Nov 28, 2015

reflections on watching tamasha

there are a few themes imtiaz ali likes to play with - and those are the only themes he will play with, turning them around and around, and yet produce something new and thought provoking every time.

How people behave out of their regular context,  how social rules confine them. How they are set free when the rules are no longer apparent. how people are afraid to break out of the social rules and do something else, be the "real you" and not who they are in confined social settings. The divide between the two worlds. The desire to extend the stay in this other world without rules. The confusion about which is the real you. The exploration of what happens when the rules you always knew, break down. When there are no rules.

People who discover how important someone is after the other person is out of their life. possibly after trying someone else.

The feeling of feeling nothing with a person you are supposed to love. Asking "that's it?" to regular love. Being inured to the regular dates and meetings. hating the predictability of it, even though there is nothing to hate in the person.

People who are transformed by the touch of someone who has seen the other side of them. People who go after the person who means so much.

The feeling of being with someone even after the other person is lost. The feeling of togetherness when apart, and loneliness when near. the feeling of not wanting what is in front of you, and going after fantasies. The success of finding it.

Don't we all struggle with this everyday, of having feelings that we think are silly to everyone else, but that keep us up all night? Aren't those what drive us, motivate us? make us sad and happy?

Nov 22, 2015

Reflections on castaway man

Today I went to watch Kesang Tseten's Castaway Man.
 Let me start by saying that it's a very well made film. Not a single moment bores you. But that maybe also because I as a Nepali am interested in the celebrity academician Dor Bahadur Bista. I liked ho clearly the movie presented Bista's life and work, and put his theories, condensed, out for the audience's immediate understanding. The aforesaid theory, which presents "Bahunband" as the big villain of Nepal. I do not agree with completely, though I too detest Bahunbad as a hindrance to my own life (and many other things, but mostly the lives of Bahun women). However, to link fatalism to lack of development seems already fatalistic (pardon the pun). because many other countries are fatalistic, and the entire Muslim that puts everything in the hands of God with an "Inshallah" is fatalistic. but that did not stop them from developing. The movie ignore this in its relentless badgering of bahunbad. When Bista says that Bahunbad is a system that only benefits a few people, and is not even followed or endorsed by the rest of the people, he strikes home, but when he makes it responsible for all the evils of this country, not so much, because social stratification and inequality are a part of every society, bot just bahunbad. The film brings up footage of several unidentified individuals whose passive acceptance of their place in the caste hierarchy is highlighted - in an effort by the filmmaker to prove his point that bahunband is what is "keeping them down" in their own words. But then, social stratification and the lack of means to break this,  lack of upward social mobility, is a vast, vast problem even in the most non fatalistic and developed societies. I found it very annoying that these bits and pieces of people who were bashing bahunbad were spread throughout the movie - it was as if the film's main aim was not to present Mr Bista but to prove that his theories were true. why not let time prove it? 

Oct 26, 2015

बाबु, छोरी र जिन्दगि: पार्ट ३

सानैमा, म भर्खर भर्खर चिया बनाउन सिक्दाः
आमाः जति कप चिया बनाउने हो, तेति चम्चा चिनि हाल्नु, अनि त्यसमा एक चम्चा थप्नु।
भोलिपल्ट बुवा चिया खाँदैः
बुवाः कस्तो खल्लो चिया! जति कप चिया बनाउने हो, त्यसको डबल चिनी हाल्नु
मः तर आमाले त एक चम्चा बढी हाल्नु भन्नुभको थियो।
बुवाः अँ, डबल हाल्नु अनि एक चम्चा थप्नु नि!


calvin's dad and my dad:

Calvin's dad:
Calvin: Daddy, why are all the old photographs black and white?
Dad: The world used to be black and white black then, it is only very recently that it started turning colorful.
Calvin: But then, why are old paintings colorful?
Dad: Because artists could use their imagination even then.

My dad:
म: बुवा आकाशवाणी भनेको के हो?
बुवा: तैंले महाभारत हेरेकी छैनस? आकाश बाट एउटा मान्छे चिच्याउँछ नि, त्यहि हो. 
म (हातको टेलिग्राम देखाउंदै ): तर हामीले चै कसरी लेखेको पाउँछौं त?
बुवा: पोस्ट अफिस मा एउटा मान्छेले टिप्छ अनि हामीलाई हुलाकी ले ल्याई दिन्छ. 


छिमेकिको घरमा बिहा हुँदाः
बुवाः बाजा बजेर कति रमाईलो भको छिमेकमा। हाम्रो घरमा पनि एउटा चाहिने!
मः के बुवा? बाजा?
बुवाः अँ! बाजा!


- Buwa loses his phone on the way to Jhapa.
- Asks contacts in Biratnagar airport to look for phone in Kathmandu airport.
- Said contact asks police in Kathmandu for help
- The search goes on for several hours fruitlessly.
- The phone is found later in dad's bag, in silent mode.
- On top is a message from police: sir tapaile phone jhola mai halnubhako cctv camera ma dekhiyo, tesaile dhukka hunu hos, phone bhetinchha


बुवाः (मेरो mousse  को बट्टा हेर्दै) यो के हो?
मः कपालमा लाउने
बुवाः तेल हो?
मः तेल जस्तै
बुवाः म लाउँछु तेसोभए।
मः पर्दैन
बुवाः किन?
मः कपाल अररो बनाउँछ।
बुवाः मलाई तेस्तै चाहिएको छ।
बुवाः (खोलेर हातमा हाल्दै) श्याम्पु त होईन?
मः होईन।
बुवाः किन फीँज आयो त? भरे पानी परेर टाउको भरि bubbles आयो भने?
मः पानीमा नहिन्नु न।
बुवाः (finally कपालमा दल्दै) आहा कति मिठो बास्ना। अबदेखि त म सधैँ यहि लगाउँछु।


हस्पिटलमा, अघिल्लो दिन हामीलाई खाली पेट मा आउनु भनिएको थियो 
बुवा: अलिकती पानी खाए, केही बाधा हुँदैन भाई ?
काउन्र को भाई: हजुर ? भाडा ? कस्तो भाडा ?


बिहानै ट्याक्सीमा अङ्रेजी गीत बज्दै छ 
बुवा: भाई, बिहान को भजन असध्ये राम्रो 
ट्याक्सी ड्राईभर : खोइ सर, भजन त भेटिएन अनी एस्तो लगाए


बुवा: गाला कसरी सुन्नियो?
म: दाँत दुखेर 
बुवा: दुवै तिर उत्तिकै सुन्निएको भए त राम्रो पनि देखिन्थ्यो होला


बुवा कार्डमा लेख्ने नाम भन्दैः उफ कति मेहनत गर्दैछु म छोरीको बिहेको लागि!
कार्डमा नाम लेख्दैः हजुरले अरु कोहि बेहुली देख्नुभको छ, आफ्नो बिहेमा यस्तो मेहनत गर्ने ? म मात्रै होला आफ्नो बिहेको कार्ड आफैं ठिक पार्ने, आफैं बाँड्ने !
बुवाः गर्नु त परो त ! मैले आफ्नो बिहेमा सबै खर्च आफैं गरेको थिएँ !
मः त्यो त केटा पट्टिले गर्नु परिहालो नि !
आमाः आजकालको जमानामा केटा न केटी ! तिमीहरुलाई हामीले केटा भन्दा के कम गरेको छ र !
ऋचाः मेरो सबै ब्यांक ब्यालेन्स सक्किसको बिहे खर्चमा । आई होप यु आर ह्यापी !


ऋचाः ईंगेजमेन्ट नगरुँ होला, पोखराबाट सबैलाई आउन दुःख हुन्छ ।
अजितः ईंगेजमेन्ट मात्रै किन, बिहे नै नगरुँ न, रेजिस्टर गर्दा भैहाल्छ नि !
me to buwa:  बुवा, ईंगेजमेन्ट गर्न कसैलाई मन छैन, नगरुँ होला !
बुवाः कसै भनेको को हो ? मलाई भनेको ? मलाई भनेको हो भने मलाई केहि objection छैन, गरे हुन्छ ईंगेजमेन्ट !


आमाः बिराटनगर बाट आउने प्लेनको टिकट ३००० पुगेछ निचढ्ने मान्छे नभएर !
बुवाः म पनि जाउँ कि क्या होअनि ३००० मा फिर्ता आउँछु।
आमाः यताबाट जाने टिकट पाए पो जानु !
बुवाः ३००० मा प्लेन चढ्नु कति मजा आउँछ होला !
आमाः त्यहाँ पुग्ने चाहिँ कसरी नि ?
बुवाः जसरी पनि जानु पर्ला ३००० मा प्लेन चढ्न !


buwa walks in as i m listening to an audiobook. 
बुवाः यो कुन न्युज हो?
मः न्युज होईन किताब हो।
बुवाः कुन?
मः एडम स्मिथको।
बुवाः पुरानो? ईकोनोमिक्स को?
मः हो।
बुवाः उसले आफै‍ैं पढेको?
मः हेहे
बुवाः किन हाँसेकि? उसले पढ्न सक्दैन र ?


मः बुवा मैले हजुरलाई सुईटर ल्याईदिएको छु।

बुवाः किन दुःख गरेकि? तै‍ं लगा .....


पार्ट 1: यहाँ भेटिन्छ 
पार्ट 2: हाँ भेटिन्छ 

P.S. सबै घटना हरु शत प्रतिशत सत्य हुन् !! 

Oct 7, 2015

Reflections after reading 1984

After you read 1984, you realize it is the “baap” of all the totalitarian societies created in fiction. Orwell has though of everything: a society where you are constantly in surveillance through telescreens, crimes of facial expressions major, and even crimes of thought are monitored. Information is constantly re-invented: old history is deleted, new histories created, so that you never know if what you read is real or not. News is constantly edited to support the party’s official line. New words are constantly added to the official dictionary, and more importantly, old words and constantly rounded up and routed form use, so that the entire vocabulary changes, and no art remains. Control of big brother is total. 

However, the plot leaves many questions unanswered about how such a society functions. What are the mechanisms through which one gets into the inner party circle? Why don’t the common people try and get into the party? Is membership guaranteed by birth, if so what about people who don’t qualify? IS membership by loyalty to the party? If so, can anyone get in? What about corruption within the party and digression, lack of faith, and giving in to temptation (of love, of art, of music, of communication, of ideas) from within the party?

What happens to spontaneous expressions of art? Can you really control art to this extent? For example in language or in doodles? The novel throws big ideas at you in every page, and every sentence is a punch-line. Sometimes you wonder how you can keep up, and then you realize that this novel is an imagination of future dystopia. Today many of the conditions imagined in the novel, like omnipresent technology. This has given us enough information to know that many of the ideas Orwell outlines are not plausible: nobody has time to monitor millions of CCTV cameras 24/7, or Orwell’s telescreens, and if they do, they would be bored to death. Modern dystopian works have learnt from these plot loopholes, and created more plausible societies. However, again, they do so only because Orwell was there to show what was possible and what was not.
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