Sunday, December 02, 2007

Off the news(paper) and sundry

Yes.


The Aaja Nachle Controversy:
Here are the lyrics that have been keeping jobless politicians busy:
Bazaar mein machi hai maramar, bole mochi bhi khud ko sunar.
And as Hindi lyrics of the present day go, this one doesn't differ much on the PQ (pathetic-quotient). But the politicians aren't complaining about the quality of lyrics. They care too hoots about that and wouldn't know the meaning of words like "taqmeel", "raza" and other beautiful words that once upon a time filled Hindi songs. So here goes a disinterested attempt at getting you the meaning (and N, I am sure you won't complain this time!).
There is a lot of uproar in the bazaar (did you know that is legal English, now?), even the cobbler consider himself a goldsmith.

So let's see what could possibly bother the Indian-jobless-politician.
Uproar: India is being portrayed as a place of noise and confusion and this is tainting the India Shining image into a India Whining image.... Naaah!
Bazaar: This is India's contribution to English and it should not be used in chaste Hindi lyrics. This only goes to show that we are still slaves of the Empire (Arundhati Roy-ish?).... Naah!
A lot: This again is an innuendo about India's population problem and songs like this are what influence the World Bank from not giving us any money because our programs are ineffective.... Naah! Next line please...
Cobbler: We still recognise this occupation and it only strengthens the massacre of animals for the sake of their hide (anti-Hide-Sign and Maneka Gandhi-ish?)... Naah! but you are getting warmer!
Consider: This is the problem of the urban metro-sexual who keeps considering himself to be somewhat in between a male and a female and this is leading to a lot of suicide and hysterectomy!... Naah!
Goldsmith: Errr... no apparent problem here! Oh! yeah! that is the problem. We haven't included goldsmiths in our problem allocation committee and hence they feel discriminated against and want a reservation in problems! ... Naaah!

I give up. I can never become a politician in India! :-(
Answer: (Tell me you didn't skip to this section directly! Gosh! you really are the same since 4th "std", right?) The blokes in khadi think that a cobbler considering himself a goldsmith is a casteist remark at cobblers being low-class and the goldsmiths being high-class. So they probably want it replaced with "Bole software-engineer khud ko Ambani" which isn't casteist to them. But the Indian Software Union of Engineers on the Bench or Working or Employed (ISUEB-WE) is objecting to that and demanding an increase in allocation of Reliance group's investments in their IT department. This has sent Reliance groups share value down the drain (and this drain flows through all high-class and low-class areas, so no discrimination of funneling Reliance shares into a caste based drain) which has troubled our finance minister, PC, who is requesting SG to look into the matter so that she can make statements about no by-elections and the like.

Alright, enough of seriousness. Let's get a little jovial. UP, Punjab and Haryana have banned the movie. Some have lifted the ban too. Producers have apologised for using such words and are providing movie halls with a chemical to erase the lines from the recording. JNU sociologist Vivek Kumar calls it "downright derogatory" and an attempt to mock "those who are aspiring to reach a higher social station". But doesn't that aspiration, Mr. Kumar, automatically acknowledge that those in the so-called lower-station (no, not the kinds between Madras and Ooty) prefer the so-called higher station without attempting to remove the wrong done to their profession and station? I am not saying that Dalits have been treated fairly. Quite a disappointing state of human affairs, but why are we making a ruckus of a meaningless song which would hardly live more than 10-20 days? Aren't we creating a fear and paranoia in the minds of everyone about what they might say or what they might do which might bring onto them someone's ire? Isn't there a very thin line between sensitivity and rampant fear? If the intent was to put the cobblers down, then the cobblers have a reason to object. To make it a Dalit-wide issue is basically being stupid. I am sure that the lyricists aren't intelligent people to have put so much thought into their lyrics. Just look at the lyrics! It is only constructed to fill space and be sung wrongly on the tongue of someone who heard it while passing a tea-stall. Stupid lyrics and so much made out of them. It would be like going back to the fun (and possibly then silly) lyrics of "Sar jo tera chakraye" and saying that the "Kaahe ghabraye" was a hint at oil-massagers being dangerous people and hence calling all people of that caste (no clue what that is) as people with a criminal past and inclination. I think politicians should focus on more important matters and giving facilitating an environment where everyone has a good quality of life.

Joker in the pack:
Another lets-do-something-to-get-noticed-and-rich attempt. Why oh! why can't people write a novel/piece with some interesting content? I am tired of seeing more and more chick-lit (and I am told the male version of this is called dick-lit! Urgggh! Too many of these, and do we call them chock-lit?). Why can't people just not jump into writing? It doesn't have to be done, ladies and gentlemen! I remember reading an article on a similar vein (I just searched and it has been taken off the main site. Here is a place where you can read it). Writing is for people who enjoy the language and cannot help but write. For those who want to give vent to their personal feelings, there is a journal. For those who want to get rich, there is investment banking. For those who want to get noticed, please refer to Britney Spears. Please don't write any more of those you-know-what-really-happens-in-the-place-you-so-admire kinda stories. Chetan Bhagat got lucky. Let's applaud and stop it.

A virtual bookstore:
Pradeep Sebastian is kind enough to share information about the virtual bookstore called "Between the Covers" (there is a show on CBC.ca with the same name). I doubt whether I will ever buy something from there (not as long as I have my Bookworm and Blossoms and other little gems) but it is interesting.

And here are some magazines I would like to mention for their good content. Please find time to read "Bangalore Food Lovers" and "Design Today". Very good stuff in there. There is a Design Conference on the 12th and 13th in Bangalore.

Oh! btw, the "Yes" at the start was for those who always wondered whether I read newspapers and magazines... I don't read the politics and current affairs sections (the only affairs I am interested in are best left unrelated on paper!!) but the Aaja Nachle thing caught my eye. The rest are from the Literary Review and from magazines which I do read!

4 comments:

  1. Parvati12:09 PM

    I agree, with all and every thought that you express here.

    # A pleasure it is indeed to read this bright post! You think lucidly and write even better and with conviction, power and invincible logic.

    You are a writer of varied wares in your kitty, kind enough to throw them our way frequently. Thanks are due :-).

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  2. I agree with Parvati. That was a good read.. appeals to my logic!!

    However, I am surprised about this entire objection to the harmless song. It only serves in drawing attention to something that would not have drawn anyones attention, had it not been for the protest!!

    Ha Ha!! Or amy be that was the intention?

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  3. I have always felt and asked myself, how can writing be taught ? how can i attend a few courses and start writing :) And then i go to a Borders or a library and see so many many books, that writing must be the most prolific profession in the world. And everyone has something to say and hence write. Anyway.. just rambling.. take care

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  4. Dear P,
    Glad you like it. And I must say that you are very generous with compliments! :-)

    Dear M,
    I agree with Parvatiji too. Damn! We have so much in common!! ;-)

    Dear T,
    Yeah, many people write but why publish is the question I ask. If all of them seem the same or are really sad without giving me any new experience, why bother?

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