Archive for February 18, 2010

First look of two new films are out. Priyadarshan’s Bumm Bumm Bole and Mahesh Manjrekar’s City Of Gold. Have a look.

Bumm Bumm Bole is an official adaptation of Majid Majidi’s acclaimed film Children Of Heaven. Its produced by Percept Picture Company and stars Darsheel safary. The Remake Master continues remaking.

Mahesh Manjrekar’s City Of Gold is set in Mumbai’s mills era. Here is the official synopsis of the film…

Today, there is hardly anyone who hasn’t visited the swanky shopping malls, nightclubs, lounge bars, clubs and other such lifestyle destinations that sprung up across the centre of Mumbai. However, very few know that buried deep below these glittering edifices to consumerism lies the dark, dirty and painful reality of many thousands of mill workers who once worked the cotton mills in this very same area. Rising and toiling to the wail of the mill sirens each and every day, seven days a week, these workers embodied the true unbridled zeal and unflagging spirit of the city and played a pivotal role in the evolution of Mumbai as the modern day business capital of India.

And then it suddenly was as if they never existed. Following the mill workers strike in the mid-80s, these mills began closing down rapidly and the mill-workers mysteriously disappeared. What happened to them, and where they went is one of the most shameful secrets that the city of Mumbai will have to bear for generations, one that until now has always been spoken about in hushed whispers.

City of Gold – the story of these long-forgotten masses – not only explores the apathy of these mill workers narrated through the story of one such family, but is also a take-no-prisoners account of the birth of the true underbelly of organized crime in Mumbai.

The film traces the birth of the politics of greed in Mumbai and exposes the unholy collusion between the triumvirate of big business, the political establishment and the trade union leaders who ostensibly were charged with protecting the rights of the mill workers. In the two decades that followed, the entire landscape of Central Mumbai was changed forever. Land became the currency of growth, and this began the systematic extinction of mills in Mumbai. In a matter of just a few years, hundreds of thousands of workers lost their means of livelihood. Having worked in these mills from generation to generation, this was the only vocation that they knew.

Many left Mumbai and went back to their ancestral homes, some others chose to stay back and fight what they soon realised was a losing battle, some took the extreme step of ending their miserable lives, and still some others took to a world of crime.

Truth… as is said, is stranger than fiction. But the truth that the film uncovers is not just stranger but darker and dirtier than any mind has ever imagined. Produced by DAR Motion Pictures and from the Director of dark and realistic films like Vaastav – Mr Mahesh Manjrekar, ‘City of Gold’ takes another trip down memory lane…. just that this time around the result is a much more heart wrenching, soul stirring and shocking film about human avarice and apathy.

The film doesn’t provide any direct solutions. Yet it shatters many a myth and raises many a question which only the passage of time will provide answers to.

To know more about the film, click here for the official website.

Between Life & Death, what I am most scared of ?

Posted: February 18, 2010 by moifightclub in life, Thoughts

Remember those scrapbook questions. What You love, what you hate, your favourite colour and blah blah. For one question, I never had any answer. What do you fear the most ? Girls would go for rats, spiders, cockroaches. Boys would say nothing. Few would admit that its ghost. Those who grew up more than their age would fill the place with “losing loved ones”. I would wonder if its ghosts ( would love to meet), loneliness ( enjoy it infact) or death (wow. chapter over. what a relief).

Then I discovered Albert Camus. Made me feel I am not guilty. Not the only one who wouldnt put “loved ones” in that blank space. Ryan Binghman in Jason Reitman’s Up In The Air made me realise that am not the only one bragging and selling detachment. Acting too smart, even with life. Wait till life plays the smart game on you. And it seems it has started playing it. Because now I know what I am most scared of. Not life neither death. Its when you are in between. You cant live, eat, drink, shit, scream and you cant even die. You just wait. There is no option. No button. No choice. You life is based on all the choices you made and then, there comes a full stop. Its one of those days.

We know her end is near. Some of us have started muttering it too. Its good for her, good for us, we all agree. Cover our selfish wish with an excuse for her relief. Or may be its the opposite. But she always said its not decent to talk about death. We stop midway. Everytime I get a call from that number, it scares me. Thoughts starts running in all directions. Have just been informed about her status. I give few quick fix solutions. Adult diapers. Wheelchair. This food. That liquid. Those kind of loos. Far away from her, its easy to suggest. Am just emotionally bothered. Those close to her, have lot to worry and more to do. Even the simple gesture of making her sit with a back support is daunting for everyone. The rest is not even easy to imagine.

 The phone is passed on to her. In frail voice, she asked me how I am. My eyes well up. Said am fine. Asked her how is she doing. Could not hear her voice after that. Some signal problem. Just few months back, I was there. When I was about to leave, she held my hand and tears started rolling down her wrinkled face. I acted smart and detached. Arre, am coming soon. Why are you acting ?

On the way back, Deepa Mehta’s Water came to mind. Yes, the same film that sold desi exotica to West. But I liked it. It was only for that old lady who wanted to have a laddo which she wasnt allowed to eat, and one day she gets it, next day she is no more. I remember her telling me so many times that when the end is close, you want to eat all those things that you havent tasted in ages. Food that you arent allowed. That makes you feel guilty because of social norms. In the end, you dont care. You want to taste it one last time. She is scared that she may want to eat non-vegetarian food on deathbed. She lost her husband quite early. Since then, havent tasted meat. Its been quite long. I again acted smart. Said it doesnt happen like that. And if it happens, I will make sure that I feed you the same and make you happy.

And am more scared. In my three decades of existence, I havent seen too many people on deathbed. May be, just six weddings and no funeral. Have always stayed away. From every kind of social functions. They scare me. They bore me. Hate crowds. Hate remembering all those important dates. Can live with the tag of “anti-social”.Infact have started enjoying it. Many say, leave him, he will not come. I nod happily.

So, why the “anti-social” is going all “senti-menti” this time on “social” media. Because it has happened before. Something similar. It was someone else. One more person who was close to me. I came back, wrote a post and it did happen. The end. For a change, am willing to be superstitious.

PS1 – She is there in a script of mine. Few liked it, some appreciated it. And those in power said it promotes superstition. I said its called magic realism. I have seen it all. But its stuck with a corporate house. I dream many times of making it some day and dedicating it to her. The days are counted few now. Hopefully some day it will happen. She will see it from wherever she will be.

PS 2 – BTW, if you havent read the gorgeous feature on Roger Ebert yet. Click here and read it. Its must must must read.