I watched a play the other day, called 'Heaps of Broken Images' (Directed by Girish Karnad, starring Arundhati Raja). Its about this struggling author who writes in her vernacular (Kannada), and her sudden rise to fame and fortune when she releases an English novel that takes the world by storm. But it turns out that she's got a lot (or should I say, a heap) of skeletons in her closet which slowly tumble out as she discovers her true self in a television studio.
What struck me more than the plot was the way it was done. The protagonist appears on television to talk about her new book and dismiss the critics and skeptics who questioned her sudden change of language. Once she's done with her spot, the screen in the studio retains the image of her in her seat, and begins to converse with the real character. Its very well timed and co-ordinated, and I've never seen anything like it. Very clever, fast-paced and altogether solid. Two thumbs up!
I also watched Kill Bill Vol. I. I had exams to write, places to go, and so on, and so never got a chance to watch it before. Not bad. A bit overrated, but isn't everything? At least its different. True, creating something different does not completely shield you from criticism... your 'different' work can suck more than 50 Hoovers on overdrive. Great action sequences. And its different. I have so many politically incorrect things to say about the majority of the world's population right now, but most people have trouble getting over it, so... just picture me bitching and start hating me, and everything I have to say will miraculously materialise in your head. Cherish the moment.
Anything else? Ah, yes. Have you heard of Chuck Schuldiner? He's a genius. Died of brain stem cancer a few years ago. He formed two (to my knowledge) fabulous bands that raised the bar in their respective genres, quite a few notches each. Death (Death Metal) and Control Denied (Progressive Power Metal) have churned out some marvellous music that has influenced several bands of today, and should have influenced many more. Their music is complex, intense, and utterly wonderful. Its a shame that most of today's metal bands don't even aspire to achieve the levels of brilliance Schuldiner did. I mean, maybe small-time bands should get away with it, but once you're making money doing what you love, shouldn't you be striving to expel the best and only the best that you can produce? And if the best you can produce sucks, shouldn't you pull out and walk away, or do something else? Shoeshining is a very respectable trade, if you can break through into the mainstream...
Books - Hari Kunzru: Transmission. Interesting, but why do Indian authors who write in English only write gritty tales of povery-stricken, ribs-exposed India? Or about FOB-struggling-to-adjust Indians migrating to the west? Get over it, I say. Didn't any of you ever live in a nice Mangalorean-Christian neighbourhood in Bangalore? Weren't you friends with Anglos and Tam-Brams and Madus who had money pouring out of their noses? OVERfuckingRATED, all of you. Write about reality. Stop painting pictures of the world as you see it through your Oakley sunglasses, in shades of gray. Its so easy to just pick up an advance for a few million dollars and write inconsequential stories encased in matte-finish hardbound covers about slum-dwellers and part-time waiters, and make a name for yourself. Write a real story, one with substance, and call me when you're done. In fact, don't. I'll call you. Till then.