Rampal is the best desi eye candy out there, but a kurta clad bhaiyya accented Arjun Rampal  (a la Raajneeti) is positively lethal and the best thing since the advent of soft round chapattis. Sadly, he was barely seen in the film, I mean the director had the temerity to plaster his pretty face on the poster but he only had three and a half dialogues and four close up shots and fans like me were left wondering how can anyone who is not visually impaired give more screen time to Ajay Devgan or Amitabh Bachchan or his behen ji type daughter-in-law when they had the oh so glorious Arjun Rampal at their disposal.

Ajay-Devgn-And-Arjun-Rampal-in-Satyagraha-Movie-Poster-Image-Photo

satyagraha

ajay-devgan-arjun-rampal_13722423820

Arjun Rampal in all his orange kurta glory

Ajay Devgan looked too old and too fat and far too plebeian to pull off the ameer naujawan role, the most tragic part of the film was that he actually used the phrase “Hum naujawan” (Us youth). I mean who uses the world naujawan after leaving university anyways? What added insult to the abuse of the term youth was a dialogue in the penultimate scene, where a 45 year old Ajay Devgan asked a 41 year old muhalla leader Arjun Rampal to form a political party of youth which will bring about the desired change. The Indian youth should totally sue the writer/director for that transgression, especially in case of Ajay Devgan who is sporting a paunch in this film and looks closer to pension eligibility. Thank God Arjun Rampal kept quiet and did not utter a single naujawani related dialogue because that would have surely dampened my decade long infatuation.

The Ajay Devgan romance with Kareena Kapoor’s journalist character was also forced. Perhaps the writer/director wanted to present yet another interfaith romance – Ajay Devgan was a Manav and the journalist lady was a certain Ms Ahmed – which resulted in a series of yawns. They first met in a party, then had chai at a dhaba during a dharna (extremely romantic setting), next thing you know, Ajay Devgan is calling her to some tiny town in UP/Bihar to cover some small time protest and she leaves a trip to Japan with the prime minister to go and cover that. As a former TV journalist, I know it for a fact that NO ONE will ever pull off that stunt, and especially not for Ajay Devgan. Then he went missing and turned up two days later, she screamed at him for not informing her about his whereabouts and how worried she was, he silenced her with a kiss and before you can blink an eye, off they go to a bedroom in someone else’s house (it was Amitabh’s house where he lived with his behen ji vidvah bahu) and boom, they sleep together. As if that was not awkward enough, the copy I caught on Jadu Tv had Shahid Afridi’s name printed below an amorous Kareena Kapoor and Ajay Devgan. (Jadu TV is like Desi Netflix in North America, I have a feeling that most of the content on that is not really legal but I digress).

SA

Shahid Afridi is omnipresent and so is Ajay Devgan’s paunch

 

The saddest part of the film was that Ajay Devgan lived, despite receiving bullets in his body. For a minute I thought that they may go in that direction where they take risks and hero dies but it did not happen. Even though he got shot thrice in his torso, he miraculously sported a plastered left arm afterwards. I hate when film makers give such super human powers to any character played by Ajay Devgan. I think it is just plain cruel.

Despite his miniscule role, Arjun Rampal with Bhojpuri/bhaiyya accent, his orange Kurta, chador, jeans, joggers with brightly colored socks (yes, I notice everything about Arjun Rampal – how can you not) was the only thing to watch in an otherwise very mediocre film.

There was no story, no plot and no narration in the film, watch it if you are a masochist or an Ajay Devgan fan which is synonymous in my opinion.

For Arjun Rampal fans, I recommend that they should wait, a gentle soul will soon upload all his 3 ½ dialogues in a Youtube video which we can later watch, minus Ajay Devgan of course.

AR

Added this photo in the end because why not.

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