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Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Silence Of The Indian Lambs

First of all I want to clarify the various terms that are used in this context and are often confused with one another.
* A serial killer is one who commits a number of murders over a long period of time, with the killings separated by often long periods of apparent normalcy.
* A mass murderer, on the other hand, is an individual who kills several people in a single event.
* A spree killer kills in a series of closely connected events.

The definition of spree killer is especially close to that of a serial killer; perhaps, the primary difference between the two is that a serial killer tends to lure victims to their death; whereas, a spree killer tends to go hunting.

Serial killers are often acting on extreme sadistic urges and are often classified as sociopathic, lacking any ability to empathize with the suffering of others. In recent years, terrorists have performed acts of mass murder as acts of intimidation, and to draw attention to their causes.

My personal favorite is Charles Manson and Bundy is a very close second but these people are the poster-boys of serial killing. The real men are those who never get caught. These people are just the stupid dumb idiots who were naive enough to surrender themselves to the hands of consumer driven society.

To think of it, is it that hard to kill a person and get away with it? Considering the standard of Indian Police Services, it’ll be hard to get caught and even after that Indian laws will always let you go away if you are careful enough in choosing your victims. There hasn't been any famous serial killer in India who killed just for the pleasure of taking another human's life. There are other ways in which you can leave a mark on the Indian History but becoming the Indian counterpart of Jack The Ripper will have its own advantages. I don’t understand that despite of such favorable surroundings, why doesn’t India have a share in the Hall of Fame of Death?

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Maya Maya .... MAYA!!

We have had a large number of unforgettable character names in Indian cinema, but more often than not they have been dominated by the male species with Vijay (Big B) , Rahul and Raj (SRK). When I try to think about a particular name which has been used in many movies for the fairer sex and with proper emphasis being laid on it, I cant think of anything other than MAYA. Kajol tried to do it with Anjali but I dont think she has been that successful because the character Maya has often moved on to dimensions which the Anjalis cant even dream of.

Maya in Ijaazat - This character had an enigma, the feeling of a lost soul, the poet, the wanderer, the original vagabond. The only character which can do justice to songs like Mera Kuch Samaan. This character could have died at any point of time in the movie and I was surprised when I found out that she dies in an accident and not a suicide. Anuradha Patel had a small amount of screen time but the whole movie revolved around the things she did, the things she said, the things she wrote, the MAYA that she was.

Maya in Maya Memsaab - Very much like Ijaazat's Maya, this Maya also had an air of mystique around her. The whole movie is in search of the character Maya and indeed defining the character. The basic difference between Ijaazat and Maya Memsaab's Mayas is, Ijaazat's was very sure of herself and Maya Memsaab's Maya was in search of herself.

Maya in Dil To Pagal Hai - There wasnt any actual character named Maya in the movie but Yash Chopra gave Maya more importance than Madhuri or Karishma. Its a love story that moves around a dream and a drama production which are called Maya. SRK bursts out on Madhuri because he cant see the Maya he wants in her which in turn tells us the importance of Maya in the movie.

Maya in Kama Sutra - What do I say about her? I can only tell you a quote from the movie which I use often when someone tells me, "I hate you". The reply, "I dont love you enough to hate you". It was played by the dusky beauty Indira Varma and its hard to get her image out of my mind. I think most of the guys who have seen the movie will agree with me. ;)

A smarter man than me once said, "Sab maya hai" and I say, "Sab Maya hai aur main maya ka pujaari".

P.S. I have never met a single girl in my life who had the name Maya.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Depression, Blogs and Someplace Else

I wanted the title to sound like Sex, Lies and Videotape because depression got featured in TOI, blogs are the new form of electronic lies and well... I wish I had Jerry Seinfeld as a secretary who could easily spot a link between stuff like Videotapes and pubs.

There seems to be a lot of hooplah on Depression on some blogs that I read such as Reshma, Surinder and Dreamcatcher. It also featured in this Sunday Times' Special Report, which means that being depressed is slowly becoming the "IN THING" these days and if its getting one full page in TOI, it is definitely somehow related to sex but the lesser mortal is not able to see the connection. However, if anyone wants to compete with me for "I am the most depressed soul on the planet Trophy", I accept his/her challange because they do not know what they are up against.

Some of the blogs that I started reading regularly now are Man with two hands, Shub, Smith, Hekate and Wings.

I can also tell you about the stupid thing I did in kolkata this weekend while I sat on the stairs of Music World and... Naah, I am not going to tell you that. However, here is a piece of advice for floks from Kol. Next time before going to Someplace Else just confirm the band which is supposed to perform there otherwise you would have to hear songs like Jahan Teri Yeh Nazar Hai at 0100 hrs in the morning and worse will be the fact that there will always be people who are going to dance to it. Me and Prasanna tried our level best to stop Amit from dancing to such numbers and we would have been successful if the next song wasnt Dil Le Gayi Kudi. Frankly speaking, I have no recollection of what happened after that as I was too drunk to dance. However I do remember collapsing on the sofa in the lounge.

I have blabbered enough for today but if you are on my Yahoo Messenger list then you'll have a lot more to listen to.

Monday, August 23, 2004


Sometimes, people dont show up.
Sometimes, tequilas dont get you high.
Sometimes, life just... SUCKS

Friday, August 20, 2004

Unknown Poet

A lover knows only humility
He has no choice
He steals into your alley at night
He has no choice
He longs to kiss every lock of your hair
Dont fret, he has no choice
In his frenzy love for you
He longs to break the chains of his imprisonment
He has no choice

A lover asked his beloved,
Do you love yourself more than you love me
The loved replied
I have died to myself and I live for you
i dissapered from myself and my attributes
My present moment is for you
I've forgotton all my learnings
But from knowing you I have become a scholar
I've lost all my stregth, but from your power,
I am able.
I love myself, I love you
I love you, I love myself

I am your lover, come to my side
I will open up the gate to your love
Come settle with me
Let us be neighbours of the stars
You have been hiding so long,
Endlessly drifintg in the sea of my love
Even so you have always been connected to me
Concealed, revealed, in the known, in the unmanifest
I am life itself,
You have been a prisoner of little pond
and the ocean and its turbulent flood
Come merge with me
Leave this world of ignorance, be with me
I wait with silent passion
For one gesture, one glance
From you

I had this saved in a file on my computer and I cant recollect where I got it from. Google couldn't help me much. Do tell me if you know anything about it.

Edited 1100 hrs Monday : The poet is RUMI

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Another Day, Another Post

At the stroke of midnight hour, Rana and Vikas pulled me out for the GPL (Ga*** Pe Laat) ritual, which some of you might know as the customary Bday bumps. I gave probably my best acting performance by showing that I am tired, too old for this, too fat for this but nothing worked on those guys. Lifting a guy like me is not exactly what you'll call an easy task and everyone was instrested in kicking my butt. They called couple of juniors for the Herculean task and to my surprise they came running for the opportunity. One advice to all of you, if you have any friends who play soccer, never fight with them when the sword of Bday is hanging over your head.

The HRF(Handa Relief Fund) got its first donation yesterday from Jayakanthan who sent me 4 CDs of ebooks. I can’t thank him enough for it. In the small letter that came along with the letter he was worried about his hand-writing but here is a revelation to you people: Both of my parents are doctors and I think I have made my point clear here. Thanks to the CDs, my ebook collection has multiplied to 4 times its original size. For the list of ebooks refer to the last paragraph of this post. If anyone of you needs any of these books do mail me and I promise that it will be delivered in your inbox within 48 hours. Once again, thanks Jayakanthan. I also got TT's phone number which was more than a pleasant surprise and it made me wish that she lived somewhere near by.

I talked with Yazad yesterday and I dont know why but it made me feel mature. It started normally but when I checked his profile on Orkut and saw his age, which is 32, my tone changed from "Sun Na Bhaai" to "Yes Sir" but then he said something which made me feel even worse, "Handa, someday you'll also be 30". The important thing is the fact that I did not get bored when I was talking to him. Here is a guy who was born before "Stairway To Heaven" was released, who used to go to school when Sanjay Gandhi died, who probably saw movies like Masoom in a theater and "Maine Pyar Kiya" for him was what DCH is for me and if I can talk to him and feel comfortable then I think I have finally grown up.

Here is my treat to all of you --> 18943 This is the password by which you can read India-Today online edition for free. NJOY!!

People on LAN can view the book-list here.
The rest can view the book-list here.


Monday, August 16, 2004

Happy Bday to Me

How soon hath Time, the subtle thief of youth,
Stolen on his wing my one and twentieth year!
My hasting days fly on with full career,
But my late spring no bud or blossom shew`th.

Perhaps my semblance might deceive the truth,
That I to manhood am arrived so near,
And inward ripeness doth much less appear,
That some more timely-happy spirits indu`th.

Yet be it less or more, or soon or slow,
It shall be still in strictest measure even
To that same lot, however mean or high,

Toward which Time leads me, and the will of Heaven,
All is, if I have grace to use it so,
As ever in my great Task-master`s eye.

John Milton

HRF (Handa Relief Fund) failed miserably as the total amount collected is ZERO. So wish me once, wish me twice... Just wish me.
Born on 17th August 1983
Dies Everyday

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Bimal Roy : The Crazy Diamond

It is a tragedy that very people have seen his movies and still talk about cross-over/parallel cinema without any hesitation. While his peers Raj Kapoor and V. Shantaram were busy making romantic comedies and overtly dramatic flicks, he was bringing parallel cinema to the common people through his movies like Do Bigha Zameen way back in 1953. In his films we see a romantic idealist to whom any form of exploitation - social, religious or economic was unacceptable. The only other directors who I think are close to him in creating pathos and character development are Guru Dutt and Gulzar. I personally prefer Guru Dutt a bit more because of his narcissist cinematography.

The story of the dispossessed peasant and the moneylender had been told many times before but in Do Bigha Zameen, Bimal Roy with his innate reserve and good taste chooses a much wider context in which to place his narrative thus looking at rural poverty at one end and the brutalizing effects of city life at the other end. Do Bigha Zameen is a sad and moving tale which Roy projects with much sympathy, understatement and simplicity and gives us a film that is very human and has great emotional depth.

In Roy's Devdas, with the aid of cinematographer Kamal Bose, Roy achieved fascinating mood lighting which enhanced its tight-lipped protagonist's tormented emotional oscillations. Devdas's last journey in a rattling cart, Paro's midnight offer of elopement and the top shot of Chandramukhi swirling in a dance are sequences which Roy pulled off with finesse.

Sujata looking at the plight of untouchables remains one of the most humanistic films made on the subject. Sujata saw him returning to more realistic imperatives after the comparatively lightweight Madhumati and Yahudi, both of which incidentally were big successes at the box-office.

In Bandini (his last and my personal favorite) he beautifully used imagery and sound to convey the various moods of Nutan. As she is seated in the corner of her gray, grim cell facing the prison's high wall, she can hear the hoofs of the horse pulling the carriage taking away her lover, or that masterful scene in which Nutan murders her lover's wife with the hammering of a welder in the background thus heightening the drama.

I recommend to each and everyone of you to rent one of his movies this weekend for the love of cinema, for the love of his beautiful taste in music, for the love of beautiful cinematography, for the love of art.

Bimal Da. I salute thee!


Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Guess Who!!

The next post will be on one of the foremost Hindi film directors (with two hat-tricks for Best Director FilmFare Awards and seven awards in all), within a short span of a little over a decade. I request you not to google and the post will be after the first five guesses. It pains me that very few people remember this great man now. And yes, today is Coolcat's Bday. Do not forget to wish her.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Thank You Kazaa

When Dickens wrote,"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times", I think he was in his college, sweating it out like he had never done before after a long vacation. He must have hated the workload and was probably glad because he wasn’t bored anymore.

Thanks to Kazaa, I have already seen the new M. Night Shyamlan movie The Village which definitely does not meet the standards of The Sixth Sense but is spooky in a different kind of way. From the point where I am looking (yes, I am trying to copy SRK from Mohabattein) it is less of a thriller and more of a character study, rather the study of human behavior about how a group of people react under threat. I think that Shayamlan read Lord of the Flies before making this movie and that is the reason he is able to depict the mass hysteria in a subtle way. Unlike other Shyamlan flicks this one is very predictable in nature and the ending becomes a bit too obvious after the first half an hour.

As for the synopsis, it is about a group of villagers who are scared to enter the woods because of the monsters that are waiting to hunt them down. Lucius Hunt (Joaquin Phoenix) is attacked by a psychotic Noah Percy (Adrien Brody) and is badly hurt. A blind Ivy Walker(Bryce Dallas Howard, Ron's daughter) has to live up to her father's expectations and has to go to the town to get medicine supplies. For that she has to pass through the woods and face the monsters (if there are any). She gathers up the courage and for knowing what happens next, you will have to watch it. This is the kind of film that will make you gasp, scream, and jump from your seats while also making you think, which is rare with today's movies.
The problem with Shyamlan movies is that people have lot of expectations from it. He made the same mistake like Orson Welles(Director/Actor Citizen Kane) by making Sixth Sense as his first movie. I think he should publicly confess like Welles, "I started at the top and worked down."

The first episode of Joey (sequel to F.R.I.E.N.D.S) released last week and I was more than glad to see Drea de Matteo playing Joey's sister. I was so sad when Adriana, her character in The Sopranos, was shot down as she was definitely the hottest female in the Soprano family. It’s a bit too soon to say anything about Joey but I do not think that it will last more than couple of seasons. I might have to eat my words later but this is an honest first impression.

Can someone tell me how can I stop comments in Haloscan on a particular post? I know how to do that with the Blogger comments.

Friday, August 06, 2004

The Final Countdown

My birthday is on 17th August and this time I do not feel as bad as I felt last year when I lost my teenhood. I'll be turning 21 and hence legal to get married in India and drink in States. I searched for one of those countdown clocks for atleast half an hour on the net but couldn't find one without the javascript applications. If any of you want to send any gifts, please send them to:
Ravi Handa,
C-305 Nehru Hall,
IIT Kharagpur,
Dist - West Midnapore
Pin - 721302

As far as my wish list is concerned, it is :
1. Cash
2. Money Order
3. Demand Draft
4. Cheque
I promise that other gifts will also be appreciated. I am telling you 10 days in advance so that none of you can use the excuse that you forgot or you did not know my address and all that jazz.

The past couple of days have been not so nice as one of the professors scolded me for wearing a head-band(The same one I am wearing in my profile pic) in the library and another one yelled at me because I was reading a novel in a boring lecture. The irnoy of the situation is that I visited the library only to sit in the AC and the novel that I was reading was Once was Bombay by Pinki Virani. Once was Bombay is a collection of seven non-fiction stories with themes varying from the history of the city to analysis of its current state. It is the "Hello Brother" of novels as I have never read anything worse than this. The language is flawed, there is no concept of charcter development, the thought process is incoherent and many other factors which I am too tired to list.

I will be conducting a quiz today and I am sure that something funny is bound to happen as I have not yet prepared for it. I will edit this portion later to add couple of lines about the quiz.
Added Later: The quiz went well and this freshers batch is more promising than last year. Last year people were not able to identify John Lennon but this time quite a few people gave correct answer after looking at Jimmy Page's pic. However, one of them thought that it was Jimi Hendrix and surprisingly that team qualified for the finals and went on to win the second prize.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Tum Nahin Aayi

I have lost many of my poems because of missing diaries, computer crashes and burnt pages but some of them have just stuck with me, probably I took special care of them because they had a special meaning. The meaning has been long lost but some of the text files still remain. Here is something I wrote in early March 2003:

Suraj pura dhal, pachim pahunch gaya thaa,
Samay peeche chod, aage nikal gaya thaa....
Sandhya bela main tum aane waale theen,
Aangan main bahar tum laane waale theen....
Taare nikal nabh main bikhar gaye,,, par
Tum nahin aayi

Tanhayi ke bojh ne mujhko dubo diya,
Aankh nam bahut hui thee aaj main ro diya....
Chaukhat teri aahat ko taras rahi thee,
Gum ki kadvi boondein baras rahi thee....
Sacche jhoote mehmaan sab laut ghar gaye,,, par
Tum nahin aayi

Yaad ki vaadi se goonjte hue afsane aaye
Mere rote darwaze par apna ban begane aaye....
Neend ho krodhit akela chod gayi,
Madhu samapt ho munh mod gayi....
Raah dekhte dekhte beet aathon pehar gaye,,, par
Tum nahin aayi


Sunday, August 01, 2004

Kolkata Blues

"Well begun is half-done"
"All's well that ends well"
When I was young I was taught many adages like these but what if the begining was pathetic and the ending was nightmarish, can it still be called a nice day? It may sound a bit surprising but the answer is Yes.

The angry sun was on top of me when I put my foot on the kolkata railway platform. The only place worse that the railway platform in kolkata is the ticket counter. Even after living for four years in Bongland, Kolkata still makes me feel like Bill Murray in LIT. I was supposed to meet RS in Music World at 12 o clock but as it turned out, Gods were against me and she was late by more than an hour. I kept on looking for some music to listen to but the entire Music World did not have a single Led Zeppelin CD. Keep your pants on, things are about to get worse. I ran into Srivatsn (a classmate) who did not take more than a millisecond to understand the situation and blurted out, "Hey Handooz.. Got stood up?" I had no answers to that question but managed to scrap my way with the help of a fake smile. But then again, he was nice enough to give me his mobile for some time so that I can talk to RS and find out the latest update about the seemingly never-ending jam.

As soon as I met RS things got better, as a matter of fact, a lot better. We went to a fancy restaurant and she ordered something that I still have no idea of. I stuck to my first love, chicken, as I was too nervous to try anything new. The movie that followed chicken and vodka was Monster. I know that she was nice enough to do the fake laughter sometimes but I was not able to differentiate between the two. I do not know how people claim that they can differentiate between fake and real orgasms. Now for the irony of the situation, she was talking about the comfort level and I was wondering that how much noise the popcorns in my mouth were making when I chew them. So I developed an algorithm for eating popcorn with minimal noise output. Here it goes,
Step 1: Do not take more than one at a point of time.
Step 2: Chew the softer portion with the help of your front teeth because it does not make much sound.
Step 3: For the harder portion use your molars on the other side i.e. if the female is on the right use your left side.
As you must have noticed that the time complexity of the above algorithm is very high, I was not able to finish the small popcorn pack during the whole movie. Our next destination was "Someplace Else" (my favorite hangout in Kol), but as it was a Saturday night we could not find a place to sit. We settled for Hookahs, a theme bar which had the most amazing walls and lighting combination that I had ever seen. As it was "Happy Hour", I got the offer of "EK LO TO EK FREE". You have rightly guessed that I did not miss out on this opportunity.

The journey back to KGP was one of the most treacherous ones I had in a very long time as I was in an extremely overcrowded Puri Express. This post is probably the longest one I ever wrote so I would end it here. If you reading this RS, “Thanks for everything and skip the next few lines.” The only thing I regret from the whole trip is that I could not muster up the courage to kiss RS before I left. Well, they have made an adage for such a situation also:
"There is always a next time"

P.S. I wrote this in a hurry (10 minutes approx.) so I am sorry for any kind of spelling mistakes.