Channel 4 and its Love Affair with the Slums of Mumbai

OK…at first when I saw a bunch of  Indians (and cows) getting out of a truck in their various outfits, holding variety of props…I had my doubts of how this Indian winter would turn out on Channel 4 and wallahh….it’s lived up to my expectations. It’s totally crap!!! What’s with channel 4 and its love affair with slums. Gimme a break but India is not all slums and stray dogs. I am not saying channel 4 should not show the slums at all, but I guess one program should’ve been enough. But no, the season started off with Slumdog Millionaire the movie, and then Kevin McCloud Slumming It, and Slumdog Secret Millionaire with Seema Sharma and The Slumdog Children of Mumbai. There’s just one show that appealed to me in this season and that is Gordon Ramsay’s The Great Escape. Watched the first episode yesterday and I really liked it. His trip to Lucknow and his meeting with the really old muslim chef (whose name I cannot remember now) was fantastic…and the biriyani…wow!

But enough with the slums already! India is not all slums and open drains and cows roaming about on the roads. There is so much more. Discovering Indian food is a step in the right direction. It is so diverse. Every state has its own cuisine. Classical dance of India, like its food, is unique to the states. The history of India is immense. The architecture of India does not end with the Taj Mahal…there is so much more…like Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh, Sun Temple in Orissa, the Meenakshi Temple in Tamil Nadu, Golconda Fort in Hyderabad just to name a few.

We really don’t need Kevin McCloud and Seema Sharma slumming it out for us to understand the problems of the slum dwellers. Though I really appreciate what they are doing…I think most of us already know that dreadful conditions these people live in. It is good if we can help but please please do not portray India as a country of slums. If you cannot resist, then at lease show some positives along with the negatives. I think Slumdog Millionaire did its jobs well when it comes to slums and Mumbai. We do not need anymore!!

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A Post and a New Avtar

I know I know…I said I was back…and then I vanished 😀 But I just couldn’t get myself to write…there wasn’t much going on or anything except for me being lazy…but hey…I’ve seen some wonderful things happening during my break from blogging…and one of them being Barack Obama winning the US elections. How wonderful is that? I do not expect him to bring any drastic changes to the world (and neither do I live in the US) but just the fact that a black man (or a mixed race man) could make it to the White House sounds exciting. History turns full circle and makes us believe that if you have the will, anything’s possible. 

If I am not wrong…it’s been a year since I started this blog. It survived for 365 days which is shocking 😉 I’ve never dedicated myself to anything for so long. Even though I ditched my blog for some other stuff in life, it always managed to pull me back…and mostly because of the lovely comments people leave. Keep ’em coming!!

Life’s changed for the good after moving. Made some wonderful friends, social life’s fantastic, fantastic restraus nearby, great sights but weather as always has been crap!!!! Nevertheless, I am trying to see the positives in life…and I shall continue to do so 😀

I’ve updated my photoblog too…do take a look 🙂

Ciao 🙂

Movie Reviews: Female Agents & Thoda Pyar Thoda Magic

We went to watch Female Agents (Les Femmes de l’ombre) yesterday starring Sophie Marceau and what a fantastic movie it was. Once in a while you get to watch a master piece and this was one of them. THe only mistake we committed was to watch Thoda Pyar THoda Magic after and what a dreadful experience it was!

Female Agents is a partly true story of Louise Desfontaines (Sophie Marceau) a trained sniper with the French Resistance. When her husband is shot dead by the Nazis, Louise along with brother (Julien Boisselier) recruits four other exiled French women; Suze (Marie Gillain), a showgirl and a seductress; Gaelle (Deborah Francois), a chemist and explosives expert; Maria (Maya Sansa), a Jewish Italian radio operator, and Jeanne (Julie Depardieu), a prostitute for the SOE in order to infiltrate a German Hospital and recoup a British Geologist (pretending to be a German) captured in Normandy whilst checking to see if D-Day aircrafts could land on the beach.

The women successfuly manage to retrieve the British Geologist only to be told that in order to go back to England, they will have to complete a final task of assasinating an SS officer Col. Heindrich. The rest of the story is about how these five women go about in completing their task in Nazi controlled France.

What I liked most about the movie was how realistic it was. You feel for the women once the movie ends. So often, we have heard and seen how men die during wars but rarely did any movie capture the plight of women in war. The suffering and abuse they go through for sacrificing thier life for their country.

I will recommend everyone to watch this movie.

My Rating: 3.5/5

As I said previously, the only aspect of yesterday that did mess up my head was watching TPTM (Thoda Pyar THoda Magic) after Female Agents. S consistently pestered me to walk our of the cinema but I resisted. Even the two most boring movies of my life; Saawariya and Mohabbatein, I had to sit through…TPTM was better than those atleast 😛

For me TPTM was a mixture of many english movies. It has bits and pieces of Mary Poppins, Sound of Music and Nanny McPhee. Rani Mukherji does not look like an angel…not that I came across one…but when you see one..you will know 😉 I mean, you’d expect an angel to have a glow on his/her face which Rani absolutely doesn’t have anymore. She looks dull and tired. Her clothes are deplorable. She looks more like a hippy than an angel. The movie could be a good watch for people who haven’t watched the english flicks I mentioned earlier but for me…it was boring. And also, there’s a little too much crying and illogical dialogues which are not in my comfort zone. The only good thing about the movie was the Kids, Saif Ali Khan Topless and one song…Beetey Kal Se…which touches many important issues….like Save the Tiger, India’s new found wealth and how the poor are missing out etc etc…which I feel strongly about.

You could probably watch the movie once but it was not my cuppa 🙂

My Rating: 2/5 

Boy King Tutankhamun on Public Display

One of the most amazing news that has come out in the last few months has been this! The boy king Tutankhamun’s mummified body has been displayed for public in The Valley of the Kings in Luxor, Egypt.

Tutankhamun. Image borrowed from dancewithshadows.com

I have always wanted to visit Egypt and now my desire has grown even stronger.

We are so caught up with things happening around us that we tend to ignore some very amazing discoveries taking place. After 3000 yrs, public can now be face to face with the boy king. It is amazing that the mummified body has been preserved so well over the centuries with almost no technology or hi-tech machines available to our ancestors. The only threat the body now has is from you & me (i.e., tourists). Due to excessive public viewings, there is a fear that the humidity and the heat they bring into the room could be harful to the body. But Dr. Zahi Hawass who unearthed the body and placed it in a glass chamber is confident that no harm will be done.

You can read more about it here.