Thanks to the obnoxious humor that this man portrays through his Jalsas and Jilpas, I am in the process of getting introduced to many more equally obnoxious Indian bloggers. So the past few months have just made me feel small. Of course, this post is not about how small I feel.
This post is to make a general observation on the increasing copyright infringement trends that we are witnessing of late, on intellectual properties, specially of those who spend so much of their valuable & productive time creating their obnoxious blog posts, during their office hours or during their domestic Reality TV watching hours. Either way, it is becoming extremely challenging to monitor who copies whose ideas, blogs, pictures, cartoons, etc. in a wired world where everything is just a google click or a bing throw away.
For starters, let me talk about coconut chutney. If this girl cannot be called obnoxiously and annoyingly funny, then I don’t know who can be. She had this really incredible idea in 2008 of a gay iyengar guy wanting to marry another iyengar guy. One may wonder, what is so funny about it. If at all, it is the exact opposite of being funny, one may argue to be politically correct. But the inane and immature folks with an extra long funny bone, will however conclude what Lavanya came up with the above mentioned theme, is an absolute stunner of a chutney (slightly tangy though). She probably is not a very ambitious writer nor someone who thought of her chutney making skills with so much pomp. Else, she would have taken necessary steps to acquire a patent for her post along with 100% license on the creative content of the story, characters, theme, etc. After all, that is what all bloggers do. As soon as they click on “Publish”, they go running from pillar to post to complete all the paper or digital work.
The Main Course of this post revolves around a small time filmmaker who made a short film in 2010 (or 2009?) whose original story was apparently written by his friend. I am not naming the two of them because I know I am going to be a in a big legal mess if I do. The plot thickened when the short film hit youtube (which is normally where creative artists meet their end) and within no time, my Tweetdeck app was crying out loud. For all Lavanya’s fans, this was desecration and for all bloggers in general, this was another example of how easily some lazy creative artists (!!) can steal their ideas and make some faming dough out of them, all along claiming that they don’t even know what Internet is. Unfortunately, I am not going to be able to provide the youtube link of the video, because the filmmakers got the message fairly quickly and brought it down. The fuel to the fire was added when the director went onto take a low road by claiming that he had just bought his first computer and didn’t even know what the symbol for copyright is.
For Dessert, Let me serve just one thing. Chutney case is the most rotten chutney I have ever tasted. It is almost like Crazy Mohan took up blogging and started serving coconut chutney with his family.
As for the budding filmmaker who had a false start, I am sure he will move on. This misstep probably is not going to cost him much..As for his friend, who claimed the story to be his, I am sure he will move on too. Probably to another blog. As for the copyrights issue itself, I am sure it will get murkier and murkier when it comes to creative licenses on blog contents.
As for me, the stale remains of coconut chutney in my tongue will continue to haunt. What to do?
The eyes were wide open as if staring into her soul. The arctic cold front reinforced the already firm icy silver lining on the black vinyl siding of the old building. It resembled a thin stray of lightning in a dark night, from a distance, as it glittered brightly under moonlight. And that night, it literally was the only silver lining anyone could find in that sleepy town. That is, if anyone really cared to look for one.
Glum and Doom are the only two ways one could summarize the mood that prevailed in Hemsville that evening. It certainly was not the typical cheerful December evening the town had come to be known for in its 139 years of existence. It certainly was not the best day to be working at the Hemsville Police Department, where the need for an officer’s presence in its main office building after 6 PM, never existed till that day. An HPD clerk and a security guard normally took charge of their third shift duties exactly at 5:45 PM, by conveniently getting settled to catch up on prime time television sitcoms and late night talk shows, after all the officers leave between 5:30 PM and 6:00 PM.
Chief Shirley had been looking through the window for about 10 minutes in complete darkness created out of necessity, just like an animal waiting for its prey in the jungle, with a fear that its predator could also be looking for its prey. Her gun was out of its holster, while it looked like she was in a sprint start position, fully bent below the main window of the reception area. Between Shirley and the reception desk, laid the body of Sergeant Kimberly who had just come in for her third shift duty. Her eyes were wide open and to Shirley it felt like they were staring into her own soul because it very well could have been her turn that night. Those 18 minutes after the first shot was fired inside the HPD office building could not have been any different from a crime scene involving a killer on the loose.
Earlier, as Shirley was getting ready to leave for the day at 5:42 PM, she received a package, delivered to her by the town’s deliveryman Himler. With only four more days to go for Christmas, Shirley was not surprised to get a package, which she assumed was addressed to her, at her office. She was about to open the package when her cell phone rang. It was her daughter Amber.
“Timothy wouldn’t let me watch my channels on TV mom! He has been watching Pokemon-Shokemon for 2 hours..”
“Honey..Amber..can you be patient with your baby brother for a little while?. Mom will be home in 15 minutes..I will talk to him after I get home….If you are hungry, there is some leftovers from last night’s dinner…you can check…I will fix your favorite dinner as soon as I get home..Ok..dear?”
“Honey, Please..Mom has had a long day..Please..”
“Alright..whatever..but will you promise me to take me to Mexico for my history project?”
“…Hey listen Amber….I will take you to Mexico next summer. It’s a promise..Ok?”
5:45 PM. Kimberly had just settled at her desk when she noticed the silhouette outside the main window. It was a full moon night, and with snow flurries drifting, the visibility outside was not bad at all for a winter night. The figure that caught Kimberly’s eyes was that of a man in a long trench coat, but it was too brief, yet anyone else in her position probably would have raised an alarm. It was not unusual to see passers by on the sidewalk outside the office building, but not this close to the main window, which was really perpendicular to the building’s only parking lot.
5:46 PM. When Shirley disconnected her call with her daughter and was about to turn around to walk towards the coat stand, she noticed through the corner of her eyes that the package she had just received had a rather odd looking symbol on the top left hand corner where one normally expects to see the sender’s information. The symbol at a quick glance was very catchy because of its red color. But it also seemed handmade and not machine made even for a well-trained pair of eyes. Shirley took a moment to see what that symbol was. What she saw horrified her instantaneously. After a few seconds of trying to place that symbol which seemed very familiar to her, she got distracted. There was a scream followed by a sound of 2 gunshots, with the latter shot almost sounding like an echo of the former one. She had to literally throw the package on the floor and run behind the wall that separated her office room from the reception area. There was an eerie bit of silence for the next few minutes. Only the noises of painful moaning and footsteps filled the air.
The feeble words coming out of the reception area confirmed to Shirley that Kimberly was the victim. And she could hear her say in a very peaceful tone..
“I love you Sam. I will see you soon..”
5:54 PM. Shirley had noticed that the moaning sound had stopped.
“Poor Kimberly”, Shirley thought. “She didn’t deserve to die like this”. Shirley didn’t want to run into trouble voluntarily, but she knew there were not too many choices left for her at that moment. The security guard on duty that night either had already been shot dead outside or had left the premises. So unless Shirley stepped outside the room to look at the scene, she would never be able to catch the criminal on loose, however remote the chances were. So she started crawling on the floor with the gun pulled out and moved outside her office towards the reception desk. What under normal circumstances would take her 5 seconds, took almost 3 minutes. Shirley quickly rolled over to the other side of the desk and hit the main power button, which was hidden under the desk. The building became dark. Except for the lights coming through the windows from outside, it was pitch black. Shirley tried very hard not to breathe so that the silence in the air could remain unpolluted. She hardly heard any noise from within the building.
“Does the package have anything to do with the killing?”, Shirley wondered. Then a chill went through her spine when the thought crossed her mind – “The killer is really looking for me”.“But Why?”.
She decided to wait by the window to ensure she had a better chance of going after the killer should he or she walk out now.
6:04 PM. Shirley heard the footsteps again. She became alert and got back to her sprint start position. Then she heard some heavy noise created by tossing and turning of paper work across the many office desks & it felt like the noise was approaching her. She could actually sense the person getting closer now. The raw smell of salt and snow & the crunchy sound of the salt getting crushed between the boots and the carpet made her even more alert. Because of the overall darkness, the person approaching the reception desk did not have a particularly clear vision of the layout of the office, hence fumbled along till he tripped over Kimberly’s body. Shirley seized the moment.
In no time, she was on top of the person, wringing his neck while positioning her knees in his crotch area after delivering a quick blow there, immediately followed by swinging the gun onto his temple pointedly. She did not have much time to deliberate over what her next actions should be, because with a 6 feet and 180 lb. frame figure lying on the floor, she was no match to the physical strength of the man who could make her choke with just 2 fingers. Shirley used her knees again and this time with more power. She could hear him scream. “Jesus”. Then she quicklyrolled over to turn the lights on while the man on he floor was writhing in pain and potentially in no position to stand straight for a few more minutes. As soon as the room was lit up, Shirley looked at the man suffering with some pain and recognized him immediately.
“Sam! You?”“What the hell is going on?”
“Ha.ha..it’s me Chief..yes..”
“You killed Kimberly?”
“Look at her lying on the floor next to you..” “I have to charge you on several counts Sam..”
“It is not what it looks like..”
“What is not?”
“Look at her bleeding Sam..She is dead..”
“I am here looking for a package Chief. It was supposed to have been delivered to Kimberly today..and what you see here..what you see her now..she is not really dead..This is a ceremony Chief. You won’t understand. It is not what it looks like..”
“Bloodletting. An ancient Mayan ceremony. Makes us connect with the God. You won’t understand it Chief. I need to know where Kimberly has the package..”
“Because it has instructions on the next steps of the ceremony. I need to act fast…else Kimberly will be really dead…”
6:13 PM. Shirley moved stealthily towards Sam and used her pointed boots this time to ensure Sam could suffer a little longer with a torturous pain in the groin area, while she brought the package to Sam. It was clear now that Himler had delivered the package to the wrong person.
He quickly opened the package and grabbed a sheet of paper on which Shirley could see some kind of instructions written. Sam pulled out a syringe from the box inside the package, opened a bottle of some liquid, and mixed some powder from another packet before sucking all of them in using the syringe and injecting it onto Kimberly’s temple area.
“I had to make sure she bleeds in her brain….so she could make the connection. Her eyes are open. That’s a good sign…This liquid shot is supposed to stop the bleeding..and once it does, she …”
“Kimberly..you are back”..
“Sam, it was a great experience…I was….”
6:16 PM. Shirley was still recovering from the shock. The last few minutes were a roller coaster ride for her. She had no idea what was unfolding in front of her eyes. But she was glad that Kimberly was not dead. She wanted to sort everything out quickly and get out of the place to be home with her children.
“Kimberly, before the blood dries up we need to take your palm prints on these papers..”, said Sam.
As Sam moved the wrapper around, to get what looked like some special tracing paper sheets, the symbol caught Shirley’s eyes again. This time she paid closer attention to it.
“Wow..Isn’t that the Vision Serpent?”
“How do you know about this?”, said Sam, as he put down all the sheets in front of Kimberly who now was able to sit on the floor..
“Amber’s History project….Never knew…it would come handy…Ha….But I always thought that was just history..”
“Not for us..”
“We have to send these papers to get anointed….”
6:18 PM. Kimberly continued to press both her hands on the floor where her own blood had formed a pool, as she got ready to imprint her palms on the special trace paper sheets.
She scrubbed and scrubbed her hands till they were red.
Politics and petty religious quibbles aside, if there is one thing that the whole world can come together for right now, it would be joining hands in support of the Haitians – to be precise, of those who are still left to struggle in a doomed country, which historically has always lived under the cloud of evils of different forms. What with western countries meddling with its internal affairs, a country where living itself is a task, much like many third world countries, it is really disheartening to see a natural disaster of this magnitude happen, pretty much leaving nothing for those who survived. Makes you wonder, if those survived ones really consider themselves fortunate or not.
I have been avoiding watching images of the recent aftermath from Haiti – yet in a connected world we live in, it is almost impossible to avoid. For example, I happened to watch a video of CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta treating a 15 day old child – yes 15 day old, who was rescued from a building where the mom died. Now, to say that my heart was wrenched seeing that short clip would be an understatement.But it really made me cry out in silent helplessness – made me realize yet again, the power of nature and that how insignificant all of us are in the grand scheme of things.
Yet, it does not take away the simple fact that those of us who live do not deserve to live a life that pretty much points one in the direction of death with no other ways open. So, why do we all find it hard to help each other? Why do we find it hard not to kill others? Why is it hard to remember that when Nature unleashes, guns and nuclear explosives mean nothing. Of course, I am not looking for answers, as I know there are no real answers.
For now though, I think we can do our part with a click of a mouse – I am sure there are other organizations of your choice. But I donated through the following:
Happened to watch this movie over the weekend. 3 idiots, the movie that has been making waves all over the world of Indian movie goers truly lived up to its reputation of being one of the most popular movies, as the most commercially successful movie of 2009 and as the one to watch for all the entertainment, humor & the supposedly great social message it offers.
Normally I don’t like to call my experience of watching a movie and sharing my comments a true “Review”. I am going to present my comments in a different form for this movie – of course, just for kicks. Here are 3 different views of the movie..
View 1 – An Average Moviegoer
The entertainment quotient of the movie is probably close to 7.5/10. By which I mean, there is almost 75% of the time when you are watching the movie, you never get the feeling “what the heck is going on?” or you look at your watch or you sort of predict what the character is going to say or do..
Casting – Aamir Khan is pretty good and full marks to him for physically trying to morph himself into a lean machine from his Ghajini looks. Although he could never pass off as a 20 year old (to be fair Madhavan wouldn’t pass off as a 20 year old as well..), he looked much younger for his age. But I thought Aamir overdid his mannerisms, in other words, he tried too hard to look like a 20 year old. Madhavan was a class apart, if you could leave his age aside, he didn’t overdo what Aamir tried to, but rather played to his strengths. Shraman Joshi too did quite well..and you could see the chemistry between the 3 working really well.
Awesome comic one liners – Have to give full marks to Hirani and Abhijat Joshi for their sense of humor and for a great adaptation & for a great screenplay. This is what helped the movie to be a highly entertaining one. Not to mention, the social message that they interviewed the screenplay with.
View 2 – A Critic with a microscope (actually just a simple magnifying lens)
Aamir as the hero – Of course, he gets to do all the right things and say all the right things as the main character “Rancho”. As much as I would like to give credit to Aamir for not hogging the camera, he however gets to say the cheesiest of one liners (punch lines as they call it in Tamil movies) and always tries to be Mr. Clean. I don’t have a problem with him playing a mainstream hero..but could have been less pretentious about it (like Ghajini). I have lots of respect for Aamir Khan the thinker behind the actor, so was a little disappointed that he chose this route.
All the larger than life scenes – As much as they are entertaining and helps the writers get their point across, these scenes have meaningless purposes in the grand scheme of things. For example: The whole delivery scene with a vacuum cleaner. C’mon, couldn’t they have taken a less dramatic approach? That too right after another dramatic sequence which includes a student pissing outside a Dean’s house..Again this being a critic view, I would like to totally do away with anything as silly & as dramatic as these scenes were, specially given the movie involves Mr. Perfect, why not?
The whole underwear salute sequences – May be they overdid it in my critic’s viewpoint much like “students making fun of teachers” episodes.
View 3 – A Controversy Monger
Of course I can’t talk about this movie without talking about Chetan Bhagat. Enough said and enough discussed. I heard about his book in 2007 and read his Five Point Someone within a month after I heard about this book. I liked the book for the story and the simplistic way it was told. Nothing more and nothing less. But wasn’t surprised when I read that someone is trying to make a movie based on this book because the book had enough ingredients for a movie. When I read about the whole controversy, I took sides immediately. I am on Chetan’s side.
If you haven’t read the book yet, then there is no point in trying to argue with you. But what is hard to fathom is why Aamir Khan would join hands with VVC and RH to go after poor Chetan. No matter what the agreement is (in which I am pretty sure there is no mention of Abhijat claiming 100% credit for the story), all Chetan wants is a due recognition of his contribution. Will VVC or RH come out and openly say that they would have come up with the exact same story if not for Chetan’s book? Absolute BS.
It is also hard to believe that Mr. Perfectionist failed (supposedly on purpose) to read the book before he did the movie. Why? Stupidity or sheer, smart foresightedness? Either way, it is giving him a good shield to fight against Chetan. The respect I had started to develop for Aamir Khan since Lagaan has once again been brought under a cloud of suspicion.
On the whole, Chetan’s name deserves to appear in clear and concrete terms whether in the beginning or towards the end. Just “Based on the Novel written by Chetan Bhagat” or “Original Story by CB” or “Story by Abhijat and Chetan”…would have been enough in my mind.
A blissful alley of emotions–incognizant of human virtues,
A dark winter day images–indulgent thoughts;
In want of an irreplaceable eternity;
In quest of an infinite indemnity.
A life full of perishable values and irrelevant audacity,
A voyage with an indefinite destination;
I am at a loss for not knowing my goal–as an inept marching soldier,
I am at a gloomy height–being an ignoramus soul.
For the reverend minds of the better lived,
For the blessed hearts in this sinful world,
I bow my head to be bestowed upon with your riches,
I stretch out to learn the meaning for my living.
Meandering through my oblivious Mind are my salvage prayers,
Mystifying my inner soul is my salvation seeking;
I desire not to desire on earthly material–
I decry my pleasure for flesh and pound;
I constantly urge to steam out from these miseries–
I wish I knew how.
Amidst all, I am disoriented and am lost in my Mind.
Sometimes things happen unplanned. This was one of those instances. Started working on a very different idea but ended up completing this. Thoroughly enjoyed doing this..My new year starts off in a classical manner – musically speaking
PS: After I posted this and started listening to it multiple times, I realized how much I have been influenced by one man’s music..and how much his work has captivated my musical thoughts & my limited and questionable musical creativity (unknowingly sometimes like this song)..
So, it is only natural I dedicate this song to AR Rahman on his birthday today (Jan-6). Happy Birthday AR!