Friday, October 30, 2009

Irresponsibility Again -Media, Are you listening?

'Duke Of  Hazard strikes again' screamed the headlines of the famous Britain Daily newspaper 'The Sun'. It reported that Prince Philip of England, the Queen's better half  had insulted the Patel Community in England when he remarked 'There's lot of your family in tonight' to Business Chief Atul Patel at a Buckingham Palace reception for British Indians to celebrate the state visit to Britain by The President Of India.

Good ol' Lord, what is happening to our people? Have we lost the ability to appreciate humour, by large a seemingly harmless one! The Sun further went on to add that this joke appeared to suggest that all Patels are related. Did the correspondent really think the Prince was thinking all that while harmlessly greeting someone. C'mon Sun, give the old man a break! It's very obvious he meant no vice or harm!

Media, get a grip! You exist because of the normal public. You exist because we expect you to give us sensible reporting. C'mon you have the power to almost make or break a nation, do not sensationalize trivial things like this!

  • Do you really understand the significance of the information you pass onto billions of readers? 
  • Do you realize the huge responsibility that is vested upon you to ensure that international relations are in good shape? 
  • Do you realize that due to one single mistake of yours, you can actually turn the entire human mankind against one and another? 
  • Do you realize you hold the reins to peace in the world? Leaders will always be there but its you who share an equal responsibility in ensuring thy are doing their job well
  • Don't you think its high time you break out of the 'Breaking News' or 'Glossy pretentious Headlines' category by being more responsible in giving us better content?
I know there is competition among you guys as to who has more readership or who makes the most money, infact its all commercial interests, TRPs being the biggest draw for you but to falsely misuse the power given to you just for TRPs is not fair.

Well, there might be critics who think that its we, the readers or viewers who crave for such sensationalizing news but c'mon if you find such kind of people on one side of the coin, you will also find the more serious kind of audience on the other side who believe in ethical reporting.

'So what if we did it, so is everyone else?' might be your line of argument but if one of you takes the lead, days will not be far when everyone will follow. When the democracy trusts you to be responsible & gives you a free rein to report in your own way, don't you think you need to respect that & reciprocate similarly?

Its not difficult for the democracy i.e people like us to raise an objection & have the government put a stop to this by dissolving you of this power. One fine day, all the privileges might just be taken away from you & you might be forced to report under stringent rules & guidelines like how we have in some of the communist or under-developed countries. In other words, the government might just rule your content.Would you like that? Think about it!

When the politicians or leaders or the government intervenes to put a hold on anything you might have done unscrupulously, you make a big hue & cry about not being able to report unbiased, about not being given a free rein or being suppressed. That time your conscience suddenly awakens & you remember the definition of 'Democracy' just like how you were taught about it in 4th grade! And what do you do? You protest about Right Of Information? Duhhhhh!!!!

Nobody stops you from doing your job but do it with certain amount of responsibility. If you think, people have the right to know something wrong that you witnessed, go ahead & report it, we will appreciate it & it might even prompt the wrong-doers to put an end to their mis-givings & give us better governance. Just please don't sensationalize irrelevant or innocent stuff like the above example. Your reporting should bring the entire world closer, not drive them apart!

We have more relevant issues to deal with like Development, Infrastructure, Education, Economy, Terrorism etc (Again, do not sensationalize this issue, it only makes the terrorists crave for more media attention!). So its high time you look at the bigger picture & act with ethical conviction & inculcate a sense of moral behaviour!

We love you, make it stay that way!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Fall in Richmond!

The fall season looks absolutely breath-taking. The leaves turn all kinds of red, yellow, orange....there is a sense of mystery & sereneness all around. The atmosphere looks so beautiful with all the mist & colors around. Planning to visit some places around where I can see the charm of the fall season in all its glory!

Here are some pics I took this morning, have fun! God Bless.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Paranormal Activity- A Mighty Paradox!

'Paranormal Activity' (referred to as PA in my post henceforth). So what is this movie about?
Here is a one line description about the movie from Twitter: " An ultra low-budget horror film about a couple experiencing demonic forces at night". this has been the most discussed film on Twitter right now for the last couple of weeks. This movie supposedly has already crossed $61 million in revenue, an astonishing amount considering it was made for just a $15000. It had a limited release in few theatres initially but later had a through-out US release by Paramount Pictures courtesy: Brilliant Online marketing & a wide buzz on almost every other social network! Twitter tops the list!

As a victim of curiosity, I happened to watch this movie along with my pals. I wanted to know what is it about this movie that has made it a nationwide hit among people. People have been saying things like: The most scary horror movie ever made in Hollywood, resulted in insomnia for some, paranoia for others etc etc. Now I wanted to discover & undergo that chilly experience myself so here I was enthusiastic & waiting to have an amazing experience. The movie started...the first 15 min passed, nothing happened! Next 15 min, still nothing! The remaining time: Nothing, Nothing, Nothing...& finally before I realised what is happening: The movie is over! Over?????? Whoaaa...Are you kidding me Mr. Oren Peli? What were you thinking when you directed this movie?

No offence Mr.Peli, I hated the movie but I certainly salute your guts for having it released!

On second thoughts, I do not blame you. Its us, the normal viewers, the audience who is at fault here. I have a few questions to ask the people who have liked or rather loved this movie:

  1. Is the audience really thinking that holding a handy-cam & roaming around the house shooting two characters constitute a good movie?
  2. People who have said a chill ran down their spine watching this movie, do you even happen to realise how much agony you might have caused to the likes of Stephen King?
  3. If you call this 'Horror' , how about 'The Ring', 'The Omen', 'Hellraiser', 'Friday the 13th','Psycho', 'The Sixth Sense'? Aren't you insulting the cognizant sensibilitites & creative capabilities of makers of brilliant movies like these by calling PA the most scariest movies you've ever seen?
  4. Do you really think the movie had elements of something called 'bone-chilling' moments?
  5. Have you ever learnt the word 'Amateurish' at school?
  6. Are you sure you're not just following the mob-crowd mentality of saying you like something just because others say so?
  7. Are you scared of being in the minority who have said they hated the movie & fear being outcasted for it?
  8. Do you know the definition of horror or have ever watched good horror movies?
  9. Lastly....If PA was good, ARE YOU NUTS????
I appreciate all those people wo have rated the movie for what it is (make sure you check out: , the reviews are hilarious! :-))
PA is a paradox! The reason I make this statement is:
Its a 'Thumbs Down'
  • For the movie,
  • For the people who loved it
  • For the people who called it a 'Hollywood Classic'
  • For those who insulted all other great horror genre filmakers out there by saying its one of the best!
But its a 'Thumbs up'
  • To the Director Mr. Oren Peli for a brave attempt for making one
  • To the Online Marketing Team for making a hit out of nothing
  • To independent filmakers, because if you have a brilliant script, go ahead & shoot it for it has the potential to be big with the right kind of marketing and you wouldn't have to go to 'Universal' or 'Columbia Pictures or 'Time-Warner Bros' to produce it!
  • To people who have the talent but no budget, if PA could be made on a shoe-string budget of $15000 & made earnings in excess of $61 million, so can your movie!
All said & done, I know I wasted money & time on this one but I have no regrets. It taught me a brilliant lesson:
"Never rely on the sensibilities of the majority, they can sometimes be WRONG too!"

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Curious Case of "Amari's Prejudice"

'Prejudice', 'Bias', 'Preconception'....No, I ain't rattling off some random words from the dictionary but rather teaching myself how I should not be a victim of these words in the future! I write this post as I just finish watching a Reality Show on American television....

I've always been a lover of the Idiot Box! Since childhood I have always loved the TV! Be it the cartoons while I was a kid, be it the movies & sports while I was growing up or be it the spate of new-age sit-coms or reality shows through my youth, I've loved watching them all. I count myself among the category of people who appreciate good content, originality or for that matter innovative programming. I know most of us do, but in addition to that, I also find myself fascinated with everything that exists on earth & question how everything works the way it works i.e in a word 'Curious' :-). And it is during this stint with TV, that I realised how biased I was! Thanks to the mighty television, I now know :-)

Back home in my country, without a single iota of doubt I believed we had some of the best creative gurus at work on television. Most of the programs that were being churned out caught my imagination.

I was amazed as to how beautifully these shows were being made! Though I did read critics slamming some of them saying that they were a rip-off from shows telecasted in other countries, I didn't pay much attention or rather refused to believe that we were lacking in the area of 'Creative Programming'! My line of argument was simple. 'The shows are 'Inspired' and not a straight 'Rip-Off' so what's wrong with that? See, its ok to be inspired by someone or something, we all at some point in our lives look upto a role model to take us through the path of life, isn't it? So what's wrong? But well, a straight outright copy or rip-off? Isn't that a brilliant medicine for putting our minds to sleep? Yes it is! I believe we are a country of creative brilliance so what happened? Am I being patriotic,fanatic or simply being ignorant? I don't know! An example for television programming, read on....

Column1:The Original
Column 2:The Rip-Off

Celebrity Get me out of here-> Iss Jungle Se Mujhe Bachao
Big Brother-> Big Boss
Megan Wants a Millionaire-> Rakhi Ka Swayamwar
My Antonio-> Splitsvilla
Are you smarter than a 5th Grader-> Kya Aap Panchvi Pass Se Tez Hai
America's Got Talent-> India's Got Talent
American Idol-> Indian Idol
Dancing With the Stars-> Jhalak Diklaa Jaa/ Nach Baliye

etc etc etc....Uffff! I've lost count! There are juz toooo many of them to put them all here!

I never quite took it this way before I watched the originals. Come what may, I usually refuse to believe what I read or what critics say until I take a look myself! For the simple reason that critics are not always fair & all what you read on the net may not be true! I am shocked! For all the great history we have, for all the 1000s of years of civilization, are we making a mockery of ourselves?

We have had some amazing people from various fields of creativity like Satyajit Ray, Bimal Roy, Rithwik Ghatak, MF Hussain, Rabindranath Tagore, Vikram Seth etc who have not only time & again proved their creative brilliance but have also ensured our country got its due share of International Recognition! So what happened along the way????

Have we lost our creativity or the ability to innovate? Are we giving in to commercial interests thereby killing original creativity? Are we simply scared to put our feet into untested waters? Are we victims of TMI i.e Too Much Information at our disposal to actually sit down and think innovative? 'Google' may be the best thing to have happened in a long long time in an era of technological revolution but has this revolution slowed us down in our ability to get curious or work hard to get information by making it so easy to have answers to anything on earth! Yes, No, I don't know! Depends on how we use it for our growth! Like they say 'TMI can either make us or break us'! Lets get the best outta it than allowing it to render our neurons useless!

Now you may ask me why I have such a title for my post? Why I have the word 'Prejudice' out there? Well, before I opened my eyes & ears to what other countries are doing or rather how far ahead they have gone, I thought we were the best! I thought we were unique & did most of the things better than others. I got angry whenever someone had something nice to say about other countries accusing them of not being patriotic. But little did I know 'Patriotism' is not just about loving your country but doing something that stands out! Not saying that we don't have people out there who are accomplishing great stuff but let the numbers increase and that starts with each one of us!

The other developed countries have proved that they are brilliant, the fields may be different for each one of them but they are definitely innovating & coming out with amazing stuff! We are brilliant too, so why copy? Why not learn from the experiences of what it took for them to reach this level & turn around our country too?

My apologies for all the prejudiced, biased, mindless, immature statements I made till now.I realize I need to think more liberal, give credit where it is due, gain more knowledge, and yes, definitely stop being 'Prejudiced'!!!! :-)

So let's get creative folks, for once, why not just 'THINK DIFFERENT'!